Audiobook Review: The Savior by J.R. Ward

Posted May 8, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Audio Book, Reviews / 31 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: The Savior by J.R. Ward
The Savior
Narrated by Jim Frangione

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
three-flames

Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #17
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Simon and Schuster Audio
Released on April 2, 2019
Length: 15 hrs and 45 mins
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

The Infamous Brother!  The only one to be kicked out of the Brotherhood!  Yes!!! We finally get Murhder’s story and it was a doozy.  The Savior took us back with a nostalgic feel for the earlier books as Murhder returns to Caldwell and John-Matthew and Xhex face a new challenge.

Review

The Savior is book seventeen in a long-standing paranormal romance series full of tough slang talk, gritty action, heartwarming camaraderie, and sensual romances.  It’s a read in order series.  However…  In a way, one could get into this one if one got behind and doesn’t mind some series spoilers here, as there is a recap of sorts built in as Murhder catches up on all that he missed over the years.

The Savior, as I said in the intro, has a concentrated, nostalgic aspect to it that is reminiscent of the earliest books or rather the Legacy books that focus on a pair of romances and the series plot with the villain.  The pair of romances is Murhder and Sarah along with John-Matthew and Xhex with Throe’s conniving to overthrow Wrath going on.  There is a tight and focused feel, but with plenty of Brotherhood camaraderie.

This is a tough one on the emotions as Murhder’s story is heartbreaking as is Sarah’s .  They are a good match because they get loss, sorrow, guilt, and loneliness only too well.  In both cases, neither of them asked for what they got, but they face it head on and take responsibility anyway.

So, Murhder, the disavowed Brother.  He went a bit crazy, with help, I might add, did a homicidal manic move that got him kicked out.  Over the years, he’s been hiding out down south and merely existing.  He’s giving up and after this one last trip to Caldwell to fulfill a promise, he’s going into the Fade.

I wanted to kick Wrath and the Brothers for how they acted when Murhder came to them.  Granted, they didn’t have the whole story and Murhder was intent on being the martyr, but, seriously, they cut him off and treated him like an enemy rather than a broken member of their family.  But, this does change and John is the catalyst along with Murhder’s own actions which made it all the sweeter.  Murhder’s appearance seems to be the reminder of all the unique Brotherhood rituals and reasons for existence.  He sees how things have progressed in his absence, but also makes them all stop and think about what makes them who and what they are.  I enjoyed that since I felt that some recent books weren’t as on point with the culture and tradition of the Brotherhood when so much was changing around them and Wrath and the Glymera.

Sarah is a heroine that I could get behind.  She’s been mourning the loss of her fiance and treading water at her job as a scientist at a big pharmaceutical lab, but when she comes across something hinky that her late fiance might have been involved in, she sets out to make it right.  This is what brings her into contact with the hidden world of vampires.  She is selfless and compassionate and oh so brilliant.

Unlike the last book where I was horrified at what was going on with an established couple, The Savior offers a close revisit with John and Xhex.  At first, I thought Murhder as Xhex’s ex was going to be a temptation, but it wasn’t like that.  Yes, this pair had some further conflicts to overcome, but John and Xhex shone brightly and their love is never in doubt.  John is one of the youngest of the males and yet, he is so mature compared to many of them.  The author teases the reader with thoughts of will she or won’t she reveal who John really is.  It was a joy to get more with this couple.

There was a twist in the Throe as villain storyline that will be interesting to see how that plays out in future books.

This was only my second time listening to an installment in the series with Jim Frangione narrating, but again, he is fabulous.  He voices all the characters and nails their individual personalities and catches just the right spirit and tone of that particular scene and the writer’s style overall.  I get a more intimate experience listening to these books that doesn’t happen when I merely read them.  Emotions are closer to the surface from the book and me as the listener, but he doesn’t over do it, either.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a better story.  The author took this one right where it needed to go, I think.  I think those who enjoyed the early part of the series will find this to have a ‘welcome home’ feel to the roots of the series, but for newbies, go back to the beginning and get it all.

My thanks to Simon and Schuster Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #71
Audio #52

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Melliane
Guest

wow didn’t realize that there were so many books in this series I have the 5 first books at home but still need to read them

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, haha, it’s taking off on you. If you like them, the first ones will read fast, though. 🙂

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict
Guest

I really enjoyed The Savior too! I loved Murhder and was so upset at the Brothers treating him the way they did. Like he was a threat or something when he was clearly not there to create problems. The connection between JM and Murhder was nice too, with that little hint of who JM is thrown in. I wonder how that is going to play out since we keep getting these subtle hints about it. I’m interested in Lassiter’s gift to Sarah and if there are any restrictions on it. I knew with her being human that he would have… Read more »

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yes, wasn’t that fun to see the guys learn about Lassiter’s new role and what Lassiter did for Sarah?
Glad I’m not the only one who got annoyed with the way the BDD were acting toward Murhder.

