The King Audiobook by J.R. Ward (review)

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Reviews | 26 comments

Review of: The King Audiobook
J.R. Ward

Reviewed by:
On April 9, 2014
Last modified:November 10, 2015


The King Audiobook

By: J.R. Ward

Narrated by: Jim Frangione

Published by: Penguin Audio 04/01/204

The King Audiobook by J.R Ward


3.5 Hearts Rating Image- Hot Listens

 The Black Dagger Brotherhood # 12

22 hrs and 4 mins

Whispersync for Voice-ready

Paranormal Romance

The King Audiobook Sample

Reviewed by ML Simmons

I was really excited to get The King Audibook, as with Lover At Last, the build up and hype was huge.  Most of the time, when a book is hyped as much as this one is, I’m usually disappointed.  It is just too difficult to live up to what I’m expecting. This was a problem that I had with The King. It is not the first time I’ve had this issue with one of Ward’s books.

With this story, we don’t have a new couple.  The book blurb talks all about Wrath, Beth and her desire to have a child and the weight of being the king has on Wrath.  Well, that is only a part of the story.  As with most of the BDB books, there is more than one storyline.  This one, however, starts off really chaotic.  There are so many different storylines I was starting to wonder if Ward somehow got ADD. There is a story for Xcor/Layla, Assail/Sola, Trez/Selena, S’Ex/Trez/iAm/world of the Shadows (I have no idea how to spell the actual name).  We have tons of flashbacks to Wrath’s parents, which I loved, but it always took me a second to figure out which “Wrath” we were talking about. I would give this part of the story 2.5 hearts.  It was just too chaotic and a lot of it just seemed like filler, which this book didn’t need.

Then there was also the story of Beth and Wrath.  This includes Wrath’s fight to keep the throne and Beth’s battle with Wrath to have a child.  This part of the story, is what I was expecting from Ward.  It showed Wrath’s passion to be king, as much as he hates it.  It shows the struggle between the vampire males and females and the trouble with reproducing and the danger that goes along with it.  It was great to see how passionate both partners were on their side of the argument.  I love how Wrath goes and talks to Zsadist and Thor about becoming a father.  We see Beth’s strength and tenacity as she works with Wrath on not only the young, but to keep his throne.  This part of the story deserves 4 stars, it was everything I would expect from a BDB book.

One thing I’ve always noticed with this series, but seemed to bother me more with this book than others in the past, is the product placement.  Ward drops name brands like it is going out of style.  With Lover At Last, someone did a blog post with a list of brand names (80 in total, I think).  Does the woman get paid for every brand name she uses the way they do with product placement in the movies.  I think I noticed it more, mostly because I was bored with crazy first part of the story.  Once we got to the parts focusing on Beth and Wrath and less on all the other stuff, I didn’t notice as much.  It was the same with the ghetto speak, it drove me crazy in the first part, but later in the story, I was able to ignore it.

The King isn’t my least favorite book in the series, Lover Enshrined still owns that title, but it is in the bottom half. Will I continue this series? Yes. I have so much invested in all these characters that I’ve loved for years. I don’t know that the series is as high on my list as it used to be.  I’m curious if Ward sees the end game for this series.  I’m not sure how many more books this series can handle. From the signing in Cincy, which I’ve only read the transcript that you can find on her Facebook page, it sounds like there are quite a few more to go. I think I just need to quit expecting books to “wow” me the way the first few books did and I’ll be okay

The Author

J.R. Ward

The King Audiobook by Narrator Jim Frangione

4.5 stars rating

Jim Frangione The king Audiobook Narrator

Jim Frangione

The narration is perfect for this series.  Jim Frangione does a great job with all the ghetto speak. He is great with his continuity throughout the entire series.  I can’t remember a single time he has changed the pronunciation of any of the strange language or names throughout the entire series. I don’t think anybody could do a better job with this series.




Reviewed by:


ML Simmons

  • 3.5
    editor rating
Loupe Duffy
A mom, a wife, a friend, a happy ending addict, an Audiobook junkie, a wine lover and geek wanna -be. I'm constantly looking to be blown away.
Loupe Duffy

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  1. I think I enjoyed it a little more than you did, or maybe your 3.5 is my 4 LOL. I think it could have been shorter. This is not the first book I’m not completely happy about, I’m with you, Lover Enshrined still not as good as this one.
    I’m not ready to give up on this series yet, I have to see where she’s taking us next first.

    • I think there was just too much filler. If you cut a bunch of that crap out and made it shorter, it would’ve been a 4 for me, too. Let’s just hope she doesn’t make a habit of these long drawn out stories.

  2. Comment attempt take 2. 😉 I like that you rated Beth & Wrath’s story separate from the rest of the book because that really is the most accurate. Now that you mention it, I’m not sure if the slang and product placements were more prevalent than in previous installments or if I just noticed it more cuz I was bored. Hmm… Regardless, I’m still going to read the next book, but it won’t be on release day.

    • I’m glad you were finally able to comment. I didn’t know how else to do this review. I so loved the Beth and Wrath parts, but the rest was just so boring and not adding to the story or even that much to over all arc. I think it will take a lot for me to quit this series. As far as release day, it will depend if I have something else in queue or not. It will be interesting to see what she does with The Shadows.

