Blood Vow: A half-assed review of a half-assed story

imagesBlood Vow: Black Dagger Legacy #2 by J.R. Ward

I am going to put as much effort in reviewing this book as Ward seems to have put into writing it…which isn’t much, so here’s my list of thoughts:

The MCs aren’t bad, and they’re not original either. She’s a Glymera chick with an overprotective asshole dad, and he’s a badass fighter with loads of issues. Where have we seen this before? Oh right, in just about every freaking BDB book Ward has written.

Really Ward? An Iron Bowl is playing in the background and it’s the one damn bowl game where those war chickens managed to beat the Crimson Tide? There’s a lot of garbage in your books that makes me cuss a blue streak, but that bullshit ices the profanity cake. ROLL TIDE ROLL!

Oh, Manny went to Auburn? That explains why I have always hated him! Aside from the fact that he is a pointless, unnecessary character.

When did Rhage become such a bad fighter? He gets shot, stabbed, and almost-killed as often as most people inhale and exhale.

If Lessers are getting harder and harder to find and easier to kill because they are all new recruits, then why the hell are there so many of them in this book, and how do these so-called newbies come so close to almost killing a Brother and two BDB-trained fighters?

The brothers v. Lassister banter is still ridiculous and pointless.

Why is Boone the only trainee we know nothing about? It’s like Ward just occasionally throws his name in the mix just to remind us that there are six trainees.

Well, knock me over with a feather. Z not only had speaking lines, but an actual poignant scene in this book.

I miss the Brothers. You know, those badass fighters from the first six books. Where the hell are they?

I really don’t care about Bitty or the whole adoption story line at all.

And I still find Bitty creepy and off-putting.

I really want to nut-punch Rhage and tell him to man the fuck up now!

Not a single speaking line for Blay or Qhuinn. That makes me an angry reader!

Manny’s mobile operating/medical vehicle is ridiculous.

What is Peyton’s deal? He can’t be this effed up just from the whole Allishon thing (or however the hell her name is spelled).

Oh, so that’s who Saxton is going to end up with.

I guess anyone, ANYONE, can just move into the mansion and live with the King and the Brotherhood. Next thing you know, lessers will be living there.

And just how freaking big is this place? I know it’s called a mansion, but there must be 40 people living there now.

Okay, I just did a tally, and I came up with 33 people living in the mansion. And that only includes two doggen because who knows how many servants it takes to run that place.

I don’t know what half these fucking acronyms mean, and I am not wasting my time looking them up!

The next BDB book is about Xcor? Oh crap, I hate him and Layla, but their story will have to include Qhuinn and Blay, so I am going to have to read it. I see a lot of skimming in my future.

 

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J.R. Ward’s latest book doesn’t suck

Now there’s a blog title I never thought I’d write. If you’ve read this blog before, you know I think the last five installments in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series have gone from bad to worse to deplorable to not worth reading, so when I heard that Ward was going to start a spinoff series called the Black Dagger Legacy that would go back to the original Black Dagger brothers, I was all kinds of skeptical. I mean, seriously Ward, do you even remember your original characters? But since I am a total masochist, I picked up Blood Kiss and started reading…and was pleasantly and shockingly surprised.

Unlike all the other nobodies (Autumn anybody?) Ward introduced into her initial series, I actually liked Paradise and Craeg (yes, she still does the misspelled name thing). Paradise was interesting in that she was a young product of the Glymera who had no interest in being a perfect little wifey to some pedigreed male peacock. Craeg was interesting because of his tragic past and his future goals regarding that past tragedy. In fact, most of the training class was intriguing, and I cannot wait for Axe’s book, and I kept wondering which if any of them may end up with Saxton as Ward has said on her blog that he would get his HEA in a forthcoming book. Axe would certainly be a hell of an entertaining mate for the pristine male. I guess we’ll just have to see.

But I digress…

As promised, original characters made appearances. Butch and Marissa are front and center in this one, and their relationship is on the rocks. At first, I found it hard to believe that the couple went from total bliss at the end of their book to barely speaking in this one, but as the plot developed, I thought we finally got to know the real Marissa. She was very strong and had some real growth as a character. Sometimes, the way Ward writes the shellans makes them seem like wallflowers who do nothing but wait for their males to come home from the fighting. This was definitely not the case in Blood Kiss.

And now for some things that didn’t improve…

Lassiter. What the hell is the point of this guy? He has these moments of true purpose and guidance (BDB books 6 and 10) which are few and far between and the rest of the time he is this comedic idiot who is so unfunny it is almost painful to read. The banter between him and the brothers is stale and repetitive and has been for the last five books involving the Brotherhood. Ward either needs to get to his purpose or get him out of the series.

The Brotherhood. A group of seriously manly warriors who fight the vampire race’s mortal enemies. Remember them? No? Neither does Ward because they are still acting like a bunch of recently castrated steers every time they spend more than two minutes away from their shellans. So annoying. What happened to the brotherly camaraderie? The scenes of the guys just chilling together? The bromance? Hell, even the team lesser fighting? Remember when two or more brothers had scenes together that did not involve all their shellans? Can we please get back to that? Butch and V have a nice little scene in Blood Kiss (emphasis on little) which triggered memories of how much page time and dialogue those two used to share, and I miss it and want more of it. That’s what made the initial series so good, so if you, Ward, are getting back to the original brothers, how about getting back to what made them brothers to begin with?

No mention of Qhuinn and Blay. Seriously??? Every other character from the BDB series gets mentioned in Blood Kiss: John and Xhex, Manny and Payne, the Shadows, Rehvenge and his lady, the butler, Nobody, oops, I mean Autumn, but not our favorite redhead and hothead? They seriously better get some ink in this series. They sure as hell never get enough in the original series!

But despite all that, this book was good. Not great, but certainly better than the crap Ward has been churning out in recent years. And as much as I wish I could snuff it out like a candle flame, there is this teeny, tiny flare of hope buried deep in my heart that this spinoff may return to the Brotherhood and the Ward writing that I once loved. And I can honestly say for the first time in a very long time that I am looking forward to the next Ward book. And that’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!