Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward

Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward
Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7)
Lover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7)

I’m not making any bones about it—this is the fangirl review. I am a frequent visitor to the message board, and the first thing I do is check J. R. Ward’s profile to see if she’s posted anything new about the series. (Did you know that Ehlena was the nurse who brought Butch a cup of coffee when he visited the clinic in Lover Awakened and that it was her first day on the job? Or that she was the nurse who knew how to shoot in Lover Enshrined?) I’ve even taken time off work to attend chats with the Brothers.

I bought Lover Avenged for around the same price that Kat did, but since I bought it from Ward’s virtual signing (you order the book from her nominated store and tell them how you want it personalised, then she signs it in the comfort of her home and posts it out), that includes shipping from the US. Unfortunately, the damn publisher’s embargo meant that no books were allowed to be posted until the release date, so I received my copy after Part 9 of the cheat sheet was posted.

Overall style

I’ve commented on a lot of the technique in response to Kat’s review, so I won’t repeat it all here.

I liked how the ambivalence of Rehvenge’s dual nature was handled, and even though my BDB reading experience has taught me how to recognise a misdirect in many cases, Ward still manages to blindside me with something completely out of the blue.

I don’t mind the book’s staple of slang and how nouns are used as verbs because it makes the language more colourful and reminds me I’m reading J. R. Ward, just as a man who “panders to her senses” reminds me I’m reading Stephanie Laurens, or someone with “whips of lightning” in their veins can only be one of Christine Feehan’s Carpathians. Only a few times in the whole series, I’ve been hit by cultural bias and some American expressions just don’t compute with my Australian background.

Rehvenge

Lover Revealed by J. R. WardI can’t really express the ways I was impressed with Rehvenge without revealing some major spoilers, other than that he proves his worth (that’s not too spoilerish, is it? After all, he IS the hero), but there were a couple points I would like to have seen further developed.

Ward has refused to answer questions about the black ink designs on Rehv’s stomach, which led me to the conclusion that they gave away more about his identity and background than she wanted to reveal at the time, but they were only briefly mentioned in his book. I was kinda looking forward to an in-depth description of his ink and how it visually worked with the muscles of his pack. :( Call me superficial, but the description of his body in Lover Revealed helped me to start liking him.

His scenes with Marissa in Lover Revealed were hot, and when he kissed her, he seemed to feel no concern over how much physical pressure he might be exerting. He had felt this concern when hugging Bella in Lover Awakened and it’s understandable given that the dopamine that controls his symphath urges also numbs his body, not to mention the bonding instinct would have made him feel more reverent toward Ehlena. But after having seen him with Marissa, I can’t help but feel something was missing from Rehvenge when he was with Ehlena.

Ehlena

I don’t know why, but I could just take or leave Ehlena. Maybe it was because I wasn’t confident she could handle being part of Rehv’s world and was just lucky that the symphaths weren’t as big a threat as I expected them to be. I didn’t dislike her, but I didn’t think she was wonderful either. She might grow on me during a reread.

The Brotherhood

Lover Enshrined by J. R. WardI personally believe that including Wrath to the extent he was in this book was justified for several reasons. He is one of the characters that I’ve become invested in over the course of the series and I like the fact that, just because his book is over, he hasn’t faded into obscurity. I like the possibility of my favourites returning in later books. Also, given the massacre in Lover Enshrined, there was no way that the king could not react and I think we needed to see that he wasn’t sitting on his thumbs while he was being plotted against. Not to mention how confusing it would be to have concurrent events spread over more than one book. There was no way his arc could be covered in a Slice of Life, no matter how many or how few of the books’ readers visit Ward’s site.

Plus, I think there was the parallel with Rehvenge with both of them struggling with the concept of doing the best thing for everyone, despite the personal cost.

All of the Brothers returned (however briefly) in this book, but there was less of the camaraderie than in earlier books. This could be to keep the focus on Rehvenge, but also because shit is getting serious now. Up to Lover Revealed, the books ended on an optimistic note, but from Lover Unbound on, there’s been a lot more doom and gloom, and clearly things are going to get worse before they will get better.

The Brotherhood version 2.0

Interesting things happen with Blay and Qhuinn after that really hot kiss they shared in Lover Enshrined. Blay has started smoking, which Qhuinn hates, so it’s clearly a demand for Qhuinn’s attention and a “fuck you” for his ongoing rejection, all in one go. If only there was a gay character introduced to the story who Blay could reasonably meet. Oh, hang on… ;)

Blaylock’s pain is palpable, but what makes him and Qhuinn so compelling is the mutual feelings between them not being acted upon. That kiss is in the air between them every time they’re in the same room.

