Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

Posted April 10, 2015 by Casee in Reviews | 15 Comments

Review: The Shadows by J.R. WardReviewer: Casee
The Shadows by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Also in this series: Lover Unbound, Lover Avenged, Lover at Last, Lover at Last, The King, The Beast, Lover Enshrined, The Chosen, Lover Mine, The Thief, The Savior, Where Winter Finds You, The Sinner, Lover Unleashed, Lassiter
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 592
Add It: Goodreads
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Series Rating: three-stars

The #1 New York Times bestselling author returns to the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood as two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the s’Hisbe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer for years. On the run from a destiny of sexual servitude, he’s never been able to rely on anyone...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 Selena 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. Now Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others—or abandon the female he loves. When tragedy strikes and changes everything, iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice....

This is the worst BDB book that I have ever read. The only reason it’s not a DNF is because I bought the book instead of getting it from the library. Forget the series being a train wreck. The was like an explosion. An explosion of epic proportions. Just when you don’t think it can get any worse, it does. Definitely not worth the $12.71 e-book.

The book was mainly concentrated around Trez and iAm, the two Shadows that we’ve seen throughout the series. They both escaped from their people, the s’Hisbe years ago. The s’Hisbe have astrological charts that they follow closely and when Trez and iAm were born (twins), it was read in the stars by the priest that Trez would mate the Princess. Trez wants nothing to do with his people but escape. I don’t blame him. He was going to be a glorified breeder.

Trez and iAm have been living on the outside for years when the s’Hisbe call Trez back to mate with the Princess. The only problem now? Trez has mated with the Chosen Selena which gives him yet another reason not to go back. iAm knows that the Queen’s executioner s’Ex will come after both of them, so he started a plan to run long ago. Then Trez’s mate gets sick. Only a handful of Chosen get what the call the Arrest. Bone grows over their tendons and they are literally all bone. Everyone frantically looks for a cure. The only thing that makes Selena feel better is Trez.

Click for spoilers and my wrath.

View Spoiler »

I also don’t care about this garbage where she explains it all. I don’t care how a book “comes to you”. Nothing about what happened made Trez and Selena’s love more special. Someone flew over the cuckoo’s nest one too many times.

I’m also not a big fan of the Chosen themselves. That was about the only thing I agreed with in the above post. Layla’s pregnant with twins [snooze], Phury’s mate [snooze]. They’re just boring for lack of a better term. They don’t mean to be, I know, but they are. Selena wasn’t boring. Ugh. I’m not bitter, I’m just pissed off. I have stayed with this series since the beginning. Since before there was a message board and the crazy moderators that insulate JRW from us crazies. Back when JRW actually answered her own emails. I even read her other series. So W.T.F.

iAm got his HEA. Yay for him.

Rhage is having panic attacks for the love of God. That wasn’t really addressed. What Brother would have panic attacks? Seriously. Lame much? Don’t try to humanize them. They aren’t human.

The only thing that interests me now is the fighting. I want to see the next time someone tries to take the throne. I want to see what Throe is going to do now that he broke off from Xcor. I want to know what Xcor is going to do now that Xcor broke things off with Layla. Is everyone going to go after Wrath now? I want to know, but I will never, ever buy another of her books. J.R. Ward is firmly in the library category.

1 out of 5.

Black Dagger Brotherhood


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15 responses to “Review: The Shadows by J.R. Ward

  1. You know what would probably drive me to start a rage campaign?

    It’s not having the author change genres midstream–Ward doesn’t want to write romance any more, she wants to write urban fantasy, more power to her.

    It’s not having the author claim that the characters in her head are in control of her writing–I’m not a writer, I have no idea how that work (though if I were a family member I might be tish concerned for her)

    It is having the author–who by her own admission was writing the book well over a year ago–wait until effing release day to tell the people who had already pre-ordered the book, which they did because they thought it was a romance, by the by, that oooppppssssiieeeessss, guess what, folks, it’s not a romance after all.

    If I had spent that much money on a romance only to find out–via that insulting post or by reading the actual book–that it was urban fantasy with a side of WTF, I would for sure start a rage campaign.

  2. Azteclady, i would be concerned about the pictures going through her brain as well. A Lon while ago, I read awhile ago that the book “downloads” itself into her brain and she’s at the mercy of her characters. She definitely needs to have some cocca puffs for breakfast.

    So she doesn’t want to be a part of the genre that started her career? That’s rich and something I would expect her to do.

