This is the fourth book in JR Ward's Fallen Angel series and it is not the place to start if you are new to this world. Each book has been a development of and addition to the overall story arc and this installment gathers threads, ideas and plot developments from the previous volumes and weaves them into a pretty satisfying story whilst setting the stage for some obvious new developments in the next book.
Each of the three predecessors has had the same storyline - Jim Heron has to help a soul make a decision for good. There are seven souls to be won, if he wins the majority then the souls of dead people which currently reside in hell under the watchful eye of his opponent Devina will be freed, if he loses the majority then Davina will have full reign. There is the danger that each novel will become very much the same and for just over two thirds of this book I thought that, although I was enjoying it, the story was a little predictable. The final third of the book finishes it in a way I did not expect and adds a couple of little surprises at the last minute which really left me wanting to get on to the next book to find out what happened next.
Although I did enjoy this book the story was a little too familiar and predictable in places and the pacing was quite slow. The character development was good, however, not just for the couple at the centre of the story (Matthias and Mels) but for Jim and especially Adrian. There were lots of linked references to the previous books and some glancing references to the "Brotherhood of the Black Dagger" stories (although you don't have to have read the author's other series to follow these books). I enjoyed finding out a bit more about Dog; I was amazed at Adrian's direct involvement in the story; I was pleased that Mels had such a strong character and made a suitable prospective partner for Matthias; and I very much enjoyed the whole book being written in the author's unique writing style (although I had to blip over some of the abbreviations and American references when reading as they were lost on me).
I enjoy these books because they are about the age old battle between good and evil, but the author is very aware that each of them comes in many different shades. I find them gripping to read with lots of excitement, short chapters and changing viewpoints, and a few twists thrown in to liven them up. I find the author's world very well portrayed and enjoy the way in which she writes about it. I felt that this book moved the whole story on well but as an individual volume it was a little slow and predictable in places. I am very much looking forward to the next story but hope (and expect) that the author does something a little more different with it.
on 24 September 2012
I really, really liked J R Ward's Rapture. It is a good, solid continuation of the Fallen Angel series, and if you already like Ward and the FA series, you will like this installment as well. It is, however, not Ward's new masterpiece or even particularly groundbreaking or exceptional. It is just a good, but not GREAT, book.
Rapture is a well-made and well-written book with a good, solid plot that (unlike some of its predecessors in the FA series) is very well-paced and woven together quite nicely. But while this book is perhaps the best made installment to date in terms of writing, narrative and plot, it also borders slightly on the safe side and has a slower pace compared to Envy (something which I don't necessarily consider a bad thing).
The plot, while good, is fairly simple and in terms of critical events, not that much happens. After the breakneck speed of Crave and Envy, Rapture is much less action-packed and eventful. Instead, we are given time to digest the previous events and their repercussions on the unfolding story, and we are given a much better paced, better structured story. The crucial things that do happen, happen for a reason and are well fleshed-out and really enjoyable to read.
The characters are always a joy in Ward's books, and this one is no exception. Jim and Adrian are still awesome, Devina is still a villain you can truly love to hate in all of her awfulness, and the romantic leads, Mels and Matthias are really enjoyable. Mels and Matthias both develop a lot, and while their relationship is very intense and enjoyable, I personally felt it was their significant other relationships of the non-romantic kind that proved the most interesting and provided some of the best moments in the book. Matthias is a well-rounded character, partially due to his previous appearances in the FA series, but Mels characterization is not nearly as good, and at times she comes across as somewhat safe and bland (she is very alike Beth from Dark Lover in that respect).
Rapture is a good, solid read. While it might not pull in any new readers, it is still worth a read to fans of Ward and the FA series. This book's events really felt like the calm before the storm, and I can't wait for the next installment in the series.
on 3 October 2012
Couldn't wait for the book to come out and it didn't dissapoint. It was a little bit slower then the previous ones but I liked Mels, she was strong and right for Mathias. Cant wait now for the next book and I hope Jim gets his Sissy after offering to lose his win for her, I think he deserves this little bit of happines
And I hope there is a twist which can bring Ed back as well, maybe am wishing to much but can't wait to find out.
A very good book excellent read
on 21 October 2015
JR Ward's novels are always a light read, page-turners with cliche plot points and prose that leaves something to be desired. This is typical of the authors in this genre, and consistent with 'quantity over quality' high output style. Having said that, this is the type of story I like to escape to between more serious reads, and I think JRWard is the best in the genre.