I was very disappointed with the developments between JM and Xhex, probably because I had expectations of her strength reminding him that he is strong. There are other ways of creating hurdles in their relationship (and one crops up by the book’s end), but I have issues with sex as a destructive force. I’m okay with Xhex and Butch having had sex, because he signed up for an exercise in masochism, but JM was healed and then re-broken and it will take a lot for me to accept the one who did that as JM’s HEA. It’s almost a shame that their book is next, but it won’t be released until sometime next year and maybe by then some miracle will have softened me towards her.

Lash

I agree that Lash makes a more interesting villain than the other fore-lessers because he understands his target in ways the others never could. And, what’s more, it’s personal on both sides. He’s such a prick that he really is the best thing that could have happened to the Lessening Society, but he’s such a spoiled child sometimes and I think that could one day end up being his downfall.

The extra plots

I’m going to commit a huge blasphemy by saying there are getting to be too many species at play here. The world was initially about vampires, and their characteristics were unique enough that a significant amount of world building was justifiably required.

But now we’ve got the Moors playing a growing role in the series and we still don’t know much about them (the only reference I’ve heard to Moors anywhere outside the series was in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where they were a very human enemy), which means more world building is coming and will inevitably result in the initial players taking more of a backseat.

Lover Unbound by J. R. WardAnd let’s not forget the angels. Lassiter is just the first of many, with the new series coming out in October. He got his start on Ward’s message boards under some very mysterious circumstances in 2006 (cue Ward’s characteristic lawyerly dodging and weaving questions), but didn’t appear in a book for another 2 years.

Also in 2006, Ward announced that Payne would be the first female Brother, but refused to say much more than that (she definitely never mentioned the relationship to V). She was introduced in Lover Unbound and a footnote in Lover Enshrined and she only briefly touches on the world in Lover Avenged but in such a way that still no one knows who she is. This tortuously slow teasing out of a storyline was one thing when we were getting 2 books a year, but now that we’re down to 1 (and the new series will divide Ward’s attentions from the Brotherhood), all I can say is, “Aaaarrrgh!”

Yay or Nay?

I’ll second Wandergurl’s verdict that you should only read Lover Avenged if you’ve read the others (or my cheat sheet /end shameless pimp) first.

1. The characters and plot will make more sense if you’ve read the background first.

2. Rehvenge has such a dual nature that I wouldn’t recommend him as someone’s first foray into the BDB universe. I think his character benefits from the context created by earlier books. For me, he’s like Mr. Darcy—I didn’t like him to start off with but my opinion of him improved the more I saw of him.

You can read Kat’s review here, Wandergurl’s review here, and our tweets via the hashtag #rehv. You can read excerpts of the book here and here.

Where you can buy this book

AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Dymocks | Ever After | Fishpond | Galaxy | Intrigue | Rendezvous | Romance Direct | Romantic Reflections | Siren | The Nile | More
EBOOKS: Books On Board | Dymocks | eBooks.com | Fictionwise | Kindle
WORLDWIDE: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Book Depository | Borders

Books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (UK/Australia)

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) - Australian/UK editionLover Eternal by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) - Australian/UK editionLover Awakened by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3) - Australian/UK editionLover Revealed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4) - Australian/UK editionLover Unbound by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) - Australian/UK editionLover Enshrined by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6) - Australian/UK editionLover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) - Australian/UK editionLover Mine by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8)Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - Australian/UK editionLover Reborn by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 10) - Australian/UK editionLover At Last by JR Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11) - Australian editionThe King by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 12) - Australian editionThe Black Dagger Brotherhood - An Insider's Guide

Books in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series (US)

Dark Lover by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 1) - US editionLover Eternal by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 2) - US editionLover Awakened by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 3) - US editionLover Revealed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 4) - US editionLover Unbound by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 5) - US editionLover Enshrined by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 6) - US editionLover Avenged by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7) - US editionLover Mine by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 8) - US editionLover Unleashed by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9) - US editionLover Reborn by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 10)Lover At Last by JR Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 11) - US editionThe King by J. R. Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 12) - US editionThe Black Dagger Brotherhood - An Insider's Guide

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Decadence’s fascination with vampires can be blamed on Anne Rice and although she reads urban fantasy, historical romance, romantica and crime, her first and undying love is paranormal romance. She works in a bookstore and gets no sympathy for the sheer volume of work she brings home, not to mention the TBR mountain that will never be surmounted. Her guilty pleasures include (in no particular order) chocolate, pizza, sleeping in and Alexander Skarsgard and she is a final assessment away from holding a full pistol licence.

