The Shadows: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood

The Shadows - J.R. Ward I've made no secret of my disappoint in the last few books, especially [b:Lover at Last|13570854|Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11)|J.R. Ward||19151084] (and I am still not over that!), so I wasn't jumping to read this one. Aside from that, I was also hesitant just because Trez and iAm were never really characters I cared about one way or the other and the story sounded like it would be close to Rehv's story in [b:Lover Avenged|5098079|Lover Avenged (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #7)|J.R. Ward||5164827], which is my favorite of the series. I am very happy that my fears were unfounded and I really liked The Shadows.

This book felt like the stories I fell in love with when I started reading the series. Yes, there are still 100 storylines going on, but the Brothers were back in this one and the main focus was actually on Trez and iAm. I always knew whose book I was reading. I also loved the fact that J.R. Ward didn't take the expected route here, although I see many others didn't care for it, and still gave the readers some wonderful romance and and happy endings, even if they may have been unconventional. I would have been disappointed in another last minute magical cure or a ghost wife. Trez and Selena had a lot of joy together and Trez is sad but not broken in the end as he has been assured he and Selena will be together in the afterlife and she is watching over him. In this book we actually get three love stories, Trez and Selena, iAm and maichen and the relationship of the brothers themselves Trez and iAm, and the all played out nicely.

As happy as I was with all that we also get lots of Rhage (setting up for the next book) and the other brothers. They are there, they are badass, they talk to each other and support each other, just like it was in the olden days. There is also the setup for Ward's spin off series with the introduction of a few younger characters. There is a storyline that bothered me and that was Luchas. I'm not sure where Ward is going with it, but the fact that he is apparently the only person not allowed a say in his own medical treatment really bothers me and he isn't even a character I care for. He has made his peace with Qhuinn, he appears to be of sound mind, yet he isn't allowed to just die with some dignity even after Doc Jane made a big production of allowing Selena to direct her own course of treatment. Not only do they take his leg in addition to all the other permanent damage he has suffered, but then Selena throws her happiness and pending death in his face although their situations were very different.

I'm just going to close this with something I haven't said in a while, I'm really looking forward to the next story, which appears to be Rhage's book, The Beast, early next year and I'm still going to hold out hope that we actually get to see a mating ceremony for Blay and Qhuinn (sorry couldn't help myself).