• The Beast

  • A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood
  • By: J. R. Ward
  • Narrated by: Jim Frangione
  • Length: 18 hrs and 5 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (4,466 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nothing is as it used to be for the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

After avoiding war with the Shadows, alliances have shifted, and lines have been drawn. The slayers of the Lessening Society are stronger than ever, preying on human weakness to acquire more money, more weapons, more power. But as the Brotherhood readies for an all-out attack on them, one of their own fights a battle within himself....

For Rhage, the Brother with the biggest appetites but also the biggest heart, life was supposed to be perfect - or at the very least perfectly enjoyable. Mary, his beloved shellan, is by his side, and his king and his brothers are thriving. But Rhage can't understand - or control - the panic and insecurity that plague him...and that terrifies him as well as distances him from his mate.

After suffering a mortal injury in battle, Rhage must reassess his priorities - and the answer, when it comes to him, rocks his world...and Mary's. But Mary is on a journey of her own, one that will either bring them closer together or cause a split that neither will recover from....

©2016 J. R. Ward (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Intimate, evocative...the last quarter or so of The Beast had me breathing fast, furiously flipping pages. Emotional surprises and plot twists signal big things to come as this consistently compelling and exciting series evolves. This immersive, introspective yet rousing next installment will leave you clamoring for more.” (USAToday.com)

The Beast is a joy of a novel.... Ward is a master of her craft.” (New York Journal of Books) 

“A beautiful experience meant to be savored by fans.” (Under the Covers) 

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What listeners say about The Beast

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love it but...

I LOVED this book. The only complaint I have is that they changed the pronunciation of the names of some of the people. For example, Havers was pronounced Haavers. Xcor was pronounced Core. Xhex was pronounced Hex.

35 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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FLAWLESS.... SIMPLY FLAWLESS

Fourteen books J R Ward has written in the unforgettable, unmissable and unstoppable BDB series and each and every one of them are worthy five star listens, each and every one of them delivered an all-consuming multi-layered plot with sub plots and each and every one of them met, then exceeded, my already high expectations. These Brothers, their mates, their families, their big hearts and their relentless unwavering dangerous Quest get under your skin, very quickly work their way into your heart and absolutely nothing is going to dislodge them. Because, as a fan, you've walked alongside them as they've fought evil, fought for love, fought for the Brotherhood and they're still fighting for everything they hold sacred and dear.

For me, JR Ward is way..way....waaay up there on top of the list where only a few truly gifted Author's names appear because there's N E V E R any doubt that you're going to love the listen, there's N E V E R any doubt that it's going to absolutely tick all your boxes and there's N E V E R any doubt that she's going to totally knock it out of the ballpark. And, when all the action is over, the hours have gone and the characters have once more been put to bed, you're left in a bit of a book funk greedily wondering just how long you'll have to wait until the next gripping book will be released.

Gifted writing, wonderful story with many sub plots, drama, action, heartache, sex, romance, descriptive scenes and awesome characters await..... but who am I kidding - no fan needs to read Reviews, no fan needs reassurances that it's going to be epic, no fan would doubt Jim Frangione's ability as narrator and no fan would question the purchase. It was in my pre-orders as soon as I got a mere whiff of its release and I eagerly waited, mentally squirming and anticipating the day..... like a junkie needing her next fix and now I'm BDB juiced up impatiently waiting for my next hit. Ms Ward.... I'll clean your house, I'll mow your lawns, I'll walk your dog and I'll make your coffee just the way you like it if this is what it takes so you can weave your creative thoughts, form them into magical chapters and deliver us book 15. I'm sure I'm not alone, there's an army of us - your willing and waiting fans who'll never ever tire of these characters, their stories.... and you. x

Worth a credit? Gosh, Jeeez.... and smiles - does this question really need my answer? no I didn't think so.

30 people found this helpful

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J R Ward ~ Hands Down ~ The # 1 Author in PNR!

JR Ward is one of the best authors, and her BDB series is my favorite. I love the action, suspense, steamy romance, and a phenomenal character development and the multiple POV's. I bought this story on preorder before it was released, and prior to my upcoming back surgery. I wanted to have a story ready to listen to after my surgery that would help me cope with the pain and recovery. The Beast was a perfect choice, and kept me engaged from the beginning to the end. I loved how the story weaved in new characters and developed existing characters on a deeper level.

With each new story, Jim Frangione's performance gets better and he delivers another stellar performance by giving each character their own voice and using the right amout of tone and inflection to convey the different emotions throughout the story.

This is a series I would recommend to everyone! It has a great mix of both feminine and masculinity, and should appeal to multiple audiences. If you have not listen to any of the Black Dagger Brotherhood stories, I highly recommend you start from the beginning and I'm confident you will like this series. These stories are well worth the credit and time invested in listening to the stories.

24 people found this helpful

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5 Fantastic Stars


Wow I loved Rhage and Mary’s book so hard, so getting a second book was like jackpot to me.
There is so very much going on in this book I hope I can do this review justice.

First I was mad at Rhage for ignoring V hello when has V’s visions EVER been wrong… NEVER that’s when.
So already I am highly emotional tears and sadness then poof Mary is my knight and shining armor.

Kick it over to Bitty an Mary at safe place, Mary having to let Bitty know it was time to say good bye to her mahmen , this is heart breaking.

