Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dark Lover - J.R. Ward

Dark Lover
J.R. Ward
Signet Eclipse
Copyright: 2005
9780451216953

From the cover of the book:
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead...

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn't there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of brotherhood and blood frighten her. But his touch ignites a dawning hunger that threatens to consume them both...
I've read Dark Lover before, but I enjoyed the book just as much this time as I did on my first reading. This time I was inspired by reading Covet, which started off a J.R. Ward kick.

Dark Lover sets up the world J.R. Ward has created for the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. As a result, the story starts off a little bit slower as the characters are introduced, but even so, things are off and running at a good clip pretty soon into the story. Again, it's a book that I had a hard time putting down.

J.R. Ward has done some pretty original things with her concept of vampires, setting up a parallel society that could live even without humans on the planet, rather than the 'parasitic' vampires so many have used. She's also used some very original and interesting turns of phrase and description in her writing.

These books are much 'denser' than many of the romances, paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels out there. There's no complaints about line spacing and font size here, and on top of that, the books are noticeably thicker than many of the books sharing shelves with Dark Lover. All of that space is used to enhance the story very effectively.

While the story does focus on one pair at a time, theirs isn't the only storyline in progress in any story. Each of the books sets up the situations for the next book, so there is also the overarching story arc spanning the entire series. That's something I appreciate, having started out reading fantasy series rather than romances. 

The one warning I have to make about the Black Dagger Brotherhood books is that the language the characters tend to use leans towards the crude at times. If that's not going to be a problem, and you like urban fantasy books, I highly, highly recommend Dark Lover and it's sequels. Definite five star material.
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