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LimecelloLimecello’s Reflection of Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) by J.R. Ward
Paranormal romance hardcover released by NAL 28 Apr 09

Well now. That’s about as much of a review as you’re going to get. After “talking” to Sybil about it, we decided this would go in the Ponderings section, which made everything much easier for me. No reason to be professional, or thoughtful and insightful within the constraints of writing a good review. Now, I get to ramble and let my thoughts wander at will. If I can even manage to type these words correctly. 

book cover

Oh… right… and since this isn’t a review, this post will likely be spoilerific. If you hate spoilers, skip the middle part, and scroll down to the end where I talk general book stuff, please, because I really would like your input. (And I’m sure you’ll have something important to add – my hope, as always, is that someone important will see it and listen.)

I can’t write a review for this book in good conscience, because I’d say I didn’t read a good 40% of it. How does that work? I flipped through all the pages that had anything to do with “lessers.” And the civilian vampires. Frankly, I don’t care. I came into this series expecting to read about the Black Dagger Brotherhood members. And that’s what I chose to read. All the rest? Pretty un-involving.

I came into the series, and really liked it. (Oh as an aside, can I say I really like this cover? Looks great. Of course he also looks nothing like what I imagined Rehv would look like, but win some lose some. I will say that Ms. Ward does a pretty good job of including characters from previous books. (Perhaps a problem is she can’t let them go? Or at least… they jump in and out of importance as she needs them.)

First issue with the book? Wrath. And Beth. And you know, the other Brothers too. How would nobody but Butch know that Wrath is out hunting? First of all, I think the character are all too clever to be tricked for four months. Yes, Wrath has all those smart king genes, but come on. Aside from the obvious – in that Wrath is madly in love with Beth, and Beth is not a blithering idiot, the truth would have come out sooner. Wrath would have told her. He may have gone out regardless, but… it’s not really a secret he could keep. It would not have been a shock to Beth.

Then, Butch knows because he has to inhale the lessers. Ok, whatever. However, when Butch does this, he needs to be healed by Vishous. If Wrath has indeed been out killing lessers for four months, you’d think he’d have killed a lot. So Butch has to do his thing a lot. Which means a lot of recovery, and healing. He has a wife you know, okay, a shellan. Marissa would know. And she’d probably let it slip to someone else. And Vishous would’ve known too, as he would’ve had to heal Butch. Major gap here, but that’s like the first few pages, so we’ll ignore that.

I’m not really clear on the sympaths thing. I’m sure we’ll find out more about it later. I’m going to be honest and also say I pretty much forgot everything about the book already. I probably would’ve given it a C+ based on what I read. I mean, it’s good, don’t get me wrong – on the better side of average, a good, average read. Gets a C+ here. I don’t like what is going on with Phury. (And what is going on there?)

But I will say I LOVED Ehlena. She of course has a difficult life as all J.R. Ward heroines do, but she’s a real person, with a relatively normal struggle… and then she goes has a weak moment and steals drugs. (Ehlena is a nurse -she steals prescription meds for Rehv.) Of course she’s also fallen aristocracy. Whoops. There goes the normalcy. I don’t care. I heart Ehlena. I thought she was very realistic – until the breakup with Rehv. Yes, it made some sense because she was a nurse and so horrified by the drug overdose deaths, and finds out Rhev = the master dealer… but she was so emotionally invested at that point. I didn’t believe she could just walk away, or be so very unwilling to hear what he had to say. Then she bounces back a few chapters in – so it was all for dramatic effect, really.

Anyway, the strange and twisted courtship between Ehlena and Rehvenge is the cutest thing ever. I wish I could re-read all the scenes between them, but I can’t because the book was due. (Yes, I got it from the library. I’ve been drifting away from this series so I didn’t want to shell out the $25 for it – but also, I generally read books from the library. Libraries, being the wonderful, terrific things they are probably provide 70% of my leisure reading material, possibly more.)

My personal pet peeve is how spastic the characters are. Especially in their speech. And… I cannot imagine a brother, if he’s seriously as hardcore and badass as the book suggests, saying “oh em gee.” Even my uber geeky nerdboy friends don’t say “omg.”

Anyway, I love how Rehv and Ehlena are connected – they both feel alone, are drawn to each other, and find such comfort in the other’s presence. I loved their stilted courtship, and the conversations they had over the phone. It was so high school and cute. (I wonder if this is what the Twilight books are like – sans the high school/hormonal teenage emotion.) I really liked how into Ehlena Rehv was. There’s one line where it says his chest sparkled because he was so happy to be with her. It just makes you love them.

I will say that I liked Lover Avenged a lot more than the previous two books. I know it being in hardcover annoyed a lot of people, but …  well it didn’t bother me because I got it from the library! I also liked that Ehlena had purpose, and was necessary. She also really and truly didn’t need Rehv to survive. Ehlena and her father were lucky enough to inherit a good sum of money, and she was totally fine on her own. (Aside from that whole emotionally involved thing.)

And now, we come to what bothered me most in the book. Xhex being “lost.” Are you kidding me? Especially considering how Ehlena found Rehv? Even if there’s some weird thing that empath blood is different… Rehv can still track Xhex down. Why? Because he’s half vampire. Accordingly, he can sense his blood in Xhex. Thus, Rehv can pinpoint where Xhex is, which is how a number of other characters have been found previously in the series. Perhaps John doesn’t know this. However, I think this is a giant plot hole, and I really hate unnecessary or weak drama. Ridiculous. (I’m also not big on a John/Xhex romance, but then what do I know. I also hate the idea of a Teddy/Lucy romance, for SEP.)

I also think everything has gone a bit far. Lash can now shoot energy balls? (And I didn’t know about it until the end/the big fight because remember I don’t read Lesser stuff. How the hell can you win over that? And Lassiter just stands around being useless – but I hope he hooks up with some vampire girl. That would be fun. Also because it doesn’t seem like the end is near, so with a slew of more books in this never ending series, I can hope for all sorts of ridiculous things that have a high likelihood of happening.

And what is with Dr. Manny? I also think/hope that Tohr and Payne will get together.

Anyway, enough with my wild conjectures. What do you think about the series? What did you think?

Oh, and here are a couple of excerpts:  here and here.