Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Review: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

So I think I'm in love. This series has started with much promise. The world is unique with its own mythology & terminology. I am a major fangirl of vampire romances, but have had major issues in the last year or two with certain commonalities within the subgenre that really bother me. I am SO happy to report that this debut features none of them!

A vampire world wherein the vampires are proud of their race, ie: don't feel like they need to be redeemed or need to regain their soul. A world where the humans who live in the vampire community are cut from whole cloth, undamaged & strong. There will be an ongoing external villain or two. Plus chances for conflicts within the community.

Best of all (& my personal favorite) tortured heroes aplenty. Two odd things. One, which I mentioned yesterday, is the names of the men. I ranted at length on this issue, so scroll down if you want to know what my issues are.

Two, the warriors' speech rubbed me the wrong way for most of the book. At first I couldn't quite work through what my problem was. Their diction & word choices simply sounded odd. Finally, last night I realized that while it sounded odd to me, the speech patterns & word choices are similar to young men my son knows. So, while they may sound odd to old, doddering moms like me J.R. Ward seems to have caught authentic rhythms & patterns used by young men.

The other problem I had with this story is the time frame. The hero & heroine meet, have great sex, fall in love, get married & become King & Queen in roughly two weeks. Initially the heroine thinks the hero is a stalker & her friend the local cop thinks the hero is a drug dealer for most of the book. I have problems with this, but since this (the short time frame) happens frequently in romances it isn't really a huge deal for me.

It has been difficult to write this without dissolving into a rant against other series. I wanted to detail Dark Lover's strengths & weaknesses, not write things like "well, the heroine wasn't this or this so I really enjoyed it." Strong, rounded characters, tortured heroes, dastardly villains, excellent world building, the promise of plenty more to come. I can't wait! Besides, when was the last time you read a vampire romance where the vampires listened to rap, drive Cadillac Escalades & are Red Sox fans !!


Tara Marie said...

Wasn't this a fun book. It certainly lived up to the expectations, which is what I emailed J.R. Ward when I entered a contest on her website.

It's funny I had no problem with the pattern of speech, hip hop music etc. For some reason it fit for me. Though I can be extremely picky about these things in other books.

I agree the time period is short and yet, that worked for me also. Beth is 1/2 vampire, she's going through the "transition" the whole thing seemed to be on speed.

I have to say, I'm really looking forward to the next in the series.

Have you tried Lynn Viehl's Darkyn series? I've read both of her books and have found them extremely interesting, but they have much darker storylines and plots.

Bookwormom said...

I don't have problems with hip hop or the language, etc. I loved this book & will recommend it to others. Funnily enough I emailed JR Ward last night, regarding the deleted scene (which I thought would have explained viewpoints of certain characters, IMO). Somehow I missed the contest & will have to go back & see what's what.

I have Lynn Viehl's first book, but not the second. They sound good & also have 'good buzz'so to speak.