Saturday, September 3, 2011

Review: "Lover Unbound" by J.R. Ward

Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5)Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This isn't a review, it's a rant and it's full of spoilers. There are plenty of reviews of this book all around and I don't feel like writing another one. BUT I do need to get this anger off my chest, so here I go...

First off, let me say that I was warned about the crappy ending of this book beforehand. I wasn't thrilled about it, but I was willing to give Ms. Ward the chance to prove me that she had pulled it off in a satisfying way when all was said and done. Well, she didn't... at least, not where I'm concerned. Yeah, I know this is PNR and a ghost shouldn't be that strange in this scenario, but the oops-I-didn't-see-you-and-I-stepped-through-you freaked me out. Maybe I could have gone along with that if I didn't care much for Jane, but I liked her and felt that she got the shaft. What was wrong with Ms. Ward? The 1st time she gave us a BDB heroine with a spine, she kills her in the end! Not only that, she takes her spine off first, turns her into a clingy mess, then kills her. :( Is Ms. Ward so jealous of her Brothers that she had to smash the competition? I don't care that Jane and V were more than happy with her "fate" as it was, because I didn't buy it. The whole thing felt more like settling than a true HEA.

In my mind, V and Jane's romance was doomed from the start. As the story opened, he was still pretty much in love with Butch and jealous of the other man's shellan Marissa, so it was a shock to see how fast he fell for Jane. In fact, "fast" doesn't begin to describe it. I was glad to see him getting over Butch, because the last thing I wanted was to watch V pining over Butch over and over again like he did in Lover Revealed, but I didn't like the way Ward handled that. As for V's sexual kinkiness, I admit I was leery of it after reading the previous book because I'm not into BDSM. Once again, Ward gave V an instant character change and V's alleged Dom nature fell apart in Jane's hands. I admit I didn't miss seeing V in full Dom behavior since that isn't my cuppa, but I have to say that Ward failed to deliver what she'd hinted in the previous books.

May I rant about the other characters too? Oh boy, where to start?...

The Scribe Virgin - I loathe the ground air she floats in. I'd better stop here.

Phury - I still don't like him very much - his depression is, well, depressing - but I'm starting to feel sorry for him. Sorry, not pity. He's constantly "abused" by his Brothers, IMHO. He gives and gives and gives, then gives some more - and no one reaches a hand to help him. They know he loves Z's shellan Bella, but do they care? No. Z and Bella keep haunting him, asking him to help them go through some bumps in their "marriage" (I forgot what Ward calls it) without thinking how hurtful that must be to poor Phury. No wonder he turns into drugs for relief, which is another example of how little his Brothers care about him. They just sit back and let him sink deeper and deeper. There's no intervention, no tough love, nada.

Cormia - I'm on the fence about her. She's too innocent, frail and submissive, which can be explained by her being a Chosen but is still annoying. She reminds me of Marissa in her spineless days before she mated with Butch and that isn't a good thing, but who knows, Ward can give her a character change in the next book.

JM - What's happening to him? I'm not sure I like him posttrans and I definitely don't like him with Xhex because they don't fit, IMHO. I do like the Darius' connection, though. Will we ever find out what ties them together?

Qhuinn & Blaylock - JM's buddies' sole purpose in the story is to protect JM - at least, so far. Qhuinn's a manwhore and I'm sorry he can't catch any STD. Blaylock is sweet and I really hope he can find someone else to love. A gay man, if you please. Do you hear me, Ward?

Tohr - Where is he??? Isn't it time he came back yet?

As for the overal story, this book had good and bad parts. What I liked the most was the total absence of the Omega, whatever recruiter he had in charge at the moment and the mandatory new lesser-in-training. Sure, there were lessers around doing their nasty thing just to keep the Brothers busy and set the stage for the unfortunate HEA, but their scenes were more "connected" to the story this time. They had a purpose. In the previous books, every fight scene seemed the same and it only served to show how invincible the Brothers were. That isn't so true anymore, and that was good.

I also liked the development of the overall story arc - some surprises there! - even though Ward could have given V a better mother. I felt sorry for V, but that was an interesting twist in the story. And to think that his mother didn't content herself with playing havoc with his life... *shudders*

So, am I going to keep reading this series? As of now, no, but I might change my mind in the future. I do want to read Father Mine: Zsadist and Bella's Story, though.


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