Friday, April 20, 2018

JR Ward - The Thief

Sola Morte, former cat burglar and safecracker, has given up her old life on the wrong side of the law. On the run from a drug lord's family, she is lying low far from Caldwell, keeping her nose clean and her beloved grandmother safe. Her heart, though, is back up north, with the only man who has ever gotten through her defenses: Assail, son of Assail, who never meant to fall in love--and certainly not with a human woman. But they have no future, and not just because she doesn't know he is a vampire, but because he is not about to stop dealing arms to the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Fate, however, has other plans for them. When Assail falls into a coma and lingers on the verge of death, his cousins seek out Sola and beg her to give him a reason to live. The last thing she wants is a return to her past, but how can she leave him to die?
As a lethal new enemy of the vampires shows its face, and the Brotherhood needs Assail back on his feet, Sola finds herself not only a target, but a mission-critical force in a war she doesn't understand. And when Assail's truth comes out, will she run from the horror . . . or follow her heart into the arms of the male who loves her more than life itself?

Comment: This is the most recent installment in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward, still one of my favorite series ever. This is book #16 and it focuses on Assail and Sola.

Assail has had a life of control and power over his affairs but meeting Sola and sort of bonding with her, trying to think of ways to help and protect her has made him think twice about his past choices. To become a better person he has decided to fight his cocaine addiction with the help of the BDB doctors. However his mind and his body are struggling too much to stay alive and his cousins Ehric and Evale decide to try another tactic: to find Sola.
Sola and her mother are living in Florida as a means for Sola to stay away from the mess she used to be in when she was doing shady jobs as a thief. In order to fulfill a promise she moved with her beloved grandmother and is trying to stay away from everything she used to know, including the mysterious Assail with whom she fell in love with but wants to forget. 
Now that Sola knows Assail is "sick" and might not live, can she go back to him to say goodbye? Or will her presence turn out to be a miracle?

Before getting into my thoughts about this story I just want to repeat some things from my comments of the previous books in thes eries, just to get it out of the way:
- I still love these books despite the romance of the supposed "main couple" not being the only focus anymore.
- Even if this is more urban fantasy, I still appreciate the amazing world and characters.
- Many readers dislike the multiple POVs which make the story confusing and without much closeness to the characters and while this could be a bit avoided, I still enjoy the overall work.

I liked this book in general but I must say there were two details about the story itself (as opposed to the overall story line) that could have been done differently and wouldn't be a betrayal of the author's vision for the book.
First, I would certainly include a lot less scenes/moments with the villains or bad guys plotting their plans ans thinking about their hate of the heroes or something. I can understand this need to keep the reader updated to some details but...for me, totally avoidable. And it seems more bad characters will show up and I think it's unnecessary.
Another aspect is how the relationship between Sola and Assail ends up. Ok, they have their HEA and we know they will be happy and will solve things but there was still some indecisive situations I'd have liked to see solved right now.

As for the romance itself, it was sweet in a way I wouldn't imagine if one were to consider Assail as he was when he first appeared a few books ago. I like this new person he turned out to be even if he feels lost now that he doesn't have much to work on.
Sola is a good heroine because she cares for those she loves and she is confident in her abilities.
But yes, I's have loved a bit more about them as characters part of this world. Perhaps the problem is that we don't really know what's their role in the bigger scheme...

The other several plot lines provided very interesting details about so many things...I really love this sense that I have when I read the books because having a lot of information - even if distracting at times - means I'm "closer" to the characters I came to love and hear about. As if we, the readers, are a little part of those character's lives.
I especially liked knowing a character quite discussed by readers is coming to scene at last and that some new events will take place in the next book that will certainly mean another interesting romance...

All things considered, this worked out for me quite well, except for a couple of details I'd change. But it's like visiting friends, when I read a story set in this world.
Grade: 8/10

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