22 comments

  1. Wandergurl says:

    The fact that we have three reviews of lover avenged shows how much we are obsessed with JR Ward. I swear. I don’t think any of us can be objective about it hahaha

  2. SarahT says:

    Thanks for the review, Decadence. And thanks times ten for the wonderful cheat sheets! I must confess that you pointed out details which completely passed me by when I first read the books.

  3. krondor says:

    Great review and I loved the cheat sheets! I was also upset about JM and Xhex, I mean I was expecting they will have plenty of hurdles to go through, but I was a bit sad at how it panned out here. If we only we don’t have to wait so long for the next book …

  4. Decadence says:

    Sorry everyone that I haven’t replied right away, I had to take a break from the blog.

    Wandergurl, I’m not surprised about our shared obsession with Ward, since that’s how I met you and Kat :)

    You’re both welcome, SarahT and krondor. One thing Ward often said was that she didn’t feel she had room in the books to include things that weren’t relevant to the overall story, so there’s so much that could be brought up again in later books and different ways it could be interpreted. When I read Lover Avenged, I regretted not having included a brief bit about Grady in the Lash/lesser post.

    I have softened towards Xhex after all. I felt that what happened after she was with JM didn’t wash away what she’d done to him, but now I’m leaning more towards feeling that even though she did the wrong thing, it’s been overshadowed by later events and that may also going to enable him to get over it as well. There’s still room for them to heal each other in Lover Mine.

  5. AReader says:

    Not to offend, but there are many errors in these cheat sheets – you spoke of Rhev knowing “his barb hurts the princess” – none such; it’s a fact of his anatomy and anyone she would have sex with at the sympath colony would have a barb.   His issues with it pertain to having sex with regular females and the waiting period before he could withdraw.
    In no way does his barb hurt Elena – or anyone, it simply is a locking mechanism.
    As for Rhev “not feeding” Xhex being clear – it is clear.  It’s made very clear that they feed each other with no erotic anything – but they do feed each other.
    I was glad to notice your acknowledgment that you don’t know much about the Moors – like Lassiter, they are large pieces of Canon-breaking confusion, doing a great deal to damage the contract between Ms. Ward and her more… critical (I’m using that word in the correct sense for this sentence, as in “careful, reading with care and and an eye to comprehension” – readers; the contract – the willing suspension of disbelief – is premised upon the WRITER and the Reader each giving something.
     
    The writer creates a world and keeps it internally consistent, adheres to his or her own rules, doesn’t throw out deux ex machina, doesn’t insert things without explanation, doesn’t BREAK the rules of the world, or the “Canon” by which the world operates.
     
    Now we have Lassister – a “Fallen Angel” – in what way does that not violate the Canon of the World as created by Ms. Ward?  A fallen ANGEL?  In a world where it was flatly stated that the analogy of the Scribe Virgin to God and Lucifer was “sort of” but that isn’t what we believe in – then how is a Fallen Angel present?  AND WHERE IS THE EXPLANATION?
     
    The Moors, or Shadows – another error, they aren’t “good at not being seen” they are excellent at it because they TAKE SHADOW FORM – it’s something entirely different from anything anyone else can do, and there have been statements with regard to Trez being Royal and taking the Throne (of the Moors) – but WHO ARE THEY?   Are they a sub-group?  If so, similar to the sympaths in that they developed from Vampires but are similar to them, more so than Sympaths who seem more reptilian, snake-like, than Vampire?   Where do they live?  HOW IS IT THAT we are now to the EIGHTH novel in a few days and there has been absolutely NO explanation of the Moors, yet they’ve been there from THE VERY FIRST BOOK.
     
    Where is the respect for Canon and the reader’s intelligence?  I very much enjoy the books, I own all of them and even bought that Insider’s Guide – which I feel was a waste of money; the short novella should have been free, as it belonged IN THE NOVEL – Ms. Ward’s error in omitting it should not have cost me 12 dollars.  /She would do far better with her time rather than to “create” interviews with her “men” to actually provide background and explanation for things which do not fit the Canon of her universe or otherwise are left unexplained with nary a care in the world.
     
