I have had to read this book twice before writing my review. I'm an ambivalent JR Ward reader. I'm not as crazy/gungho as so many are, but I don't hate her either.
I've been trying to wrap my head around the story and here are a few thoughts.
What I Liked:
John/Qhuinn/Blaylock's relationship-Boy, oh boy how much has changed since these 3 young men were introduced. The choices made, the sacrifices given and the way they are so true to eachother. *sigh* So sad and yet so not all at the same time. Makes my heart ache thinking about them.
Cormia-That poor woman. So different from the other Chosen. All she wants is to EXPERIENCE things. Was Phury the right man for her? I'd have to give that a big thumbs down.
The Brothers-Ms. Ward may have a hard time writing a "true" romance, but she does understand the depths of friendship. Wowzers. The things those men go through for each other is pretty humbling.
Rehv-Um, wow. I knew he was messed up, but I didn't realize he was messed up until this book. Evil and scary and wow.
John Matthew & Xhex. Okay, so her name is beyond stupid, but the chemistry between them? My question is this. Why is JM lusting after her all of a sudden? When did that happen?
Phury's addiction-Did I like him? Not really, but I think the way the addiction was handled was well done. I know a lot people complained about him whining all the time and I admit that got very tired very quickly. However, I can understand why he felt the way he did as well. She explained his past, the beliefs of his family and why all the messed up crap happened. His life has never been easy. He might not have gone through what Z did, but his life was still horribly messed up.
What I didn't like-
The Lessening Society-There's gotta be a better way of writing that group of people. Here they're supposed to be this unending evil that the BDB are constantly fighting, but they come across as pretty pathetic.
The Omega's Son-Color me not surprised. If I'd have known she was going to do that, I'd have called it way back when. If it'd been Qhuinn? Yeah, surprised would have been me. :)
The Door-Anyone figure out what the sign was when Qhuinn had his "experience"? That was annoying.
And I did want to bring something up. On another review somewhere, someone asked why Qhuinn was treated so badly by his parents when vampire children aren't common. I was thinking about this while reading the book the 2nd time and something clicked. A. He's different. Having any difference, especially in the high vampire society is a big, bad no-no. B. His parents already have 2 children. It's not like he's the only child of the family. I realized that though it is odd that his parents hate him so with no REAL reason, it's not uncommon for a younger child to be not so important if the elder is considered the best. If that makes sense.
All in all, I greatly enjoyed this book. I find it interesting that the series is going more Urban Fantasy & less Paranormal Romance. I think that's something Ms. Ward specializes in. The romance in LE was almost nonexistent. I'm not all that bummed, because I always thought the romance in the books was lacking.
My grade? C+