Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1)
By J.R. Ward
Published 2005, Penguin Group
Paperback, 393 pages
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other-six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Yet none of them relishes killing more than Wrath, the leader of The Black Dagger Brotherhood.I have read many good recommendations for this series, so I finally decided to try it out for myself to see how I would like it. I had some difficulty getting into the book in the beginning, especially with a glossary of terms that I had to sift through before I even began. I do appreciate intricate world-building though, and J.R. Ward weaves a very convincing, if complicated, world for her characters to live in.
The only purebred vampire left on earth, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who murdered his parents centuries ago. But, when one of his most trusted fighters is killed-leaving his half-breed daughter unaware of his existence or her fate-Wrath must usher her into the world of the undead-a world of sensuality beyond her wildest dreams.
The main character from the Black Dagger Brotherhood featured in this first book is Wrath, the blind king of the vampires who refuses to acknowledge his calling. The fact that he is near-blind is what I find most intriguing, especially since he hides it extremely well and seems to be as ashamed of it as his heritage. The descriptions that Ward uses to illustrate his lack of sight are quite beautiful and detailed and some of the best parts of the book.
The Lessening Society is the name of the group of people who's sole job is to hunt and kill the vampire race. The reader follows along on the leader of this organization's plans in parallel to the workings of the Brotherhood, so I got to know Mr. X as well as Wrath. The descriptions of the members of this society fit closer to that of zombies, and I disliked them right from the beginning. While I get that there must be an "ultimate evil" for the good guys to battle, I wish this group would just disappear.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a perplexing blend of male vampires, with names like Rhage and Tohrment, but I could see right away that their group was too small for such a big task set before them. Wrath's solution at the end was somewhat predictable in that way.
Butch's role in the book takes quite a different turn from what I expected, and I am more interested in how he develops in the series than many of the other characters. Hopefully, this will be part of the plot of the next book in the series, Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2).
The Cover: There is not much that can be gathered from the cover, other than the obvious vampire reference and a blurry tattoo. I can't say that I really care for the cover.
First Line: "Darius looked around the club, taking in the teeming, half-naked bodies on the dance floor."
I am not sure how reading about a dance club is supposed to entice me to continue reading, but I am curious as to who Darius is.
Favorite Quote: "Welcome to the wonderful world of jealousy, he thought. For the price of admission, you get a splitting headache, a nearly irresistable urge to commit murder, and an inferiority complex. Yippee."
Read For: 101 Fantasy Challenge, Black Dagger Brotherhood Challenge