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Thursday, September 29, 2016

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for The Shadows by J.R. Ward @JRWard1 @PRHAudio

TITLE: The Shadows
SERIES: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book #13
AUTHOR: J.R. Ward 
NARRATOR: Jim Frangione
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 31, 2015
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 22 hrs and 8 mins 
GENRE: Romance/Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Two brothers bound by more than blood fight to change a brutal destiny in the heart-wrenching new novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood by #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward.

Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on... except for his brother, iAm.

iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Selena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around... but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating.

Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice...


This book was a very bittersweet addition to the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I had a few reservations about this one going in, because I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy a book that centralized around Trez and iAm. We did not know much about the brothers, except that they were loyal to Rehvenge and Xhex. Of the two brothers, I preferred the quiet one, iAm. I wasn’t too crazy about Trez and his promiscuity.

In a nutshell, bad-boy Trez meets The Chosen Selena and falls for her. She’s too good for him, but he gets her anyway. Is he worthy of her? I struggled with this one!! I really wanted to swoon over their relationship, but I can’t help feeling that Selena would have made a better partner for iAm! A part of me feels that Trez was not 100% deserving of Selena and his “happily ever after,” so I am actually satisfied with where Ward went with their story. WARNING, SPOILER AHEAD: 

I loved learning more about The Shadows and their history, and with the Shadow Queen wanting to get her hands on Trez and get him back into the Shadow Territory to be mated to the princess. I am very happy that iAm gets the “happily ever after” that he so richly deserves! He has spent his lifetime putting Trez first, so it is nice to see him so happy and in love.

I was thrilled that Ward brought my favourite brother, Rhage, more into the forefront with this installment. He clearly is wrestling with his emotions. Is it just his guilt over being given a second chance with Mary while Trez loses his one true love, or is it something more? I guess time will tell.

Layla and Xcor are still on that see-saw, where they seem to be going in opposite directions. Now that Layla is actually expressing an interest in their relationship and taking it to the next level, Xcor is freaking out and pulling away and trying to get her out of his mind!

We are introduced to Abalone’s daughter, Paradise, who will be featured in the first installment of the spin-off BDB series, Black Dagger Legacy. I like her! She was trained in the Glymera ways of propriety, and she gives her poor father a near heart-attack when she tells him that she wants to learn to fight in the BDB’s training centre now that females are entitled to apply. She is another strong female, and she wants more to her life than just to be mated to her best friend, Peyton, who is the one she is unofficially berothed to. I am looking forward to reading more about her. We also meet Craeg, who is a hunky stranger who attends at Wrath’s mansion to pick up an application form. Paradise is a little star-struck when she meets him, and it looks like there will be a love triangle between Paradise, Craeg, and Peyton.

I have never had anything but high praise for Jim Frangione, who has been the only narrator of the BDB series. However, there are multiple inconsistencies in pronunciation in this installment. I counted five: Xhex (now "Hex" instead of "Zhex"), s’Ex, Xcor (now "Cor" instead of "Scor"), Havers (now with a short “a” vowel sound), and Primale (now "Pruh-MAH-lee" instead of "PRI-male"). I assumed that since the last 12 books were all consistent in these pronunciations that he is incorrect in this particular narration. Not so, at least not according to this interview with Jim Frangione. I really dislike narration inconsistencies! If the change in pronunciation was due to Ms. Ward's wishes, shouldn't that have been changed long before now?? Why was this not caught sooner? My opinion is that he should have been permitted to continue to pronounce the names as he has in the previous 12 books, or the previous narrations should be edited for consistency!


4 stars! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR list if you enjoy paranormal romances!


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