[514]: The Shadows by JR Ward


GOODEADS SUMMARY | New American Library | Hardcover, 576 pp. | March 31st, 2015 | Black Dagger Brotherhood, #13 | Adult Fiction | Paranormal | Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

I think I have come to a certain point of my JR Ward fangirl life, where I could no longer tolerate the lack of movement with the overall plot of this series as a whole. The last couple of books has been quite a disappointment, to be honest. JR Ward may have a particular knack for dangling the proverbial carrot in our faces, but she is nothing but a big tease. It’s a brilliant marketing ploy. Every instalment brings about a certain excitement for things to come. Albeit, most of the time, it’s the pounding beat of doom ringing ominously loud. Unfortunately, she hasn’t come through for me. Slowly, and as the years passed, my malcontent grows at a steady pace. So much so that I could no longer ignore it.


Book number 13 may prove to be the one that pushes that “it’s over” button. As once again, none of the plot conflicts was resolved here: the Band of Bastards is still on the lam. Xcor and Layla are still circling/sniffing around each other. The only thing that have shown a glimmer of life is the resurgence of the Brothers’ original enemy, the Lessers. This is saying a lot, as I used to skip/skim parts where the lessers are mentioned. At this point, I’ll take anything that could get my heart rate pumping.

Wallowing in Suburbia

I don’t know about you, but just because the Brothers have found their respective shellans shouldn’t mean they go on to live in a suburban bliss. Come on now. It shouldn’t be allowed. Boring lives are for real people, not fictional characters. Not especially for powerful vampires who are supposed to be as bad as they come. I was bored. I miss the days when they go out on a slaying spree. When Rhage’s beast does a cameo (though, I think The Beast did for a blink or two here); when Vishous’ heritage as Bloodletter’s son comes out and play. I especially miss Zsadist’s growls and well, sadistic way of killing.

Written in stars

The Shadows is Trez and iAm’s book. I can’t recall which book they first showed up, but the short of it all is that they are Shadows. Beings that aside from being able to keep their invisible form, they are pretty much like vampires themselves. This book is about Trez’s destiny to mate with the heir to the S’Hisbe throne. Nothing is ever easy with these people, so of course, he goes and falls in love with the Chosen Selena – who in turn has a secret of her own that could devastate them both in the end.

In the meantime, iAm, in an attempt to help his brother, goes and gets himself imprisoned again. This time, though, with fruitful consequences. He meets maichen; a servant in the court of the Queen of Shadows. Everybody has secrets. And maichen has one of her own.

I will go down with this ship

As much as I’ve bemoaned the fact that I was bored with this book, I don’t think I see myself quitting. There are still good things to be had, I believe. I want to see what becomes of Xcor and Layla. I want to see what kind of evil plans Throe has up his sleeves. I want to see what’s doing with Rhage as he was a bit out of sorts in this book. And since they’ve found the lessers’ nest, I see a lot of bloodshed in the next book.

  • Dang, sorry you didn’t like this one as much you thought you would. I agree that sometimes there is so much hype over a book but in the end it doesn’t live up to all the rants and raves and it’s a HUGE let down. That’s why I’m kind of hesitant to read a book that’s been talked about for a while in fear that it won’t live up to all the excitement. ;(

    • No greater hype than upcoming instalments for this series, trust me. But still…I can’t resist. Sigh.

  • Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    Great review Joy. I have enjoyed this series so far and I think I’ll keep reading it too, although I am a few books behind. A shame this was a litlle flat for you, and I agree, they are fictional characters, bring us back some of the old fun!!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    • I know! I can’t wait to read the spin off from this series!

  • Christy

    I’ve really wanted to start this series for awhile. I’m kind of afraid I’ll start and then want to eventually quit.

    • To be fair, the best of this series were the first books. It started going downhill by the 8th for me.

  • Aw, I’m sorry this book wasn’t as good as you wanted it to be sweetie 🙁 But glad you still liked it a lot 😀 These books are, sadly, not for me 🙁 but maybe one day 😀 Gorgeous review, as always, Joy. <3

    • Thanks, C. 🙂 Definitely not your cup of tea.

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I received this for review ages ago but I simply can’t gather any enthusiasm for it. I’ve skipped more than a few books along the way which means that the overall storyline is pretty much lost on me anyway. And since I didn’t find the invidual stories interesting since Zsadist, I guess I’ll just skip it and be done with it.

