I was going to do a reading wrap up post, but then I thought I should probably do a post where we could all discuss The Beast by J.R. Ward. Then in a bold move, I figured I would just combine the two. Problem solved.
So, I finished up a re-read of Anne Bishop‘s Marked in Flesh. I really liked it, but I can honestly say that there were a few parts where I started to get mixed up a bit (mostly with locational things, like who was in which town). Other than that, it was a great story with a lot going on. It did seem like the end of a story-arc, but it would be so, so easy to see the series continue on indefinitely. And I am still the first in line for a Vlad-centric book.
And then it was on to Private Eye from Alyssa Day, which is the second book in her Tiger’s Eye Mystery series. I loved me some Jack in the Warriors of Poseidon series, and I was more than a little disappointed when his book (Shifter in Atlantis) was scrapped. I figured he got a bit of a raw deal, actually. But even though I liked Jack and wanted him to have his own story, I almost didn’t bother with this little e-format series. So glad I did, though. Both of the books so far have been a lot of fun – love the quirky small town setting, the mystery, and while I knew I liked Jack I also enjoy the other star of the show, Tess. Great series so far, with the third book supposedly heading our way this summer. I would definitely recommend giving this quick, fun series a try.
Now, on to The Beast. I am going to go spoiler free here, but feel free to post spoilers in the comments section, should you so choose. Anyhow. I have enjoyed all of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, I have to admit upfront, but at some point the way I read them changed. I had to almost steel myself to read one, and sometimes it would take me months to finally pick one up off of my TBR pile since I had to be in the right mood. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them, it was just that they became so…dense, maybe? There were so many plotlines and storyarcs and side characters that it just got overwhelming. I like some depth to a book, don’t get me wrong, but when you have to start writing down what is going on so you don’t lose track, then things are complicated. And most of the time, the central couple in the book played such a small role you didn’t really know whose story was being told. Not ideal, either.
Even with the complicated and involved stories, though, I stayed a big fan of the world. That never changed, no matter how much work I had to put in to get through the book. But I wasn’t a huge fan when it was announced that most of the Brothers would get a second book – not at all. I figure they got their turn, and it was time for others to get their stories told. And a second book usually means drama, and I am a firm believer in a happily ever after for my couples, not an angsty problem that threatens to tear a them apart. But so far, the sequels have been a great idea. The King was good…but The Beast was really, really good.
For me, anyways, The Beast felt more old-school BDB. There is still a lot going on, but this time around I never lost focus that it was a Rhage and Mary book. Rhage has always been a favorite of mine, and in The Beast I was reminded of why. He comes off as almost dorky, which is great, and his babbling made me laugh more than once. He is a total scene-stealer. Assail plays a good sized role, and I liked all of his page time, too. I can see a redo for V in the near future, since he is having a bit of a hard time on a few different fronts. That will be interesting, to say the least.
My only gripe is Layla. I. Don’t. Like. Her. AT ALL. I can’t even quite tell you why she irritates me, but every time she is on the page I find myself gritting my teeth. Xcor? I’m in. Xcor and Layla? Crap, not at all. Unfortunately for me, she is pretty much irredeemable at this point since my loathing runs deep, so it will be interesting to see how I handle reading her story, which is up next. So, all in all, I really liked The Beast – I just wish the Beast would’ve taken Layla out. Permanently. That isn’t too much to ask, right?
What was your take on The Beast? Are you liking the “second book” idea, or do you wish that J.R. was moving on to new characters (like Assail. And Murdher)? What else did you check out this week?