    Don’t even get me started on how she can be creative and change the books. But oh, she can’t.

  3. jane_e

    Wow, Ward’s blog was absolutely the most ridiculous bunch of crap I’ve ever read! I agree with azteclady that that blog post was just an insulting ‘up yours’ to readers. When I first started reading these, I actually liked the world building and the characterizations overall but it quickly became boring as I couldn’t really differentiate between the male characters after a while and gave up after the first several. BUT…I didn’t care that others loved them.

    First, she basically played on readers’ sympathies with her dying dog story which, as a dog lover myself, I found sad, was basically manipulative and unnecessary.

    Then she states that she doesn’t know how to write women which is a lie because, 1) She wrote category romances under a pseudonym for several years prior to BDB, and, 2) That’s not a good excuse for her lack of imagination and/or talent in injecting personality into her female characters. Hell, Stephen King has written women in most all of his novels and has done a damn fine job of it.

    My final gripe may seem fairly minor – what the hell was that lingo or whatever she was spouting? There were also some big words in the blog so I know she’s intelligent. Hint, J.R. – these are fictional characters and you are not one of them.

    Overall, I don’t know if sales in general are down and she and the publisher may be looking to give the series a shot in the arm or what. This book is selling well but I also take into account all the pre-orders.

    • I have a feeling there will be a lot of returns for the digital copies–people pre-ordered as soon as the link was up, and some waited up until it loaded on their devices to start reading it immediately. Some will keep on drinking the kool aid, but plenty will crucify Ward.

      And no jury would convict them.

      • jane_e

        I hope there’s a huge return on the digital pre-orders. That more than anything will get the point across.

  4. Kelly

    Finally! Someone who agrees with me. I do NOT like the BDB series. Let me scoot back. I did enjoy it when it first came out and I read the first 4 books in the series, but then I started to feel (IMO) as if the M/M aspect was being forced on me. I stopped reading the series and then I started hearing comments about her responses to readers concerns and such and then I knew I’d abandoned ship just in time. Thank you for this review. Even if I wanted to give it another try I don’t like authors that kill main characters just for, what seems like, sh*ts and giggles.

  5. I tried to return my digital copy, but wasn’t able to.

    Usually I’m mildly disappointed with her books, but I don’t feel like I feel about this book. I’m sick her her excuses. “I can’t change anything”

      • I just realized that was not a complete thought. If you did buy amazon and it’s not letting you do the return the easy way (through the ‘manage your content’ link) you can do it the way you would do any other return, only ask for live help/chat so you can explain why (i.e., marketed as romance genre novel, when it’s urban fantasy, killing of protagonist instead of HEA, etc) and you would probably prevail returning it for a full refund.

        I say this because I returned a book (months after purchase) when I realized it was published by Deborah Smith–I explained my reasoning to the customer service rep, and got my refund, no problem. So I think it’d would probably be a similar process here, at least with amazon.

        Say what you will about the evils of big, bad amazon, they have pretty decent customer service.

          • This is what I did:
            Go to your account, then to your orders, scroll until you get to the one for The Shadows, click on return or replace item.

            It will bring up another screen, usually with the item you are returned already filled in. If it’s not, you can change it until it is. Then it ask you to select a reason from certain choices, go with the closest you find. Another set of choices appears, do the same; then a third time.

            At some point, you will be able to choose to chat with a customer service representative. They offer to call you, email you, or chat. I prefer chat myself (plus you have the choice to get a full transcript emailed to you, so there’s a record of what was said).

            Either way, you just write down why you want to return the book: in my case, I clearly stated that I would not ever buy a book by a woman who thought it would be fine to call reviewers the Taliban.

            In this case, you bought a book clearly marketed as a romance, which means HEA for the couples involved. It was not marketed as romantic fiction, but genre romance.

            Instead, what you got was a book in which one of the protagonists is killed off. Since the book is mismarketed, you want a refund.

            You can do the same using the help link at the very bottom of amazon’s main page, it will offer you choices again for returns, digital orders, etc–and eventually you get to choose the email, phone call or chat.

            I do not have a Prime membership, and since I have very little disposable income, I honestly don’t expect companies to go out of their way for me, but I have been an amazon customer since very early on, and being clear, polite and firm seems to work.

            Good luck.

    • Awesome advice, azteclady! I hope people take advantage of Amazon’s wonderful CS. If you bought it at BN you are definitely out of luck. :O(

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