I didn’t like this book. There. You have it straight up. At about page 450 of this 474-page book I came clean with myself that the itchy feeling in my fingers was to do with the fact that I wanted to put the book down. Without any impetus to pick it up again.
A couple of things:
I wasn’t going to read the fallen angels, but decided to because I was going crazy waiting for Lover Unleashed. I figured any Ward was good Ward.
I actually feel like it’s achieved the opposite: Because I had no investment in these characters, Ward’s writing palette was made very obvious to me, and it made the Black Dagger Brotherhood seem less special somehow, as though I’ll go back to it seeing all those things that my full immersion made unimportant before.
Ok, now time for some “it wasn’t ALL bad”.
And it wasn’t. I kinda like Jim, the fallen angel who has to help the hero get the girl. I thought his side-kick Adrian was too like Qhuinn, so I had to stop myself from imagining him anything like, and it skewed him in my head. Eddie? Huge guy with a long braid doesn’t really do anything for me.
Oops, I was on good points, right?
The dark stuff is good, she does really go there. And I think my favourite scene, which was executed brilliantly, is when we first see the hero. We’re in the POV of a jeweller who is selling him a $2,300,000 diamond ring.
After making the jeweller show him progressively worse stones for an hour, Vin says he’ll take the first one he was shown, adding: “If I’m giving you my money, I want you to work for it. And you will be discounting the stone, because your business needs repeat clients like myself.”
He comes across as hard, mean and powerful. In a really good way.
This is where my biggest beef with the book lies, though. The whole premise is the battle for human souls. They are souls that have an equal chance of swinging either way – that can be influenced equally by good and evil.
But all we see, the whole way through, is a bunch of people trying to do the right thing whilst evil throws up some obstacles in their path. This is particularly true of Jim, who Team Evil are supposedly very confident of being able to sway. There’s so much that could have been done with actual human desires, which sometimes do tend the other way. The only person who truly gave in to an evil desire was the baddie. Proper, normal baddie guy.
I think this is why the romance didn’t work for me in the slightest. I really couldn’t care less about these two being together. Marie-Terese as prostitute-with-a-heart-of-gold was ok (or not – her problems got tiresome pretty quick. Vin kept admiring her backbone, and I kept wondering why she didn’t have one), but her reasons for resisting her attraction to Vin were tepid at best. There was a fear because the attraction reminded her of her first husband – another great opportunity to explore the dark side of the soul not taken.
I didn’t feel any vulnerability from her – falling in love didn’t feel like a risk. Which is funny, because that’s what we were told it was, as far as plotting went. Also, her as a desperate mother? Ward really should have read Dream a Little Dream before she ventured down that path.
When Vin and Marie-Terese first meet there are sparks. And then there’s just a whole lot of falling in love and gradually defeating some bad stuff, but hey, they’re in love. I so wanted to see that hard, cold man from the jewellery shop struggle to come good – but as soon as we got inside his head, he felt reformed. So when he finally makes love to Marie-Terese and it actually means something, I had nothing to contrast it with and I was just like “Oh, ok.”
NO conflict. Not in the love. Conflict in love is good.
Ah, what a rant. It was just so damn disappointing. I even have Crave sitting on my dining room table and I just don’t think I’ll bother.
I agree to a point with your assessment of Marie-Terese. Her profession was killing her and she had another option from a “good man”, but she stubbornly refused to dig herself out of the shitty situation of selling her body. Then we had to sit through her internal bitching and moaning about how her job was destroying her.
But with all the baggage both Vin and Marie-Terese were carrying around, not to mention the whole soul in jeopardy thing, I’m not sure there would have been room for the whole conflict in love thing. I thought the book was weighty enough already.
Interesting that you picked up on the similarities between Adrian and Qhuinn because Eddie really is the Blay of the group. I felt like their dynamic was a BDB teaser at times.
Jim is supposed to be the … I can’t say neutral because that implies nothing’s there, but he was perceived by both teams as having both good and evil in him but enough of what they want that they believe he can be swayed onto their side. It’s only a minor spoiler from Crave, but it’s been stated straight out that Team Evil is cheating, but Team Good is also bending the rules. Even though Evil throws up its obstacles, we see Jim acting for good. I guess love, by default, heals a soul and makes it want to do right. There are more books coming, so maybe that last point will hopefully become less cut and dried.
She did hint quite heavily at the end that things were going to get a lot harder for Jim, which I assume means there’ll be points where he’s swayed to do wrong, even if to achieve the right outcome. That would be good.
As you say, Marie-Terese and Vin both had a lot of baggage – I guess I felt like instead of just having baggage, that could have made them more morally-ambiguous characters. Or at least give them a sense of risk when it came to love…
BUT have just read over my review, and it’s very ranty, so I probably shouldn’t start up again 🙂
Ever since reading your BDB updates the other day, though, I can’t get it out of my head and it’s driving me crazy!!!
(“it” being BDB – or Qhuinn and Blay in particular. Bring on the angst!)