Book Review: The Jackal by J.R. Ward

Posted November 13, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: The Jackal  by J.R. Ward

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

J.R. Ward Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp #1
Genres: Paranormal
Published by Gallery Books on August 18, 2020
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also in this series: The Wolf

First in the Prison Camp paranormal romance subseries (nineteen?? in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series) that all revolves around a vampire king’s personal guard. The couple focus is on Nyx and the Jackal in 2017.

If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books on my website.

My Take

It’s all about injustice, and oh man, I want to rage and rage and rage!

While the Black Dagger Brotherhood does pop up throughout the story, it’s mainly to showcase Rhage. In the present, he’s surrounded by family along with his love for Bitty and to set up a relationship with the Jackal in the past, which in turn, introduces us to the Jackal. The BDB doesn’t really pop into action until the end … and foreshadows what will be coming up in future stories in the Prison Camp subseries. The story focus is on Nyx and the Jackal.)

Nyx annoys me. She’s so stubborn about getting her way, won’t listen to anyone, and she hasn’t a clue how much she’s putting the men helping her at risk.

“I get along with most people, you know.”

“If you believe that, you’re delusional as well as obstinate.”

I knew Rhage was unhappy with his curse…well, who wouldn’t be…but I had no idea he was so down on himself until I read his thoughts and actions in 1913. Seems Rhage has been keeping a big secret as well until he unloads to Darius. There was a fascinating bit in here about the architect who designed what Darius wanted in that huge house where the BDB and their families now dwell.

Yeah, I wouldn’t like Jabon either (what a smarmy git!), and while I sympathize for Rhage’s enforced lying about, I would enjoy it for a lot longer than he did, lol!

I’m not buying the love angle here. There’s not much of a connection other than The Jackal has been down here for way too many years.

The Jackal also has a couple of horrible secrets, one of which is quite precious to him. Grandfather, too, has got some huge secrets! And not all of them good. And speaking of secrets, Command has them too and is totally unexpected and completely delusional.

For the most part, I could follow the jumps between perspectives and times, but there were a few that had my head hurting. There is action, but it takes second place to the characters who vacillate between stubbornness, whining, and thinking. Yep, we learn it all through the third person triple protagonist points-of-view from Rhage’s, Nyx’s, and the Jackal’s perspectives.

I found The Jackal slow-going for the majority of the story. It didn’t speed up and become truly interesting until the last bit, yep, I loves me some BDB, lol. I make it the fault of all the whining and stubbornness.

The Story

With her sister wrongly imprisoned, Nyx has been going crazy for the past 50 years trying to find her, find out if she’s okay, and try to free her. It’s not until Posie hits that “deer” that Nyx has even a chance of finding Janelle.

It’s a trail that will terrify, compel, and force Nyx to appreciate the help she receives, even as she struggles with the truth.

The Characters

Nyxanlis “Nyx” is the oldest, the responsible one. Posie is the youngest sister, too caught up in hiding from reality. Janelle is/had been the middle sister, innocent when she was thrown into prison 50 years ago. Grandfather is their only living parent and crafts Adirondack guide boats.

Peter is the pre-trans vampire hit by the car.

The Jackal “Jack”, a vampire architect, was sentenced to 100 years.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is…
…an elite group of huge, hunky vampires who guard the king and are the first line of defense between the species and any threats. Rhage “Hollywood” is cursed with turning into a dragon; he’s mated to Mary (Lover Eternal, 2), and they’ve adopted Bitty (The Beast, 14). Wrath is the Blind King who is mated to Beth (Dark Lover, 1); they have a son, Little Wrath “L.W.Zsadist is mated to Bella (Lover Awakened, 3). Tohrment is the son of Hharm. Vishous “V”, of the scary hand, blunts, and BDSM, is mated to the ghostly Doc Jane (Lover Unbound, 5).

Dr “Manny” Manello is a human surgeon who is mated to Payne (Lover Unleashed, 9) and is one of the BDB’s doctors. Saxton is the king’s solicitor. Fritz is the butler, a doggen.

The Prison is…
…where Command holds horrific sway, with the power of life and death with those little “corrections” handed out. Think the Roman idea of “bread and circuses”. The delusional Command loves to humiliate and degrade the Jackal. The prison had been ruled by the glymera and the Council. The Hive is a common area for the prisoners where black market trading took place and Command had prisoners punished. The Wall is where the names of the deceased are inscribed.

The Jackal’s friends within the prison include Lucan, a slightly evil, untrustworthy werewolf, who is still better than most of the other prisoners. Kane is an aristocrat who was framed. Mayhem is super friendly, but he’s in for murder…because he was bored. Apex is a killer.

The Lessening Society had been…
…led by the Omega with the intention of killing off the race. They had killed most of the aristocracy three years ago.

Caldwell, New York, 1913

Jabon the Younger is a smarmy, suck-up of a social-climbing git in the glymera. Ellany has a greedy, bed-hopping mahmem; they’re closely related to Jabon.

The BDB in this time includes Rhage; son of Tohrture; Darius, son of Marklon, who is a Brother known for his decency; Tohrment; Zsadist; and, Wrath, who is the supposed king. Fritz is a doggen, a servant.

Havers is the doctor who caters to the race and still does in the present day.

More Info

Shellan is a wife; hellren is a husband. The glymera are the race aristocracy, the Founding Families, and a real stuck up bunch they are. The Fade is the race’s idea of Heaven.

The Cover and Title

The cover is perfect with its amorphous black frame and the gray prison bars through which the Jackal peers out at us with his piercing blue eye, his hands gripping those same bars. The author’s name is in an embossed brilliant blue, crossing the Jackal’s forehead. The title is in the same embossed color below his chin. Beneath that is the series information: the BDB universe with the subseries info below that in an embossed appearing white.

The title is the main male character, The Jackal.

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