J. R. Ward – “Lover Unbound”

11 Oct

GENRE: Romance / Paranormal
PUBLISHED: Signet Books, 2007

The back blurb:
“In Caldwell, New York, war rages between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will …

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous, son of the Bloodletter, possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father’s war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time – until a destiny he didn’t choose takes him into a future that cannot include her …”

This one is still more or less valid except that I the names and the strange spelling bother me only rarely now.

More thoughts:

  • There is much going on in this novel with many different point of views. It gave the story a broader scope which I liked.
  • There’s no POV by a Lesser. I don’t know what to think about that. Did Ward listen to complaints? I didn’t care much for the Lessers in the previous novels, mostly because their parts were seldom relevant for the story which hurt the image of the Lessers, IMO. I wanted their parts to be either more relevant or to be cut short so that the romance could have more room. Now there is nothing from their perspective and the pages this set free are given to side stories, not the romance.
  • The many (side) story lines distract from the romance. I’m not even sure that when you count the pages it would turn out 50 / 50%.
  • The romance was not very convincing. It’s the “clap-eyes-on-the-woman (eh, female), she’s-mine” premise and that’s as far as it goes to show that Vishous and Jane love each other. Not to mention the whole Butch-thing Vishous has going on.
  • After reading Lover Revealed, I was really interested in reading Vishous story. Sadly, there was not much of the things I wanted to read about in Lover Unbound.
  • I found Vishous’s flashbacks – horrible as his experiences were – rather boring and was very tempted to skip.
  • Jane started out as a strong woman. So in a way it’s much more depressing how “annihilated” she’s at the end.
  • I knew before starting about Jane’s fate so I wasn’t surprised. There had to be a solution on the paranormal level and it was okay. But, there is also a “symbolic” level here, and there Jane turned from a strong and successful woman of the world into something that’s only part of the world when Vishous touches her. She goes from very much of the world to barely there.
  • I can’t take the Scribe Virgin serious. I didn’t find her too hot before but now I think there’s too much changing of her powers or whatever for story purposes.
  • What is it with the changing rules in this world? I see no way to make it consistent with things from previous novels. It’s like the story has to get to a certain point and if there’s no way, well, let’s change a few things and there we are.
  • The Primale thing is just …
  • I’m not very interested in reading Phury’s story. There is such a thing as too much sequel baiting.
  • I can’t quite understand why Cormina is such a red flag. What do you expect from someone with her life? All she knows are the whitewashed ways of the Convent. How could she be different than the way she is? But then, thinking about Jane (or the other heroines, for that matter), I’m a bit apprehensive how she’ll turn out.

So, after all this, I didn’t like it, right?

No, wrong.

I liked it (there is that addictive crack thing). It’s just that I can’t take this world and the stories serious. I thought there were some interesting elements of world-building in this series, but now … I’m no longer comfortable calling it that. The world-building is popcorn, but the rest might still be crack.

Would I recommend this novel? Not as a stand alone.

Would I read this novel again? Probably yes.

Grade: 3,5 / 5


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