Saturday, March 18, 2017

Dark Lover - J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood #1)

Dark Lover (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #1)Vampires are not my thing.  They never have been.  But there's a category for a vampire romance in the Unapologetic Romance Readers' 2017 reading challenge, so I perused the lists of vampire romances that people love, and Dark Lover basically topped them all.  And so off to the library I went.

This book is...interesting.  On one hand, the romance is mostly okay, so that's a plus.  On the other hand, everything else is so harebrained and way-out-there crazy that I couldn't help but giggle to myself the entire time I was reading this.  It starts on the very first page when the heroine's father, Darius, is trying to get one of his buddies to agree to help Beth (the heroine) through her upcoming change into a vampire, as she is unaware that she's half-vamp.  The buddy's name?  Wrath.  And there are more of them!  Tohrment.  Rhage.  Vishous.  Zsadist. These are really their names.  And of course they all dress in black leather and carry around an entire armory with them.  And they can teleport!  Yes.  It's true.  And they inhabit some vampire society in which females are kept out of sight, which is totally weird and very medieval.  Not cool.  And apparently vamps can only actually feed on each other for real nourishment, not humans?  But that doesn't make any sense.  (Yes, I'm talking about vampires making sense.)  Because then it's just kind of an endless circle of sucking on each others' wrists/necks/whatever, without any new nutrients actually entering the system?  How does that work?  So confusing.  So weird.  And Wrath is apparently blind but he never actually has any trouble seeing things except to cut up his meat at dinner(because vampires eat normal dinners, too).

But, as I mentioned, the romance is okay.  It's not great.  There are definitely still issues with it.  Like how Wrath is supposed to be the biggest, baddest vampire, but turns into a cuddly puppy as soon as Beth enters the picture.  And how Beth and Wrath fall in love pretty much the instant they lay eyes on each other, and instantly do the sexing.  Okay, I take it back, the romance wasn't really that good.  It had its moments, when the two of them were acting relatively normal, but the premise that their relationship is based on is just so weird that, the more that I think about it, the worse it seems in retrospect.  Like, Wrath was her dad's friend.  And he's like four hundred years old!  Why is it that beings that are centuries old are constantly falling in love with twenty-somethings?  That's just weird, y'all.  Talk about an age gap.  And Wrath acts like he's twenty-something, too, down to the way he dresses and talks, despite the fact that he's literally seen centuries go by.

Oh, and there's a subplot that revolves around a bunch of soulless and undead humans who study martial arts (yes, seriously) trying to kill all the vamps.  (Again--seriously.)

So, yeah. This book was hokey.  I enjoyed parts of it while actually reading it, but looking back on it, those parts are fading away fast, because the more I think about it the more outlandish and bizarre it all was, and I can't really say that it was good.  Overall, this reads like something a teenage goth would have written on Quizilla in the early 2000s, though this admittedly probably has better spelling and grammar and isn't written in the second person.  (Thank the stars for that.)

2 stars out of 5, and I feel like that might be me being generous.

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