The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series is, by far, the most extensive piece of paranormal romance slash urban fantasy literature I’ve read so far and, as such, has my undying love! I also find it incredibly annoying which, in turn, makes me love it even more, if you can believe it! Because, come on, if a piece of literature can make you want to roll your eyes and flip the page all at the same time, it’s got to be worth something! The author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, J.R. Ward, definitely knows how to keep her readers entertained, but entertainment, as you know, doesn’t come without a cost. And in order to enjoy these books, you will need to learn to deal with these obvious flaws.
1. The “H”
The good news is that J.R. Ward is trying to match famous fiction writers language for language, the bad news is that she fails horribly! I mean, come on… aHvenge, seHclusion, coHntest? Seriously? Err, seHriously? Adding a letter to a word that already exists doesn’t make it new, just grammatically incorrect. And we need a glossary of these new/old terms in every book…why? I would have enjoyed the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series infinitely more had I been able to talk my eyeballs out of rolling in their cavities every time an unneeded H appears!
2. Ridiculous Names
Wrath, Tohr, Rehvenge, Phury, Aghony, Zadist, Rhage – I kid you not! And what is worse – I’m short-listing only! But ridiculous names are reserved for the Brotherhood only, right? Err, well…I guess it’s better you hear it from me first –NO! We’ve got this unlimited supply of Lessers who, upon induction into the Society, lose everything but the first letter of their name, becoming Mr. First Letter. Because alphabet doesn’t consist of a limited number of letters, I guess. But hey, maybe that’s the grand plan – you send a group text message, “Mr. M do fetch me a beer on your way to the headquarters,” and voila, 3758 cans of beer are coming your way. Oh, but let’s not forget Butch O’Neil either! And, if I may add -eat your heart of, Mitch Buchannon!
3. Bland Female Characters
Contemporary romance means that we’re bound to run into some strong female characters, right? Nothing fancy, I mean, just some ladies with careers, ladies who know how to get things done, anything but the silly damsel in distress scenario. Well, the BDB Series is not the place to look for that. The author either gives her heroines a life they are more than happy to escape or makes their future so grim that escaping seems like a best case scenario. But that’s all cool because they get their men and a chance to live happily ever after all holed up in the Brotherhood mansion. I mean please, do we really need to keep our friends, families and meaningful jobs?
Okay J.R. Ward, I get it, you’re Eminem’s biggest fan! But, wait, didn’t you get the memo? Em has grown out of the Slim Shady phase, I’m told, do excuse me if I got it wrong. As hot, likeable and often funny as they are, Brothers are nothing if not complete dudebros! And oh, check this out – we’re talking about hundreds of years old vampires that came from Europe and remember it from the time when it was all proper speech patterns, gallantry and aristocracy! Hey now, they used to be that very same aristocracy! I’m still surprised they don’t headbutt each other for good morning.
5. Product Placements
But Brothers aren’t your everyday lumberjack type of guys, mind you! When they aren’t wearing leather, de-throating their enemies Dothraki style, brooding or fighting their inner demons, they like to bond over all the fine things old money can buy. They’ll swoon over the impeccable craftsmanship of Tom Ford suits, discuss the pros and cons of various Gucci luggage bags, drink crazy amount of expensive liquor and refer to their earthly possessions by full name only. In Black Dagger Brotherhood, nobody ever puts their training shoes on, lights their cigarette or decides to make some coffee – they give their Nikes a run for their money, fist their gold DuPonts or work the KRUPS machine! They are so cool!
6. Super Weak Storyline
Brotherhood, as the ultimate force of good, has been fighting The Lessening Society since the beginning of time, vampire race or whatever. And while Brothers are genetically superior, high-class, fast-healing warriors with every weapon money can buy at their disposal, the Lessening Society is nothing but a bunch of half-trained, half-mad human converts whose boss (the ultimate force of evil known as Omega) enjoys having his fun with new inductees and doesn’t bother to invest a penny in his troops. Brotherhood should have nuked these guys half a century ago, one could presume. But yet, the battle continues (and that scraping noise you hear is Sauron rolling in his grave). And with the way dudebros are “chilling in their crib” most of the time, verbally comparing their male parts and arguing which drink is the manliest one, I have a feeling that long awaited happy end is still another half a century or so away.
7. Anger Management, Anyone?
Every warrior in these books will find his soul mate, so brace yourself for some serious old fashioned romance! And when I say “old fashioned,” I actually mean prehistoric old! The “let me pound your cranium, and drag you to my cave” kind. “Here, take this necklace, my love- it’s made of real human ears. I plucked them off your ex-boyfriends all by myself…do you like it?” Cue the eye roll! Every male character in the BDB series is consumed by this jealous, possessive rage, but we’re supposed to love that because Neanderthals are so hot y’all! Gotta get me one of those, you guys, this modern freedom and the ability to have as many male friends as I please is so last year.
How many times did you feel the need to do an eyeroll while reading BDB Series and why? I wasn’t really counting, but “a lot” should definitely cover it. But then, I did laugh a lot too and enjoyed exploring the BDB world just as much. And that’s what made the effort to ignore these oddities really worth it.