Rebecca Kuitems
August 22, 2013 6:00 pm

It’s hard to find a fan of either the Black Dagger Brotherhood series or Dark Hunter series that isn’t totally devoted to it. And believe me when I say that these books are completely addictive. This week I’m featuring two bestselling urban fantasy series that you should probably already be reading. (I was totally behind on my game with these two).

Similarities:

Both authors are also very good at twisting the idea that bad guys are wholly evil and good guys are pure good. Both series regularly make a practice of redeeming the “evil” characters and slowly creating doubt about the entirely pure intentions of the heroes. You gotta love a good grey area. Additionally, the two authors are very adapt at authoring the steamy side of the novels (It ain’t romance if it ain’t got the steam factor).

Differences:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood Series by J.R. Ward

This series has a vampire lore all of its own. Vampires live and work among humans, but they – and their evil counterparts, the Lessers – live by the rule that no human should know of their kind. The underlying creation story starts with the idea that there are two main deities – The Scribe Virgin and The Omega – fighting a battle between the themselves that use the BDB and the lessers to play an everlasting game of offense and defense.

This group of hunky vampire dudes fights constant battles to keep the lesser from multiplying and feeding off humans. All the guys live in one big compound and spend their nights fighting and days butting into each others’ business, rough-housing, and generally acting like a group of hilarious brothers.

Best of the series? This is so hard to pick, but Lover Awakened is arguably the most addicting of the bunch. The story has some really heart-wrenching moments that make the ending that much more satisfying.

The Dark-Hunter Series by Sherrilyn Kenyon

This series is about solo warriors seeking out the one person on earth that holds the key to their soul and freeing them from their pact with Artemis. The books feature some heavy Greek mythological influence, which certainly appealed to me as a reader. The Dark Hunters are bound by some of the more traditional sun-fearing, mirror-non-reflecting, fang-producing vampire rules we are used to. However, these once-human creatures are made vampire after promising their soul to Artemis in return for one act of retribution.  The Dark Hunters were created as a defense to the creation of their evil-cousins, the Daimons, that seek to steal the souls of the human race.

Compared to Ward’s novels, the biggest story line difference for this series is the solitary nature of Kenyon’s characters. Because close proximity to one another causes the Dark Hunters to lose their abilities and become vulnerable, the interaction between characters of that nature is relegated to cyberspace. This creates quite the conflict in collaborating during fight scenarios, but it makes for some interesting conflicts.

Best of the series? Acheron absolutely tops the list for me. Unfortunately, to have a full appreciation for the book you have to read the books leading up to it. I think there are 14-ish previous. But, they are well worth the journey.

I need a new series to hold me over, people! Help me out — what fantasy series are you reading and can’t get enough of?

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