Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1) - J.R. Ward
Grade: Adult - PNR
Rating: 4/5 Stars.
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.
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. (Description from Goodreads.)
I read a lot of vampire books; it's not a surprise when I turn up with a new one. What does surprise me though is the way the 'vampire' myths and lore are constantly changing. I don't think I have ever read about similar vampires, not once, everyone is different. And that's true of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. 'Dark Lover' was an amazing start to the series, and I know I'm a few years late and I have friends who rave about the books so I shouldn't have been so shocked by how good it was, but I really did enjoy it.
The Vampires in 'Dark Lover' are not your typical stalk-the-night and prey-on-humans vampires. Sure they do need blood to live and can't come out in the sunlight - one step in those deadly rays and up in smokes - but their survival does not depend on human blood. A male vampire needs the occasional drink from a female vampire's blood to sustain himself (and visa versa for females). I found this concept really interesting. Vampires are paired (male-female) and live off each other; and are able to eat 'human' food like any normal person. Furthermore, they're not considered the 'undead'; that role goes to the lessers, a group of humans who have sold their souls for eternal life and promise to kill vampires. Complete role reversal, it's amazing.
I love Beth and Wrath. Beth, a half-human/half-vampire young woman about to go through the transition into full-vampire and Wrath, a Vampire King in denial of his abilities to lead the vampire population. An unlikely match, especially since most vampires don't consider human worthy beings; but so fun to see them get together. Beth breaks through Wrath's tough shell and Wrath helps her find who she really is.
What is awesome about 'Dark Lover' is that we meet the Black Dagger Brotherhood, the reason for the series’ creation. And I can honestly say I'm looking forward to meetings more of the brothers in future books. They're tough, sexy warriors with troubled lives. I'm really happy that they're letting Butch in too, he's pretty cool for a ex-cop human, sort of like an honorary member of the Brotherhood.
My biggest issue was with the changing POVs. I have no problem with third person stories and I didn't mind switching between Wrath, Beth, Butch...even Marissa. But when we followed Mr.X, a lesser who was out to get all vampires (especially the Brotherhood), I started to get bored. His POV didn't contribute much to the story. While he helped me understand what a lesser was and what they did, his role could have been left out. Occasionally I wanted to skip his scenes; I didn't, because I figured they were included for a reason, and it does make sense at the end; but it wasn't interesting. Luckily the rest of the book made up for it, and more.
Originally posted on Goodreads: Read review here