Review ~ The Shadows by J.R. Ward

Posted July 16, 2015 by Tanya in Paranormal Romance, Reviews / 6 Comments

Review ~ The Shadows by J.R. WardThe Shadows by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Published by NAL Trade on March 31, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 592
3.5 Stars
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Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...

Honestly, this book pissed me off. It did not help that a major spoiler came out before I even started the book. That spoiler had me seriously considering not reading it at all.

I am used to Ward’s jumping from different characters with their own side stories going on. I’ve come to look forward to it because I know there are different threads that need to continue on and that they will come together at some point and we really need to know back story.

The Layla and Xcor stuff just drives me nuts. Layla is SO completely betraying Wrath and the brothers, and I’ve never liked Xcor. There has been a lot in the books trying to endear him to us, and make us feel for him. But I just can’t see past him trying to overtake Wrath. The Band of Bastards story is quick in this book, with the exception of the Xcor stuff, and I was really interested in how Wrath dealt with the situation. Along the same storyline we had the surprise familial connection revealed. In the midst of all the political stuff in Wrath’s daily work, we are introduced to a few of the new characters that will be featured in the spin off, Black Dagger Legacy.

I absolutely loved seeing Rhage and Mary! Rhage has always been one of my favorite brothers. I think I’m as confused as he is about where his head is at. It distressed me reading his parts. I’m glad the next book is for him because I really need to know what the hell is going on with him!

Now to the romance bits. I am really glad that iAm is finally taking a little time for himself instead of trying to babysit Trez all the time. Well, his revelations happen in the midst of him trying to rescue his brother. I felt his story was rushed and used to make up for the eventual devastation that this book makes on a whole HEA. Most of the couples have a whole book devoted to their romance and eventual HEA. iAm’s was rushed in probably the second half of the book with half of it trying to fight their way into saving Trez. I don’t even want to talk about Trez & Selena’s relationship, despite it being the one the whole book was supposed to be devoted to. Trez, the awful guy he was, taking his beautiful mate through a whole romantic journey. Sweet, but every damn thing they did had me bawling. I mean, kudos to Ward for pulling the emotion out of me, but DAMN! It was torture. Maybe if the spoiler hadn’t come out, the moments throughout the book wouldn’t have been so hard. I don’t know. I DO know that I yelled a LOT of cuss words and called Ward more than one nasty name. I hope she forgives me, because I still love her, but I am SO mad at her for this book!

I have a hard time rating books like these. In some ways I feel that a book that is able to create a lot of emotion and connection with the characters should be rated high. But on the other hand, books that made me truly angry should be rated lower. With The Shadows I sit in this position. I hated the things that happened in the book, but I was emotionally pulled in. I settled for a fairly middle of the road rating and am just praying that I am not disappointed in Rhage’s book. Don’t mess with my Brothers Ms. Ward!

About J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with more than 15 million novels in print published in 25 different countries around the world. The books in her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series have held the #1 spot on the New York Times hardcover, mass market, eBook, and combined print/eBook fiction bestseller lists and have debuted in the top 5 on the USA Today bestseller list. Prior to her writing career, Ward worked as a lawyer in Boston and spent many years as the Chief of Staff of one of Harvard’s world-renowned academic medical centers. Ward currently lives with her family in Kentucky where she has learned to enjoy and appreciate all things Southern.