I was not a fan of the Scribe Virgin in this book, why do defeated I don’t understand because things didn’t go her way. It wasn’t like she was obsolete, far from it.

You can just feel how off Mary and Rhage are. Had me wondering what was going to happen with them.
Then the conversation about kids happened and that broke my ever loving heart I tell you. But then when they kind of came to the mutual choice that if Bitty would they would foster to adopt her.
Priceless the connection between Bitty and Rhage. Best scene ever when Bitty see and falls in love with Rhage’s GTO!

I think what surprises me the most is Mary can drive it like a BOSS! Not only that but how proud Rhage was to let Bitty take it for a spin too.
When Rhage held LW – Little Wrath and how he was afraid to walk with him . Heel, toe, Heel, toe – Didn’t want to flatten him like a Panini. LMAO!

This could be a long review I have so much more to say, Some funny moments Rhage slapping Fritz on the back and him almost taking a face plant and one of the other brothers yells out ‘Got em’ saved poor Fritzy!

I am loving Assails transformation in this book and his connection with V. I think that might be a friendship I like. 
Omg the babies.. I can’t even I don’t want to give anything away but that made me cry and laugh and cry and cry.. So not only did I cry at the beginning but at the end too!

Oh god the flooding of the hot tub because of Mary and Rhage.. love that Mary didn’t get to embarrassed. But the razing after… omg toooo funny got to love the Brothers and there humor let alone Lassiter.

Ok No more Review on to Quotes you know I got them!

Favorite Quote EVER
“I eat people. I mean…the beast. You know! It eats things, that shouldn’t, you know, be eaten.” – Rhage

“He’s like a Big Friendly Dog.” – Bitty

“Life didn’t have to be perfect for true love to exist in it.”

“I really need a drink; I really need a freaking drink.”

“Shut up and brush, honey. We will talk about this after her transition in like 12 -15 years.”

“You’re always going to be my prince with the shining fangs.”

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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JR Just Ain't the Same

What would have made The Beast better?

A better plot. And she could have cut out a lot of the pop culture references for a start, they drove me insane!!! I feel like JR Ward is just churning out half-assed stories now. I really enjoyed the first 10 BDB books. They were well written with great plots and you really cared what was happening with the characters. I feel like after the 10th book, JR isn't really even trying anymore.

What could J. R. Ward have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I really don't know. The book was really sappy, to the point I would roll my eyes and tune out.

What didn’t you like about Jim Frangione’s performance?

Jim Frangione is a good narrator, but his narration does not suit the BDB books. He just doesn't get the tone right. He sounds like someone's father trying to talk "hip" when he curses and says words like "mother f*cker" and hearing him narrate the saucier parts actually made me cringe.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment, definitely.

Any additional comments?

I used to really enjoy JR Ward's books, but her more recent stuff has been pretty bad. I hope she gets her mojo back and starts writing better books!!!

19 people found this helpful

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Names change again

I really enjoyed the story but once again Score was Core and Xexe was Ex. Wish the names would be consistent. Awaiting next book!...... Please

13 people found this helpful

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fantastic

as a reader, you always wonder if the next book in a series will be as good as the ones that came before. I can truthfully say for The Black Dagger Brotherhood , yes, yes yes. Ward says she write what the Brotherhood shows her, it must be true. every piece of the Brotherhood s life is so clearly written you can see and feel it. You laugh and cry , you hold your in suspense . it takes you away to a place where you know in your head it's only in the book but in your heart you know somewhere, some place there is The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

11 people found this helpful

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Name changes after 13 books?!?!

Who changes pronunciations after narrating 13 books? This is ridiculous having to figure out who he’s talking about. And I really don’t like the new pronunciations, they’re painful!

7 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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The Big Puppy Dog.

I usually don't want to read books about the same couple as earlier in a series, and at first I was a bit leery of this book just as I was about with V's book. Luckily this book was better than V's second book, I really liked it. As with all of JR Ward book's there are many stories arcing in one book. There was really only one action scene with the lessars in the beginning, the rest of the book was about coming to terms with the life they were dealt with. Rhage and Mary figuring out that they really did want kids, finding Biddy and discovering they can help her. Also a good part was when Layla has her babies, I'm still really interested to see where her and Xcor story will lead. There are a few new characters added to the story it will be interesting to see how they play out in the future. At first I was annoyed that there was so much of Assail in the book. I kept thinking that the book could easily be cut down by a third without him, but his part of the book gets good and I'm glad it was there in the long run. I figured out why the author always calls her characters by their initial, it is because you can't spell them, so pardon my spelling on my review. Narrator is good as always.

7 people found this helpful

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Best one yet!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

NO! Not this one you have to start with the first one or you'll be too traumatized.

What other book might you compare The Beast to and why?

There is no comparison, lots of other authors within similar character patterns and story lines but none can touch the BDB.

What about Jim Frangione’s performance did you like?

I couldn't read one of the BDB books and not hear his voice! The man is the voice of the Brotherhood.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YES! and nearly did!

Any additional comments?

This one is by far the best in the series so far no question. If you haven't read the whole series yet, Stop now and go back you won't regret it. If you have read the whole series I think you will love how this one tends to take you back to how books 1-4 made you feel when you read them. Keep'em coming and good luck topping this one.

7 people found this helpful