I think it's kinda obvious what I thought of this one.. I REALLY disliked it! You know what, there were a few good parts that I wouldn't have wanted to miss out (if I chose to skip this one) and there are a few parts that are important for the understanding of the future plot. This is the story of Phury and Cormia finding their HEA together but luckily it has a lot to it then just the two of them.
There are a lot of scenes with JM, Quinn and Blay. There are revaluations on all sides, some we knew but other characters didn't and some are new. There is a lot about Quinn's family and why he is the way he is. It's heart breaking but he is a man about it. You see his hurt and his struggle but he deals with the cards he got the best he can. He has a lot to go through till he gets his "happily ever after" (on the 10th book). Blay is a sweetheart. He doesn't deserve the heartache he gets in this book and in the following ones but sometimes you need to wait for the one you love to come to grips. JM is having a hard time as well, his past, his present at the training center with Lash and missing his father - Thor. He also continues to be interested in Xhex.
We get into Rehv's story a little which is a prelude to the next book in the series. If you thought he is just a bad ass drug lord - he is SO much more than that. A new character is introduced (which has a surprise gift for the brotherhood) and he calls Rehv "righteous", Rhev doesn't agree with the term but as you come to know him you realize he too, like Quinn, has done what he can with the cards he was dealt and yeah, he's a man about it as well. He does what he MUST to protect himself, his family and his close ones. I have the utter respect for him (and naturally can't wait for the next one!)
More side characters are Mr. D and Lash which are ANNOYING and BORING. Lash like the Lessers is pure evil with nothing but revenge and chaos in his mind. No real agenda you can relate to (or hate). Couldn't stand their POV. On chapter 3 if I'm not mistaken we have almost 20 minutes with almost no real importance, just Mr. D blabbering about almost nothing. Yeah, there is a point but it could have taken less than 5 minutes to get to it..
Z, as Phury's brother has a few appearances and I think all of them are "well played" on his part. Even when he is being "an ass" you totally get why and you get that this is the place he is in, or he is trying to get a point to Phury. The last chapter has a beautiful scene with the both of them and I just fell in love with him all over again.
Oh, right this one was about Phury and Cormia. These too are a TOTAL and ABSOLUTE BORE. Cormia is like a 12 years old kid getting to know Phury's world (without his guidance he just "dumps" her in the room next to his) she is sweet, yeah, but she doesn't have a lot of interesting sides to her. I felt like the love between her and him could have been with anyone that would have been a little gallant. There is no special reason for her to fall in love specifically in him. Well, I do think there is nothing lovable about him..
Phury is basically a self-pitying drug addict. I couldn't stand ANY part of his POV or you know what, any part that he plays in this book. All he does is feel sorry for himself, smoke and consider doing something stronger for the pain (what pain? yeah he had a rough childhood but look at Quinn and Rehv sucking it up! so can he!!). His obsession with Bella is pathetic and feels unrealistic. Yeah, she is amazing but I do think he is in love with the fact that she "saved" his brother more than in her in general. She accomplished more than he did.. and maybe he wishes she could save him as well. Poor Cormia has to witness his "love" for Bella while harboring a love for him (that he doesn't return because he is too self centered to even realize she is into him).
I have no respect for his character, for who he is and how he acts and that's why his book gets 2 stars. I loved Rehv, Quinn, Blay and JM's parts and that's why this book doesn't get half a star.. I had zero interest in listening to this one and that's why it took me SO LONG to finish it.
Last but not least - the narration. I'm starting to get used to Jim.. It's not that he is better, maybe a little bit, it's more that I just got used to getting the plot from his voice. I would have wanted someone with more "feel", that can express the character's state of mind and emotion but that's all we have so I'm dealing..
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As I've done with the Lords of the Underworld, I'll do here as well. If you are reading this for the first time, then you must be confused with who's who. I think it took me about 3 books to get everyone straight hehe Now, after reading several of these kinda series I'm better at it. and to tell you the truth, here you only have 6 warriors which isn't bad and you don't get TMI on them where you get confused, basically Ward tries to describe them and give a little about each one.
So here is a little about each Warrior (Copied from J.R.Ward's Website) including in which book they are the main Hero - Enjoy!
Wrath (Dark Lover #1, The King #12)
The last purebred vampire on the planet and the vampire race's king. Essentially blind, he is the leader who is not willing to lead until he is forced to care for a half-breed he falls in love with.
Rhage (Lover Eternal #2)
The strongest of the brothers and the best fighter. Cursed by the Scribe Virgin, he is possessed by a dark side which is a danger to everyone. Ultimately, though, he is gentled by a very special human woman.
Zsadist (Lover Awakened #3, Father Mine #6.5)
The most lethal of the brothers. A former blood slave who was mercilessly tortured during the first hundred years of his life, Z is the one who has fallen farthest from grace. But he is utterly worthy of redemption.
Twin brother - Phury.
Phury (Lover Enshrined #6)
the loyal one, the one who sacrifices himself for others. Phury is Zsadist's twin brother and a celibate who cannot truly live because of everything his biological brother has lost. Used to giving rather than receiving, he needs love coming back at him to bring him alive.
Vishous (Lover Unbound #5)
the most intelligent and the one who is specially gifted. His curse is his ability to prognosticate: he sees the future, though not the 'when' of events so he is tortured by his inability to save those he loves from danger. His love puts him at odds with a secret about himself he did not know and could never have guessed.
Tohrment (Lover Reborn #10)
The steady one, the calm one. He is the one whose betrayal by fate will cut the deepest.
Butch O'Neal (Lover Revealed #4)
Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex–homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.
John Matthew (Lover Mine #8)
John is actually Darius incarnate only he can't remember he WAS Darius, that's part of the deal the Scribe Virgin had offered him, he also can't speak, that's another thing he had to give away in order to be able to get to know his daughter, Beth, even if he won't remember her as being his daughter. He is one of the new recruits to the Brotherhood.
Rehvenge (Lover Avenged #7)
Rehvenge, as a half-breed symphath, is used to living in the shadows and hiding his true identity. As a club owner and a dealer on the black market, he's also used to handling the roughest nightwalkers around—including the members of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. He's kept his distance from the Brotherhood as his dark secret could make things complicated on both sides—but now,he's an ally with them, through Bella and Z but not only that..
As you can guess from the number of Warriors to the number of books - there are a few more warriors who weren't mentioned in the first book as ones. The mentioned above are the "core" brotherhood plus any knew ones that have been mentioned in this book and the previous ones. I'm adding the rest of them. Notice I'm adding the spoiler tag since some of the characters aren't mentioned yet and some are but we don't know what would become of them.