    It’s extremely irritating – like Ms. Ward, I have been trained as an attorney; my education is similar to hers and I am quite certain that she is familiar with that contract which exists between writer and reader – Coleridge’s “Willing suspension of disbelief” is the cornerstone of all fiction; the reader “suspends disbelief” in return for the author treating the reader to a world or a novel (in the case of non-fantasy) that is INTERNALLY CONSISTENT and does not simply leave major plot factors unexplained for any significant period of time.   The fact that Ms. Ward says that “she didn’t know where thus and such character was going” concerns me – to some extent, certainly, characters can develop in ways that were not originally foreseen – but to BLATANTLY and BLUNTLY ignore characters and deviations from Canon as if the reader is SOOO utterly enthralled that they won’t care…

    Is a rank insult to one’s intelligence.
     
    And so, let’s hear it.   Where DO the Moors come from, Ms. Ward?  Even with your “Cellies” (so very precious) you must be aware of the growing unhappiness within your readership?   Or is your belief – even as someone with an education – that anyone who reads this sort of fiction is under-educated and not clever enough to care about such trivial matters such the failure over the course of (as of today) SEVEN published books to explain WHO the Moors are, even though they constantly appear and can take another form – “Shadow Form.”
     
    Or your simple lack of concern as to the explanation of Lassiter – in the Vampire CANON as defined and the world as build by you, Ms. Ward – there is the SCRIBE VIRGIN and no where are there ANGELS – Fallen or otherwise.   How did a slice of Judeo-Christian beliefs suddenly appear in YOUR world — **WITHOUT ANY EXPLANATION**
     
    I’m angry because I have bought all the books and the Insider’s Guide hoping for the information there – and am still waiting.   The next book is on order, I’ve “paid” my dues and I want the respect that is due to me as a reader.   So do others.   Failing that you’ll be left with the fans who would as lief read a Harlequin Romance – if it had a big strong vampire in it; you’ll be no different than a purveyor of trash with a twist.
     
    I most sincerely hope  your goals are higher than that; and if they are, it is time to adhere to that contract between your readers and yourself; not to even begin to go into the very ugly “change” that is apparently to come over Qhuinn, whom you’ve had FLATLY state is primarily attracted to women, suddenly have an “epiphany and realize that OH MY, his true love is indeed Blaylock…  had you written it differently, this would have been a wonderful outcome, but you DIDN’T and on your board stated that it wouldn’t be that way – then “changed” your mind – and you’ll write yourself out of it… “he didn’t really know what he wanted” or some such negation of what you had already created.
     
    You are treading dangerously close to the edge, if not already gone over…  Were I you, Ms. Ward, I’d lower my self-opinion and perhaps write with more respect for the intelligence of you readers, acknowledging what is truth – that some of use enjoy this genre of fiction as a sort of naughty pleasure, but we won’t read it if it doesn’t respect us and isn’t well written – plot holes, ignoring your own Canon, refusing to explain things because after all, who cares, right?
     
    Wrong.

  6. Decadence says:

    First, I’d like to begin by saying that I am not JR Ward, nor do I believe I’ve tried to imply anywhere that I am. I’m a cellie, that’s all. I’m saying this because a large portion of your comments seemed to be directed at JR Ward, rather than me. I have no reason to believe she has the slightest awareness that Book Thingo exists, let alone any awareness of my cheat sheets based on her series.

    As a reader of the series, I understand and respect that you have issues with this series and have found some things that seem to be inconsistencies to you. I cannot answer for that as some may prove to be actual inconsistencies (like the Wandering Escalade in Lover Revealed), or become clearer with elaboration in later books or I might simply have misunderstood what JR Ward was trying to get across.

    The first thing you said was that I made an error in saying that Rehvenge’s barb hurt the princess because it is a locking mechanism and nothing more. I got this information from p. 366 of Lover Enshrined, “His anomaly was, of course, another reason he liked fucking the Princess. He knew it hurt for her at the end.” Pure speculation on my part would be that he tries to withdraw at the earliest opportunity and his barb may not have fully retracted, but I haven’t said this in my cheat sheet because I don’t know it for a fact. Updates to the cheat sheets will be posted shortly and under the Symphath Culture heading, I’m saying that the barb doesn’t hurt Ehlena, based on p. 514 of Lover Avenged. If there is an error regarding the barb, I don’t believe it lies with me.

