Reviewed by Susan65
Title: The Shadows
Author: J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #13
Heroes: Trez/Selena, iAm/Catra
Length: 582 Pages
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: 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 Serena 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…
Review: I was unsure of Trez and iAm before this book, but I really ended up loving them both. They were, in many way, a repeat of the Phury and Zsadist story-line, wherein one brother devoted his life to the other. The similarities end there, but the premise was familiar. The prologue gave me everything I needed to know that I was in for a good story, and I wasn’t wrong. Just as I know many people will hate the ending, which I don’t think was wrong either, it just was the way it was supposed to be…and I accept that.
Trez and Selena have one of the most romantic relationships in this series. Their whirlwind love affair and tremendous sex was the stuff of fairy tales. I loved nearly every minute of their courtship, and I found myself dreading where it was going. I knew how it ended, as I had read a couple reviews beforehand, but I still read every word because I didn’t want to miss anything. The love Trez and Selena had for one another was only rivaled by the brotherly love between Trez and iAm. I became a huge fan of the Shadows and can’t wait to catch up with them in future books.
iAm had a huge role in this installment, but his love story seemed almost secondary compared to Trez’s. I thoroughly enjoyed all the plot twists that came into play which were necessary to settle the issue of Trez being forced into the role of the Anointed One. It wasn’t a huge surprise to see how it played out, but it was still interesting and kept me reading. I liked Catra okay, but she was kind of stale and boring. Which, incidentally, was exactly what iAm needed. Trez approved and so do I.
s’Ex is one of my new favorite characters. My heart really broke for the male, and I found myself wishing him his own book. He might not be a major player in the grand scheme of things, but he is definitely a high quality secondary character. I just wish the final showdown between the Queen and s’Ex was on page. It would have been amazing to see her finally get her just desserts, especially at his mighty hand.
Rhage has many issues that still need to be worked out, and I am hopeful we get to the bottom of this in the next book. He is a favorite Brother of mine, and I can’t stand the idea of him conflicted. Guess I will have to wait another year to find out.
What I was so looking forward to, and severely missed, was the Qhuinn and Blay continuation. What we get instead is a threesome with Layla. I have no idea why the author couldn’t write a gay couple without a female playing such a prominent role, but it drove me bonkers. Not once was there a scene between just the two males, it was always with Layla, and that was just not acceptable to me. I find myself disliking the Chosen Layla just because she forced herself into their relationship and now with the young on the way, I don’t see that changing…and it makes me sad.
Throe turned into a real bastard and Xcor got a conscience. Who knew? I loved Xcor, I have always loved a male with a disability and even though his issue is minor, with his scared and deformed face, I found my heart breaking every time he overheard someone call him ugly. I adore him and I can’t wait for him to finally get his chance with Layla.
So yeah, another year to wait for the next installment, and I’m looking forward to it. I guess that says something about the series when, after thirteen books, I still find myself excited to read on.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*