    • I completely agree with you, Maja. Zsadist’s story is the one that cemented my love for these books. But I have to admit that it pretty much started going downhill after him.

  • I am not interested in reading this anytime soon. Like You, i’ve been sorely disappointed by the last few books. The only reason why I gave them threes was out of loyalty for the series. but if the books were standalone I probably would have given it once or even a D!F Mark. She should just end the series

    • I feel like I’m in one of those unhealthy relationships with these books. I can’t quit them. lol.

  • Wow, you made it to book 13! You made it a lot farther – I stopped at book 4…. I am a really impatient reader lmao. Good luck on finishing the series. I am so curious how many more books she is going to try to put in this series. 😮

    • Yep. I’m pretty proud of myself about that, to be honest. This is the only series that I’ve stuck through over the years. It makes it even harder to quit. Lol.

  • I’m still only on book six, so for me BDB is still shiny and amazing. I’m very curious to see what I think of the newest bunch, because they seem to be quite different. Great review though, and I hope the next one is more exciting

    • I’m actually pretty jealous. From time to time, I go back and re-read them when the mood strikes. Like now, for example. I’m currently rehashing Rhage and Mary’s love story. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

  • Wow, how many is she planning on bringing out? I read book one ages ago, but it wasn’t my thing unfortunately. It sounds like the author might be trying to string readers along and stretch out what sounds like a thin plotline at best. Pairing each character off in some strange suburban domesticated bliss? I can see why you’re craving more action Joy. I hope the series picks up with the next book, sadly it sounds like the author might be just milking it for profits now. Wonderful review Joy and hope your next read is far more sexy and action packed <3

    • I’m not sure. On the one hand, I’m hoping she won’t stop, just because I love this world so much and I don’t want to leave. On the other, I’m really bored with the lack of action. It is weird seeing them with floating hearts, but yes. As much as I love that they’ve found their true loves, I really need something more.

  • I read the first few books in this series, but I was never really impressed with them. I’ve heard a lot of people complaining about this specific installment. With 13 books, I’d be very frustrated with the lack of movement in the plot as well. It’s a shame because it sounds like the author’s writing is pretty decent.
    Sorry this was a disappointment, Joy! 🙁

    • That’s the evil of it all, i think. I hate to quit on it after 13 books. I just feel like this will end in the most spectacular way. *finger crossed*

  • Glad this long dragged out installment won’t detour you from continuing the series. 😉
    Wonderful honest review!!

  • I totally get you Joy. I last read Lover Reborn.

  • As you already know, I’ve just finished The King and was utterly disappointed to the point I’m thinking about giving up on this series for good, because I can’t find one redeemable thing about the plot anymore. In my opinion, with the way things are now, I think she should wrap the series for good.

    After reading your review of this latest installment I’m even more convinced in giving up on it and not to mention that most of my friends were disappointed with this book too.

    • Yeah. Nothing impressive here, to be honest. But I have every confidence in Ms. Ward.

  • I think I’ve officially given up with this series now. I haven’t even bought this yet and I just don’t think I will.

    I’m hoping the spin off series is better and that we get more of the brothers in that.

    • I wasn’t really gungho on buying this one as well. But I felt like I must because I didn’t want to have an incomplete series on my shelves. Lol.

  • I. Get. You. As much as I cumulatively love this series, I have to take periodic breaks from it. After the disappointment of readers far and wide over THE KING, I decided another hiatus was in order, and I’m not picking the series back up until Xcor and Layla stop sniffing around each other and get a book. I WILL STAY STRONG 😉 But ultimately, I will go down with this ship too, LOL.

    • You get me. It’s hard to quit when I’ve invested so many years waiting for each and every single instalment. But hey, JR Ward is brilliant. I think she’ll surprise us one of these days!

  • Ooh, hmm, you might be right, this seems not to be my style. You know what, great review though (:

    • Thanks, hun. Yeah it’s probably not going to be a book you’d like. I remember you saying that you’re not really a romance reader. 🙂

  • I reached that book already with Rhev and just could not read more. I wanted the old days back

  • ah yes it can be difficult when we have many books in a series like that because it tend not to really change. I have 4 books in her series but I still need to try them. One day I’ll definitely will.

    • The earlier instalments are the best ones, Melliane. You really should. 😉