Cristy's Reviews > Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Collection #1-6

Black Dagger Brotherhood Series Collection #1-6 by J.R. Ward
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Feb 08, 12

Read from December 12 to 23, 2010

J. R. Ward has reinvented the vampire novel with the introduction of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. An enjoyable new take on the vampire lore; where vampires are the hero-types and not necessarily the bad guys, where vampires are born not made and where vampires have to feed off each other to survive. The actual "bad guys" are the vampire hunters, the lessers, who were once human, but gave up their souls to join the Lessenig Society.
DARK LOVER, has a strong cast of likable characters that are well developed and unique. Wrath, the reluctant King of Vampires and intimidating lead warrior of the Brotherhood (he's 6 foot 9 inches tall).. manages to be alluring, tortured, and a completely sweet and sympathetic character. Ward is able to strike a nice balance, making Wrath sensitive and dangerous without crossing the lines into winey or sociopathic. Beth, the heroine is a strong independent woman, who gives as good as she gets. She finds her self emerged in the the dangerous and seemingly unreal word of vampires when Wrath is sworn to protect her. Although this story mainly revolves around the trails and tribulations of Wrath and Beth's story/romance, there are several other members of the Brotherhood; all very colorful and intriguing, not to mention scandalous and even in one case, cursed.. and I'm excited to more of their story in continuing on with the series.

Loved the continuation of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, in book #2, LOVER ETERNAL. J.R. Ward delivers, doing a beautiful job ensnaring the reader with Rhage and Mary's moving story.. which I felt was even more captivating then Wrath and Beth's, in DARK LOVER. Rhage was such an unexpectedly appealing character, much deeper then the shallow thug he came off as in the first book. Mary is absolutely delightful and strong and heartbreaking all at once. Ward also gives a taste of the intimidating and scared Zsadist's story.. not all of it, but enough to entice; promising that he will play a big part in the next book. LOVER ETERNAL introduces a few new supporting characters, one being the young John Matthew, who I found extremely interesting and look forward to more about him as his character develops more deeply.
Readers wont be disappointed as they continue on in this vivid world of vampires, lessers, action, loyalty, honor and romance. The complexity of characters (all with their unique and individual voice) combined with the unpredictable plots, is proving to make the Black Dagger Brotherhood series one that's not to be missed.

LOVER AWAKENED, the third volume of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was my favorite so far. Although I did really enjoy Rahge and Mary's romance in book #2.. Zsadist's devastatingly traumatic story was so beyond heart wrenching, it was captivating from the start. For me, the twin's relationship and history is the star of this beat of the saga. Zsadist is such a well developed and complete character, that even though the likeable Bella and Phury contributed to his story quite a bit; the tortured hero is a strong enough character that he could easily stand on his own.
Although this was darkest of the series so far, Ward does a great job lighting the mood with some fun moments between Butch and Vishous, that help break up extensive despondency.
Also, Tohrment and his beloved Wellsie get some face time in LOVER AWAKENED, as they add young John Matthews to their family. I'm super intrigued with John, unable to get enough of him, interested to follow as he goes through the transition.
Making the biggest impact overall, LOVER AWAKENED definitely wont disappoint!.

I really loved the character development of Butch and Marissa and J. R. Ward brought their story to life in LOVER REVEALED, Black Dagger Brotherhood book #4. Butch's connection to the Brothers and to V in particular, was entirely unique from the others. His being human gave a look at their world through a whole different perspective. Butch is so completely likable, you cant help but root for him, from beginning till end. There is also a definite delicious focus on Vishous in this book and a clear setup that we will get to know him even more deeply in the next.

Although Zsadist's story in LOVER AWAKENED is holding strong as my favorite of the Black Dagger Brotherhood novels, I thoroughly loved LOVER REVEALED and commend Ward on such formidable writing.. and anticipate that she will continue to show her worth.

LOVER UNBOUND book 5 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood was not my favorite. Although my issue wasn't with Vicious, even though this was his story. I have really like Vicious through out the series so far.. finding his sense of humor hilarious and his care for Butch touching. I was terribly disappointed in how his story ended.. it felt forced.

(view spoiler)
I was happy that there was quite a bit less of the lessers.. it was a well welcomed brake. I find myself reading hastily through the details of their stories, just to get quickly back to more of the Brothers.
I loved the increased focus on John Matthew as he has been one I've really enjoyed following in each novel as his character has grown and developed. I'm excited to see how his story is moved further along in the next book. There were some great setups for him, as there were for Phury and his future.
LOVER UNBOUND also gave a deeper incite into the Scribe Virgin and brought forth a new character Pain, the SV's daughter... which promises to create quite a stir in the next book.

LOVER ENSHRINED the 6th novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is much more plot driven then the previous BDB, not to mention overflowing with subplots. I really enjoyed the story lines that revolved around the younger crowd. John Matthew and his friends Blaylock and Qhuinn are a huge and fantastic part of this 6th book, and there are some big twist regarding Lash. Rehvenge and his secrets play a much larger role in this story and we get little glimpse into Xhex's life. Ward definitely leaves the reader wanting more when it comes to the above characters.
Now for the main plot.. Phury and Cormia, this is were I had a problem... actually mostly my issue was with Phury. He just seemed like a completely different Pury then the guy he was in the previous books. I guess some of his personality change had to do with his excessive drug use hitting rock bottom, but it just felt like it happened over night. For me, that was what I struggled with while reading this book.. not so much all that went on between him and Cormia, but Phury's personality and how he dealt with everyone in his life.
LOVER ENSHRINED ended great and really set the reader up for the next book. Looks like there is still a lot of twist to come and I'm excited to dive in to LOVER AVENGED.

Ward definitely didn't disappoint with LOVER AVENGED, book 7 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.. it is absolutely fantastic! Rehvenge is without question my favorite character of the series. He proves to be such a complex and multifaceted character, as he struggles to control his symphath side as it battles his vampire side. Rehv's internal fight between good and evil is captivating and his self-sacrifice is touching as he repeatedly suffers to protect the ones he cares about. Along with Rehvenge and Ehlena's story, there is quite a bit going on in the sub-plots.
Most of the characters have some face time in LOVER AVENGED, with key story line developments for John, Tohr, Xhex, Lash and Wrath with a tiny more taste of Payne.
After the letdown of previous book with Phury's story in LOVER ENSHRINED, I was concerned that the series was headed down hill.. but was thrilled to find that Ward has brought back the fire with this one and am looking forward to the next.
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