Apr 8, 2014

Review - The King - J.R. Ward

Title: The King
Author: J.R. Ward
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Release Date: April 1st, 2014
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #12
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Synopsis via Goodreads

Long live the King…

After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle--with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything--and everyone--at risk.

Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response--or the distance it creates between them.

The question is, will true love win out... or tortured legacy take over?

My rating:

So this was me when The King finally came out:
Guys. This was intense. I cried four times. Four. I almost never cry while reading anything, but for some reason the feels were just exploding out of me.

Hey, J.R.?
Jeez. Okay. Time to get my shit together and write something resembling a review. *clears throat*

Beth & Wrath
Aka Queen B and Khal Drogo (Ah, come on. Don't tell me when you picture Wrath you don't imagine him looking a little like Jason Momoa). Anyway, honestly, I'd forgotten how much I loved these two. I'm glad I'd just done a re-read of the entire series because there were a few references to Dark Lover that would've baffled the hell out of me. Case in point, a lovely conversation between Beth and Tohr.
[Beth] "'Do you still root for the monster?'

There was a pause. And then the Brother laughed in his trademark baritone. 'Are you telling me there's another Godzilla marathon on?'"

Beth and Wrath go through some serious issues throughout the entire book. At first, most of it just felt like arguing and I was starting to get tired every time I saw a shift to one of their POV's because I didn't want another argument or lengthy reflection on how the current argument was ruining their relationship. But then the love and general concern and all around stress of their situation kept shining through their rants, and it was all good. J.R. did an excellent job titling this book. Each problem Beth & Wrath had, each decision they made influenced the throne somehow and it was interesting to how they'd work through the problems. Which, of course they did. They were the reason for my continuous flow of tears, mostly towards the end when it got really sappy. (But in a good way.)

Like, you don't even understand. They are the main reason I was anticipating this book. I FELL FOR THEM SO HARD in Lover At Last. Each time either one of their POVs showed up, I did a little happy dance even though they were in the shittiest circumstances. If you read LAL, you know Sola's been kidnapped. Assail turns into a raging psychopath (which, you know, is just a euphemism for badass bonded male) to get her back. Is it bad that I enjoyed all the murder he executed on Sola's behalf? Yes? Well WHO GIVES A FUCK. They were awesome. All of their moments post-kidnapping were so heartbreaking and intense. Assail was gentle and kind to both Sola and her grandmother (who was HILARIOUS, btw). Watching the way he loved her with this quiet, brooding intensity made me swoon many, many times. Observe:
"Through the windows of the kitchen, he saw her [Sola] standing by the table, rifling through a suitcase as if searching for something she was leaving behind.

Out here, my love, he thought. What you have lost is out here.

And then her grandmother made an appearance with the cousins, and it was clear that the female did not approve of the leaving.

Just one more thing to adore about her."
I wanted them to stay together and live out their HEA, but sadly that just wasn't the case. I won't say more, but DAMN. Oh, and P.S. when is J.R. going to give them more air time? They deserve it!

Trez gets a lot of air time in this one. iAm gets just about as much, too, I guess. In LAL I was really curious to see where Trez and Selena's relationship would go, but by the time I was well into The King...meh. I stopped caring at some point, and found myself wanting to skip ahead to the parts about Assail/Sola and Beth/Wrath. There wasn't anything wrong with Trez's POV or storyline, though, I just tired of it fast. Like, I get it. He sleeps with everyone, he's wanted back in the Territory to be a sex slave, etc etc. Each time his POV arrived, that's all he went on about. It got too monotonous and I got bored. Even his thing with Selena was shadowed (no pun intended) by all of his misgivings. He wasn't good enough for her, he was dirty, but he wanted her so bad. He was a walking contradiction, nearly having sex with the woman at one point and then trying to get away from her the very next.

Another subplot that kinda faded for me. Maybe it's because none of these players have much air time, too. I don't quite know what to say about any of them. Xcor was...different. Not as hard, not as badass. Like a washed out version of himself, and not in a tortured hero kind of way. More like a "who the hell are you and what have you done with Xcor" kind of way. Layla definitely didn't have enough air time to make an impact, either. I mean, she made some big decisions regarding Xcor that are definitely going to be game changers, but I couldn't bring myself to care. And the decision that Xcor made towards the end (not gonna spoil it, but damn) just made me lose all respect for him as an antagonist (or at least an anti-hero).

The Brothers/Lassiter/John Matthew
In my opinion, the Brothers needed to be in the spotlight a bit more. They were just...there. A few would pipe in with a burst of individuality with a witty quip, but most of the time the Brotherhood functioned as a group. i.e. "The Brotherhood did this.." Or at least that's what it felt like. Lassiter, being the fabulous angel he is, commanded that spotlight a few times. His scenes were hilarious. John Matthew was pretty involved throughout the whole thing, especially in Beth's POV and more than a few times in Wrath's.

I know it sounds like I'm kind of going in on the subplots, so a couple people are wondering why I gave it 5 stars. Mostly for the effortless and engaging writing style that J.R. has. Even if I didn't care about Trez or Layla or Xcor, I still read it and loved it because there was no way I was missing out on anything J.R. wrote. Plus, the feels. The feels definitely make the 5 star rating, on both Beth/Wrath's end as well as Assail/Sola's end. The angst, the crying, the anger, the romance, the sappiness, the humor, even the arguing. All of that and just the fact that I enjoyed this book immensely. Couldn't put it down actually, and the thing's long as hell.

