Book Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

The Shadows by J.R. WardTitle: The Shadows
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 13
Author: J.R. Ward
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: Review copy provided by publisher
Published: March 31, 2015 by NAL

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice.

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Reviewed by: J9

NOTE: This review contains SPOILERS, not only for this book but for previous books in this series. Read at your own risk!

In a Nutshell: Oh boy!

Why I Read This Book: Series fan

What I Liked: The strength of this series is in the community and this is totally the case in this book. Trez and iAm are honorary members of the BDB so they live with the Brothers and this allows for plenty of fun and touching moments, from the BDB rallying around Trez’s sick mate to the BDB wives helping Serena get dolled up for a date. In this book the author shows that the lives of the BDB Brothers and their mates have continued since the last book in the series. The bro-mances between Trez and iAm, as well as all the brothers, is lovely to read, as they support and truly have each others best interest in mind.

Additionally, Xcor (a quasi-enemy of the BDB) and his doomed love affair with Layla (pregnant with Qhuinn’s baby) get stellar progression here and has me waiting with baited breath for their story!

What I Also Liked: Trez and Serena’s romance is intense and powerful. They have an expiration date on their romance so their emotional and sexual intensity is utterly delicious. Trez and Serena both throw themselves into their relationship in an attempt to forget they have an expiration date, from romantic dates to tearing up the sheets, these two love each other with intense passion.

I also love the secondary romance we get in this book but I’m not going to spoil who the characters are.

What I Didn’t Like: First, this book is another case of book-baiting. Ward introduces a young female vampire who will be the lead in her December release of the next generation of BDB. This feels so utterly contrived don’t-let-my-cash-cow-end! For me, part of the joy of BDB is that the characters and their mates are mature leads who’ve lived very full lives; to suddenly replace them with new adult characters is ridiculous and pandering to the New Adult sub-genre in my (harsh) opinion.

Second, I can’t talk about what I disliked without spoiling the ending, so ye be warned!

IMO: The Shadows is a stellar storytelling but a huge bummer on the romance level.

J9’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About J9: Vegan. Avid runner. Android addict. Never without a book in hand. Currently devouring MM romance but reads historial romance and paranormal romance as well. Follow J9 on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. "part of the joy of BDB is that the characters and their mates are mature leads who’ve lived very full lives; to suddenly replace them with new adult characters..." Noooo, tell me it isn't sooo, please... I love BDB series but it seems that EVERY author is doing the exact same thing... the don’t-let-my-cash-cow-end thing... oh come on, not BDB too... :(


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