rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was better than Lover Enshrined, even though I gave it a 4 star review as well. But, it just didn't reach the five stars for me.
What I love about Ward's writing is also what I hate about Ward's writing. When I read her prose, it isn't just filler. The narrative voice in this book is almost another character. An omnipotent one, to be sure, but still a separate character. I don't like how this character adds "ilies" to everything. Is it really that hard to say Stilettos, Mr. or Ms. Omnipotent? And I REALLY wish the word "shitkicker" was permanently deleted from your vocabulary. But, you do have a way with words and I appreciate how you could turn something very dry and boring into a fast, page turning adventure.
This whole series reminds me of how easy it was for me to make the leap from Fantasy to Romance lit. The world building is good and I love huge casts of characters. The more pages the merrier, and I love series. I can also see how this would be disturbing to those who started this series expecting one thing, and find themselves in this new place. It is dishonest to market this as a romance series with a hero/heroine focused plot. That is not where the plot is focused. The world does not revolve around the hero/heroine finding their happily ever after. They do find it, don't get me wrong, but I don't think anyone can say that is where the focus is. It seems to be something that happens along the way in the larger story. To me, that is absolutely fantastic. To people who are expecting the beginning, middle and end to be about Rehv and Elena, your set may need to be slightly adjusted.
I'm not sure what the endgame is here with the whole Lessers/Vampire war, and I'm not sure I care. I assume Ward wants me to care, so this may not be a good thing. I enjoy the characters, and I tune in to see what is going to happen next with them. I am more than a little caught up in how the war is affecting Wrath. But, other than that, it's background noise to me. It's a little like North and South. You know there is a war going on in the background, but the battle scenes are not the reason why you're watching. It's what goes on because of the war, during the war, before and after the war, that holds your interest.
Very hard to do this without spoilers, by the way.
Ward also has a style of writing, and dropping hints of future plot lines, that means if you have an interest in this series and where it might be going, you have to pay pretty close attention. I'm looking forward to seeing where it goes from here, and I'm hoping that what looks like a recycled plot isn't going to be a recycled plot. I'm crazy about Xhex, John-Matthew, Blay and Qhuinn so the next book will be wonderful for me. I'm hoping that Bella gets a rest because she had a hell of a book this time around. She deserves some R & R. She had like, five scenes and all of them were drama? Come on.
I hate Lassiter. Just had to get that out.
And a word about the "gangsta": I wonder why people get so bent out of shape that some of Ward's characters don't act or talk like run of the mill white bread. Each of these characters has a distinct voice and, contrary to popular internet opinion, they don't all embrace the street talk. But the ones that do, seems completely consistent with the other characteristics they have. Is it so unusual? To me, the bigger question is why so many people have a problem with it?
And I hate Lassiter.
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