J.R. Ward’s Covet – POV on the Deep Side

A book about redemption with an angelic twist—fallen angels with a mission, demons with secrets, and two people falling in love—lives intertwine at the right time in all the right ways as well as a few really wrong ones…

J.R. Ward’s Covet, the first book of her fallen angel series, is about “a savior who doesn’t believe and a demon with nothing to lose!”  (That’s straight off the back cover.) Released in 2009, it’s not spanking new on the bookshelves or via Whispernet, which may or may not be a prerequisite for writing a review, but I just finished it recently and loved it. But for me, at this stage of my writing career, I read with a purpose.  And with this particular book, I was struck by J.R. Ward’s choices with POV or point of view.  But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

Covet has a number of my favorite things—heroes with major flaws, heroes and heroines with hearts of gold, secrets, passion, fear, guilt, falling in love, falling in lust, and demons (yes, a good demon tale gives me a happy:). The protagonist in this story is Jim Heron. A journeyman, or so we are led to believe initially, who soon discovers he has a mission and he must straddle two worlds to complete it. Before we know it – we are hip deep in fallen angels, bad girls, good girls, and a man who needs Jim’s help, but has a lot to learn before he can be saved.

But what pulled me into this story, as a reader who writes, was the intensity of J.R. Ward’s characters (and not just the supernatural stuff). J.R. was able to immerse the reader (me) in her story with memorable characters that were people, funny, sad, silly, hot, brittle, and a major tool she used to accomplish this was her expert use of Deep POV or third person limited. She also used it selectively, and those choices enriched the story even more for me. Now, I am not an expert on Deep POV, but I hope to be in the near future:). In the meantime, I read and I write, and I read and I write. But if you’d like to explore  POV with an expert, I recommend Alicia Rasley’s book The Power of POV.

So tell me what POV do you find yourself writing in most often? First person, third person, Deep POV? Second person (oh my:)…here’s your chance…also, have you read J.R. Ward? Covet? What do you think?

20 thoughts on “J.R. Ward’s Covet – POV on the Deep Side

  1. I haven’t read Covet yet — but based on your review, I’ll have to do it soon! My current novel is first person present (YA, you know), but the one before this was third person, deep POV. I feel pretty comfortable with both and while there are some differences, the deep POV make them more similar than I would have thought. The interesting thing is, in my notes and brainstorming, I always slip into third person without even realizing it — maybe because I’m thinking about my protagonist who is definitely not me.

    1. I’m really trying to stick with Deep Third Person POV but it’s not easy. Also, it can become a little over the top in hands (like mine:)…so it needs to be paced. Otherwise, I write 90 percent in third person, and dabble in other POVs like first and a bit of second (rare, but I’ve tried it).

  2. I haven’t read Covet yet either, but will add it to the list. My “norm” is third person past, but the book I finished recently (YA) was third person present. I tried to change it to past and it just wasn’t right. The sequel to that book (currently on hold) is a mix of third person present and first person (the ghost). I found I really liked writing in first person, though I have to say that sometimes reading a whole book in first person feels claustrophobic for me.

    The first time I heard of deep POV, it was a talk by Suzanne Brockman. I’m still not sure I have a handle on it. I’ll check out Alicia’s book now, too!

    1. Was that at RWA when you heard Suzanne? I knew it existed but still don’t always know how to get there, except in revision…but check out Covet…it’s a style that I like a lot, but it’s very punchy…if you read it, let me know if that makes sense:)…

  3. Denny, I really enjoyed your mix of book review with the craft discussion of POV! I have not read Covet yet but looks like I am gonna also want to check out Crave! Wow, now that is a nice cover! The three books I’ve completed are all 3rd person deep POV. But I’m working on one now that’s in 1st person and I find it keeps me writing more fluidly. Less stopping and then starting. Not sure why!!!

    1. I find second person present tense easy to write in for first draft…don’t have any idea why:)…

  4. Oh, both books sound great. I write in third person. I like to get into both the hero’s and heroine’s heads and occasionally the villain’s – bwahahahahahaha

    1. When Deep POV works, I love it. But I remember an RWA workshop where I think it was Debra Dixon who said it has to mesh with third person, or it’s too much. But I too like to get into other character’s heads…it keeps my head in the story, too:)…

  5. Great reviews – I’ll have to check out that book! I write in third person mostly. Occasionally, I’ll do something in first. 😉

    1. Well from the replies in this post third person is the winner, but most of the books published these days are third person – I think. The other thing that I like about J.R. Ward is that she does play around with urban fantasy but she doesn’t take the normal first person protagonist approach – which I prefer as well.

  6. Third person for me, and the POV goes as deep as is possible. Of course, being a journey man writer still, it misses the mark a lot.

    1. I hear you…it is tough to master, but check out Alicia’s book. Some very cool stuff there.

  7. Hi Denney, first I had so much fun at Girls Night Out last night! It was so much fun. I haven’t read this book. I’ll have to check it out. I always write 3rd, but I love to dig deep into the characters heads.

    1. Lol – no problem, and it was great spending time with you! Mucho fun, and we’ll do it again soon. See you at holiday party?

  8. Hi Denny! I write in 3rd person but I’m toying with an idea that will put me in 1st person for the first time – a virgin!

    I absolutely love J.R. Ward and this is on my TBR pile!

    Thanks for the post!

    1. It’s interesting that I pulled an author that no one in the mermaid group has read outside of you (and of course me:)…but yeah, I love her style.

      Also, another third person author!

  9. I haven’t read this one yet, but you have intrigued me. As for writing, I usually write in third person.

  10. Denny,
    I write mostly YA, so I usually do so in the first person present. Before that, I had always written in third person past, and the first time I wrote in first person, the words flowed so much easier.
    I haven’t read Covet yet, but I definitely will once NaNo is finished. Or once it has finished with me…
    I started reading fallen angel and demon books after Nationals, and I’ve loved them all. Super fun reading. Definitely different reading those than writing about real high school angst. LOL.

Comments are closed.