Vampires are popular in paranormal romance books and movies lately, as shown by the mega success of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, and True Blood on screen, and by J.R. Ward’s legendary Black Dagger Brotherhood series that continues to captivate readers and has spawned a massive following.
Vampires take a backseat to angels in J.R. Ward’s BDB-spinoff series, the Fallen Angels. So far, the angels haven’t proven to be as popular with readers as their fanged brethren. Let's examine the Fallen Angels:
The Fallen Angels differ from the BDB in the makeup of their heroes. In the BDB, Ward turns what most assume to be soulless monsters into males with humanity whom we root for and lust after. In the Fallen Angels series, Ward pulls a reverse and makes the extraordinary out of the ordinary. The Fallen Angel Jim’s character is a regular guy who happens to land himself in the middle of a battle of good versus evil and the fate of the world rests in his carpenter’s hands.
In the first book of the Fallen Angels series, Covet, Jim is his ordinary self and is recruited into the first of seven battles of the angels vs. demons. He must find a soul in need of saving and sway it towards the side of the angels and defeat Devina, a demon who has already gotten her hands on it. He succeeds and wins the first battle for the Angels, but not without a price: His own life. But it is not all said and done for Jim. He has passed his test and earns his wings to go onto the next battle in the second book of the series, Crave but loses against Devina.
The third book of the series, Envy, is the story of a character introduced in Lover Unleased of the BDB series, Thomas “Veck” DelVecchio. The angels' side wins, but not without some serious costs.
So why aren't the Fallen Angels as compelling as the BDB? Is the desire to read about an Angel less because they are sporting a (figurative) halo and wings? Or is that in spite of the extraordinary job of saving souls in the Fallen Angels Series that the extremely typical and normal hero J.R. Ward has written just leaves you wanting more? Ward’s talent to convert monsters to lusty males that readers could get into in the BDB was nothing short of amazing. In the Fallen Angels, however, Jim is not a monster in the paranormal sense as much as he is a man with a not so exultant past as a military assassin. He is still a human with a regular job as a carpenter, a scruffy dog and a nine-to-five average Joe existence now that he has give up his wicked ways.
What about the fact that Jim is not the character driving the romance? The romances are centered around the souls that Jim is meant to guide down the right path. While you get a good look into the minds of those characters, the one constant that remains is Jim and his unromantic story line.
Ward’s fourth installment of the Fallen Angel’s Series, Rapture, is scheduled for release on September 25th and with the fourth soul hanging in the balance of good and evil, I’m curious to see the reaction to the next book. Each Fallen Angels book improves on the previous, and Jim’s character keeps becoming a bit more complex and a bit less ordinary.
Is this the book where we the readers finally fall in love/lust with Jim and want him as much as one of the Brothers?
What do you think? What would you want to have seen or see added to this series to make it as mouth-watering as the Black Dagger Brotherhood series? What would you have liked to see in Jim’s character to make him irresistible?
Mara Gillott spends her nights engrossed in the hot bodies, heaving bosoms and realities dreamed up by the minds of others and then she blogs about them—sometimes with an attitude. Read her romance book blog at ReviewingRomance.com and join her on twitter at @ReviewingRomanc.