If you’re one of those rare few who haven’t read “The Black Dagger Brotherhood” series by J.R. Ward I’m here to give you a few reasons to dive into the books and seriously lose yourself. And yes, there are some Twilight references. At this time, I haven’t read a lot of other vampire-based series for comparison, though a lot of them are in my long ass “to be read” list.
1.) Unlike Twilight, there’s sex. Yes, some of it is cheesy, but damn, things are so much more interesting when sex is involved.
2.) J.R. Ward has created an interesting race of vampires. Unlike the Twilight vamps, Ward’s vamps must consume blood from the opposite sex of the same species. Yes, they can consume blood from humans, but it doesn’t give them the same strength or stamina that blood from their own kind does. And yes, they have fangs and boy, do they use ’em.
3.) When there’s an epic battle to be had, there’s actual bloodshed. No crappy “Let’s talk this out and introduce a million and one characters readers won’t care about in the end” crap. Ah, that reminds me, I should totally do a post entitled, “Why Breaking Dawn Sucked Ass.”
4.) Rhage, a member of the Brotherhood, turns into a virtual “Godzilla” when pissed off. He’s also the Tootsie pop sucking-eat everything in sight-needs to be on a runway-jokester.
5.) Zsadist, a member of the Brotherhood, has the voice of an angel and a reputation so horrible that even the other Brothers distrust and are slightly wary of him. It isn’t until his book, Lover Awakened, that we learn why Z acts the way he does. If you have even half a heart, his back story will break it into a million pieces.
6.) The Black Dagger Brotherhood has an interesting mix of romance, mythology, sex, action, and even humor. There’s some serious laugh out loud moments. Then there’s the swoon-worthy romance/sex moments. You’ll want a Brother of your own. Forget Edward Cullen! A Brotherhood cardboard cutout? Yeah, that’s a cardboard cutout I’d buy!
7.) So far, not too many topics are off limits. Abuse, homosexuality, BDSM, and rape have all been covered.
8.) Eight books into the series and it’s still going strong. The action and romance hasn’t slowed down or stopped at all.
9.) There’s a balance! Sometimes, the good guys don’t always win. Even though there’s plenty of ass kicking on the Brotherhood’s part, sometimes bad stuff happens to them too.
10.) The king of the his race, Wrath, is a bad ass…who ends up crying in front of his female.
11.) Though not sanctioned by J.R. Ward or her publisher, there is a great role play group on Twitter to keep you entertained and refresh your memory of all things Brotherhood. The role play group even has a website you can check out.
12.) Can you imagine a bad ass warrior sparkling in sunlight? No, neither can I. The vampires in Ward’s world don’t sparkle, nor can they go out in the daylight unless they want to burn to a crisp.
13.) The Lessers are an interesting group of bad guys in Ward’s world. They are de-souled, impotent but super strong humans who are created by The Omega (the brother to the vampire’s creator, The Scribe Virgin) by removing their hearts. They bleed black blood and because they are created, there is an endless supply. The Brotherhood is more limited to their warriors.
14.) The Brothers aren’t perfect. In a way, each one of them has their own demon haunting them. They have flaws and imperfections. Sometimes you just need that in a story to keep a person intrigued and captivated. Who wants an ‘all-perfect-I-never-do-anything-wrong-or-make-mistakes’ character?
15.) While each Brother has a book devoted to him, I was afraid that once their book was over, they’d be pushed into the background. So not true in the Brotherhood ‘verse. Each book contains all the Brothers, yes, some more than others, but you won’t find yourself missing them once their book is done with.
16.) In the beginning of the series, Tohrment, a member of the Brotherhood, is the only mated male. He and his shellan (wife) Wellsie serve as a model of what some of the other Brothers secretly want… even if they don’t realize it.
17.) The friendship of Brother Vishous and human cop Butch is just so priceless. I don’t want to say too much and give anything away, but they trade barbs and share a love of baseball.
18.) When a series introduce new characters it’s sometimes hard to accept them into the fold. Not so with The Black Dagger Brotherhood. Each time a new character is introduced, I fall in love with them. Well, maybe not the bad guys! We’re supposed to hate them, right? From John Matthew to Qhuinn and Blay to Xhex and Rehvenge… sigh.
19.) The females in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series are not your standard, run of the mill, cookie cutter style heroines. Many of them are strong, opinionated females who give their males a run for their money. No “woe is me, save me” bullshit here. In fact, one of the females can kick some serious ass. Bella saw past Zsadist’s hard exterior and didn’t give up on him. Beth took on the shocking new role as queen of her previously unknown race. Mary stood up to Rhage and faced his inner demon head-on. Xhex, long ago abandoned and quite a tom boy, let down her defenses in order to finally truly be happy in her life.
20.) While I fully admit to having a hard time getting through the first book, Dark Lover, once I did finish it I didn’t want to stop! I have since grown to love Wrath and chalk my problem up to not being in a complete “reading mode” so to speak. I went through each book quickly and once I had to call Amazon customer service and asked them to change books in my order because I had to go to the local Borders to pick up Lover Revealed. I just couldn’t wait for delivery! In other words, the books are addicting as hell! I really need to do a reread of the entire series now.
Do you read The Black Dagger Brotherhood? Do you enjoy it? Which Brother is your favorite?