Thursday, November 8, 2012

Be Still My Heart for Real, Manly Vampires (Who Are Warriors)

So I realise that it has been pretty much forever and a day since I actually posted and I might be about time to do so again. Since the last time I posted, I've been pretty much up to my eyeballs in law school, trying to get to see Heath, and, as of two days, trying to get ahold of one of the much coveted judicial internships. Sure, they pay you nothing, you become a judge's whipping girl (or boy), and you realise how much exactly you do not know about, well, everything but...the payment is the experience. Far be it for me to point out to anybody that experience, at least as of now, does not put food on the table...well, I guess I actually did just point that out but- shh! Keep it on the down-low! I can't have future judges know that I'm thinking these blasphemous (read: smart) thoughts!

I also have had absolutely no time to bake, clean (the apartment, I mean- I have absolutely kept myself clean), or really feed myself anything substantially healthy. My diet has currently downgraded to beef Ramen, eggs (when I remember to buy some), and copious amounts of caffeine. To be fair, though, I only have one caffeinated beverage a day because most of them are just unnecessary caloric intake. However, typically on eight o'clock class days, that one caffeinated beverage is a Monster: Rehab (iced tea and lemonade!). While it does have less caffeine in it than coffee, I still feel like the first thing I drink in a day should absolutely not be an energy drink but, unfortunately, it is. Undergrad killed my sleep habits and made me a caffeine addict, now law school is destroying my diet and only making those caffeine habits worse. At least for me, my only over-indulgence will be caffeine. Definitely makes me feel a little bit better about myself.

However, with the early death of Halloween (I mean, c'mon, they already had Christmas stuff out? Geesh, let us Halloween-ites enjoy our holiday!), the celebration of the 165th birthday of Bram Stoker, and my love of all good things vampiric (and I do mean not Twilight), my attention today shall be towards a, well, series to say the least. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's just an entire freaking world. If you're prudish, mildly or otherwise, or, well, a guy, I would probably stop reading at this point because, while I will turn my attention to non-smut vampire books and movies later, I'm in the mood to talk about smut- wow, that really doesn't sound right. Either way, today's entry is about the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward.

It's very difficult to give a synopsis of this series because it's ten books in...and counting. It's about a band of warrior vampire brothers who are fighting lessers- the big, supernatural, baby-powder smelling baddies created by the Omega, the source of all evil- in order to protect the ever-dwindling civilian ranks of the vampire population and typically finding their mates while they're at it. The core group of Brothers are Wrath, Rhage, Zsadist, Butch, Vishous, and Phury, big, powerful, very masculine vampires. The books take the reader through their fight with the lessers and their finding of their mates who are, quite literally, their soul-mates for life. If a mate dies, it destroys the male left behind. That is the Black Dagger World in a very, very hollow nutshell. To fully appreciate these, you have to read them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that these are absolutely hard-core smut. J.R. Ward really leads you by the hand through everything- the violence, the sex, and, well, the rap, since they don't listen to rock'n'roll. For all those women out there who were fanning themselves about 50 Shades (and I will save that rampage about those horribly inaccurate, just all-around-bad books for another day), these take it to the next level. And if you want to read about BDSM that is not just "oh, I tie your hands with my tie, how kinky is that?" and more "I tie your hands with leather cuffs that you are absolutely not getting until I release you," and that's actually written well, please read Lover Unbound. However, you do have to read through the first four books to get there, so there's your enticement. To start you all off, the first book is Dark Lover and it is Wrath, the king of the vampires and the head of the Black Dagger Brotherhoods book.

I discovered this series when I was about 15 and flouting the restrictive parental guidelines of what I was reading. I got involved with the series really, really quickly and have not fallen out of love with this series. She's now had to expand the world to include others because, well, five is just not enough. Another wonderful thing about this series is that the books are interactive. It's not necessarily sequential in the way they occur. Each book takes those things that happens previously and grows it in such a way that the world is always expanding, is always growing, and by the end of book two, at the latest, you are just incredibly involved with these characters. Also, the books are multi-perspectival. So things characters say and do are always getting filled out and getting new life breathed into them as the perspective and focus shifts. If it sounds like I love these books, it is absolutely because I do. Not only were they my first REAL smut but J.R. Ward makes it more than just that. Each character touches your heart and their love stories are...romantic, sweet, funny, and odd, all at the same time. For me, it's just a very special series that has stuck with me through the years.

Also, J.R. Ward graduated from law school so I feel like I'm doing work...kind of. Just let me have my moment of incredible self-delusion that I am not slacking on my work because I'm reading books that are not law-related. In the slightest. Oh, well, I refuse to let law school take over my life! Similarly, my favourite author of all time (tied for first with Lewis Carroll) who will be the future of the (possibly distant) next blog post also graduated from law school so I feel little bit better about my voracious out-of-school reading.

I hope you all enjoyed this most recent update and will give the Black Dagger Brotherhood books a shot- she's a clever, fun writer who actually also has really witty repartee. Also, if you have any requests, let me know! For now, though, Harley Quinn, over and out!