The Shadows by J.R. Ward
Narrator: Jim Frangione
Length: 22 hrs and 8 mins
Date Read: April 2015
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.
Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.
iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.
Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...
Publisher: NAL, Penguin Audio
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Also by this author: Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound br> br>
Also in this series: Dark Lover, Lover Eternal, Lover Awakened, Lover Revealed, Lover Unbound
Read for Fun/Listened for Review (Kindle/Penguin)
Overall Rating: 1.00
Story Rating: 1.00
Character Rating: 1.00
Audio Rating: —– (didn’t listen to enough on audio so not rating)
First Thought when Finished: The Shadows by J.R. Ward will be loved by many but just not me. To be fair, the last 3 books have been rated 3, 2, 3 (with both 3’s being barely) so it is fair to say that I should probably break up with the series (which is sad because 13 books investment is no small thing).
Review will be ranty, spoilery, and hopefully cathartic. Also possibly the longest review (for lack of a better word) that I have ever written
Been about a week and I am no less disappointed than when I closed the book so on to my “all over the place review”
I will put it all in spoiler brackets because well I just CAN’T be unspoilery.
View Spoiler »
There were tears in this book but not because of…
Trez and Selena You know I knew she was going to die before I got there. Yes I read the spoilers. Yes I read Ward’s reasoning. No it did not make me cry. Why? You remember that small part where Selena asked him to never touch another female again. How she knew it was selfish but that is what she wanted? I had a problem with that and maybe it stood out more because I knew what was coming. However, that right there made me NOT root for them as a couple. Now what happens to Trez? Does he just become a shell of man just around for fighting and talking to the sky? I don’t find it sad. I find it pathetic. No one who really loves another would ask them to go the rest of eternity (cause let’s get real–they live for a long freaking time) without love in their life.
Oh this is the HEA–huh?
iAM and the woman who got the eternal virgin to throw out his virginity in a snap Yes she has a name but honestly I don’t remember it. However, it must be powers that come with being a queen because for coming in at the 45% mark and only getting about 15% more of the book after that she managed to get him to give up his virginity (he just had to have her), make him fall in love, and quite frankly change a long holding tradition/law/whatever in the process. For her little page time, she made Wrath look like he is a lazy leader. Yeah for them but it was a little to lust than love for me. Should have had more time as them a couple.
We are doing another revisit story because there aren’t 50 people who don’t have stories of their own….
Rhage and Mary They love each other. Wait we already know that. Rhage is suffering some survivors guilt? PTSD? Something. If what I read is true they are getting another book because well why the hell not. I guess this gives Ward an easy way to not write those boring HEA’s anymore.
My biggest question?
What the hell is the direction/purpose/etc anymore? Mass amounts of storylines have me crossing my eyes. Seriously I can’t figure out what exactly I am supposed to be rooting for or who for that matter. I feel like the last 4 books have been all over the place. Sure there is usually one storyline in 10 that gets complete but the rest are like threads in the wind. You just never know where they are going or if they are going anywhere. I have closed each of the last 4 feeling very unsatisfied with closure. There just really isn’t any for most of the things going on. Yes in real life that happens every day. This isn’t real life. I want my fiction to have closure (not on everything but 50 continuous storylnes are exhausting). I also want my romances to have HEAs. There I said it.
Why I cried: I cried because I used to love this series. I cried because these characters used to mean something to me. I cried because I am not sure I can read another Ward book without wondering if she is going to take the HEA out of romance again. I don’t actually blame her for this last one–she jumped on the trend of Billionare Men and their 4 books to settle down trend and just upped it a notch. The HEA just better not get put on the endagered species list.
Pet Peeves: I highlighted one passage that kind of encompasses some of the things that now get on my nerves. Granted they have been in the series all along but back when I cared about the characters (minus the lessers) I could look past them….
“Paradise, blooded daughter of Abalone, First Adviser to the King, frowned at the screen of her Apple lappy. She’d set herself up here in her father’s library ever since he’d started working each night for Wrath, son of Wrath, because in the old rambling Tudor mansion, Wi-Fi was strongest at this desk. Not that a good signal was helping her at the moment. Her Hotmail account was full of unread messages, because, with iMessage on her phone and her Twitter, Instagram, and FB accounts, there was no reason to sign into it very often.”
This series has become one full of brand names, name dropping, and old men talking like they are teenagers hanging on a corner. This was just a paragraph that had no spoilers. What purpose did it serve for the story other than to throw out names? I seriously wonder if she gets product placement kickbacks cause she should as much free advertisement she gives them.
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Was this cathartic? Nope I am really still mad that I don’t have a great desire to continue this series. I am sad that my love affair is just over. Overall I am just disappointed.
Audiobook Thoughts: This is a case of the narrator being too good. The thing with books that have elements that get on your nerves is that if the narrator is outstanding all those things STAND OUT! Seriously Jim nails the tone, speech, sarcasm, and nuances of this series. It really is freaking well done. The problem: it is freaking well done and certain elements of this series have long out stayed their welcome (centuries old men and their gangsta talk for one).
- Narrated By
- Length: 22 hrs and 8 mins
During her non-reading time you can find her hanging with her rescue furr children named after book characters: Lizzie a beautiful cattle dog mix (Pound Pup), Cinder a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Pound Pup), and Minerva a beautiful Shep/Pitt mix (Foster Fail). Gathering with friends and family, attending conventions, watching movies/tv shows, rooting for the 49rs, and crocheting.
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