Sunday, September 3

Lover Awakened by J.R. Ward

I'm at a loss as to what to say about this book. Everything feels like a spoiler.

Once again I'm left thinking "I should hate this book." But I don't, I loved it. The names are still ridiculous, I hate the word "shitkicker", the "leathers" are such a cliche, the tortured vampire hero is an even bigger cliche. Bonded, mates, the needing, yikes. Yet it all works.

We met Bella in Lover Eternal, and she was already falling for Zsadist. She's part of the vampire aristocracy and he thinks completely out of his league. This book opens with Bella having been kidnapped and missing for 6 weeks and Z has been frantically searching for her. When he finally does he pushes her toward his brother (Phury), but she only want Z. The story unfolds from there, we have flashback to Zsadist's period of captivity, we see what torture he's been through that's made him what he is. Yet, I'm left wondering about his name, is he really a sadist? I don't think so. After years of abuse he correlates pain with feelings and emotions.

So, he's running for all he's worth away from Bella, she's sucking him back toward her and this makes him feel again, more than pain. She goes through her first period of needing (when vampire women are fertile) and this completely bonds them together. This needing thing is completely over the top, but still works, why?? I don't know.

Anything else feels like a spoiler. You have to read it to find out how much love transforms him.

There are glimpses of Wrath/Beth and Rhage/Mary.

John hasn't gone through his transition and he's still a 90 lb. weakling. But we do find out who is father is.

Torh and Wellsie's story continues.

What the heck is going on with Vishous and Butch and Marissa?

Rehvenge (the Reverend), Bella's brother is an important part of the story, he's a symphath (check out the glossary for an explanation).

Butch and Marissa are next.

Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Another book that leaves me somewhat speechless, but at least I think I can come up with a review that is somewhat coherent.

Sascha Duncan is a Psy a race of people who have basically banned all emotions in the attempt to stop violence, of course by banning all emotions they've basically created a race of unfeeling psychopaths. Sascha's problem--she feels emotions, but has learned to hide this.

Lucas Hunter is the alpha of the DarkRiver leopard pack, actually he shapeshifts into a panther. He's investigating the serial killing of changelings by a member of the Psy and he's doing this under the guise of a business arrangement with the Duncan family business.

Ms. Singh's world building is handled smoothly and flows into an alternative world filled with Psy, changelings and humans (though we don't see humans in this story). The attraction between Sascha and Lucas is instantaneous and slowly builds through the story. The story's conflict isn't really between them, the conflict is dealing with the Psy without them realizing it. The Psy function and live through an intricate system called PsyNet. Kind of like what we know as the internet yet instead of connecting computer networks, they're connecting brain functions in a telepathic way. This becomes an important part of the story as Sascha needs a telepathic network in order to survive. They mystery is handled well, the story flows smoothly. The secondary characters are well developed and interesting.

This is a wonderfully told story, I'm looking forward to the next in the series.


sybil said...

YAY! Glad you liked it. It is hard to talk about without giving stuff away!

I hope to get to StS soooooon!

Tara Marie said...

Sybil, you're going to love StS.

Thanks for the link, I've had a ton of hits since you posted it.

Devonna said...

These both sound great! I haven't read any of the J.R Ward books yet ~ but they're all on my wishlist.

I don't know when I'll get to StS ~ I'm trying to get through my September TBR pile first.

Nikki said...

I feel the same way. When I started writing this review for my blog I called it--How do you write a review when you are speechless!!

I don't know what to write because I don't want to ruin it for anyone!!

I am with you...I can't believe all the stuff in the book--The pain (Zs), The Reverend, Butch and Marissa, John, the Needing, Z captivity. I tried to tell my husband about it but it all just sounds so strange.

J.R. Ward is amazing. How does she do it?? How does she make it work. There are no other books like this. How does she talk topics that are completely off limits for other romances and make them work(acceptable)??

nath said...

It seems a lot of ppl have been anticipating this book and have been reading it during the week-end :)(I'm talking of Lover Awakened) I enjoyed it as well :)

by the way, spoilers about John, don't read if you don't wanna.


John is not the son of X, he is the reincarnation of X.


okay, semi-spoilers :P I'll be blogging about the book today too :)

Zeek said...

oooo I'm so jealous of everyone ... soon, though, soon!

Zeek said...

btw, Nath, I haven't been ignoring you I just can't post on your blog till you allow anonymous posters OR beta blogger gets it's kinks worked out!

Tara Marie said...

Devonna, definitely give them a try, love to hear your thoughts.

Nikki, It's probably the hardest book I've tried to review.

Nath, Where the heck did I miss that spoiler??

Zeek, Make sure you post your thoughts about the book.

nath said...

Okay ppl... major spoiler, I'm going to answer Tara Marie's question :)


Just so we're clear... when I said X, I didn't mean Mr. X, but Darius :) (just in case it wasn't clear)... so at the end of Dark Lover, we see the Scribe Virgin with Darius in I don't know where... the Fade? anyway, Scribe Virgin gives Darius a "reward" as in another life: "Here is what you will sacrifice. You will have no conscious memory of her. You will not be as you are now. And I require one token of faculty." Of course, Darius accepts and Scribe Virgin says at the end of the chapter: "I give you life anew, Darius, son of Marklon. May you find what you seek in this incarnation."

basically, p. 387 :P I read Lover Eternal first, so I wasn't aware of this until I read Dark Lover... but everything makes sense when you know :)

syb said...

LOL I was wondering what you meant nath cuz Mr X isn't dead yet... I didn't think ;)

But the other I knew so hee

LOL glad to send people your way hun.

CindyS said...

Exactly. I'm so in love with Z I can barely stand that the book is done.

Also, re-read the glossary because there is a definition of what John is.

Also - did you know that Revhenge was ****** because that was a complete shock to me. Weird how I didn't pick that up!!

Loved Butch and V's scene and yeah, definitely some manly love going on ;)


Rosario said...

Nah, not sadist. Calling him Mhasochist would have been closer to the mark, IMO.

And I totally agree: I shouldn't have liked it, either. I kept thinking it as I read, and even as I thought it, I was loving it all. Weird.

Ok, the spoilers. What gave me the clue to who John was was the inclusion of the word wahlker in the glossary (or is it whalker? whatever). I kept thinking it must apply to someone!

Tara Marie said...

Cindy, see I didn't read the glossary again, so I missed it.

Rosario, I agree he's more of a "Mhasochist". It's incredible how much should be annoying but isn't.