Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Book Review: Lover Awakened by J.R Ward

Review: Lover Awakened
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood – Book 3
Author: J. R. Ward
No of Pages: 434
Release Date: 5 September 2006

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly turf war going on between vampires and their slayers. There exists a secret band of brothers like no other – six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Of these, Zsadist is the most terrifying member of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion, and terror his only passion – until he rescues a beautiful aristocrat from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for one another begins to overtake them both, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now, Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past, and find a future with her...

My Thoughts:

This series just keeps getting better.

Lover Awakened opens with the frantic search for Bella, the high class citizen who was abducted by the Lessers at the end of Lover Eternal. Zsadist is acting way out of character in the fact that he actually seems to care about something for once.

He is lethal in his quest to find her not leaving any stone unturned. His brothers don’t know what has gotten into him, and neither does her. But his relentless search finally comes to fruition when another civilian that Bella manages to free tips of the brotherhood as to her whereabouts.

When Bella gets to the compound, it becomes a game of cat and mouse. She wants Zsadist, but it seems that he doesn’t want her, even though he is fiercely protecting her from anyone and everyone. Zsadist doesn’t think he is worthy of such a female, and he has reason to back up that claim. He was a blood slave, forced into service for a hundred years by his Mistress after he was stolen from his home as an infant. Zsadist carries the scars and the memories of his time, and he sees himself as too dirty, too broken to love.

But Bella won’t have it. Zsadist’s transformation throughout Lover Awakened is absolutely amazing, in tiny little steps he starts believing in himself again, and the way Ward writes his healing as such is tear jerkingly powerful.

Bella doesn’t fully understand what she asks of Zsadist at times, and in a way that is what helped him the most, not having someone treading on eggshells around him for once helped him come back to himself. But it’s not all easy going from there, Zsadist still doesn’t see himself as worthy and every chance he gets tries to push Bella away, until he succeeds.

When I realised Lover Awakened was about Zsadist, I was wary of reading it purely because he had been so unpleasant in the previous books, but seeing how such a broken and lost soul could come back was absolutely amazing. Zsadist is not only physically strong, but mentally as well, he learnt to deal with his pain and although it may not have made him the nicest person around, it becomes completely understandable why he is the way he is.

Bella has become one of my favourite females as well, although she grew up living a high life, she is very grounded after living by herself. She takes in her stride the trauma of what happened to her at the Lessers holding cell, being obsessed over by O the new fore-lesser. Although it takes a little bit of time and quite a bit of TLC from Zsadist in the beginning, she became stronger.

I also love the fact that she didn’t just cower behind the males, but was smart enough to know when to back down. When she felt that she could do something at a crucial moment, she did it and didn’t rely on someone to do it for her, no matter how grisly the task.

Zsadist and Bella’s story has become one of my favourites in the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and considering the pattern we are currently following, these books are only going to get better.

Others in this series:
Dark Lover
Lover Eternal
Lover Revealed
Lover Unbound
Lover Enshrined
Lover Avenged
Lover Mine
Lover Unleashed


Renae said...

I am going to have to read this series! Everywhere I go I hear nothing but good things about it! Thanks for the review!

Marg said...

Zsadist is my favourite BDB Brother. I read the next book in the series, but then kind of lost track. One of these days I will go back to reading it!

Teddyree said...

I'm up to book 3 and I have to say I've held off for the same reasons you did. Will have to rectify that :-)

Natasha said...

I LOVE this series and I LOVE this book. This was my favorite of the series. Zsadist is so amazing.
Great review! I agree, Bella rocks. She's tough and beautiful. :)

Here's my review:

if your interested in reading it.. :)

Sarah said...

I absolutely adore Zsadist - my favorite brother by far :o) If you liked his story you must read the short story about him & Bella in the BDB insider guide - it is so nice to see him & Bella & how they are coping with the announcement she made at the end of the book! I've added your link to my review :o)

Sarah said...

I forgot to say that I've now added links for all of your reviews on books I've read :o) I can stop spamming you now LOL


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