I started this review two days ago, having to stop every so often, because the more I wrote, the angrier I would become, and before long, this reviewI started this review two days ago, having to stop every so often, because the more I wrote, the angrier I would become, and before long, this review will filled with enough obscenities to make a sailor blush. This is long, filled with spoilers, and basically one giant rant filled review.
Let’s start with a basic overview. This is the story of Trez Latimer and his brother, iAm, having been on the run and in hiding from the s’Hibse for many years. They’ve established a life for themselves in Caldwell, and have become good friends with the BDB. Trez was a former sex addict, but after his little encounter with Selena in The King, he has sworn off women forever. Selena, a Chosen, has a disease that was named as The Arrest in this book. It’s apparently incurable, even though the Chosen are supposed to be daughters of The Scribe Virgin. I don’t necessarily understand how this has come about, and Ward wrote it off as a result of the limited gene pool the Chosen hailed from since the Chosen were only able to mate with the Primale.
In this book, Selena and Trez decide to give their love a chance, dating, falling in love, and even deciding to mate. In the background, Xcor and Throe break up, Xcor and Layla continue to be annoying and tiresome, Rhage suddenly has anxiety issues, and iAm falls in love. We also have Assail being Assail and self-destructive with his cocaine use, because apparently vampires in Ward’s verse don’t know how to actually be functioning adults without the use of some substance. And because he can’t seem to give up being a drug dealer, he lost his One True Love. We’re also introduced to Paradise, Abalone’s daughter, and some mysterious vampire who is going to sign up for the BDB training program. Cue spin-off series here.
For some reason, Ward has decided that this series is no longer a PNR series, but an Urban Fantasy series. That would probably explain why the sex scenes in this book were luke warm at best. Ward used to really write a scene that’d leave me breathless and hot under the collar. I’m going to assume that’s the reason for that ridiculous facial cum shot scene between Trez and Selena. Someone was inspired by YouPorn.com. Don’t even get me started on the scene between Rhage and Mary where he talks about jerking off in the pantry to red potatoes because they reminded him of breasts. Are you fucking kidding me, Ward? This is the direction you’re going to go with Rhage? Do you even know the characters you’re writing anymore, or are you so caught up in your own hype that you feel you can do whatever the hell you want?
We also have the contrived and tiresome relationship between Layla and Xcor. This has gone of for the last three books, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to end anytime soon. Not only that, but now Ward has decided to add twins into the mix because Layla doesn’t have enough shit to deal with, and she needs to be Ward’s special snowflake of a character that will birth the first twins since Phury and Z. Alright, fine. But let’s not forget, Ward doesn’t want to be predictable. She’s tired of predictability in her books.
Yet, in the same breath as Selena dying, Ward makes the most predictable move ever. She has iAm fall in love with the Princess of the s’Hibse, who was Trez’s betrothed. We find out that she doesn’t want this either, and after pretending to be a maid, she and iAm fall deeply in love, after, you know, they have wild hot sex. Turns out, the happy ending isn’t for Trez, it’s for iAm with the now Queen of the s’Hibse.
We had 500 pages of Selena and Trez, and less than 50 with iAm and the new Queen, and we’re supposed to find that ending satisfying? We’re not supposed to be upset at all? I’m supposed to, as a reader, be okay with the fact that SHE KILLED OFF THE MAIN FEMALE CHARACTER?!?! The character that I had grown to really love. She fridged the main female lead so that Trez could have his man pain thus find emotional growth somewhere in the tripe that was the ending of this book. No, Ward. No, I am not going to accept your bullshit reasoning for killing off Selena.
Let me touch on Selena’s death scene. There was so much self-insertion in this scene that if you had written a golden retriever on the bed and a middle-aged blonde self-important hack of a writer by the bed, you’d have the exact same scene. Ward even admitted that the same line she told her DOG at the vet’s office is the same line she put in the book when Trez asked Selena if it was time to go.
Not only that, but she had Selena euthanized. She had a grown ass female being, vampire is irrelevant, euthanized. Let me repeat that. SHE HAD SELENA EUTHANIZED. LIKE A GODDAMN ANIMAL.
I didn’t read Ward’s spoiler post until after I read this book. I had already found it strange that Trez would allow that to happen, that he would all but put Selena down, until Ward explained that Selena was just a substitute for her dead dog. The problem isn’t that Ward doesn’t know how to write women. The problem is Ward hates writing women, and equates them to animals. This living, breathing person was put down by the man she loved, because Ward couldn’t separate her feelings from her writing.
Fuck you, Ward.
This book had a lot of potential, but Ward shat all over it with her self-insertion, pretending this was anything but a botched PNR novel, and for killing the characterizations of her current characters. To know that Mary and Rhage are yet getting another book just proves that she has run out of ideas, and instead of ending this series with The King (or better yet, Lover at Last), she is dragging this series through the shit until no one is recognizable, or she’s killed off every last character.
The only reason I gave this book two stars is because for the first 500 pages, it was a brilliant, beautiful book. Too bad self-indulgence and hubris got in the way. As far as I’m concerned, Ward has taken the last of my money.
Next item on my To do List: Build a funeral pyre for this series as it’s as dead as Selena....more
I haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down myI haven't reviewed of Roane's previous Guardian of Ascension books, because I wanted to get a better feel of the series before really putting down my thoughts about it. I do have to say that I enjoyed this book far more than I enjoyed the other ones, but I haven't figured out exactly why that is. I think a lot of it was because Jean-Pierre didn't come as jealous as the other three when they were taken over by the breh hedden. He had his moments, but it wasn't over the top like in the other three books. It was almost too much that it kind of took me out of the story, but with Jean-Pierre it was just enough Alpha to make the deepest darkest part of me swoon.