    The reason why I said I wasn’t sure that Rehv feeds Xhex is because on p. 414 of Lover Revealed, he says that he needs her to remain unmated because she’s the only one he can feed from and in return she says that she needs him to be unmated as well. That’s all. I don’t recall ever reading anything that states outright that he feeds her, which is why I’ve said that “I’m not 100% sure”. If I’ve missed anything about Rehv feeding Xhex, can you please tell me where to find it so I can make sure my cheat sheet is right?

    I haven’t made an error about the Moors, I just wasn’t very specific about how Trez is able to hide in the shadows and this is because I wanted to have more info on this before I said anything about it. I have questions about the Moors too, but I would prefer to be incomplete than inaccurate.

    And not to offend, but it’s Rehv, not Rhev and if memory serves, we met the Moors in Lover Awakened, the same book that introduced us to Rehvenge, not the very first book (Dark Lover). Where in Dark Lover did you see them?

    I also cannot answer for the introduction of fallen angels and reconciling Judeo-Christian beliefs with the vampire religion, or Qhuinn’s sexuality. I have theories, but that’s not the same thing as having canon to back it up, so I’ll keep them to myself, if you don’t mind.

    I’ve tried to be as accurate as I can in presenting information on JR Ward’s vampire world and to make it clear when I’m personally speculating on something rather than imparting something I learned directly from the books or her chats or message boards.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Kat says:

    AReader — Just wanted to comment on this:

    Failing that you’ll be left with the fans who would as lief read a Harlequin Romance – if it had a big strong vampire in it; you’ll be no different than a purveyor of trash with a twist.

    I read a whole lot of Harlequin and while I joke about reading trashy books I would be the first to insist that there are a lot of gems in category romance and it has been the breeding ground for some hugely successful romance authors today.
    That said, I agree with your general dissatisfaction with the ‘my characters speak to me’ method that Ward talks about, and I think that might be where all the inconsistencies come from. There’s a lack of planning apparent in her novels.
    And THAT said, I’m still buying the books as soon as they’re released so I’ll happily admit that while I feel her plotting and writing are going downhill, I’m one of the enablers!
    And as for the cheat sheets…Decadence is the only person I know who can cite page numbers to support her facts, and that’s why she’s our resident BDB guru. :D
     

  8. AReader says:

    The Moor’s shadow form is made clear – Trez is IN shadow form – I’m sure you can cite the page.
     
    With regard to being a Cellie – the whole “Ward(en)” and her “Cell(ies)” strikes me as extremely precious – and I mean that in the precise usage of that word – twee, cutesy, and… precious.
    I mean, my god, how very adorable – Ms. Ward has her coterie of fangirls who would NEVER say she’d done anything wrong.
    A genuine reader – a genuine fan, as we use the term today – is a critical reader and expects the writer to MAINTAIN THE DAMN CONTRACT.
     
    The suspension of disbelief – we give it, but in return the author is obligated, OBLIGATED, not to allow fame and the fawning of fans (alliteration for the literate?  I assume you I don’t make typos when I’m paying attention, or using words that exist.)
    You corrected my sad misspelling of Rhevenge’s name, sticking h’s – oh my, Rhev Rehv, why not two h’s?  Rage is Rhage, and anywhere else an h can be inserted, it is.. seclusion, guardian, so many words have those h’s – for the purpose of?   Show how clever the author is with words?  It’s one of the things that people find most irritating, but FORGIVE it in the interests of a good story.
     
    The problem is that the aforementioned fame and fawning of her fans – you have self-defined yourself as a “cellie” – numbering yourself among them; must as the “Patriot” who believes patriotism is NEVER questioning anything or trying to change anything that needs changing.
    And so, to clarify;
    1) I don’t give a rat’s arse as to when we met Trez and iam – they are called “Moors” or “Shadows” allusion is made to Trez being a “Royal” of some sort, taking the throne and do trust me, I can if need be, cite chapter and verse – it is a core competency of one trained in my profession.
    She simply DOESN’T explain who they are – that isn’t acceptable. You don’t introduce characters, have them take up key positions, and then not bother as to what/where/who they are – merely dropping hints; I doubt she bothered to think it through.  It’s frighteningly clear that Ms. Ward goes with the book, as she said in one of those interviews, “I was surprised, I had no idea it would go that way.”  – Outlining is your friend.
     
    Of course novels will develop and characters will take on a life of their own; that said, it doesn’t excuse laziness on the writer’s part.  And too many writers flushed with that fame, the adoration, “cellies” and fans frothing at the mouth, think they are above it – and get lazy; there is a reason the first three books were far more cohesive than the next four.  She was still trying harder at that point – then fame caught up with her, and she relaxed; too much.
     
