Book Review: The Savior by J.R. Ward

Posted July 8, 2019 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 2 Comments

Book Review: The Savior 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.

The Savior by J.R. Ward
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Published by Gallery Books on April 2, 2019
Pages: 416
Format: eBook
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Possession, The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss, The Beast, Blood Vow, The Chosen, Blood Fury, “Dearest Ivie”, The Thief, "The Rehearsal Dinner", "The Reception", Consumed, Blood Truth, Where Winter Finds You, The Sinner, J.R. Ward, A Warm Heart in Winter, Claimed

Seventeenth in the Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) paranormal romance series and revolving around the personal Guard of the vampire King. The main focus is on Dr Sarah Watkins and Murhder, a former Brother, with a secondary focus on Xhex and John Matthew. The primary setting is in Caldwell, New York.

My Take

Whoa, there’s a lot of good background in here…and a lot of crying on my part in here. All related through third person global subjective point-of-view, primarily from Sarah’s and Murhder’s perspectives as well as from John’s and Xhex’s. And that mean Ward…she’s planting all kinds of foreshadowing that I’m dying to learn.

The past includes the mansion Darius built for the King and his elite guards, why the Brothers have the names they do, what happened to Murhder that made him anathema to the BDB while the future threatens with the Book’s plans, John’s presentiments, Sarah’s lonely future, and equality coming to the Brotherhood.

Hooo, this is just nasty the way the Brothers treat Murhder. Of course, we know something they don’t. Ward also makes sure we know just how long it’s been since Murhder has been in Caldwell.

Murhder and Throe simply doesn’t think past the moment, although Murhder does have better reasons. And I gotta say, I loved that scene when Murhder starts to whistle, and he and John go skipping off to kill. Ooh, that sounds bad, but…seriously…

It’s Xhex’s past relationship with Murhder that has John, well, considering murder, his heart breaking, even as John contemplates his upcoming death. And if that doesn’t make you cry… Losing Xhex is not the only major regret in his life. It’s also John’s predicament that saves Murhder.

Sarah’s memories of Gerry also undergo a sea change, and she can’t believe that the man she loved could fall in with such horrors. She also finds an acceptance and family she hasn’t had in a very, very long time. One that will not welcome her… Fortunately, she does find a different acceptance towards the end. A relief in fact.

My main niggle is how shortsighted Wrath and the BDB are about Sarah. And why Doc Jane and Manny don’t step up…??

It’s an action-packed story that revolves around honor, horror, sacrifice, and love.

It’s a shame that it takes death to appreciate the living.

And then there’s the primary reason I adore the BDB series. The sense of family, the support, the love, as exemplified by the Uncles Brotherhood ordering all kinds of toys off Amazon for the children.

The Story

It’s an unfinished mission for Murhder. The female he had to leave behind. He’ll push and push to find her now. To save her son.

Only, he’s still as rash as ever, and there are the shadows that can’t be killed. One bit John…and he’s dying.

The Characters

Dr Sarah Watkins is world-famous within her niche, gene and cell therapy, specializing in immunotherapy for cancer at BioMed. Dr Gerhard “Gerry” Albrecht is/was Sarah’s fiancé who died two years ago. He had worked in the Infectious Diseases division at BioMed. Gunter had been a cousin of his.

Murhder, son of the Black Dagger warrior Murhder, went insane after the mind control torture and was expelled from the Brotherhood. He now owns Eliahu Rathboone House in Sharing Cross, South Carolina, a B&B. Yeah, ironic… He and Darius, a Brother killed in a car bombing, had been friends.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is…
…a band of black leather-wearing vampire warriors bred for their well-developed builds, their fighting skills, and their loyalty, who protect their people against the lessers and prevent humans from discovering their existence. Based in Caldwell, they’re led by Wrath, the Blind King; George is his support golden retriever. Beth is Wrath’s shellan and John’s sister (Dark Lover, 1). She and Wrath have a son, L.W., Little Wrath. Butch had been a Boston cop until he learned he was the Dhestroyer Prophecy manifest; he’s mated to Marissa, Havers’ sister (Lover Revealed, 4). Zsadist, mated to Bella and with a daughter, Nalla, is silent and deadly (Lover Awakened, 3); his twin is Phury, the current Primale, who is mated to Cormia (Lover Enshrined, 6), one of the Chosen along with Analye. Rhage, a.k.a., Hollywood, is mated to Mary (Lover Eternal, 2). Dr “Manny” Manello is their surgeon, who is mated to Payne, Vishous’ sister (Lover Unleashed, 9).

