Friday, October 9, 2009

Book Review: Covet by J.R. Ward

This is my first review with Blogs With Bite, a group review blog, and it just so happens I read the book being reviewed last week after picking it up the day after it was released. J.R. Ward is an author I'm very familiar with, but for this review I'm going to go with the premise that you haven't read any of her other books.

Review Book: Covet: A Novel of the Fallen Angels
Author: J.R. Ward
Reading Level: Adult

Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis: Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty, both personally and professionally, is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. His weapon: the power of love. His enemy: the darkest of evil. And failure is not an option. (copyright J.R. Ward)

The author grabbed me right from the first sentence of the prologue:

"Demon was such a nasty word. "

That one sentence had me wanting to read more, and the questions were already rushing into my brain: Are demons bad? Are they neutral? Will they be corporeal? Many books start off with a prologue that is necessary, but often more along educational or historical lines. I will find myself skimming to get to the guts of the book faster. J.R. Ward uses the prologue to educate, amuse and to lead us into the story with flair, so I soaked it up instead of skimming.

We meet our main character Jim Heron in the first chapter and immediately wonder if he isn't about to get himself into trouble. The author is very descriptive of both people and places, but not so much that it slows the book down. In the first chapter we meet all but one of the main characters. Ward uses humor and sarcasm in her writing along with pop culture references, and slang. She never sugar coats her characters. They jump out of the pages with their good traits and their flaws.

We meet Jim before he finds out about his mission to save souls, which will be the ongoing plot in the book series. As the book goes on we discover much about him as a person and how he deals with his past and his future. Covet has plenty of twists and turns as we are taken through a gambit of emotions. I laughed out loud at many things, cried at a couple of others, and shared anger with the characters as they suffered. Ward doesn't allow us to feel "neutral" about her characters. We may think we don't care at first, but by the end of the book we are right there, either loving or hating them.

For me, Covet was a nonstop read, though not necessarily a fast read because of it's complexity. I loved the book from start to finish. I highly recommend it to fans of urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. If you love books with romance, action, battles against good and evil plus good old fashioned butt kicking thrown in you will love this book.

Random Notes: This is not a book for teens in my opinion. Some scenes are what I would call extremely steamy, though,to me, that is a side bonus to the action. It's not the focus of the story though. I tell my teens that they can read this book (or other adult reads) when they are over 40 like me.

There are some cool crossovers from Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood books that will tickle her fans, but first time readers of her books won't be confused in the least.

The following are questions are from Blogs With Bite for the group review, so I'm including them here also:

Q#1 - Did you relate to Jim at all? Did you feel like he was a good choice or worthy of this mission?

I related to him as far as his emotions, good and bad. I actually don't like characters that are too much like myself, which is why I enjoy good paranormal books. I like characters that can kick butt and do something about the evil in their world.

Q#2 - How do you feel about the tone of the book? Did you think that there was too much slang/not enough/just enough? How did you feel about the word choice in the book- did it add to your reading of the story or take away from it?

I loved the author's use of slang and pop culture references. I thought the language fit the circumstances and the reality of the book's world.

Q#3 - When the "fantasy" of the book is based on a belief system that is regarded as truth by some religions (the angels & demons) does it help you relate better with the story, as opposed to a story about vampires and werewolves?

Not really. I love complex characters that aren't perfect, but who passionate in their beliefs, whatever they happen to be. The fallen angels were fascinating to me, but so are vampire and other supernatural characters.

Q#4 - In the opening of this book we read about a football game analogy of Demons verses Angels, even though this is fiction what do think of Demons in this case Jim the Fallen Angel being portrayed as a "Good Guy"?

Hmmm...I didn't get that out of the opening. Jim isn't a demon; his mission is to save souls, to even the playing field so to speak. I thought by the end of the book his nature was fairly clear. I think the term "Fallen Angel" is not used in the traditional way we may have seen in other books. To me it's "fallen", as in working/interacting on earth, rather than in heaven.

Q#5 - How do you feel knowing this will be a 7 book series featuring Jim and he might win all of the battles?

I love it! I can't wait to read the next book. This first ones gives a hint of what the next one will be and I think it's going to be a great read. I think Jim and his friends will come through with flying colors while giving us a fantastic reading experience.

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