Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward



Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13

Pages: 590


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…

I can’t remember when I read the last book of the Black Dagger Brotherhood saga. I left it aside without any reason, so now I want to catch up with it. The author has been working non-stop with this saga and there is a lot of books I need to read. I’m not a skipper, so I will read all of them. Besides, this saga wasn’t meant to be skipped. It is mandatory to read them in order, so that you don’t get lost.

This time we don’t follow just one of the male heroes, but two of them at the same time! Yes, I’m talking about Trez and iAm, the Shadow brothers. Trez and Selena are out and proud as a couple, but she has a mortal disease nobody knows how to cure. iAm, as the loyal brother, tries to help however he can and, in doing so, he meets his mate in the most unexpected of places. Wll Trez forever be happy with Selena without triggering the anger of the s’Hisbe? Will iAm be happy at last? Anything could happen…

First of all I must say that, for being a book with two heroes and two main plot threads, the story is mostly uneventful. I’m not going to say boring, because it would be a lie; but it lacks action and real character development everywhere. The main problem rests in the fact that the author doesn’t really focus on Trez and iAm. Yes,  most of the book is for them, but a really huge portion of it is used as an appetizer for the stories to come: Xcor and Lyla, Rhage, Assail, Paradise or Throe have also several chapters dedicated to them. Even though they are mere prologues, I don’t like that they are that far into their stories when their book is yet to be told… On the other hand, if you remove those, you get a very unremarkable story with Trez and iAm, so… Maybe she told us too much about the Shadow and Selena in previous books?

Most of the story of Selena and her hellren could be consider just a filler. Chapters and chapters about Selena having some good last days before dying. I like how sweet Trez is fighting against his fears to make her happy, but that is just not enough for this kind of book. There is a moment in the story where things could get interesting with the s’Hisbe Queen reclaiming Trez, but it actually gets resolved pretty quickly and without much of a fight. For a story cramped with ass-kicking warriors, there is a surprsing lack of anyhting resembling an action scene. That being said, I must also congratulate the author on the ending of that main story. I would have never in my life have expected something like that in a Romance book. A bit cruel, but kind of sweet for a reader tired of getting always the same.

Much more disappointing is iAm’s story. Is this book going to be all? It felt rushed, unimaginative and a lost chance for what could have been a really good plot. iAm’s first time with a woman shoukld have been epic. It should have had the proper dedication and care, instead we are told about that first time almost behind the scenes. It is a tremendous moment for the character, but it is treated as any other relationship of the saga. I like the couple a lot, but this book is not enough. Not by a really long shot. Too bad everything seems sealed and delivered… Lazy storytelling for something so huge. It makes iAm look like a third rate character…

The other stories are not so important to make a full review, but they are actually nicer than the main ones. I really want to read once and for all Xcor’s and Lyla’s story, because by the time they get a book, everything will be already said and done. It’s the same feeling thet I have got with the last books of this saga: the story of a charater is very interesting until it gets its own book. I don’t want that to happen with Xcor, but it looks like that is the path it has taken… I hope I’m wrong.

I can’t finish the review without mentioning how annoying I find Vishous’ addiction. He is always smoking. This is the second book (if I recall properly) that he has been politely asked to stop smoking in a place where it is forbidden doing so and he has refused. I find that so extremly rude that that Brother is climbing fast, fast on my list of characters I can’t stomach. First in Haver’s hospital, because V hates the guy and it seems he can’t be an adult about it and then in the local of one of his friends, because it seems respect is something he doesn’t understand. And everytime he smoles in the clinic… It drives me nuts!! I’m not looking forward to a second book with that guy…

Next is another book for Rhage. Will he find the source of those weird panic attacks he is suffering? Hollywood is one of my favourites. He never fails to make me smile.


2019 – Book Gallery

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