Xhex (works security at shAdoWs) is a symphath and mated to John Matthew (Lover Mine, 8), Darius’ son. Neither John nor Blayton “Blay” are in the Brotherhood although they fight side-by-side with them. Wellsie had been the only mother John knew; she had been mated to Tohrment “Tohr“, son of of the Black Dagger warrior Hharm, who has married again, to Autumn, Xhex’s mahmen (Lover Reborn, 10). Xhex had also had a previous relationship with Murhder, one that led to his capture.

Doc Jane Whitcomb is a ghost who is mated to their tech genius, Vishous “V” of the gloved hand and cigars (Lover Unbound, 5). Qhuinn and Blay are a couple (Lover at Last, 11) with twins, Lyric and Rhampage. Only, Qhuinn is a Brother.

A prankster and anarchist wearing ass-baring chaps, Lassiter is a fallen angel allied with the Brothers. And he’s taking the place of the Scribe Virgin (The Thief, 16). Rehvenge, king of the symphaths is an advisor to the king. Ehlena, a nurse at Havers’ clinic, is his mate (Lover Avenged, 7). Dr Havers is the race’s physician. Saxton is the King’s solicitor. Abalone is the King’s First Advisor. Rexboone “Boone” is the blooded son of Altamere (he’ll be the first killed by Throe’s shadows), who is one of those glymera who had been on the council.

Wrath’s Audience House is located in a neighborhood in Caldwell where his people may petition him. Fritz had been Darius’ butler and is now Wrath’s.

The Band of Bastards are…
…a band of rogue soldiers who finally came over to America and battled the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Led by Xcor, Tohr’s half-brother, they are now allied with the Brotherhood (The Chosen, 15). Balthazar is one of his men. Throe had been his second-in-command.

The Council had been…
…the ruling body of glymera, aristocrats who no longer rule after their overthrow attempt.

RSK BioMed is…
…a global leader in medical research with branches all over the world. That egoistic scum Dr Robert Kraiten is the CEO. Sarah believes his private security are ex-Israeli Defense Forces soldiers. The partner with whom he started up BioMed died in a fire 20 years ago. Dr Thomas McCaid is a supervisor in one of the divisions and Gerry’s boss. Marco is a guard.

Ingridge was the pregnant female. Natelem “Nate” is the son she bore.

Eliahu Rathboone House in Sharing Cross, South Carolina, is…
…a bed-and-breakfast Murhder bought 150 years ago. Rick Springfield and Amy Hongkao are guests who encounter a bat, leading to our intro to Murhder.

Special Agent Manfred is focusing on Sarah and Gerry.

The Lessening Society is…
…created by the Omega, the Scribe Virgin’s very evil brother, who creates desouled, paled-out humans, no longer human, lessers, who prey on the Brothers and their people. Lash had been the class bully when John, Blay, and Qhuinn were training.

The Shadows are…
…not of the Trez/iAm variety, but evil created by Throe, son of Throe, a sociopath with evil ambitions. These shadows are dead people who come back as reanimated corpses and are near impossible to kill. The Book is magical and influencing Throe, too obviously.

Eric Rothberg is one of Sarah’s neighbors. Todd and his two friends were drunk and shouldn’t have been driving. Shawn is a bank teller. Kenisha James is the branch manager. Back in Sarah’s high school days, Bobby had been her jerk of a boyfriend; Sara (without the “h”) had been her best friend. Lorenzo Taft-Margulies wants to hire Sarah.

Vampire nourishment must come from a member of the opposite sex. The Primale is the male who serviced the sacred females, the Chosen, to procreate the next generations of Brotherhood members. It was a breeding program instituted by the Scribe Virgin, who had been their god until she left her post; she was also V and Payne’s mother. Symphaths are a different race who can read emotional grids and influence the mind. A mahmen means mother. A shellan is a wife; a hellren is a husband. A doggen is a loyal servant.

The Cover and Title

The cover is DARK! It’s a close-up of Murhder, his head bowed with a dagger posed vertically down the center of his face. The author’s name is a slightly gothic font in an embossed white across his forehead. The title, in yellow, sits just below his bottom lip. Beneath that is the series information in white. Overall, a dark cast, ensuring the darkness.

The title is Murhder’s sacrifice as The Savior.

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