    2) LASSITER.   This is NOT a Judeo-Christian World that Ms. Ward has built; it is specifically *stated* that is is not; ergo the bringing in of a “Fallen Angel” who has “one last chance” with… God (but that is not their belief system) – is ridiculous without IMMEDIATE explanation.   “Take it on faith, it will be explained later.”
    NO.   Good writers know that one doesn’t simply inject something which goes against the canon they’ve built without a clear explanation – otherwise it INSULTS THE READER’S INTELLIGENCE.
    If, indeed, Ms. Ward believes her readership to consist of those who are happy to subsist upon reading matter of the Harlequin level, then no problem, be as scattered and ridiculous as she might wish to be – HOWEVER, that is not what was presented initially.
     
    Why am I so very angry?  Because I bought into this writer, and her world.  I bought the books and ENJOYED them – and then started to realize that the author was losing her respect for her readers; that makes me very, very angry.   AFTER she makes all the money sales of her books have brought to her, NOW she decides to get lazy?
    No.  Unacceptable.   That “Insider’s Guide” – ridiculous; an insider’s guide for which one pay MONEY should contain genuine information, not the equivalent of mental diddling, with her “conversations” – with her characters.
    I expected HARD INFORMATION – background on the sympaths; background on the Moors; things such as the short novella – which *should* have been freely available on her website or incorporated into the next novel.   Not diddling about for the benefit of the “cellies” – she makes a very bad error in judgment believing that only the “cellies” matter – her “shout-outs” to them in the last couple of novels notwithstanding.
     
    And then… the REWRITING of Q”h”uinn (because of course he can’t be Quinn, can he?)  Qhuinn is NOT — EXPLICITLY NOT — GAY.   It would have fantastic if she had left him ambiguous.
    But SHE DID NOT LEAVE HIM AMBIGUOUS with the “it can go this way or that way” – she had intended, because I too read the reactions of “Cellies” who are angry at being treated like idiots – she had specifically NOT intended the two to be together, and that is why she EXPLICITLY wrote Qhuinn as perhaps a touch bi, but absolutely not solely gay, with ZERO intent to be with his *friend* Blaylock.
    Yes, she erred.  But then to compound the error by giving in to pressure from the “CELLIES” WHO WANTED THEM TO BE TOGETHER?  I’ve seen the acknowledgment from her, that she “changed” her mind – but you can’t change what has been written in a form that is NOT ambiguous – and THAT is why you leave things open, in case you might wish to change your mind.
    Many of her “cellies” have left in disgust over the “changed my mind” thing – and then they were called homophobes, how INCREDIBLY INSULTING and ignorant.  One is a homophobe because one objects to BAD WRITING?  To an author explicitly portraying a character ONE WAY then deciding that her fangirls REALLLY WEALLY WANT IT a different way and caving into that.
    Bad call.  VERY bad call.
    Proudly call yourself a cellie if you wish – anything she does, no matter how stupid, how poorly (not) thought through, how much it CONTRADICTS that which has already been flatly and clearly established – all is fine, is it?
    No, it isn’t.  A good reader demands more of the authors he or she reads – and a GOOD author realizes that no matter how flattering the fawning fan might be, she STILL has a responsibility to write well.
    Ms. Ward was trained as an attorney – somehow I expect better from someone with her education and intellect – unless it was all down with her appearance?  I’d rather not make that assumption because she DOES have the ability to spin a tale, she does have the ability to create a story, and some of her ideas have gelled very well indeed.
    That makes the current laziness and lack all the more egregious.
    Can you truly not see this?
     

  9. AReader says:

    I formatted the above post – anything that wasn’t a triple space lost it’s paragraph break, and there is no edit after the fact.  Poorly done.

  10. Kat says:

    AReader — Apologies for the lack of Edit function but it’s a plugin headache I’d rather not deal with.

    I have to intervene here and ask you to please moderate the tone of your comments. Decadence is NOT JR Ward and she has nothing to do with JR Ward’s method, plotting, writing or whatever other criticisms you have of the author and her work.

    All three of us regular bloggers posted a review of this book, and we all had different opinions. We’ve all been Cellies as some point, but it hasn’t blinded us to the many faults in this series. All of us are still buying the books—though, I admit, I’m not sure how long this will continue.

    The fact that Decadence is the biggest fan among us is a matter of personal taste, just as I love books that others hate and hate books that others tattoo on their bodies. So please keep it civil.

What do you think?