Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Book Review--> Black Dagger Brotherhood #1- Dark Lover by J.R. Ward


Title and Author: Dark Lover by J. R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #1
Print Length: 480 Pages
Language: English
Publication Date: February 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Vampires

Book Review:
Unknown to humans, there is a war going on between the vampires and the "baby powder" smelling "Undead Lessers" who were once humans but now are vicious killers with only one aim. To kill the vampires. 
Wrath is the leader of a pack of six vampire warriors who are protectors of their race and alpha males. This is the story of Wrath who is left in a precarious situation when one of his warriors is killed and leaves the task of helping his half vampire daughter, who is unaware of the vampire world, transition into a full vampire to him.
Beth is blissfully unaware of her vampire ancestry as well as of her father and is busy in her normal human world. But everything changes when she is thrown headlong into the dark and dangerous world of the vampires. 


I first got acquainted to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series in 2013 and read Dark Lover for the first time right at that time. Needless to say, I was hooked and went reading up till the seventh book in the series. :)

I started reading the series again, so I could write a review this time. After Twilight, I became a big fan of vampires and read a number of vampire stories after that but was never hooked like I was in Twilight! Slowly my interest waned and I stopped reading vampire based books. So when one day, one of my friends recommended this series and told me to give it a try, at first, I was a bit skeptical but got engaged in the book once I started reading it.

Words of advise first, this is not your typical teen book. The BDB books are intense, adult themed and slightly on erotic themes. The BDB heroes are alpha males who are possessive, proud of their more animal instincts and not afraid to show their emotions in the most basic form. 

The first thing that caught my interest is the setting of the book which is Caldwell in New York. J.R Ward beautifully transitions the city which is hustling-bustling and lively during the day into the creepy, dark and dangerous war zone of the Lessers and the vampires during the night. The portrayal of the events and situations create a kind of urgency and goosebumps inducing thrill in the readers. The Lessers are slinky, highly trained and focused with a sweet smell of baby powder to them which is almost ironical if we consider the fact that they are cruel and conscienceless killers. They were once humans, most likely criminals and were then transitioned by evil into these UNDEAD killers!

The vampires in this book are slightly different. They do sleep during the day but are not like the vampires that we know. They are not dead. They are a long living race who were born humans with vampire DNA in their blood. They change into vampires on their twentieth birthday. They eat normal food, feel love and bond to others but their bonding process is different and a very important part of this book. They can drink blood from members of the opposite sex in their race if need be. Feeding off of humans doesn't nourish and give them strength.

The book sets the base for the upcoming books and tells the story of Beth and Wrath. Beth is unaware that she is doomed to become a vampire on her twentieth birthday which is fast approaching. She is a journalist and happy in her normal existence. Butch is a police officer and Beth's friend who also secretly loves her. The story picks pace when the worlds of these three people collide.

The characterization is noteworthy. The author introduces the six brothers of the BDB and it is interesting to note their names which are like Wrath, Tohrment, Zsadist etc. Each brother is different from the other but still they are dedicated to one purpose and that is to save their race and eliminate the Lessers. The easy banter between the brothers is entertaining and sweet. I loved the background stories of each. Their names can be a bit confusing but eventually become less so as the book progresses.
The chemistry between Wrath and Beth is hot, sensuous and very intense. Their love is different and complex. Add the angle of Butch, the love angle is full of difficulties, uncertainties and fears. 

“You don't know this yet. But you are Mine." -Wrath to Beth

I loved Beth. She is unlike the sappy heroines of the usual romances. She is strong, intelligent and brave enough to handle any difficulty thrown her way. She is not afraid of the colossal and frightening vampires and she is definitely not afraid of Wrath, who is otherwise feared by everyone! Wrath is the Blind King who is destined to become the King of his race but has instead become a warrior by choice. He is tough, an expert warrior, an alpha and even his blindness does not stop him from being the best in everything.

“With a face that was both aristocratic and brutal, he looked like the king he was by birthright and the soldier he’d become by destiny.” - Wrath's description

The story is fast paced with suitably placed twists and turns which keep the reader interested and eagerly turning pages till the very end. I liked the writing style of the author and the ease with which she balanced so many characters at once.

While I loved the world building, the characterization, the mystery of the vampires and the evil who created the Lessers and the age old war between the Lessers and the vampires, I was a bit disappointed by the Lessers as villains. While they are vicious, cruel and everything else bad, they lack a commanding leader. I would have loved an intense fight between Wrath and the Lesser leader but instead we get unknown Lessers. If one is killed another takes his place just like paid goons.

All in all, this is an entertaining read and marks the beginning of an intense series. I loved the book the first time and equally loved it the second time and give it a 4 out of 5. The book as well as the series are suitable only for adults. I recommend it to dark fantasy, paranormal romance lovers.

“Some bridges you crossed on your own, no matter who drove you to the edge” 

Buy From:
Amazon.com: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Amazon.in: Hardcover | Mass Market Paperback |  Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Flipkart.com: Paperback | EBook

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