Sunday, November 11, 2012

Rapture (The Fallen Angels, #4) by J.R. Ward

Rating 1.5/5

I shouldn't complain. Nobody is forcing me to read these books. So why do I read them? Curiosity, OCD, and peer-pressure. No I don't have OCD, but I when I start reading a series, I am compelled to finish it, no matter how bad it is (worst example: Hush, Hush). In this case I actually enjoyed the first book, Covet, so that makes it especially hard to quit. In addition, my good friend loves J.R. Ward and I like to be able to talk books with her. So I keep reading these, even though the language and the formula sometimes make me cringe almost to the point of implosion.

For example, this piece of narrative is from the perspective of the book's 30 year old female protagonist, who is a professional reporter: "Eventually, Mels took a break and hit the Au Bon Pain across the way, scoring a piping hot no sugar/no cream and a pecan roll the size of her head. Back out by the crime scene, she ate her sugar bomb and found the walkie-talkie was not her friend."

I've learned to deal with the fact that most of Ward's male characters use this kind of ridiculous jargon, but what kind of woman talks like that? Why can't Ward just write in plain English? All this slang does is make me confused, then annoyed, and takes me out of the story.

I feel like Ward really phoned it in this time. She only really had one new character to introduce (Mels), but she totally failed to make her interesting or original. Furthermore, bull-headed & career-blind doesn't equal "strong woman", and having her eat French fries, burgers and pastries while keeping her beautiful body doesn't make her relatable. And a woman who brushes off serial sexual harassment as an unavoidable common annoyance is not a heroine.

No effort was put into making Matthias in any way likable either, though with so many idiots going crazy for Christian Grey, I suppose Ward felt it wasn't necessary. I really don't get what's attractive about secretive, broody, violent and possessive men. I've launched this criticism at the Brontë sisters as well. I can forgive it in a vampire - after all, that's kind of the definition of a vampire. Buy why do Ward's human male protagonists all act like vampires?

Taken together, I have voted these two characters as the Least Appealing Couple Ward has ever created. I could neither cheer for them, believe in their "love", nor in fact read their scenes together without a sick feeling. Not what the author was aiming for at all.

Ward usually comes up with an interesting plot within the standard "Jim Heron must save a soul from the devil" premise in this series, but there really isn't one in this story. All the action is regurgitated from previous books.

It has never been more apparent that Ward uses an equation to write her books. She just plugs slightly different details into the slots that make up her (always damaged) characters - occupation, past tragedy, hair color... In every book, some of the tension is always created by the question: is this protagonist too damaged, or can he/she be redeemed by falling in lust - I mean love? I have a really hard time with such formulaic writing; it just seems so lazy and clichéd and uninspired.

So that's probably the best word to describe this latest offering of the progressively worsening Fallen Angel series: uninspired. I'm not sure how the next one could be much worse.

All Ratings and Reviews For J.R Ward (Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels Series)

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