Lover Revealed, by J.R. Ward (take 2!)

>> Thursday, March 15, 2007

As I promised in my review yesterday, we haven't yet finished talking about JR Ward's Lover Revealed. Today, Arielle guest blogs and gives us her take on it.

This is less a review of the book as a whole, than a review of parts. There was a lot going on in Lover Revealed and I realize that the romance between Butch and Marissa, in hindsight sort of takes the back seat to my impressions of the other plot elements. Nevertheless, I give it a B+ too.

Butch And Marissa

I think JR Ward deserves a gold star. Or a governmental investigation for mind control, LOL! Like Rosario, I wasn't interested AT ALL in this book. I didn't think there was anything remotely interesting about a whiny, boozing, depressed has-been cop and a sheltered, ex-Queen, society princess. Not to mention the fact that both were to a certain extent the dumpees from Dark Lover. No, I was going to read the book for Vishous insights and more Rhevenge/The Reverend. And maybe some John Matthew.

Boy was I ever wrong. Though I still had my doubts, I ended up enjoying all the story lines in this installement, including the main romance.

If that guy had been any more crazy in love with Marissa, he'd have been locked up. And the resolution was very much in JR Ward style so I was only mildly annoyed. Though, to be fair, she did hint at something like that in the previous book.

I also couldn't help thinking about Harry Potter, especially when the side-effects of the Omega's gift kick into action.

Marissa is definitely the breakthrough character here since her transformation is purely internal. Not only is she conscious of vampire females lesser status, but she decides she won't put up with it. Paranormal female empowerement at it's best. If there hadn't been the whole century-old virgin thing, I'd have voted M as Council leahdyre.

The theme

Call me Decontruction Girl but I think LR's theme is acceptance. Personal acceptance but also social acceptance. Actually, one can't happen without the other. I also believe the titles give away the plot. Butch was in between two worlds, the human and the vampire. His inadequacy issues, as we learn later in the book, take their roots in his family history. Marissa isn't exempt of her own self-esteem issues, particularly since she's ostracized by the Glymera since Wrath's repudiation. We also meet other misfits, of sorts : Vishous, John Matthew, Payne, Rehvenge/Reverend.

The Love Quadrangle

Each book seems to feature a love/lust triangle of sorts and in this one, it's even a love quadrangle. There are two people who, consciously or not, don't want want Bush and Marissa to get together: Rehvenge, who loves Marissa but knows his two Big Secrets can never make him an acceptable companion for her; and Havers
who's obviously not over Wrath's rejection of Marissa and who can't even conceive of his sister hooking up with a mere human of questionable origin.

New Characters/Aspects

We're introduced to new vampires in this book and the one I love the most is Xhex (visually painful spelling is still a problem for me). A kick-ass female who sounds like a dom. She's officially made my list of characters to watch. She's portrayed as a strong working woman, with an equally strong sexuality. I wonder what kind of hero wil l be worthy of her trust, caring and loyalty. And of her secret.

Speculation time: How cool and seemingly inappropriate would it be if Havers was paired with her? (Rosario says: yep, Arielle was the friend I mentioned who suggested the idea to me). Seriously, she lives on the fringe, a victime of an unfair and rigid society while he's never had to question (until his sister's adventures, anyway) whether or not he belongs. IMO, this bad girl and that good boy are made for each other. And I bet it's going to be kinky as hell...

The Glymera

We get to see more or the Glymera and it ain't pretty. Definitely inspired by the Regency Ton. Elitist, priviledged and very rigid. With the changes slowly but surely being initiated since bk 1, it's going to get ugly when the shit hits the fan. I also wonder about this Princeps Council.

Obviously, the Lessers are getting more daring and violent and yet the PC's decision regarding sehclusion seemed...stupid. Hello, you guys are getting killed left and right and the master plan is locking up the womenfolk? These people need a little revolution to get the blood flowing in their brains again.

Training Camp

Vampire Boot Camp is also fun to see. And John Matthew, baby, I'm sooo in love. I can't wait so see his transition, first feeding etc. So many questions: how many of his classmates will die during transition or even their first fight? Will JM use a Chosen? Also can't wait to see how he works out his problems with Draco...I mean Lash (another HP moment, folks). Blaylock, on the other hand, seems to be set up as the best friend / sidekick. Hope he doesn't die.

My New Boy Toys

The two men I'm dying for: Rehvenge and Vishous. Rehvenge/Rehverend, is that going to be explosive or not? I just know he's going to fall for a Glymera Girl. Unless she's human. But I know it's going to be hot and dangerous. And that's just his sex life, LOL! The tight rope of his double-life is sure to make for a compelling future book. I'm also really interested in discovering the full extent of his sympaths abilities. What can he do when he's not drugged up?

As for V, I'm more intrigued than ever. Thank God his book is coming soon. Anybody read the sneak peek on the boards? I just knew it was something like that. I'm happy I was right. (Rosario says: What, what? I don't go on the boards, what's on the sneak peek?)

JR Ward might have said in her AAR interview that she doesn't plan the sensuality level beforehand but there is no doubt that both these guys are going to have very hot books.

What I didn't like

Since writing the first draft of this, I've reread this book and now have time to stop and think about the cons. And definitely, this couple is not equal in treatment in the book. Marissa is more interesting to me in her development than Butch. I also felt, as my friend Helga put it, that the romance just didn't shine. And, contrary to some people I know, I thought the first make-out scene in the hospital was a little yucky, especially the, euh, conclusion. (Rosario says: er, I think someone's talking about me...)

For the most part, the other stories overshadowed B&M's romance for me. Even the Lessers were more interesting for me to read about this time around. I like the prophecy angle but not very much the treatment. It seemed this centuries old prophecy was understood a little too quickly. Still, jumping from one story to the next was distracting, especially where B&M are concerned.

Havers was such a jerk in this book, I wanted to bitchslap him, several times. And yet I still like him. I'm sticking with my prediction that Xhex is the girl for him. He's also one of the few civilians we actually do see in their daily lives. I'm pretty sure JR Ward is going to move the focus more and more towards the rest of Vampyre society, and not just the Brotherhood. I can't wait. Even in this book, the Brothers seem to live outside of their society, and more so the females. I might want a Brother (or two or three) but I sure don't want to be his female if it means some Council can just lock me up at will.

Like Ro said, I'm also pretty sure she will tone down V's sexual preferences. I thought Butch and V had great chemistry together but her fans are against homosexual Brothers and so that's not the nature of these two characters relationship. I feel like she's closed the chapter on the strangely sexual vibe between these two, and frankly I'm going to miss it. It was hot. Together, these guys were hot. And totally dug the BDSM, and that was a surprise to me, LOL!

But the one WTF? moment I had was with Butch's sister. Ok, I get it we needed backstory AND confirmation but did we really need the sister so much? I was hoping he'd go visit her or the mom at dusk and the truth would come out or something. Or, as my friend Heidi said, I thought she was going to be killed. Instead she gets all these pages. Utterly superfluous, IMO.

That said, LR whetted my appetite for V's book and Rehvenge's book. And John Matthew and Phury and Thor (where is that man, anyway?). I read it's an open-ended series now, and that sounds scary. I don't want to get bored with this series, even if LR was in a way less exciting than the previous titles.


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