August 5, 2011

Writer Stand-Off: Kenyon v Ward Part 3 of 3

Black Dagger Brotherhood v Dark-Hunters
A Comparative Brief 3 of 3

To close this Brief I will be touching on their writing styles limited to the BDB and DH series. To reiterate, this is from a fan POV and nothing else. I am not employing any scientific methods of deduction here so don't shoot me if you don't agree with my thoughts but you are more than welcome to comment so we can discuss it further.

Writing Style
Both Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward are amazing storytellers. Only a chosen few have the gift of words and the ability to transport you into their universe and see it they way they do in technicolor. This is the reason why they are not just bestselling authors but have a cult following as droves of fans are so captivated by these leather-clad men and their dark and sexy stories; inspiring their lives resulting to youtube videos, casting line-ups and in my case blog write-ups. This is how influential Kenyon and Ward are.

Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark-Hunter series are more character-centric. And although Acheron and Nick Gaultier are permanent fixtures on the background, we are always introduced to a new Hunter more or less in every book. There is a theme going on: how the warrior became a Hunter, how s/he found the love of his/her life and their release from Artemis' employ and so far it ended happily for everyone even for Acheron. But because it's character-centric you'd hardly read more about the previous mentioned Hunters. They will make cameos and will be mentioned and if you're lucky they'll say a line or two but that's about it. So if you say for example your favorite is Zarek and Astrid in Dance with the Devil, you will hardly hear from them in the succeeding books.

J.R. Ward
Its with this that BDB is special. Sure there is also a leading character and their corresponding love story featured in every book but at the same time we still get to read more about the rest of the characters. Like I've mentioned in my BDB book reviews the plot has already been carefully planned and as early as Dark Lover you can already see the matrix that Ward created in her mind and how it's all going to play out. As the series progress nobody's story is finished yet. We still read about Zsadist and Bella's baby, Wrath losing his sight completely, Doc Jane becoming the household physician, Butch and Marissa still going at it like rabbits, etc. There is still continuity in each of their stories which leaves nothing to want, it makes the Brothers more accessible and giving them a tinge of reality because their lives goes on with us and doesn't stop at just one book.

As for the dialogue, Butch and Vishous' banters are the best, it's always funny with a touch of slapstick for good measure. As for the rest of the characters, not everyone shares the same chemistry as Butch and Vishous because each one has their own personality. But don't get me wrong, the dialogue in the BDB series is not boring, in fact Ms. Ward created her own slang terms and catchphrases that is unique to the Brothers, true? They have their own gangsta way of conversing that is entertaining and catchy with a touch of profanity here and there. As the series increase in popularity, I'm pretty sure "What's doin?" will be replacing "What's up?" pretty soon.

I think a lot of you will agree with me that one of the DH's selling point is the quick-witted banter. Everyone is so sharp, sarcastic and funny. Makes me wonder if these are the same phrases that Sherrilyn Kenyon uses in real life and who are the people she hangs out with if they converse like this. Honestly I hate to get caught up in a discussion with that crowd because I know that I'll leave that circle with 3rd degree burns for sure. But even with the Chronicles of Nick Kenyon uses sarcasm to the hilt and uses it to her advantage, there are a lot of LOL banters and quotable comebacks as corrosive as battery water, no scene is dragging or boring because the sharp dialogue alternates with exciting action and adventure scenes with a couple steamy of sexy time in between.

Sherrilyn Kenyon
And speaking of sexy time, lord have mercy! Sherrilyn Kenyon and JR Ward both write amazing love scenes. I don't know about you but there is just something about feral men turning gentle and selfless that is a definite turn-on. Even Vishous tuned his BDSM tendencies a few notches the first couple of times he started sexing it up with Doc Jane; Acheron held back on Tory initially for fear of "damaging" her virgin sensibilities. SELFLESS. These men are sex gods all right, they won't stop until you're satisfied numerous times before they seek their own release. You are the center of their universe and they will never let you forget it. Every woman's dream, I know.

On the other hand I'm a little bit on the fence about their heroines. It's a hit or miss thing for both series but who am I kidding?! We're all into this because of the men, the women are just the spotlight that makes sure that these males will turn into Gods by the time we're through reading the books. In general, the women can hold their own beside these gorgeous men but sometimes I wish there's more to these ladies, more fire beneath the softness and lace.

There are also some gaps that I would like to raise for both series. For Dark-Hunters, I wonder where Apollo is? Based on Artemis' character I'm quite surprised that she's not giving her twin hell for giving her the responsibility of extinguishing his cursed children and leaving all the fighting to her and her hunters. We've read Persephone, Hades and even the Fates intervene but nothing from Apollo. Shouldn't he have a hand in all this after all the Daimons are the Apollites gone dark. And Apollymi, she's a little bit touch and go, I wish we'll read more about her aside from being this incumbent threat; more plotting against Artemis' destruction. If Kenyon can create a new myth surely she can find a way to transfer Artemis' powers to another deity like Sin or someone from another Pantheon. Since Acheron can't go back on his word, Apollymi is the best person to fight Artemis, that would be one hell of a throwdown if it happens. The Destroyer doesn't have to level out the world, she can just zap the Goddess of the Hunt into smithereens.

Simi and Acheron dolls; Black Dagger Brotherhood key chain

Now for The Black Dagger Brotherhood series, I wonder why Butch somewhat faded into the background. I mean as the prophesied Dhestroyer surely he should have more face time with The Lessening Society right? And The Omega should be cursing himself for giving Butch a part of himself that the Brotherhood is now using against him. In my opinion The Omega is Evil himself and there is so much more damage that he and his society can do. But with Lash turning sinister mid-series, things are getting more interesting and I hope that he can fill out the big villain shoes that Ward gave him

Overall, both The Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Dark-Hunters are two of the best series in their genre. It captivates the readers and they touch our minds and hearts in different levels. Gone are the days where vampires and other monsters of the dark are feared, now they are embraced and we mere humans aspire to be part of their world.

Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward are very gifted indeed and in time they will even get better and their characters will burn brighter. We, their fans, are with them in this journey and together we will share the Brothers and the Hunters' adventures, triumphs and trials.

To Ms. Sherrilyn Kenyon and Ms. J.R. Ward, hats off to you both for providing the perfect companion on those lazy days and for giving me the avenue to escape the rudiments of my everyday life. Many thanks and more power to you both!


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