I originally got hooked on the 'Brotherhood' series, so once that was over, I gave this a go. And even though it's readable, this novel is the worst in the series so far. Main plot-driving character and his struggle (Matthias) is recycled from the previous novel. Female character Mels is a cardboard-cutout with some superficially strong characteristics (black belt in karate etc) and panto-style internal monologue on occasion. A few relationships are inspired by the BDB, especially Jim-Devina which seems to be a variation on Rhevenge and the poison Sympath princess, and yet the author continues to non-handle the topic of rape. Ward also dips her toes into US foreign policy, only to wind up with patriotic cliches that fit into the story about the shady area between good and evil, like a square peg in the round hole.
I got the sense the author was nostalgic for the BDB world. She alludes to it regularly, but in comparison, this world is lacking in passion and complexity. All in all, I will continue reading until my eyes roll out of their sockets because underneath it all, JR Ward writes interesting stories. I just wish she tried a bit harder on polishing her manuscripts (and checking for typos), because it's getting increasingly difficult to justify grinding through the 'filler' parts.
on 25 September 2013
I just didn't get on with this book. At first, I attributed this to the number of US brand names and Americanisms in the text. I even tried to persuade myself it was a style reminiscent of old-style US crime thrillers, but it's more than that.
Some of the metaphors are utterly impenetrable, like the 'ennui of a balding former coxwain' someone else has mentioned. Others introduce such peculiar imagery that you literally lose the plot - 'memories Loch Ness'ed below the surface if his unconsciousness, something shocking and monstrous threatening to make an appearance'; 'when you've Humpty-Dumptied yourself'; 'she was the living, breathing equivalent of a StairMaster'; and 'the roommate hairy-eyeballed him'. JR ward is also immensely scatalogically-driven: 'the s*** was pissed off at the not-from-nature dye job'; 'tacky-ass bright red hair' and corridors that are like colons. And as for 'frustrated as s***' - what does that even mean?
The text also heaves with compound adjectives that are doubtless designed to add sharpness and pace but are often just irritating, certainly in this quantity. Also, why all the hanging em-dashes - ? And endless ellipses... I know people speak in half-sentences in real life but in fiction it suggests the characters are too stupid to end a single thought.
And let's not get started on the 'two-by-four'! In this case, I'm rather sad that the phrase does mean something in the UK as I won't be able to pass B&Q again without imagining all the women swooning in the timber section. And not just swooning. Because that's what we're like, isn't it?
I'm sorry to say I found the characters repellent, doubtless as a result of the subliminal messages conveyed by the author's language choice. Perhaps some people would find them fashionable, or edgy. Perhaps some people find it funny. Or maybe it's the US/UK divide. Either way, this is beyond doubt my least favourite novel I've read this year - and this was the 48th.
I am giving it 2 stars - despite my personal view being about half a star - just in case other people 'buy' this writing style.
on 2 April 2013
It is with a heavy heart that I write this review. I have read every Black Dagger Brotherhood book and all the Fallen Angel books so far and for the most part have really enjoyed them. I have only just started this book and really do not think I can read any more. I can not stand the style Ward has started using in her writing. I thought the last few Black Dagger books were full of abbreviations and Americanisms but this is the worse yet. I really struggled to even understand some paragraphs. I think Ward is trying to make it edgy and fast paced and it is obviously aimed at teenagers. An example;
"...it didn't take a genious to ascribe his inappropriateness to the ennui of a balding former coxswain, the bitterness from a lifetime of not-quite-there intersecting with the almost-out-of-time of a man about to hump sixty" ???
So I am faced with a decision. Do I plow on and skip all the paragraphs like the one above that take three reads to understand and ignore all the abbreviations I do not recognise rather than sitting trying to work out what they mean? The alternative is to give up and never know who wins the battle between good and evil. Sadly, I think I will have to give up. I really can not face another 3 books written in this style.
The really sad thing though is that I was so looking forward to reading this that I pre-ordered the paper back version but forgot and ordered the 'hard back' version, so now I have two!
