Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dark Lover

Title: Dark Lover
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal romance

After hemming and hawing over whether or not to take a chance on another vampire series and risk walking into a LHK-type disaster (sorry gals, I loved the first few but just couldn't make it past book 5), I finally bit the bullet and bought Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. I had heard so much buzz about these books. The BDB has more than a few rabid fans ::ehem::ripmybodice::ehem:: I figured what was I to lose if I just buy the first book. What could I lose? My sanity, that's what! Oh Wrath! How you haunt my dreams. Rhage, Butch, V, Z... I long to read your HEA! I have to admit, I was completely sucked in by these big badass vamps. Wrath and his feelings of worthlessness. Rhage and his inner torment. V and Butch... BroTP!!! And Z. Damn, he is nasty. I want to hate him, but his singing voice and those tiny, subtle signs of respect. You know there is something special beneath all that vitriol.

Ms. Ward has taken a familiar theme (vampires) and has given it an interesting twist. Vampires are not made, they are born. Yet, when they are born they are fully human. It is not until they are approximately 25 years old that they "Transition". Translation: vampire puberty. Oh baby, this is not pretty. Poor Beth does not realize her life is about to change. Her mother died after giving birth and her father purposely stayed away to allow Beth to live a "normal" life. You see, as a half-vampire, half-human offspring there was a chance that Beth would never go through the Transition. Darius wanted to give his daughter a chance to live life ignorant of the darker, dangerous vampire world in case she never changed. Luck was not on his side. Beth was about to Transition and Darius' life was about to explode. Literally.

Enter Wrath, blind vampire king. He is one badass, motherf***er. He is not just a warrior, he is the head honcho, ass kickin', death dealing, take no prisoners warrior. Even the other vamps are a little afeared of him. He does not want the responsibility of helping Beth transition, but Darius was the closest thing he had to family. Taking care of Beth was the last thing Darius had asked of Wrath before he went boom. So wrath tracks down Beth at her apartment. Yup. She is going to transition soon. He can smell it. When he enters her apartment to introduce himself for real... holy hawt sex, Vampman! The chemistry between the H&h is steamy. Day-um!

Putting the hot sex aside (if I must) I really enjoyed this story. Ms. Ward did a solid job of building her world in this first book. The relationships between the different members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood is established. The big bad villain is sufficiently creepy. So often, vampire hunters are portrayed as either good guys or misguided/ignorant humans. Not so in the BDB world. These vamp hunters, lessers, are the baddies. Big time. The lessers are men who have long had violent, even homicidal, tendencies. They have given up their souls (put in ceramic jars) so that they may remain ageless and sexless, hunting down vamps for the pure joy of the kill. Here's the thing, Ms. Ward's vampires DO NOT BITE HUMANS. They must drink the blood of thier own kind to survive. They do not prey on humans. Why kill them? See? Lessers are eeeeeevil!

So often I have heard these books referred to as the "BDB crack". Oh yes, it is.

Hello, my name is Shannon, and I am a BDB addict.

Grade: A-


Holly said...

Oh, I so loved this book. LOOOOVED it. Unfortunately she lost me shortly hereafter. But I wish you all the best in reading this series for the first time. ;)

Christine said...

YAY!!! Great review. I probably reread Dark Lover more than any other BDB book. And I don't do a lot of rereads. Soooo good. Can't wait to hear what you think of the next books! =)

One of my favorite parts of DL, aside from the bedroom visit from Wrath, of course... was from the time Butch brought Beth to the Mansion for her transition to the time Beth came up to the dining room and the Brothers all payed respect to their Queen. OMG On their knees... with their daggers in the floor?

Tracy said...

Great review! I too am a BDB addict. Can't get enough of it and have read DL 3 or 4 times now. Can't wait to hear what you think of the other books.

Christine - love that part too. And then Wrath walking in..."oh, they like you" *sigh* good stuff man, good stuff.

Nicola O. said...

Welcome to the crackhouse.

Minor correction: pre-trans vamps are not human. Sunlight doesn't kill them and they don't gain their larger-than-human size, but they are different from humans, too. They have no sex drive, the men/boys resemble adolescent boys well into their 20's, and so on. In the BDB universe, vampires are a different species than humans.

Ana said...

Oh boy. You too??? Soon I will be all alone in the universe.

Marg said...

Luckily there's another book (more crack) coming out soon!

Shannon said...

Good to see I have so many roommates in the crackhouse!

Nicola- You are so correct. I should have said that while born a vampire, they live a human existence until they are approximately 25, in a prolonged state of adolescence.

Katie(babs) said...

Welcome to the world of Crack!!
Wraith, sunglass and leather. OH YEAH.

Sarai said...

Um not so much couldn't get half way through it *ducks* good luck with the crack I send you good reading vibes for the future!

ciara said...

Welcome to the Dark side! Mwuhahahaha!

ana - you know you wanna.

sula said...

welcome to the crack house! Just you wait. Book 2 is way better. Go Rhage!