  3. First–good call. Lover Enshrined is definitely my least favorite too.

    Now . . . sigh. I think I’m taking another break from BDB. That’s what I did after 6. Then I read 7-11 last year when 11 came out. I don’t think I’ll stay away as long this time (probably however long it takes to get to Xcor and Layla), but if I don’t have some immediate positive reinforcement after the product placement and chaotic multitudes of plot-lines of this one, I might just quit. I’m glad you liked it so much despite all of the problems though 😉

    • I don’t know that I could do that many at one time. I think the things that annoy me would compile into a bigger mess. I noticed that last year when I did a complete relisten to the Anita Blake series. I was over it by the time the new release showed up, but that was 22 books of a relisten, which is a ton. If it were all new, it probably wouldn’t be as bad.

      I think Lover Enshrined is on almost everyone’s worst of list, or at least everyone I’ve talked to.

  4. Ack, I am dying with the reviews for this. I had such high hopes that things wouldn’t be as chaotic as I felt they were in Lover At Last. Doesn’t sound like it though, damn it. I would be interested in doing a reread in audio. I’ve heard such great things about this narrator!

    • This narrator is a love him or hate him kind of narrator. I haven’t heard much in between. I think he fits the “ghetto speak” that goes on, but that is my opinion. I know several who can’t stand him.

      I’m hoping that if I ignore the hype and just take the next book like “just another book”, maybe I won’t be as disappointed. I think I liked this better than some because I had heard many complaints from people who started the day of (I started the following day), so I already knew there were going to be issues and was less disappointed.

  5. Girl, I so agree! I maintain that this series could really use novellas since Ward wants to expand it. I miss the fighting and because the storyline is more political, I wish she focused on that and told Xcor’s story side by side with Wrath. That would’ve been a great contrast, the incumbent and the usurper. The only reason why I gave this book 4 stars is Wrath and Beth’s post-HEA was nicely done plus skipping Assail’s chapters helped too LOL

    • Since I was listening, it is harder to skip sections. That would’ve been nice. It would’ve taken me forever to read it. It is so long and I think I would’ve put it down during the boring parts and not want to pick it back up.

      You are right that Xcor’s and Wrath’s stories side by side would have been great. She has done a small number of novellas, but it could use more and the shorten the books to more of just he main storylines.

  6. I broke off reading this series too. The last book I read was Thor’s and I wasn’t too thrilled with it. My main issues is the many multiple POVs. For a girl with who is pretty quickly distracted, they don’t work in my favor at all..lols.

    • I was not a fan of Thor’s book either and I think I would rate it lower than this one. I would put Lover At Last above this one, though it wasn’t without it’s annoyances, too. I think Ward is easily distracted when she writes these books. Maybe there needs to be some focusing exercises. 🙂

  7. Thanks for the great review. I often wonder if you “read” the book do you think the time separation and all the other oddities would sink in better?
    This one’s on my list!

    • I think it was just that I didn’t enjoy the first part of the story, so I notice the things that annoy me more. I’ve noticed that with some other books that I’ve listened to and read. I can overlook some things, even though I find them annoying, if the rest of the story is compelling. I actually am able to do better listening because I’m usually doing other things while I listen.

      Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the later parts of the book. It was just difficult to get through the third to half for me.

  8. Ahh the part with Wrath and Beth I think I would love. I really enjoy when she just sticks to one couple and their romance/issues and not all of the splinter storylines. It just gets so confusing to me. I seriously can’t remember the product placement in the earlier ones. Was it in those too? Been a while since I read them all.

    • It has been a while since I’ve been through the earlier books, but it seems to me to be something that has progressed and gotten worse throughout the series. I agree that the more she sticks with one main story, the better the book. The good new, there are almost no lessers. 🙂

  9. That’s funny about wondering if the author has ADD. I can see why you’d think that. I’m going to take the plunge into Ward’s world and read the first book soon.

    • You haven’t tried this series at all?? I do love the overall story. The first several books are wonderful (like crack) and it isn’t that the later ones are bad in the grand scheme of things, but if you compare them to the first few books, well then…

      • I know, I’m a slacker. I don’t have any excuses now since I bought the first 7 books during an Amazon deal. So I hope I like them – lol.

        • Hey, I have several series that I can’t believe I haven’t started yet either. There are just too many books and not enough time. I’m sure you will enjoy them.

    • Thanks. I hope you enjoy the series. I think book two is my favorite.

  10. lol great review. I’ve noticed name brands and ghetto speak even though I’m a few books behind this one. So I think it’s escalating as the books go on (just guessing).

    • Thanks. That is my thought too, though I haven’t done a reread/listen to this series in a while. When the stories are good, I don’t notice or I’m able to ignore it better, kinda like when I was in the second half of this book.

  11. I totally agree on the narration. I don’t think Frangione can disappoint. Love the dude’s voice!
    Great review! ~Angela

    • I haven’t listened to him narrate anything but this series, but he fits with the ghetto speak really well.

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