*3 fuck you Rice Krispies stars* Ever had PTSD after reading a book? Flashes of memory? Real urge to want to scream and sob? Short attention span? P*3 fuck you Rice Krispies stars* Ever had PTSD after reading a book? Flashes of memory? Real urge to want to scream and sob? Short attention span? Pretty much my experience with this. The emotions and anxiety this pulled out of me made me want to curl into a ball and not come out of my room for a week. If you want to remain spoiler free then I suggest looking away cause there’s A LOT I need say about this. *So be warned, spoilers ahead! I need to get it all out, leave it here and hopefully not have anymore damn flashbacks to this ever again. Guh.
Trez & Selena
“I love you,” he said. “I love you forever.”
Well these two DESTROYED me. I went into this liking Selena and not really caring for Trez. I came out loving them so much and really wishing things could have turned out differently. Trez’s character growth in here was amazing and more than I could have wished for. The lengths he went to for ‘his queen’ and iAm were truly wonderful to see. I loved every moment he shared with Selena and how vital they became to each other.
I went into this pretty much knowing what was going to happen, I could literally hear the cries and screaming all over my GS wall over something major happening and my gut told me what it was. But still, even so, no matter how much I braced myself the actual fallout was even more painful then I was expecting it to be. (view spoiler)[ Selena dies. *sobs* Don’t want it, don’t want it, takeitaway! (hide spoiler)] Part of the reason why I feel hurt and raw is that I didn’t want to love them, heck I went into this not a big fan of Trez given the crap he put his poor brother through and his endless self-destructive pity parties. But in here, he made me fall for him. His character growth and development get a solid A+ from me. But Ward made me love him and Selena so much that I couldn’t grasp the idea of these two having to say goodbye before they even begun. It honestly would have hurt less if these two weren’t the vital organ of the entire book. That’s the most frustrating thing of all. I mean 80% of this book is pretty much all them, I was hoping iAm’s story would distract me and when it came to (view spoiler)[the big oh fuck No! it would be fast and quick, like a band-aid. But it wasn’t. AT ALL. The death scene and Trez saying goodbye? The pyre scene? The fade? Yup. *cue the serious case of PTSD* I was right there with Trez screaming my heart out. Roar it out cause it. fucking. hurts. Rhage said it best: This is Tohr and Wellsie all over again.(hide spoiler)]
I totally get story authenticity, in fact I was the one of the very few who loved V’s story, even with the rough hand that was dealt to him and Jane. I also wasn’t one of the readers up in arms and furious over Wellsie’s death. She was a secondary background character, we never saw their story play out from it’s inception. Readers never really got to be introduced to Tohr in his entirety until his mourning period and falling in love all over again. And what a story that was. It was different and unique but understandable. I can certainly appreciate an author sticking to her guns and making a ballsy move. But Trez and Selena? No no no no. Unlike Tohr, I can't imagine him with anyone else after this. For the writer to build a couple up from their first meeting to angsty tension and ‘I can’t but I want to’ build up, that sense of anticipation and expectancy for a HEA is there. How can it not? This is PR genre after all, a promised HEA and romance is a given. I mean I went into this with eyes wide open knowing what was coming and it was still brutally harsh. I can’t even imagine what it was like for those who were not aware of it, the endless holding out hope? Much more crushing I imagine. Even through the magical wonderful sexy moments--which were lovely and very sexy--I kept holding my breath mentally wondering ‘is it coming now? Omg is it happening next?!’ It was unbearable and everything was bittersweet instead of deliciously sweet. The last 20% of the book put such a heavy pall over the entire book for me that I can’t ever picture myself picking this book up again. This is the one BDB I won’t buy or ever attempt to read again. Just pulling quotes from this was torture. Like just... Get it away!
What sucks the most after all this is the idea of Trez wandering around like a ghost just trying to ’exist' while everyone around him is happy. That just cuts me at the knees. Another thing that bothers me is not all possible solutions to Selena's dilemma were addressed. Where was Payne? You know the female with the magical glowing hands? She saved Layla's baby during her miscarriage, you're telling me NO ONE in that house thought of asking Payne to step in? Really??! Manny was all over this book but his shellan was very conveniently missing. It was like Ward made it too easy for this character to die and made flimsy easy excuses for why she couldn't be saved. I probably would have been more at ease with this if I knew everything had been done to try and save her. Yes all the characters went to every avenue to save her but totally skipped over the more obvious possible solutions. I mean the Scribe Virgin... HELLO people! Ward brings her back but for only a hot minute and nobody--not even V--bothers to approach her and ask for her help? COME. ON. Yes because going to other colonies and researching their medical/genetic background is waaaaay more logical and productive then hitting up the freaking diety and begging for a solution or a bargain. Come on! Makes no sense.
