- Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date:
- 04 October 2007
Showing 1-4 out of 41 reviews. Previous | Next
I had read and greatly enjoyed the first four volumes of the <i>Black Dagger Brotherhood</i> series, but after seeing many negative ratings and reviews for <i>Lover Unbound</i>, I procrastinated about reading it. Admittedly, it's predecessor, <i>Lover Revealed</i>, had probably been my least favorite of the series thus far, and somehow I allowed all the low ratings to influence me into thinking that <i>Lover Unbound</i> was the worst book in the series to date. Well, after finally reading it, nothing could be further from the truth in my opinion. <i>Lover Unbound</i> is now in a virtual tie with <i>Lover Awakened</i> for my favorite book in the series. I readily admit that for sheer heart-stopping romance and passion, <i>Lover Awakened</i> and some of the other earlier books are superior, but for it's well-rounded story and advancement of the overall vampire world, <i>Lover Unbound</i> was absolutely spectacular to me. It is true that the romantic scenes and relationship building between the two main characters of this novel was somewhat scaled back when compared with the previous books in the series, and the love scenes are generally shorter and less descriptive as well. In spite of this though, J.R. Ward managed to create a deep bond between Vishous and Jane in a very short time that was both intellectual and emotional, and which I found to be very beautiful. Even with the more abbreviated scenes, they connected with each other and me as the reader in a way that some characters fail to do when the entire novel is all theirs. It is a very rare occurrence for a story to move me in such a deep and compelling way, but I found myself not just tearing up, but actually crying more than once throughout the book. By the same token, the occasional sharp, sarcastic humor make me smile or even laugh, though this definitely is still a dark read. For it to elicit such emotional responses from me, I know that it was very well-written.I positively loved V and Jane. They are one of the most perfect, made-for-each-other couples I have ever read in a romance novel. It is probably because I am a geek married to a geek, but I felt connected with both characters on a very personal level. Vishous, like all of his brothers, is a wounded and tortured hero, but in a more extreme way than everyone else except Zsadist. Like Z, he has suffered unconscionable abuse, but at the hands of his own father, because of choices that his mother made. Add to that his absolute genius and his powerful gifts that in many ways are far more like a curse, and he is a truly misunderstood soul. Then, Jane came into his life and understood V in a way that no one else ever had except Butch. Jane is a brilliant woman in her own right who possesses many wonderful gifts as well. She is physically plain, but connected to V on the intellectual and emotional level that he so desperately longed for. It was like she intuitively knew exactly what he needed, as well as when and why. I completely adored Jane, because she was an incredibly confident and cerebral woman with a deeply compassionate side, which is pretty amazing considering how her family treated her growing up. Even though her talents had rightfully earned her a position as chief of the trauma department, she maintained a degree of humility by not thinking it beneath her to care for a patient's more personal needs, such as giving V a sponge bath, and she was always ready with a kind word or a gentle touch. In my opinion, these things made for a wonderful combination, giving Jane status as one of the most perfectly rendered heroines I have ever read. I especially enjoyed V and Jane's lighter moments of sharp-witted banter, but in whatever capacity they were interacting, I found them to be a superbly, ideal couple.While I would have liked even more scenes with V and Jane, the cast of secondary characters was so fabulous, I can hardly complain. It seems that Ms. Ward is moving in the direction of beginning the development of relationships before those characters become the focus of their own book. Such was the case with Phury and Cormia, who are the hero and heroine of the next book, <i>Lover Enshrined</i>. Phury has always been the controlled gentleman of the Brotherhood, but he has slowly been coming unglued. In spite of that though, he not surprisingly still makes a huge sacrifice for V and the Brotherhood in general. Even though Cormia is first introduced in this story, I have already found her to be endearingly innocent, while also being curious and strong-willed. It will be interesting to watch her hopefully come into her own in the next book. I also enjoyed watching John Matthew grow and change in more ways than one. He had some really wonderful scenes in this story. There is a tentative connection developing between him and Xhex, as well as a deepening of his friendships with Zsadist, and with Qhuinn and Blaylock. It was really nice to see John starting to make connections and build a little confidence, even though he still feels like a freak. It was also interesting to learn a bit more about the history of the Scribe Virgin and the Chosen and their world on the Other Side. I have to admit to never having much of a liking for the Scribe Virgin in previous books and throughout most of <i>Lover Unbound</i>, I liked her even less. She has just always seemed rather selfish to me, but she did begin to redeem herself by the end in my opinion. In addition, all the remaining members of the Brotherhood, most of their <i>shellans</i> and some other secondary characters from past novels in the series make an appearance in some capacity giving this story a very extensive and well-rounded cast.I know from all the low ratings that there are many things which some readers disliked about <i>Lover Unbound</i>, but there was very little that bothered me. Though I am not certain of all the specific complaints, I