Real Vampires, True?

Friday Reader Rambles, it’s been a while. Too long, actually. We’ve reached the end of another month and I don’t have much to report for Rambles Roundup because my reading has been sporadic as of late, but I did just finish The Shadows, the latest installement to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I have A LOT to say about it. Even though I was spoiling it horribly for Bear, I yapped on and on to him about it as I was reading and then once I finished. I’ll spare you lovely people spoilers, but oh my word, that book. That book!

In case you aren’t familiar with the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I’m going to give you five reasons why you should give it a try, and then I’ll get on to rambling about the book itself.

5. J. R. Ward wrote it. I’ve been  known to watch YouTube videos of this woman again and again because she is so freaking cool. She looks like a librarian but she’s got a mouth like a sailor and listens to rap. She’s hilarious too. Personally, I’d love to have a sit down conversation with her, writer to writer, and just quiz her about the books and her writing. Or just shoot the shit. Either works.

4. Vampires that do not sparkle. *sigh* I got into this series my Junior/Senior year of high school, about the time that Twilight-mania was picking up steam and I can vividly remember running my mouth that if Edward ever came into contact with Wrath, he’d shit his pants. These ain’t yo mama’s vampires. They’re big, bad, and sexy. I still stand by that Edward comment.

3. Gauntlet of Emotions. Particularly while reading The Shadows, I found myself laughing out loud and then were also scenes where I teared. up. A book that can make you run through an entire rainbow of emotions is a beautiful creation indeed. The Warden has crafted a world that I believe in, that I feel for. Besides that, she’s very down to earth with her approach. Things don’t stop after the Happily Ever After. These characters keep living and just like real relationships, they still have ups and downs.

2. The Warden (pardon this phrase) keeps it real. There’s some tragedy and heartbreak in these books and a lot of stuff some readers do NOT like. But she’s very matter of fact about it and in the writing, she handles it beautifully. She doesn’t gloss over the pain, but at the same time, there is no magical solution to right everything back the way it was. This series truly does change and evolve and it’s fun as hell to watch and experience these things with the characters.

1. Love is love. It seems like it was just yesterday that we were all wondering about the Blay and Qhuinn conundrum. Would they end up together? Would the Warden’s publisher go for putting out something of that nature? Oh hell to the m-fing yes! The book was called Lover At Last and we finally got to see the story of these two males of worth play out, in a full length novel. Some people didn’t like it, but the Warden thought they deserved to have their story told and to her, love is love. I mean, how can you ask for a better answer?

Now that you know why you should read these books, let me move on to talking about the actual book. OMG, it was so good!

I should probably articulate a little better. Aheem.

I’ve followed the series since the beginning of Dark Lover, Wrath’s book. I’ve loved it from the beginning and I can remember thinking this series was so good, I hope it stops before it morphs into something it shouldn’t and ruin the entire thing. Thirteen books in, it’s morphed alright, but that’s okay. I love the direction the Warden is taking it.

Black Dagger Brotherhood has a fair dose of action and testosterone, but it’s a romance series at its core. That being said, the later books have grown such that they aren’t your traditional HEA anymore. They no longer just focus on one couple. The later books are constantly jumping around, showing the current situations for many characters whose situations are on-going and don’t just stop because it’s Trez and Selena’s turn in the spotlight. It’s gone from a traditional romance novel to more of a saga detailing the lives of these amazing people who have built a family around each other in the midst of war and chaos.

At the end of The Shadows, there’s a happily ever after but that’s clearly not the end. There’s still questions, still issues unresolved for many other characters that will have to play out over the course of the next book(s). I can hear the Warden in my head saying “there are parts of it that people are not going to like” and she was probably right, but I thought she handled the rough spots beautifully. I’ll admit that I’m glad the boss wasn’t around when I was reading parts of it… “Why are you crying?”

*incoherent blubbering about big pile of paper and ink in my hands*

The next book is titled The Beast and it’s going to be Rhage and Mary’s second book and I’m so excited for it. At the end of this last one, you can see that they’ve got some issues stirring up for them, in addition to the question fans have been mulling over since the end of their first book. Primarily, the big ole BABY question. I won’t say much, in case you haven’t read the series, but it’s…it’s going to be interesting to see how this unfolds.

I’m so excited for more of J. R. Ward’s work. The Black Dagger Legacy series is coming out to serve as a more traditional happily ever after in the world as the BDB books evolve into something else. Plus, she has a new book coming out called The Bourben Kings and I’m not sure what it’s about, but it sounds cool as hell!

Switching gears, I’m happy to report that I won’t be going another week between posts. On Monday I am going to blog about Halestorm’s new album, which I am absolutely in love with, and then I’ve got a new serial thing coming for the blog next Thursday.

For more, sign up for my newsletter! Kelswitch, over and out.

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