Saturday, July 30, 2016

REVIEW: The Beast by J.R. Ward

Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today). 
Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…
For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…
And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...  

My thoughts:
J.R. Ward delivers another epic story with the continuation of Rhage and Mary’s relationship.  As always, I love the author's writing style and she is an absolute master of her characters, which by this point is old hat. Although I found Rhage and Mary's storyline predictable and kind of shrugged at their interpersonal dynamics, there were satisfying emotional highs and lows as they enriched their relationship. For me, a couple already together who has no real potential to be ripped apart isn’t as interesting as a couple finding love for the first time.

We also get a bit more of the other BDB storylines. There’s Assail, who I must admit I really never cared much for as a character, but as this story progresses I found myself swaying to the positive with regard to him, and becoming interested in where his story line is headed. Then, there’s Layla and Xcor who’s story has been taking forever and it’s still not to be told. At least the pregnancy is finally over and we can move beyond this.

Overall, liked it. Didn’t think it’s the best in the BDB but still a solid read. Of course, I’ll pick up the next one when it’s out.


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