This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Penguin Random House Audio
Released on April 10, 2018
Unease held me in its grip when I approached this book after all that had gone before it in The Chosen. That book had been something of a rough ride for me and I was dreading the outcome of one of the plot threads. However, if there’s is one thing I’ve learned about myself dread is only one aspect of anticipation and I was definitely wholeheartedly anticipating this book. I had to know, right? Oh, and this was my first audio encounter with the series and I had high expectations that only the first few minutes told me that I can add my voice of praise to the chorus for Jim Frangione’s narration work.
The Thief is book sixteen in the Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series that reads more like Urban Fantasy for this exciting and spectacular vampire world. Like urban fantasy, these books do not work well out of order or standalone as a series arc and many plot threads feed through all these book.
First things first. I liked it- loved several parts. I was not sure I would because the last book was a weird emotional one on one part and almost flat on another. But, yes, whatever hoodoo hit the last book for me had vanished for this one. Things were back to normal and providing some closure, but moving along other fascinating plot threads.
Well, let’s get to the elephant in the room for me. That ending ominous note on The Chosen (POSSIBLE SPOILER next)
in which Vishous contemplates cheating on Jane. Yep, he was planning it out when the story ended and the guy had all sorts of messed up going on in his head while Jane blithely kept doing her workhaholic routine and misses all the signs. That was what had me agitated beyond the sincere wish that the crazy dramatics that Qhinn and Tohr were engaging in would chill. Seriously, take a deep breath boys.
The Thief did indeed bring things to a crisis moment for Vishous and Jane. Like all the books since The King, it seems, the older established couples are all getting their turns at a revisit. After listening to this one, I’ve decided that I actually like these little established relationship hiccoughs because it makes those romances feel more real and in the end, I am a sap to get the renewed romance and affirmation of what Vee and Jane are to each other. Confession time, years ago when I read their original book, I wasn’t completely sold on their romance. I thought Vee and Butch’s friendship had more chemistry- and it did and still does. But this book, really made this pair shine for me.
Next, The Thief brings resolution for Assail and Marisol and offered a spin off plot on their romance with a woman set out on a family vendetta. This pair were one tempestuous ride. Assail was overcoming his drug addiction and had to tell Sola he is a vampire. Sola had to get past her daddy issues and stop transferring all this on Assail. Here’s the thing, I moderately enjoyed this storyline to a certain extent, but Sola will never be a favorite or even close. I’m aware she had issues and was in serious denial, but in the opening pages of this book when she was under the impression that Assail was dying of cancer and his relations came to her just to come be with him, her first reply was telling and it set me against her. She breezily tells his cousins, “Oh, that’s too bad. I can’t come. How about a phone call.” Yep! He saved her life, took care of the threats, protected her and her grandmother after Sola got her own butt into danger, and he gets a ‘um no, but tell him I’m thinking of him.’. It was only her grandmother forcing her to take them to Caldwell and not her own choice that even saw her at Assail’s bedside where she does this switcheroo and suddenly feels undying love for him well, at least for the time he has left. I feel like her love was easy because he was dying and if he’d been healthy she would have never acknowledged it. This opinion was softened when it seemed she got her head out of her butt, but no, she dexterously managed that feat a few more times when he tries to tell her about his struggles with drugs and then going clean, going clean with the business, and then he went full disclosure on the vamp side when he could have wiped her memories and walked away. The poor male hoped so hard that by telling her that she would not reject him or might give it a chance when she got over her shock. Oh no, see, this gave Miss High on her Horse a chance to berate him well and good because, you know, she’s got every right to use him for a whipping post (she’s a thief- a criminal- and is in hiding b/c of it). She said some pretty awful stuff to him and laid all her dad’s sins on him and he took it. When she got her epiphany moment, she never once retracted all that and apologized. So… good for Assail, not really, but I felt sorry for him rather than rooted for that to happen. I felt this romance was more distracting than anything else. Sola’s Vovo (grandmother) was the only bright spot for me in that storyline aside from seeing Assail happy.
There was progress on the Jo Early thread. She’s no longer blogging about and hunting vampires and has a regular news job, but she’s getting sick and right on the cusp of going through her vampire transition as a half-breed. I hope to see what comes next for her. Like a few others in this series, she is the off-spring of Murhder who has a gift for siring half-breeds. The former, thought to be insane Brother also might get a bigger role in future books after the surprise twist in this one. I am definitely staying tuned.
And, the new threat to the race that is stepping up with Throe and his enthralling spell book, is pretty good stuff. The shadow army he’s raising and the affect on people that comes from being stung by them is bigger than the Lessers ever were. Throe thinks this attempt on the vampire throne is all his idea, but that creepy book is something else. And, I am now right along with the Brothers in wondering who sneaked up to the Sanctuary and stole the spell book. Traitor in the midst????
Well let’s talk narration work. Just wow. Jim Frangione deserves all those effusive words that I kept seeing on his work as the series narrator. Pace, timing, voicing genders and a large cast, emotions, and being in tune with the writing was all spot on. I think he was particularly great on catching the camaraderie between all the Brothers. I definitely want to pick up more of this series on audio and catch more of his work.
All in all, this was a solid installment that has me excited for what is to come and with no idea who will be the main focus next. I was meh on Assail and Sola and Vittoria’s vendetta, but the rest of the plot threads were riveting for me. I feel like its a given that these are highly recommended, particularly to vampire romance fans. For those who are caught up on the series, I now join you in trying to be patient until the next installment.
Romance Roundabout #180 PNR
New Release #90
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