The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13)
by J.R. Ward
published by Penguin
Genre: Adult, PNR, Paranormal
Summary (Goodreads): 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...
My Thoughts: I haven't been consistent in reading this series. After the first 5-6 I have started to just read the ones that focus on a character that I am interested in. Then even when I'm interested I still skip a lot of the secondary stories that are setting up future books. Going to start with those side stories.
I know I may be in the minority but I am not interested in Xcor and Layla. Many were wanting them as the next book and I'm glad they are not. I haven't liked Layla since she first showed up in this series and she hasn't done anything to make me change my mind. It kind of sucks because I like Xcor and the Bastards but since all their story has Layla in it I skimmed/skipped all the pages devoted to them.
Assail, is there a point to this character. I did not find anything redeeming about him. He spent most of what I read sniffing drugs up his nose. Even when he was trying to correct things with the brother I wasn't buying it. Just seems like a liability and one that may not last long if he doesn't change soon.
Paradise. I was hoping for better. She is the first main character in Ward's new Brotherhood Legacy series that focuses on the new training program. When I read the blurb for Blood Kiss (Goodreads) I was interested. Unfortunately, this character was boring. I get the trying to go for a strong female who is trying to break out of the old ways. The problem was the trying, that's what it felt like. I'm hoping Butch's story and maybe other new characters can carry this book better than she can.
Iam, Trez's brother. I know this is called The Shadows but the book was really about Trez and Selena with very little page time to Iam and Catra. I liked them as a couple even if it was expected. They worked well and could have been a great couple if they were fleshed out more.
Trez and Selena. I went into this book knowing that many, many people were unhappy with it so I wasn't surprised by the ending even without specific on why they were unhappy. This was a well written story for this couple. There were many great scenes, including Trez riding the roller coaster 4 times even though he hates them and when all the women get together to dress Selena. Xhex made that whole scene.
The one thing that did not work was the ending. I wasn't upset or emotional as everyone else but I understood completely. This series is marketed as Paranormal Romance (PNR). There are certain rules when it comes to romance books. Number one being your main character gets an HEA/HFN in that book. It didn't happen here with Trez/Selena and since they had the majority of page time, they are the ones you were expecting to get an HEA.
The next book is about Rhage and Mary called The Beast. I've always like Rhage so I'll probably be reading it. I also read many good things about the previous book The King that makes me think I'll try to fit it into my reading schedule at some point.