Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review of Lover Avenged by J.R.Ward

Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward
JR Ward is taking her fans on a bumpy journey with The Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  It started out with a bang (Dark Lover, book 1), built up incredible steam through book 4, crashed and burned (in my not so humble opinion) in books 5 and 6, and now book 7, Lover Avenged, has erupted back onto the scene as one incredible story. Last night while my family was watching American Idol, I hid in the kitchen with this book, unable to put it down for even a second. My daughter kept screaming, "Mom, you're missing American Idol!" but honestly, Adam Lambert could not possibly compete with Rehv. Sorry.  Ward has created another spellbinding installment of this series with Rehvenge's story...he is a fascinating and complex character who deserved a great book, and Ward delivered.  Her formula of weaving multiple storylines, a primary romance, and a violent war between the Lessers and the vampires of Caldwell, has been at times very successful, and at times a failure (Lover Enshrined). Lover Avenged is absolutely perfectly balanced...we get a satisfying love story between Rehvenge, a half-sympath/half-vampire, and Ehlena, a vampire nurse with a heart of gold. We get amazing storylines about Tohr, who is recovering from a life-altering trauma (the death of his shellan), and Wrath, the king, who is developing full-blown blindness.  (I am not as thrilled with John and Xhex's storyline...unfortunately, I just don't find either of these characters very likable, and I'm wondering what Ward is planning to do with this couple.)  My favorite parts of this book? The final climatic scene in the sympath colony is reminiscent of a Stephen King book...unbelievably great! The hideous and vile sympath princess is a fantastic villain (better than Lash, the Omega's son, in my opinion).  I also LOVE Tohr and his storyline...the scene where Tohr and Rhage are sitting around shooting the s--t is wonderful. Ward has also done a great job with Wrath's storyline, the shocking ultimate loss of his vision. The undying support of his Brothers and his shellan is really what this series is all about. Loyalty and complete devotion. My only major complaint is that Ehlena's acceptance of Rehv's double life (drug-dealing club owner) is a little too pat. Wasn't quite on board with that.  But her daring rescue of the man she loves is a fabulous resolution to this book, and a return to what I adored about Ward's earliest books in the series...romance! The bottom line about Lover Avenged? It is captivating. I am personally thrilled that JR Ward has recaptured the magic of this series.  She is back with a vhengeance. 
Grade: A


Mandi said...

I am a huge JR Ward fangirl!!

I loved this book. I thought the romance between Rehv and Ehlena was a little blah (it was sweet..just not intense) but I loved the scenes between Wrath and Beth!! Those were hot!

I LOVE John Matthew and Xhex (I know I am in the minority). I have loved JM since he transitioned. Didn't love that he became a humping rabbit in this book, but I guess he needed to go through that phase. I trust my boy will bring Xhex back in the next book.

I thought she did a great job with the ending. And I loved how it ended with both kings in the same room.

Wasn't it awesome that Wrath is sparring with Payne and doesn't know it?? Can't wait to see how that plays out.

Great review!!!

Penny Watson said...

Mandi, Thanks for the comment! I am feeling torn about John Matthew and Xhex. They are both sympathetic characters, but not likable. And I had a hard time believing that John turned into a "humping rabbit" (awesome description!), dissed both Tohr and Xhex, and then suddenly is all about finding HIS woman after Xhex disappears. But I am reserving judgment until the next book, which obviously must be their story. Also, where is Darius' character in John? I'm not feeling the connection. I agree with you about Wrath and fact it makes me want to go back and read Dark Lover again! Happy romance reading- Penelope

Mandi said...

I think JM might discover Darius' memories in the next book (Yes it is JM and Xhex called "Lover Mine" due out early next year).

Very true - JM was not likable in this book..and he has always been one of the most likable of the series (at least to me:). SIGH! I don't like waiting a year for the next book!! :)