Reviewed by: Krista
Rating (out of 5): 3 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it will make reference to previous books in the series. If you haven’t started the series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Dark Lover.
At the beginning of the The Shadows Trez and iAm are viscerally aware that their time is almost up. Trez is facing the impending mating with the s’Hisbe princess and eventual sequestered servitude. iAm has to watch helplessly as his beloved brother tries to stave off his fate, knowing that it could cost him his sanity and life. To make things worse, Trez has fallen in love with the Chosen Selena but then feels totally unworthy because of everything he has done to corrupt his body. So pretty much no one is a good place at the beginning of this book.
The Shaodws is extremely ambitious. Not only does it deal with the Shadow brothers both facing a future they see no respite from, as well as Selena having fallen in love with Trez but Trez is unwilling to even see her anymore, but there’s so much more: Qhuinn trying to save his brother Luchas (but all Luchas wants is for his life to be over), Layla has fallen in love with (and made a deal with) one of her King’s worst enemies while pregnant with Qhuinn’s baby, Assail and his drug empire, s’Ex the s’Hisbe enforcer/executioner, the restart of the Brotherhood training program, the Band of Bastards, Abalone and his daughter Paradise, the Lessers, the s’Hisbe and a whole chunk of things I can’t get into because of spoiler territory. A reader can definitely get overwhelmed by all the developments that occur in The Shadows. That being said Ward doesn’t let her series stagnate, a common occurrence in a long running series.
If there is one overarching theme in The Shadows it’s hope, or the lack there of. There is tons of heartache and unfortunately not everyone is going to get their happily ever after. In any other traditional romance novel everyone would get their happy ending but this is a J.R. Ward book; I don’t know if I have forgiven her yet for Wellsie.
Now to be honest I didn’t really get into The Shadows–it may be for what I said before. There was too much going on; I probably didn’t even cover half of what was going down with the Brotherhood. There was so much that I didn’t really connect with anything. Not to say I didn’t like it, I did but not as much as I have in the past. She did add a lot of tidbits that I got excited about. For example, when Assail went and took care of his own dirty work–Damn. Also a character I originally liked and felt for is now a slimy ass hat. She also had me in tears a few times but I have to admit at times I skimmed. No throwing your books at me—I’m sorry. iAm’s happily ever after was so quick it was like they meet and, BAM, things worked out. This was not what I have come to expect from Ward.
I would still recommend picking The Shadows up for simply to see where the Black Dagger Brotherhood members are going. But maybe lower your expectations.
Sexual content: Graphic sex