So in this novel, Fiona has all but been cured of her 100 year captivity of a blood slave, and is now working with the Militia to find Rith's other facilities and rescue the victims of his blood harvesting. I have to say that the idea of how dying blood is creating was pretty ingenious. It was horrifying and nauseating, but I have to give it up to Roane for creating those feelings. These books do have a very big "anti-female" theme to it, between Rith and Greaves and that sick bastard Stannett, and I think Caris does a very nice job of showing how the females in these books are no longer going to stand for it.
However, the fact that after only five months, Fiona was all but cured, was very unbelievable. I understand that Caris couldn't have jumped too far ahead in the story without screwing things up in her time line, but I still would have liked to see Fiona deal with having been in captivity for so long. I wanted to see her struggle with being around all these people, and having to build that trust with those surrounding her and even with men period. I did like that her and JP actually dated for five months, getting to know each other, learning about each other before even doing anything about the breh hedden. Their love story was believable because it was more than this mythical bonding thing. It was them as people falling in love. Yeah, the fact that they were each other's breh's helped, but they genuinely cared for each other before giving into the more intimate acts of their relationships. I wish we had gotten to see more about Jean-Pierre's personality or his previous life, but I guess I'll take what I can get.
In this book, we finally meet Marguerite, and I can't say that I'm too impressed. I'll have to read the next book to get a better feel of her. I just think she's a bit too extreme for me, but we'll see. Maybe I just like Thorne a lot and he deserves someone who doesn't lie to him to for her own gain, especially after he kept her a secret for so long.
I do have to agree with other readers that Roane can become rather repetitive with her stuff, but some writers are like that. I do like that she toned down the description of the smells or mentioned the smells in this book. We get it, they smell their scents when they're aroused. I do have to say that her sex scenes are written rather well, and the sex scenes in this book were some of my favorites. Big thumbs up to Ms. Author on that one.
This book isn't original in the slightest on some themes, but her world is engaging and I'm interested to see how far she takes these warriors before the good guys win. ...more
**spoiler alert** I have so many feelings about this book, I don't know even know where to start. I have been waiting for Tohr's book since Lassiter b**spoiler alert** I have so many feelings about this book, I don't know even know where to start. I have been waiting for Tohr's book since Lassiter brought him back in Phury's book. I feel like Manny and Payne's book was a filler to introduce No'One/Autumn, because this book was written far better than that book. I also had no emotional attachment to Manny or Payne, so that book didn't really keep with me. Ward brings up back to the Brotherhood where the last brother (so far) has his story told. If Ward does anything right, it's that she writes heartache and angst with so much gumption, that she leaves my heart breaking in half every five seconds. Tohrment's book was no exception.
I think I have to say that I have a tie between Vishous and Tohr being my favorite Brothers. There is something about them both that drew me to them over the others. I don't really have a lot of feelings about Autumn. I'm just glad that Tohr finally found his peace and his happy ending. I think my favorite part in this book was during Wellsie's Fade Ceremony where all the Brothers were giving Tohr personal items to show that they were with him. The bond between all of them is so incredible tangible, that I swear you can feel it inside your chest. These Brothers just aren't there for each other. They love each other like honest to goodness brothers, and you know they would all die for each other. Mated or not, at the end of the day, these males have been through a lot of tragedy together, and they are as bonded to each other as they are to their mates. I love how throughout this entire series, Ward never lost sight of that. They all did some pretty screwed up stuff, but they never gave up on each other. I cried like a baby during that scene. It was just so beautifully written, and honestly, I liked it better than any Autumn and Tohr scene combined.
I also really love how we go back to John Matthew and Xhex, and how they are dealing with being mated. I love that Ward's couples aren't all happily ever after. Xhex is one of my favorite characters. I love how strong she is yet at the same time, she can just be as vulnerable as any other female. I loved that she wasn't going to sit around and let the Brotherhood dictate what she, as a female, could do. She doesn't need a man to do her fighting for her, and I love that she didn't back down just for the sake of her "marriage". In the end, both she and John had to work out their issues, and I'm glad it was resolved in a realistic manner.
BLAY AND QUHINN ARE FINALLY GOING TO GET THEIR OWN BOOK. I have watched them become the males that they are, and watched as they continued to fight the fact that they are in love with each other. Well, more of Quhinn fighting it, and Blay trying to fight his own feelings. The end of the book where they look at each other, really look at each other for the first time in months, my heart did a little dance. I'm excited to see how Ward is going to approach this. Homosexuality has always been prominent in Ward's books, and there's always been the homoerotic subtext to the relationship between the brothers. Look at Vishous and Butch. Homosexuality isn't a really popular subject in adult romance fiction, but I'm glad that Ward is going there. I just want these two to finally have their happy ending with each other. And Ward better as hell pair them together or I will rage and never pick up another book of hers.
If she gives Xcor a book of his own, I think I might be a bit peeved that she's wasting paper and ink on a character I care nothing about. I had to force myself not to flip through his chapters because I just could not care at all. And the fact that Layla is probably going to be his HEA just makes me want to vomit. We shall see, though. Maybe it will be a story about redemption, and hell, after Quhinn and Blay, she won't have any other Brothers to write about. I'd prefer Throe over Xcor, though.
One final thought: Ward never skimps on the sex. Thank you for that, lady. Thank you....more