Well, now that NaNo is over (more about that on a separate post), I can finally get back to reading. It’s been a tough month watching my TBR pile grow without making a decent dint; however, December is here, and it’s time to get back to those books all waving and shouting ‘pick me, pick me’.
And so it was that The Beast won the honour for the first book. I’ve been dying to read this, but was waiting for it to come down in price – £8.99 for an ebook is a bit rich for my tastes. So when a friend told me it had been reduced to £5.99, I snapped it up.
The Beast revisits Rhage and Mary, a couple we haven’t focused on since Book 2 in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series – Lover Eternal – and yet here we are at Book 14. That’s a long time to get back to one of my favourite characters and I couldn’t wait to spend time with Rhage once more.
I have to be honest. I didn’t love this book. Far from it. The story felt contrived, almost unnecessary in the overarching plot, and is far from Ward’s best work. Even the sex scenes which have always been super hot in any BDB novel were unnecessary. They didn’t progress the story one iota. It was as though Ward was working to a formula which said ‘Okay, we’re in Chapter X, time for a sex scene.’
One of my biggest beefs was the child we meet who is a resident of Safe Place where Mary Works. She had probably the worst character name I’ve ever come across – Bitty. And every time her name was mentioned, I was yanked out from the story. I just couldn’t take that name seriously.
However, there was one thing that saved this book from completely tanking; the side story of Assail. Now that was a good storyline with huge promise and I can’t wait for Assail to get his own book. We also saw a little of Layla and Xcor in The Beast, lining the journey up nicely for their story, due out in 2017 entitled The Chosen.
In summary, the side plots were much stronger than the main couple we were focusing on. I do hope that JR Ward doesn’t take the BDB the way of other series which simply go on too long, with no end in sight.
Will I buy the next book? Yes, of course I will – I’ve been anticipating Layla and Xcor’s story for some time now. However, there will come a time, if the storylines don’t start to grip me, that I will wave goodbye to the Black Dagger Brotherhood.
But that time has not yet arrived.