I was anxious to read Ward’s blog hoping for a good explanation or something to put me at ease and give me closure & better understanding for this decision. But writers block and the loss of her dog didn't make it any better. In fact it made it worse. For me it doesn’t justify or explain why this couple couldn’t be. The irony of this is Selena is the first chosen that Ward had managed to fully flesh out. Yet she thinks all the Chosens are ‘uninteresting’?.....Really? Well Selena was a jewel on a white bare canvas. She is so vivacious, full of fire and strength and whit. She gave as good as she got especially when paired up with Trez. I loved her spirit and playful charm and always willing to get down and dirty. While I still respect Ward as a writer, I personally think this time she got it wrong. Telling your readers that a HEA would have been "cliche and boring" while writing a PR series is a total cop out IMO. How in the world is giving your hero his HEA considered cliche and redundant?! O_O It's illogical. As for the Chosen thing, the fact that Ward thinks they are all uninteresting even after this scares me. You go to such lengths to make this heroine stand out and shine then you take her away?! I absolutely believe in therapeutic writing, and clearly this was Ward’s outlet for it. But this is the one instance I think she should have written it to get it out of her system threw it out and started over. Yes I’m being totally selfish.
iAm & maichen “Do not call me that. Please. I picked maichen because I don’t believe I’m better than anyone else. With beating hearts and open minds, we are all the same.” “See,” he whispered. “You just keep getting more beautiful.”
They were a much needed breath of fresh air and sweetness. I really liked them. So happy for iAm, I just wish we got more time with them. I felt iAm’s story was very rushed and treated more like an afterthought. I loved ‘maichen’ and she was everything I wanted for iAm to find in his mate. I just wish we got more page time with her and really get to know her more. I appreciate the fact that Ward went this route instead of just pairing him up with a random vampire civilian or human. If anything this made everything come full circle and tied the story in better.
Xcor & Layla “She is...the moon in my night sky.” Gah. Ward what did you do?! My poor babies. The only ‘new’ couple I’m rooting for and Ward throws a serious WTF? wrench in here and for what.. shits and giggles? I don’t know. I’m not happy how things left off and the shit stunt Xcor pulled. (view spoiler)[ He has sex with a prostitute. *RAGING*(hide spoiler)] I get the necessity part of it, but a bonded male clearly in love being able to go through with this and for hours? <_< SMH. Nah. No way. Not happy and considering that their book is not next, I’m officially scared shitless. *whimpers*
Rhage & Mary “My Mary,” he sighed. Deep inside him, his beast chuffed in satisfaction. “My Mary girl.” He’d started calling her that a while ago. No idea why. Probably because every time he did, she smiled.
Adorable and melt worthy as always. I’ve missed these two. I hope Mary gets a baby or a child. I don’t want contrived drama for these two and the fact that Rhage suddenly has survivors guilt in here seemed a little bit out of left field. If anything I would have thought Trez and Selena’s situation would have affected Tohr more directly than anyone else. *shrugs*
Throe ”I present you with Throe, Piece of Shit Nuff said. I’m over him and would have been totally fine if he was axed. Should I call him 'Gigolo Throe' now? -__-
Assail Worthless. If Ward is serious about making him hero worthy she needs to turn things around and fast cause right now there is nothing redeemable or likable about this guy. He has no morals or honor code and does whatever the hell he wants at his race's expense. And all because what?...he has nothing better to do to keep him busy??? O_o Gooodbye! Seriously. Waste of space and page time and the idea of this self-absorbed crackhead possibly getting a HEA after all this when Trez and his queen didn’t is a little rage inducing.
Overall: Here’s the thing, I think Ward really polished up her writing and pacing. That really needs to be said. It’s more focused, balanced and we actually get to see the original brothers more while interweaving some of the new side arcs. This felt way less cluttered even though we are still getting a handful of POVs. Not easy to pull off. I would have given this a 4-5 star rating without hesitation because the writing is so good and pulls you in. Yes there are still some inconsistency issues the most prominent being the timeline inaccuracy (I can't imagine how Ward's "consistency assistant" missed that one *ahem*) and Xcor's magically growing hair. hmmpp. BUT.. I loved the characters that were focused on in here and everything flowed well. The stories WERE beautiful but what eclipsed everything for me was how it ended. Yes shit happens. If I wanted to read a Nicholas Sparks book I would have watched A Walk to Remember. Yes life is cruel and scary and unexpected. But do we really need to experience all the ugly horrible life-rending feelings through this series? Really? I read these books not only because I love the characters but because I need an escape. I don't want to be reminded of the scary uglies. Trust me, I have enough Thantophobia and every other damn phobia to last me forever. It's just too deep and heavy for me and hits a nerve. (view spoiler)[The whole Fade thing really hit me hard because in my religion/culture we believe in Heaven and we very much believe in talking to the deceased in dreams. So excuse me if this happened to upset me more. (hide spoiler)] Real life is scary enough and I don't need Ward and her effing rice krispies to remind me of that. Just give me sexy, hungry growling vampires who talk dirty and find their love mates and I'll be fucking happy. Thank you very much.
And I leave you with my initial reaction to finishing this: I don't want it. I don't want it. Take it away, take it away, takeitaway. No no NO!