Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2020
The author must have wanted to write a book about prison camps and the sociopaths that run them. She had achieved a highly readable book with The Savior so she pivoted 45 degrees, and instead of the bad guys keeping vampires in a diabolical research facility, she put them into a hidden prison where they live out miserable lives as tortured slaves with no hope of ever completing their sentences. The difference between The Jackal and The Savior is Ms Ward invested her writing talent in characters, and story in the latter, but with The Jackal, she tosses in a few characters, never develops them, never makes them remotely interesting, and then grabs both ends of the book, and slides in an improbable connection with Rhage, so she can claim this is a Black Dagger novel. Everyone loves the Black Dagger warriors so all of us will rush out and buy the book. In the meantime she has avoided developing a few characters who could have been very interesting and worth knowing, like the old grandfather, and even the main hero, The Jackal. We met him early in the last century where he is a highly talented architect who happens to look a lot like Rhage. In fact The Jackal is the designer of the mansion which becomes the home of all the Black Dagger brotherhood. But this is so incidental to the story the mansion,which has been almost its own character in the early novels, is reduced to a few blue prints in what is more or less a preamble.
Rhage happens to be at the home of a glymera sycophant named Jabon and gets to know this young man slightly . A highly suspect charge of rape sends the Jackal to this prison. And that is the end of the beginning. The sycophant Jabon, who appears initially as a central character, disappears from the story. Rhage never liked Jabon for reasons that are never clear so Rhage leaves in a huff and goes on with his life.
When we meet The Jackal 100 years later he is just walking around the prison, brooding. Enter the brave female Nyx.
There is sex, violence, more violence, and lots of brooding. And, at the end Rhage is brought back in to prove, yes this is a Black Dagger Brotherhood book. Rhage is as confused as the reader as to what he is doing in this book but he agrees to go save The Jackal. (Just took him a hundred years to remember who he was.)
Phury, Z, and V, Darius and the King also make cameo appearances and the book ends. Blah!
I know Ms Ward can write really gripping stories using these characters, books with humor, heart, and books you cannot put down. This is not one of them. She must have phoned this one in.