Book Review: The Beast by J.R. Ward

The Beast
Black Dagger Brotherhood #14
Author: J.R. Ward
Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: April 5th 2016
Review Source: NAL

Rhage and Mary return in a new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series “so popular, I don’t think there’s a reader today who hasn’t at least heard of [it]” (USA Today).
Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood. After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself…

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites, but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect—or at the very least, perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side and his King and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can’t understand—or control—the panic and insecurity that plague him…

And that terrifies him—as well as distances him from his mate. After suffering mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities—and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary’s. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from...

So here we are, another day, another Black Dagger Brotherhood book. I was looking forward to reading The Beast (Black Dagger Brotherhood #14) by J.R. Ward for so long. Not only do I look forward to any BDB book, but I loves me some Rhage, so I was so excited when this was released. I immediately jumped right into it as soon as it arrived on my Nook. As fans of the series know this was Rhage’s second book (J.R. Ward has begun a second round of books in the series about each character) and we were now moving a step up in his relationship with his shellan (term for a vampire’s wife in the series) Mary, and their desire to have a family.

I will admit in the first quarter of the book I was a little underwhelmed, which totally bummed me out because I absolutely love this series. It/Rhage just came across as so melancholy in tone. Rhage who is our usual goofball was being a total downer and we didn’t really know why. The reason is revealed thankfully not too far into the book, but it still gave me cause to feel a little disconnected to the characters and the plot at first. Then we were also introduced to yet another sub-plot. I have to also admit that all the additional sub-plots that have popped up into this series in the last few books have been exhausting and rather annoying. The reason I loved the first go round of this series was because they focused on the brothers so much. Yes, there were the Lessers (the evil army they are fighting a war against), but we got to spend so much time with the brothers in those original books. Then J.R. Ward started adding sub-plots. Okay, I can handle a new sub-plot in each book to keep things new, fresh and interesting, but in this book alone I counted at least four additional sub-plots on top of the Rhage and Mary storyline. The jumping around to different characters and scenarios was giving me whiplash.

With that said I did feel like once I got past the first quarter of the book things really started to get interesting and much, much better. The sub-plot with the character Assail (which at first I couldn’t stand) actually really got good, whereas I could have done without the one with the human girl and the reporter. The story with Layla had its good and bad parts for me. I’m over the whole thing with her and Xcor being dragged out. It has been dragging out over several books now already. It’s like let something happen to bring this thing front and center or just forget about it. I’m slowly getting over it and I don’t want to because I think it could play out to be a really juicy bit.

I don’t want to give away details because that would obviously just ruin it for you. I still think it is a must read book. I love this series and no matter what I will continue with it until the end. This book wasn’t bad at all, like I said it really did pick up and I got super into it after the initial first few chapters, I just wish J.R. Ward would concentrate on the sub-plots she has already started instead of adding new ones with each book and then dragging out the old ones forever. I mean, if she doesn’t start taking care of what is already there while adding new ones, we are going to end up with 100 sub-plots in the upcoming books and the chapters about the actual brothers will be almost nonexistent. This is the Black Dagger Brotherhood series and I would like to focus back more on them.

Overall I give this particular book four stars. Again, I loved the book, I love Rhage, I just wish there had been more about just him and not so much on other characters who aren’t brothers.

I agree with Pauline 100% when it comes to what she said about The Beast. I was "bored" with the 1st half of the book in a sense. I'm use to so much with these Vampires and Ward took a calm route with the beginning of The Beast. All the sub-plots and secondary characters I could really do without sometimes. I was expecting more about Rhage and his Mary and I didn't get it till sometime after the half way mark of the book. And that's when the magic happened. What I love about Ward and BDB was strong in the second half of the book and at this point I could not put the book down for a second. So this is why I agree with Pauline also in giving the book a 4 star rating. And as always, can't wait for the next installment in this BDB world.

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