Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Observing From The Sidelines

So I just finished Lover Eternal by J.R. Ward. I know, I cannot believe it either. I am finally free of this book!

My final verdict? Average. For me the parts never added up to a cohesive, satisfying total. I liked some aspects, and rolled my eyes over a lot of stuff. Basically it all came out in the wash.

Things I liked? The atmosphere in general. There was a nice gothic, comic book edge to it. I also liked Rhage's utter devotion to Mary once they "bonded." Lord help me, I liked Zsadist - which means even I have fangirl tendencies. I liked Bella.

What I didn't like? The dopey ass names. Seriously, are these guys like the paranormal romance version of the Village People? The dopey ass dialouge. Who the hell says "you feel me?" all the time? The heroine who takes forever to catch on. Seriously when the hero calls women "females" and is caught staring through her sliding glass door at 4AM you think she would have gotten a clue that the guy isn't normal. A heroine who is rather bland. She just doesn't hold water next to all the Alpha vampire testerone that's flying around. The hero needed someone with real fire and instead the author gives him a wet match. Blah.

Oh and how stupid is the Scribe Virgin thing? Seriously.

This book and series reminds me of a recent RTB column I did on "hero-squealers" vs. "heroine-squealers." The Ward series is built for fangirls because it's All About The Heroes. The heroines (if they read like Mary!) are more like an afterthought. The heroes are the real show, the heroines are wallpaper. For me, that isn't a romance. Heck, it ain't even that interesting.

Which is probably why I wasn't madly enthralled with this book. Like I said, average.


Lynn M said...

Okay, to Ward's defense, I personally thought the dialogue in her first book "Dark Lover" was better. There wasn't nearly the amount of "my brothering" in it (which I, too, found highly annoying). I also thought the heroine in DL was better. I wasn't a big fan of Mary, and I 110% agree with you that Ward's heroes are the strong part of the book while her heroines leave much to be desired.

I'm just hoping the set up with Bella isn't a bait-and-switch and she turns out to be kind of wimpy as well. I love the idea of Zsadist, so I'm dying to read his story. I also hope that Bella and Zsadist's story involves a lot more than Bella hanging out in Zsadist's room, waiting for him to come home from some butt-kicking action. Mary - and Beth from DL - spent a lot of time just hanging out, waiting.

That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed both LE and DL. While the names of the vamps are kind of cloying, after a while they grew on me. I can't imagine any other names that would work as well. Somehow "Steve" or "Derek" or even the dreaded "Lucien" just don't capture the flavor of this particular brotherhood.

Jennifer said...

Wendy, this was so fun, just like a soap opera. I came to your blog everyday for the latest instalment of:

Will she read it?
Will she learn to love it?
Will she finish it?

What am I going to do now that you're done with the book?

My opinion is that DARK LOVER was better. But I'm in it for the men :-) I did think Mary was too wimpy. She was strong in the beginning fighting her illness, then she just sort of hung out as scene dressing. Except for the angry sex, she didn't have much spark. But I will be there for the next book!

Megan Frampton said...

I'm with Jennifer; what will we do now you've finished it?

I really liked it, but I agree with most of your dislikes. Somehow the story and writing and sheer intensity of the heroes overcame all that other stuff for me.

I hated the part with the Scribe Virgin, and her justification for letting Mary live. HATED that.

Leya said...

I haven't read the first book, I have it on my shopping list. Here's the question: Are the books worth reading? Or should I pass them up?

Wendy said...

I say it's worth trying. I haven't read the first book, but a lot people seem to feel that it's better than Lover Eternal. Also, some of the stuff that yanked my chain falls under "personal preference."

If you like hot Alpha guys - definitely go for it! The entire series should satisfy that craving nicely.

Megan - It didn't bother me too much, but my inner feminist cringed. I could go all pyschological on explaining that - but want to avoid spoilers ;-) Then again, I found the whole existence of the Scribe Virgin annoying - so that's probably why the ending didn't cheese me off more. I was already annoyed with her so what was more thing?

sybil said...

I of course loved them. I think I have said that once maybe twice ;).

I don't think it is correct to say she only writes wimpy heroines. So far we have only seen two. And I do think Mary has a hell of a lot of fight in her, honestly I saw less 'fight' in Beth. But loved both books.

Tell you what I think of Belle in a few weeks *g*. Well not you as in Wendy cuz I don't think you give a fuck. hee

But the SV, can't stand her happy ass.

Glad you finished so you can move on to the next book!

Wendy said...

I think Mary had the potential to display her "fight," however the author just sort of leaves her twisting in the wind. The boys have all the fun and Mary is stuck "hanging around." Which just bored me. I mean, she was sick - I certainly didn't expect any ninja ass-kicking moves...but something. Anything. Maybe if the attitude she displayed during The Angry Sex Scene had been expanded more.

And I am curious about Zsadist's story. I just hope Ward doesn't do the "bait and switch" with Bella like Lynn M said :-)