Saturday, May 13, 2017

Laura’s Review of The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15) By J.R. Ward


A scorching forbidden love threatens to tear a rift through the Black Dagger Brotherhood in J. R. Ward’s newest novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Xcor, leader of the Band of Bastards, convicted of treason against the Blind King, is facing a brutal interrogation and torturous death at the hands of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Yet after a life marked by cruelty and evil deeds, he accepts his soldier’s fate, his sole regret the loss of a sacred female who was never his: the Chosen Layla.

Layla alone knows the truth that will save Xcor’s life. But revealing his sacrifice and his hidden heritage will expose them both and destroy everything Layla holds dear—even her role of mother to her precious young. Torn between love and loyalty, she must summon the courage to stand up against the only family she has for the only man she will ever love. Yet even if Xcor is somehow granted a reprieve, he and Layla would have to confront a graver challenge: bridging the chasm that divides their worlds without paying the way
for a future of even greater war, desolation, and death.

As a dangerous old enemy returns to Caldwell, and the identity of a new deity is revealed, nothing is certain or safe in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, not even true love . . . or destinies that have long seemed set in stone.

What I Loved

      I’m not quite sure where to begin, I love every single time I’m thrown back into the dark world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  There are so many elements to every story and each time I begin one I can’t even begin to predict how it’s going to end!  There are no promises in this world of a happily ever after, so reading each book always puts me back on to that emotional roller coaster and I absolutely love it! It’s addicting and enthralling and I can’t get enough of each of these stories and each and every one of the characters.  

        The story opens with Xcor’s birth in the 1700s in the prologue then brings us back to the present with Xcor finally gaining consciousness but still held by the brothers.  Like any other Black Dagger story, the novel changes point of view several times so right away you are sucked in to Layla’s hopelessness, knowing how much she cares for a man she can never be with.  Watching Quinn and Blay together was rewarding in so many ways, because for so long they fought their feelings and watching them finally be settled down and raising their young was amazing.  Yet at the same time, watching it from Layla’s point of view was heartbreaking, making me love her even more and my heart just ached for her. 

        There was so much action and suspense in the beginning that had my jaw on the ground! I loved every single second of it!  So much is going on and not just between Layla and Xcor even though they were the focus of the story.  I love how all these other subplots layer into the book and I was fascinated with all those stories as well.  Also, a new character is introduced in this story that involves Trez and I can’t wait to see where that one will lead, although I have a sneaking suspicion just where it might go.  

Not So Much
        My only complaint is that when it came to the ending it was a little too neat and out of character for a Black Dagger story.  There was this whole happily ever after vibe, that wrapped all the bullshit swirling around Layla and Xcor in a cute little bow that had me scratching my head a little.  It’s not so much a complaint about the ending, its more that it felt inconsistent from the rest of the series for me. 

        Also, usually the ending of the book would signal what character’s story is coming up next and there was none of that.  I’m pretty sure the next story in the series is Assail’s and he was barely in this book at all.  I got why and you will too once you read but there was no ramp up at all for Assail and that struck me as very odd as well.

To Sum It All Up!
        This was the first book in the series where I sat back and seriously questioned how I felt about characters that I have loved in the past.  I don’t want to give away anything and I’m not going to I promise, but my opinions have certainly changed about some of the people living in the mansion.  It’s not a complaint or even a bad thing, it’s part of their story and character development and I absolutely love seeing all these different sides to them.  It shows depth in the plot and how well each character is written.  It’s a true testament to how amazing of an author JR Ward is and how deep into this world I am. 

        A lot happens in the earlier part of the story and then of course there’s tons more action later as well, but when shit hits the fan with my heart was pounding and my jaw was on the floor.  I couldn’t put my kindle down no matter even if that meant I was only going to get three hours of sleep.  Every time I had to put this book down I couldn’t stop thinking about it, even now it’s stayed with me and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 

        Like I said before I truly wasn’t sure how all of this would end for Layla and Xcor because Happily Ever Afters are not guaranteed so I was prepared for some heart ache.  What I wasn’t prepared for was my love for Xcor after all the crap that has gone on around him.  There were parts of this book that were hard for me to read because it was so emotional even now it brings chills to my skin.  I was so enraptured with this book and I just hope if you haven’t started reading The Black Dagger series that you will now because you are truly missing out on something magical.

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