Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide - J.R. Ward When I was finally done with J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood (BDB) series, I felt a sense of accomplishment for making it through all of them, even the bad ones. Then, however, another friend informed me of The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide. Never one to read hokey "companion" books, I thought nothing of it until I was told it contained a novella about Zsadist and Bella involving the birth of their child. Naturally, I had to borrow it, just to make sure I'd read everything, right?::: Contents :::The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide starts off with the novella, called Father Mine, which tells the story of Lover Awakened's couple, Zsadist and Bella, as they adjust to being first-time parents. It's a typical romance story with some angst, some arguing, and then the make-up sex, but nothing that's crucial to the plot of the series.After the novella comes "Dossiers" of the brothers with a fact sheet, an "interview" with the author, and bits and pieces of their character development.Ward includes a section for aspiring writers including her initial proposal for the series and some answers to questions sent in by her readers.Following the writers' section are deleted scenes, outtakes, an interview with Ward, a timeline for the series, abbreviations, a key for the "old language" alphabet, an interview with Ward "conducted by" her characters, and then an interview with a character who was dead even at the time of the book's release.::: Wow, That's Some Ego You Have There :::I'll make no apology; books like the BDB series are guilty pleasures for me: mindless summer reading that are like potato chips. I don't view them as any great work of literature, and I always hope that the author views them as tongue-in-cheek as I do.Judging by The Black Dagger Brotherhood: An Insider's Guide, J.R. Ward takes herself really seriously, as must a lot of her fans. However, as a casual fan of the series, the ego involved in this book was enough to choke me.The interviews with the Brothers and then theirs with her are hokey at best. She inserts herself into her stories in this way (something I almost always hate), and sees herself as something of a bad*ss, judging by the dialogue she writes for herself here. I spent most of the interviews face-palming and muttering "vampire. romance. novel."The novella is sweet, if not terribly compelling, and the timeline is helpful. Outtakes and deleted scenes are always welcomed by a fan base, but many other authors provide those on their Web sites for free as a thank you to fans for buying their books in the first place. The schlockiest of all is the interview with (spoiler if you haven't read the series) Tohrment and Wellesie, "conducted before her death." Really? Come on. Put out novellas about your dead characters if you must (Stephenie Meyer, I'm looking at you), but conducting interviews with them after you've killed them is just plain silly.Diehard fans of the series may enjoy this, but I spent my time cringing at the worst parts and skimming a lot of it. Had I paid money for it, I'd likely be incensed, but as it is, I simply wish I had the time back that I spent reading it.This review originally published on Epinions:

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