Now that The King's done. Who's up next? Trez? (Please, no.) Xcor? (Meh.) Assail? (HELL. FUCKING. YES!)

Dec 30, 2013

Hiatus - Duration Unknown

Yep, you read the title right. I'm taking a hiatus. Not sure for how long, though.

Here's the reason why: right now it feels like blogging has taken the ultimate back seat. It's something I have to remind myself to do. And when I actually sit down to do it it feels slightly forced. So I want to take time away to focus on other things. School, friends, family. Finding Waldo. Stuff like that, y'know?

All quirkiness aside, this doesn't mean I won't be reading every single day. I don't think anything could stop me from doing that. But I just need a breather from the pressure and resulting guilt of abandoning my blog for weeks at a time. Hope you guys can understand.

Until next time, blogosphere!

Dec 15, 2013

Life of a Blogger - TV SHOWS

http://novelheartbeat.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/lifeofblogger.png Life of a Blogger is a super awesome new meme started up by Jessi over at Novel Heartbeat. This week's topic is: TV Shows.

I don't watch TV as much as I used to. Which kinda sucks 'cause I feel like they keep getting better. Back in the day, I had an entire list of shows I watched and could rattle off but now I either 1) Don't have time for TV or 2) Forget that the show exists, miss several episodes, and never catch up. It's a sad endless cycle, really. As of right now, these are the shows I'm trying to consecutively watch:
  • The Vampire Diaries (CW) - Ever since I read the books, I've yet to miss an episode. Okay. That's a lie. I'm totally slacking right now, and I still have to watch the past 2 (?) episodes. BUT that might be because this season kinda blows so far
  • Awkward (MTV) - I'm a comedy addict. I need to laugh and this is by far the most hilarious show on TV right now. I thought it was totally stupid before I actually got into it, but I'm SO GLAD I did. It has such weird, yet relatable humor.
  • Nikita (CW) - ...I feel like the last person in the universe who still watches this. It's probably THE MOST UNDERRATED TV show out there. I know there's only like 6 episodes left until it's done forever, but I can't NOT watch it. So much action and guns and romance and complexity AHHH!
  • Witches of East End (Lifetime) - Seriously, everytime I sit down to watch this show I wonder why. The graphics suck. The acting is...meh and so is the plot. I think I still watch it for the love triangle and the deliciousness that is Killian. Call me shallow, but DAYUM that man is all kinds of attractive. 
  • Drop Dead Diva (Lifetime) - Back when I thought I wanted to be a lawyer (I think I still do?) this show was like my Holy Grail. It's funny, has a slightly fantasy-esque romance that's so sweet, and has the sassiest, most sophisticated protagonist I've seen in a while. I've NEVER BEEN BORED with this show and I always hate it when I miss an episode. It's on hiatus right now, though, but I won't be missing it when it comes back on.
  • True Blood (HBO) - Vampires. I know. But it's just so good! I'm still kinda pissed with how the last season ended. I won't spoil it if you haven't seen it yet, but GAHH! This show can be so gruesome and then so raunchy, but I keep watching it. Anywho, Eric Northman. YES. Did that make sense? No? K.
  • The Legend of Korra (Nickelodeon) - As an addict of Avatar: The Last Airbender, OF COURSE I'd watch this too. I mean, it's not as good, but I like it. The only thing is I have to watch nearly all of the episodes On Demand 'cause it comes on on Friday at around 6 or 7-ish? (correct me if I'm wrong lol) and I'm usually either eating, sleeping, or relishing my freedom from the monotonous prison that is high school.
  • Devious Maids (Lifetime) - I was iffy about this show at first. I'm not a big fan of whodunit plotlines. But now it has me hooked. Each maid's story is so complex and I find myself rooting for them and getting scared because I didn't know what would happen next. My favorite characters have to be Valentina and Remy. I loved their sorta-forbidden romance.
Then there's the shows that I don't currently watch, but turn to whenever they come on:
  • Big Bang Theory - Quirky geniuses & Sheldon Cooper. 'Nuff said.
  • The Voice - Singers who can actually sing. 'Nuff said.
  • Law & Order: SVU - SO DRAMATIC AND MOVING! *clears throat* ...'Nuff said.
  • Modern Family - Entertaining and strangely addictive. 'Nuff said.
  • One Tree Hill - Grew up with this show! 'Nuff said.
  • Pretty Little Liars - Intense and mysterious. Plus, I want their closets. 'Nuff said.
  • Family Feud - I seriously wanna go on this show someday!! 'Nuff said.
  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air - Um. Will Smith. 'Nuff said.
And just for the hell of it, there's the shows I used to watch when I was younger & sometimes turn to whenever they happen to show up because I still enjoy them (and I'm a giant kid) :
  • Charmed - Badass witches.
  • Zoey 101- This show was the reason I wanted to go to boarding school in Malibu. Alas, that never happened and I never got over it. Le sigh...
  • Drake and Josh - Friggin' legendary show, and the definition of my childhood!
  • Danny Phantom - I had the hugest crush on Danny Phantom. Don't judge me! Oh, and the theme song was cool and fun to sing.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender - If I could be a water-bender, I would. No question.
There's probably about a million more shows that I'm missing, but these were the ones that came to mind. So whadya think? We share any in common? Or do you just want to commend my taste in TV? Or do you want to recommend any shows? Or do you want me to stop asking questions that start with "or"? Okay. I'm done. :P