believe the ending was one of the biggest. I, however, had no real issues with it. While it was certainly not traditional in any way and I admit may take some getting used to even for me, it was definitely a happy one. I imagine that when an author is dealing with vampire/human relationships, there are only so many ways that the issue of a human's much shorter life-span can be addressed, and I thought that the way Ms. Ward approached it in <i>Lover Unbound</i> was a rather creative one. I also thought it was rather ingenious that she dropped subtle clues throughout the story as to where it was leading. The only thing that would have improved the ending for me would have been one more long romantic scene between V and Jane. One other thing that was not quite to my liking was the BDSM element, which simply isn't my cup of tea, but as it did not permeate the entire story and I understood the “why” behind the one scene that was played out more explicitly, I wasn't overly bothered by it. One element that I particularly appreciated was a spiritual/philosophical thread on pre-ordination versus free will, running throughout the story which culminated with some heavier rumination at the end. I really like books that make me think and <i>Lover Unbound</i>, due in part to this thread, certainly accomplished that. I also really enjoyed learning more about the vampire history and the key role that Darius apparently has and will continue to play in it, as well as all the changes that are afoot in the entire vampire world, which seem to be leading to something truly big in the future.After reading <i>Lover Unbound</i> I find myself in awe of J.R. Ward's writing skills. It has definitely earned a place on my keeper shelf. In my opinion, this book and the Black Dagger Brotherhood series in general is a literary gem. It is apparent to me that Ms. Ward has an incredible imagination and that great thought and care has gone into the creation of each book. Every chapter adds a new piece to the puzzle and the much larger myth that J.R. Ward's fertile mind has created. Each new book seems to be an even greater intellectual feast, which leaves me pondering over this fantasy realm long after the last page has been turned. I can't wait to read the next book, and greatly look forward to seeing where this inventive and riveting story leads. <i>Lover Unbound</i> is book #5 in the <i>Black Dagger Brotherhood</i> series. It is preceded by <i>Dark Lover</i>, <i>Lover Eternal</i>, <i>Lover Awakened</i>, and <i>Lover Revealed</i>, and is followed by <i>Lover Enshrined</i> with book #7, <i>Lover Avenged</i> due out sometime next year. J. R. Ward also writes contemporary romances under the name Jessica Bird.<b>Note:</b> Sensitive readers should be forewarned that this book contains strong language, as well as explicit violence that includes torture and explicit sexual content that includes BDSM.
This has been my favorite book of the series so far. For 3 reasons:1) The leading guy found that he could care and his story brought a lot of the lore into focus. He was not perfect but shared who he was with his leading lady. He so far as been the most sympathetic of characters.2) The leading lady was strong, smart, resilient, and her flaws are what made her that way. She was a great example of bending not breaking and standing up for what she wants.3) The lore really explained a lot of what this wonderful world is that JR Ward has created. I really feel like we are getting into the "meat" of the story. I can't wait to read the rest of the books.One complaint: I am on the last of the books out now and the next one not due till April 2010 :)
Still getting caught up on my reading from last week.According to JR Ward, this was the hardest book for her to write, but it sure didn't show. V is a complex guy - and his heritage only lends to his problems. His story is intricate, as is his connection to Jane, his mate. But she's perfect for him - why he didn't see that early on, I'll never know 8-)Like all the books, there's a bunch of stories woven into this one. The emergence of the new generation of warriors is one of the more interesting parts of this book. John, Qhuinn, Blay, and even Lash, continue to grow and become larger and larger parts of the Brotherhood's story. And then there's the Scribe Virgin...but you'll have to read the book for that story.Something that I don't think I've mentioned about these books is JR Ward's writing style. She writes in third person (he,she,it) but her stories are really a collection of first person tellings. She puts us in the head of one character at a time, tells a section of the story, then switches when it's appropriate. It's a comfortable, easy to understand style, and she's a master at it. You won't confuse Vishious' self-talk with John Matthews' or Jane's for Bella's, Mary's, or Cormia's. It's a talent, for sure. I can't wait for the next installment!
I love this book. No surprise there. I especially love how the series flows seamlessly from one book to the next. This may as well be one giant novel. So, if you haven't read Ward's books yet, definitely start at the beginning. But back to Vishous... [SPOILER ALERT! Do not continue if you've not read the previous books.] I was curious how Ward would pull this off. After all, the whole Vishous-Butch-Marissa triangle is an obvious obstacle to any love interest going V's way. Then there's his kinky nature and serious intimacy issues. Those who're getting all squicked over the Butch-thing can relax. Ward eases V away from that particular affection without belittling it. And V's bondage fixation never goes into the realm of TMI. It's erotic without being omigod! or disturbing. For the "experienced" reader, anyway. Also, our other unbonded characters are getting just enough press coverage to keep you looking towards the future. John's coming along nicely, Phury's pulling the stick outta his bleep, and some other side characters are springing up.
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