Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Review of Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

Five Fangs for Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

Lover Avenged
By J.R. Ward
May 2009

Lover Avenged is the 7th book in The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward. This book is about Rehvenge, technically not a member of the Brotherhood but his sister, Bella, married a brother and Rehvenge is the owner of the club everyone hangs at ZeroSum in addition to be the new head of the vampire council. He also works with the Brotherhood from time to time for the good of the vampire race.

Lover Avenged is the first of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books to be released in hardcover. I don’t know why they decided to do that or how it is determined that a book is released in hardcover or paperback but I think it is pretty crappy for all the fans that are used to buying the paperback for under $10 and now the book is going to be $25. I doubt it will hurt sales too much though since Ward has legions of loyal Brotherhood fans.

I had hoped this book would have been about John Michael and Xhex but I suppose the time wasn’t right for their story. After Lover Avenged I know the next book will be theirs, this book set up their story to be told.

By the way how do you pronounce Xhex anyway, Zex, Hex, X? It’s the only name in these books I have issues with.

Even thought his was Rehv’s story Ward wrote in intricate side plots and subplots that are woven in like a fine spider web of words. Ward is the master of subplots within a novel without losing sight of the main story or confusing the reader. Everything ends up tying together wonderfully and the story continues on.

Along with Rehvenge we of course learn more about his love interest Ehlena and her difficult life. We also get into the complicated relationship between Xhex and John Michael and we also read about Wrath’s struggle with his kingly duties and his blindness.

I truly love that Wrath and the brothers made more appearances in this book than in some of the other books. Wrath was the reason I fell in love with the series to begin with though I think Butch and Vischous are my favorite brothers. I’m just glad they had a few scenes in this book. Tohr also made several appearances hopefully coming back from his self induced exile and attempted suicide. I hope that in the future perhaps he will find love again or maybe somehow Wellsie can come back from the Fade.

And Lassiter? What is the deal with the sexy glowing angel? I am definitely interested in learning more about him. I wonder if he’ll be in Ward’s new angel series kicking off in October with the release of Covet.

Lover Avenged is also full of the scenes with vampire turned lesser son of the Omega, Lash. I really dislike him. You know who I picture as Lash? A grown up Malfoy from Harry Potter. A really big one, but a character like that because he is nothing but a spoiled rich kid that wants what he wants, selfish prick. But that can be a good thing because his diabolical plans are sidetracked because he is so drawn to money and luxury.

Too bad one of his plans to live in luxury involves taking out Rehvenge, as does everyone else’s plan. Poor Rehv has got a lot of people plotting against him. He didn’t ask to be a sympath, a protector, a pimp, a whore, or a drug dealer. The guy has just done what was necessary to take care of those closest to him. Sure he had choices but he always did what he thought was best and needed to survive. After all being a sympath requires him to be secretive.

Now everything is coming back to bite him in the ass though, ever choice, everything he’s ever done is now haunting him and threatening to destroy those he loves and protects.

Throughout the book he has to do things he doesn’t want to, he suffers a personal loss and tragedy yet still manages to take care of his King, Wrath, and protect the vampire race from idiots within. Even while taking out enemies and suffering from loss, his love for Ehlena blossoms and grows and their bond becomes too deep to deny. Yet he feels he can never be the male she needs because she is a female of worth and he is just a sympath. Trouble is she has fallen hard for him as well while thinking she isn’t good enough for him!

Everyone has baggage, Rehv just has a little more than others but Ehlena’s a tough female and she’ll be able to handle everything Rehv throws at her, he just doesn’t know it.

All the odds are against them but love will overcome right? It doesn’t look like it. Will things work out? Will Rehv even be able to survive everything that gets thrown at him? Or will he be sentenced to death or worse with the sympaths at the colony?

Wow, this book was long! Over 525 pages! Talk about twists and turns and a lot of story shoved into one book. But Ward is fabulous at keeping you interested. You just want to keep reading and reading until you’re done.

I love how she lays bare everyone’s soul, everyone weaknesses. Her characters are all flawed, at least that’s how they feel, flawed. She shows that anyone and everyone can be affected by their pasts that we all carry baggage that keeps us hurting and holds us back. Yet we don’t have to. If we only shared our pain we could let it go, make it stop hurting so bad. If Ward’s characters shared their pain they wouldn’t carry the burden for so long and let it fester into something unmanageable. The good thing is love always sets them free. It’s a message we should all take to heart.

Holding in pain and trauma only makes things worse. Share it, let it out, set it free, set yourself free. Be free to find love, be free to love.

If traumatized vampires can find love so can you.

I can’t wait to read how Ward deals with John Michael and Xhex; they are two of the most traumatized vampires yet.


Mary M. said...

Thanks for this review :). I think you liked that book more than I did. I finished it this morning and while it had started out strong (and I'd gotten very excited over it in the last week when I used to have no particular expectations about it before), it sort of...not went downhill, but my interest diminished as the book advanced. A bit too long, too many storylines, an heroine a little too perfect and bland, a conventional and underdeveloped love story that I didn't really "feel", and a few plot holes or turns of events I wasn't really happy with. But there were also some very good things like Wrath's storyline, the Brotherhood interaction, the return of Tohr... and JR's unique style still resonates with me. I'm not sure what to expect of JM's book...but we'll see in time :).

Unknown said...

Thank you for the review. I really do like Rehvenge and I hoped this book will be better than the last one. I'm glad to hear about the other brothers making an appearance esp. Tohr.
I also picture Lash as Malfoy, he is just to cute.

Meljprincess said...

My hubby and I can't wait to read this book! I'm on the first book but hubby's ready to read LA. I read a short story by J.R. Ward and loved it! It was in the DEAD AFTER DARK ANTHO. We're going out to get LA today! Plus the new Dean Koontz! :-)

Mel K.

Kelley Heckart said...

I haven't read this series yet. Sounds interesting though.