4/5 stars on Goodreads
|The Sinner by J. R. Ward|
The Sinner is the eighteenth book in Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series of a brotherhood of vampires and their partners. It marks a final of a sort for the series too, although there are several books already announced. Unfortunately, it didn’t do it with a bang.
Since the first book, the main plot has been about a war with the Lessening Society, evil creatures made by Omega, the counterpart of the Scribe Virgin who created the vampires. The war has sort of ended a couple of times already as the series has reached its peaks and then continued. A constant, however, has been a prophecy of the end of Omega delivered by Butch, one of the brothers.
Butch had an own storyline in this book, which built towards the conclusion of the prophecy. All was set for the great showdown. And then it didn’t happen. The glory of ending Omega was robbed from him, supposedly in order to save his life, but basically in a cop-out that made the entire story deflate like a bad soufflé. A great disappointment, even if it introduced the new great evil who will continue the tormenting of the brotherhood.
But these books aren’t only about war. There’s always a love story too. Here it was between Syn, a tragic male with a compulsive need to kill, and Jo, a half-vampire about to go through the transition to a vampire—not that she knows about it. And the revelations are dragged almost to the end of the book where they didn’t make as great an emotional impression as I would’ve liked.
Like often in these books, the couple falls in love almost instantly. Syn is hired to kill Jo by mobsters, but he is drawn to her instead. From there, he begins a change to a romantic hero, with a good redemption arc. Jo is a more boring character. Her role is to wait for an event she doesn’t know is coming. In the meanwhile, she searches for clues of her past, but it’s not her actions that reveal the truth in the end.
It’s difficult to see why Syn finds her so special that it brings a change into his centuries of existence, but somehow it doesn’t matter. He is so earnest in his need to do right by her that it elevates their story to a true romance. And then there’s the added anxiety of not knowing whether she will make it through the transition.
The book isn’t without flaws, but I loved it anyway, like always. It’s the little things; the bonds between the brothers combined with a few truly emotional moments. And in a way it was a good thing that the war with the lessers came to an end, as it had turned boring. The new baddie is much more interesting than the old one, even if she wasn’t the character I would have wanted to move to this series from the Fallen Angels series. So there’s something to look forward to in the upcoming books too.
With this book, I’m finally in schedule with my Goodreads Reading Challenge, having read 16 books of 60.