Rapture is the fourth book in the Fallen Angels series by American author, J.R.Ward. With the score between the evil Devina and the saviour Jim Heron now two souls to one in Jim's favour, the Maker decides to punish Devina for cheating by plucking Jim's XOps boss, Matthias from Hell for a second go round. When Matthias steps in front of Caldwell Courier Journal columnist, Mels Carmichael's car outside the Pine Grove Cemetery, she is strangely attracted to this dangerous-looking man with amnesia, whether or not there is a story in it. And the attraction may be mutual, but Matthias knows he is back in the land of the living for a reason, and that being in his company cannot end well for Mels. Devina is confident she can again win the soul of this conscienceless, power-hungry, despotic sociopath but is intent on distracting Jim from his task using tricks with hair dye and mutilated corpses. With Eddie out of action, Jim is a man down, but after faltering initially, Adrian proves to be a selfless warrior. This instalment has quite a few killings and attempts as victims encounter guns, knives and drowning; there are some fairly hot sex scenes; three XOps assassins are drawn to Caldwell; crime scene photos secretly snapped with mobile phones; explosive information passed on via a flashdrive; a bullet casing becomes integral to the story; and there is a cute twist at the end that involves Dog. As usual, fans of Ward's BDB series will note mentions and cameos of characters from that series. The characters are engaging, the plot imaginative and the dialogue has its own special charm. Readers will eagerly await the next book in this addictive series, Possession.
on 6 November 2012
I am a huge, massive fan of J.R Ward and love her Blackdagger books, and I am a fan of this series but this for me was a bit heavy, no great one liners that are with other J.R Ward books and while I was reading it I did get a liitle board which is a first for me with any of her books, I think this series needs a shake up, I have no idea what was missing but something was for me, I only dropped a star as it was still a good read but when I normaly finish a book by J.R Ward I normaly sigh and wish I hadn't read it so fast or theres was another chapter but alas not with this one. I still will read the rest of the series to see what happens but I hope the next one has the missing piece that wasn't in Rapture for me.
Rapture has the excitement,action and a bit of romance like the previous books and J.R Ward does a great job showing all sides of the characters good and bad guys still can be good and bad and make good and bad choices,the great twists were thrown in too, I think Matthias being the main lead for me was hard to take too, he was such a git in the last books I found it hard to like him in this one which I think was the point but for me I didn't like him still not even when the book was done, loved Mel she had fire and was a great female lead, as usual Jim and Adrian are big characters and I pray at some point we get to see both of them get a HEA , I would not read this unless you have read the others as the books do follow on and big parts will be hard to follow if you dont know the story or characters, the basic story is Jim Heron has to help a soul in each book make a decision for good. There are seven souls to be won, and so far his winning, if he wins overall, the souls of the dead which currently reside in hell under the watchful eye of his opponent Devina will be freed, if he loses then Davina will have full reign, one of the souls trapped is Sissy a girl Jim met in book 1 who was killed and tourtered by Devina and is now trapped with the other souls in hell. The book ends in a way you dont expect and does leave the reader wanting to know what will happen next I just wish the whole book had been like that.
on 5 September 2013
This book has a great sold plot with lots to keep you interested until the last page.
I've enjoyed, and loved, every book in the series so far, but there's something about this story , about Matthias - that drew me in and kept me totally engrossed in his tale, he is the character that you hate on one page then kind of like in the next. I've never read about a man more unworthy of salvation and yet, at the same time, more deserving of it. I love the twist of Matthias's return.
I laughed, I cried lots! like a blubbering idiot at times, I gasped and sighed, and I wanted it to never end... this is, beyond any doubt, my favorite book in the series.
This book seem to be written at a slower pace than the other books in the series, there is less action.
Mels is a good pairing for Matthias, shes strong and he needs that, to help him through the challenges he faces.
Devina develops more as a character, i think it is fantastic how she is seeing a counsellor for her OCD problems, how she has to constantly count her lipsicks. It seems such a strange normal thing, but something you would never think about a demon.
J R Ward delivers a fantastic plot full of humor, suspense drawing you into the story so much you feel that you in it not just reading it, her books are impossible to put down.
This series has been one that I've always made time for as I like the idea's the characters and of course the whole idea as to how an unseen game is played out with the soul's of mortals. Whilst this title departs from the previous the tale is on the whole one that will keep you interested from the start to the finish. The characters stand up to be counted and when the principle player is fully revealed as to who they are, its not only a bit of a shock but a title that allows the reader to get the full effect from what has gone before.
Add to this a solid level of writing and you'd be forgiven for thinking that this is a completely glowing review but there is a negative side to the title. For me, it felt that some of the background passion that has gone on to give this title a real kick was missing and with a principle player that wasn't completely there for the reader to completely love, did leave me feeling a little flat, back that up with a few clunky turn of phrases and whilst it was still decent it didn't quite feel up there with JR's usual style.