Thursday, September 22, 2022

The Viper by J. R. Ward: review

4/5 stars on Goodreads

The Viper by J. R. Ward

The Viper is the third book in Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp, a spin-off series of the original BDB. It follows a group of vampires and wolven falsely imprisoned in a cruel prison, sometimes for centuries.

Kane, a vampire aristocrat, has been in the prison for two centuries accused of killing his shellan (wife). In the first book, he sacrificed himself by detonating a bomb to save two people fleeing the prison, and though he didn’t die, he’s in such a bad shape that he can’t heal himself.

Nadya is a nurse caring for Kane in the prison. She’s not a prisoner, but she doesn’t want to live in the outside world because an attack has left her physically deformed. As she takes care of Kane, she starts to think of him as more than a patient, someone she could loveif only he wasn’t about to die.

The third book starts where the previous ended. The remaining two prisoners of the group, with the help of third who managed to escape in the previous book, escape the prison and take Kane with them. They take him to a wolven healer/goddess, who heals him by making him a vessel for a viper god, which essentially makes him a viper-shifter. The first thing he does is head back to prison to save Nadya.

This was maybe the best book in the series so far. We’re familiar with the people and the setting, and Kane and Nadya had known each other for a long time, so the romance doesn’t feel forced or instantaneous. There’s a solid side-plot between Apex, one of the prisoners, and Callum, a wolven, and the way it was left in this book promises a difficult journey for them in the next one. And V’s drama was at minimum, a rather sweet side-quest with Payne, his sister that has mostly been absent in the BDB books.

However, the romance remained secondary again, buried under the action and other drama, and its emotional impact was a bit light. But if you’re looking for UF action with a side of a romance, this series is great for that.

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