Genesis @ Whispering Chapters
Guest

I’ve been seeing this one around! But wow, 17 books! That’s too much for me lol although I am intrigued by Murhder’s story!
Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

Sophia Rose
Guest

The first four or five read fast for me, but yeah, there are some real door-stoppers in the series that can get intimidating. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction
Guest

I’m so behind with this series. I’ve been keeping up with the spin-off more. I was hesitant to pick up some of her last books because of the drama with V and Jane. I know I would’ve been pissed with V and I didn’t know if I wanted to go through that. This story sounds awesome, though. I do like listening to the audio version. Wonderful review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, I about went crazy over a few things in the last three or four books. V and Jane in the last book was not fun, The Shadows nearly shattered me, and the Brothers drama over Xcor and Layla had me wanting to throw heavy objects at the guys’ heads. This one got back to more of a good feel for me.

Mary Kirkland
Guest

I’m a few books behind but I love this series. I’m so glad this is a good book. I look forward to reading it now.

Sophia Rose
Guest

This book felt like a breath of fresh air after some of the drama in the last few books. But, it doesn’t go easy and has good conflict so you’ll have a treat coming, Mary. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer
Guest

Look at you on book 17. I am on 5 or 6. I need to pick them back up, because i enjoyed them. It is nice to hear this one was good, and I never considered audio.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh my lands, yes, do consider the audios. I think you would enjoy his work and help get you through some of the shakier ones. 🙂

Sharonda
Guest
Sharonda

dang! she on book 17? okay Ms. Ward! Sounds like it was a good read, glad you were able to enjoy this one 😉

Sophia Rose
Guest

What a shocker, right? I’ve just started the spin-off fallen angels series and have kept up with her contemporaries. She’s a writing machine!!!

Jen
Guest

So glad you are still enjoying this series. It really was one of my favorites for many years, but became a bit “too much” for me and I stopped. It is interesting for me to hear what is happening. Thanks!

Sophia Rose
Guest

I feel proud that there are a few series that I’m up on since I’m behind on many.

Happy to give you the 411 on the latest, Jen!

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape
Guest

I love it when a story makes me emotional and it sounds like this one really brought on the nostalgia as well. How exciting that there was a surprise twist at the end! Great Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
Guest

You got that right, Lindy. It was great getting emotionally engaged and having a warm fuzzy for the series as a whole. 🙂

Carole rae
Guest

I feel like I read a book like this a while back. mmmm

Sophia Rose
Guest

Maybe Lara Adrian’s vampire series or Rebecca Zanetti’s? Or one from this series. 🙂

Nadene
Guest

I stopped at book 10 in the series and somehow cannot find myself getting back into it.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Sometimes that happens with me, too. I’ve broken up with a few series and never felt the pull to go back. 🙂

Stephanie Jane (Literary Flits)
Guest

Oh my goodness, a seventeen book series would be too much of a commitment for me. I’d never manage to read that many in the right order and this doesn’t look like a series to jump around in?

Sophia Rose
Guest

Oh yeah, I’m not very interested in jumping into existing series that are well along like this one. I found the series when there were only six books out. That was doable for me. Last year, I did challenge myself to read a book a month from a mystery series that is over 40 books long already, but that is not the nor. 🙂

Angie Elle
Guest

I really wish I had gotten into this series as it was coming out. I tried Dark Lover four or five years ago, and it was so mediocre for me. I thought, at some point, that I’d go back and give the second a try. But the more time that passes, the less interested I am.

I’m glad you’re enjoying it. I LOVE series that keep their momentum!

Great review.

Sophia Rose
Guest

I don’t remember thinking Dark Lover was epic and it started slower than some, but I think I enjoyed the Brotherhood and the humor. I think the next few books were better.
But yeah, I get not wanting to bother when it didn’t wow me in the first place and I didn’t already have them on my shelf. Totally get that! 🙂

Yes, I am loving this latest after not being wowed by the last one.

Lorna
Guest

It’s been so long since I read all the early books back to back-9 in about 10-12 days. I am having trouble remembering who Murhder is. Completely blank. But I have every intention of reading or listening to this one at some point. Can’t wait for a return to the good old days of this series!

Sophia Rose
Guest

There was only brief mentions of him now and then until the book before this one. He hadn’t been around since before the events of the first book so its understandable that you blanked on who he is. 🙂

Lorna
Guest

That makes sense because I’m a couple of books behind.

Shari
Admin

I am more like 3-4 books behind on the series as it doesn’t have the original feel of the series I started. I so want to read this and probably won’t get some of the side stories. I miss this world, but after so many tombs, I just couldn’t do it any more. Maybe it is time to come back again.

Sophia Rose
Guest

Yeah, those books after The King get somewhat convoluted. This one isn’t like that and I think you’ll enjoy it for that. 🙂