Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

Etched in Bone  by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview & Giveaway

 

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Etched in Bone
The Others series – Book #5
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 7, 2017

Etched in BoneAmazon / B&N / Kobo / BAM / Book Depository

Description:
After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

 

Review:

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop is the 5th book in her wonderful The Others series.  Anne Bishop is one of the authors that are always on the top of my list.  She never ever fails in giving us another fantastic story in each of everyone of her series.   Etched in Bone ends the Meg/Simon story arc, and it was a fabulous and exciting ending.  I know Anne will continue The Others world in a different arc that will come next year, but I will miss the wonderful characters in Lakeside.

At the end of the last book (Marked in Flesh), the feared Elders (old time powerful  Others) and Elementals eliminated the humans who plotted and brutally killed many of the terra indigene (the Others) throughout the world.  A refresher:  The Others are non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc), who control most of the world. The series revolves around Meg Corbyn, a human, who is also a blood prophet. Since Meg has arrived in Lakeside Courtyard, the terra indigene have protected her and learned to change their ways to live with humans.

In Etched in Bone. Lakeside and other communities, who have survived the mass destruction work toward returning things to normal.  Bishop does a wonderful job allowing us to see how Meg has helped changed both human and others perspectives.  The police play a big part in this story, with Monty in the middle, since his brother has come to live in Lakeside.  Jimmy Montgomery is bad to the bone, and upon arrival has expected to live freely, taking whatever he wants; but soon, the Others begin to see that he is trouble.  When Simon and his group want to evict Jimmy immediately, they are stopped by two Elders, who want to learn more how humans and the others get along; they want to see how Jimmy is different than other humans.

Jimmy was one of those nasty people who will use his own family to benefit him.  A few of times during the story, he plots to take what doesn’t belong to him, and even with the dire result on the first attempt, he continues to plot again.  Monty and Twyla (their mother) have to separate themselves from him, so not to be in the middle of the eventual fallout; and throughout the story, we kept hoping for nasty Jimmy to be thrown out of Lakeside. 

The last third of the book was extremely exciting, with pulse pounding action that had us on the edge of our seat.  Meg’s life was in danger, and they all knew, if anything happens to our Meg, poor Simon would leave Lakeside heartbroken.  It will take the police, the Elders and the rest of the terra indigene to work together to try and save Meg. Will Meg survive? Will Simon and Meg finally find a way to be together?

What I loved the most about Etched in Bone was spending time, and probably our last with these wonderful fantastic characters Anne Bishop has given us….Meg, Simon, Vlad, Tess, Sam, Nathan, Henry, Merri Lee, Monty, Burke,Skippy, &  the Elementals, just to name a few. I for one will sorely miss them .  I also love that Anne has given us a satisfactory conclusion to Simon & Meg (and Sam).  Bravo Anne Bishop for another fantastic book, and series that no one should miss.  I wholly recommend you read The Others series by starting with the first book, Written in Red. 

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Anne Bishop photo

 

Hi, Anne.  We are excited to have you back with us again at The Reading Cafe, to discuss your new release “Etched in Bone”, as well as to give us an update as to what else you may be working on. 

 

 

TRC:  For those of our members who have not read this series, can you please give us a description of the premise of The Others

Anne: The Others novels take place on an alternate Earth where the earth natives, the supernatural beings known as the Others, have always been the dominant predators, evolving with the world. Humans, while inventive and clever, are nowhere near the top of the food chain and have to deal with the Others for all the natural resources they need. The appearance of Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who has run away from her controller, adds to the ever-present tension between species in the city of Lakeside. Meg’s presence is the pebble that starts the avalanche of changes in Lakeside, and the question, more and more, becomes who is going to survive those changes.

TRC:  Etched in Bone is being released tomorrow.  Can you please give us a brief description of the book?

Anne:  It’s the post-war story. Communication between regions is broken, so no one really knows how many human cities and towns in Thaisia still exist. Thanks to Simon, Meg, and Monty, Lakeside is in pretty good shape, but there is a sense of isolation and uncertainty. And the thinning of the human herd isn’t done. Two Elders return to Lakeside to observe the humans and Others interacting. When Monty’s brother, Jimmy, arrives in Lakeside, the Elders have a chance to observe something else—how one human’s actions can break the trust and balance in a pack made of humans and Others.   

TRC: How did you come up with the idea of The Others?

Anne:  It wasn’t one idea but a lot of little ideas that clicked together in the right way. The “ah-ha” moment was when I wondered what the world would be like if the Others weren’t humans that became something else but were a different species altogether, supreme predators that had the ability to take another shape in order to mimic and study other predators. That meant that even when they took the shape of a human, they wouldn’t think like a human. That collision of world views intrigued me. Once I added the idea of the blood prophets, and Meg, who becomes the catalyst for those world views colliding, the story began to tell itself.  

TRC:  Etched in Bone is the final book in The Others series.  How hard was it writing the finale of Meg, Simon, Sam and the others in Lakeside?  I know I will miss them. 

Anne:  I don’t feel like I left them behind. They just stepped off the stage to let other characters have a chance to stand in the spotlight. They told the story of world-shattering changes, and their work is done. I picture them all heading to a beach on the shores of Lake Etu. Meg and the female pack will build sand castles. Simon and Sam will dig the moats and chase the seagulls. Everybody will have a good time.  

TRC:  We know you are continuing with a new series, Lake Silence, in the same world as The Others.  What can you tell us about the new series coming in 2018? 

Anne:  I don’t know yet if it’s a new series or a standalone book in the Others’ world.  I started the story as a “Crowgard cozy”—a kind of story that would be sold in Howling Good Reads. When I started it, I wasn’t sure if it would be a short story or a novella or a novel. I just wrote to see what would happen with these characters. Then, because my stories always change from simple to layered, “cozy” turned into “suspense” and grew into a novel.  

TRC: How many books are you planning for your new series?   

Anne: That will depend on whether or not Vicki and Aggie find more bodies.  

TRC:  When you are not writing, what other interests or hobbies do you have?

Anne: That depends on the season. In the winter, I read, watch movies, and spend time with friends. From spring through fall, I putter in the garden instead of watching movies.

TRC:  What is your writing process?  Do you like to outline your story before you start? Do you have a specific place you like to write?  Is there a special time of day that works best for you?

Anne:  I don’t outline. I think a lot—sometimes for years—before I begin writing the story. I make notes as characters begin to take shape and the place comes into sharper and sharper focus. I have a general idea of the storyline but the fun is discovering how the characters get from that first meeting and problem to be solved to the end of the story. I have a little space in my house that is the writing corner. That’s where I go to meet the Muse. I start after breakfast and work until I reach my word quota for the day. Then I take care of email and paperwork for a couple of hours. I do that five days a week. The other two days I spend on the mundane things that keep the household running.

TRC:   Would you like to add anything else? 

Anne: Etched in Bone is my twentieth novel. In 2018, I’ll celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the publication of my first novel, Daughter of the Blood. Some of you have been sharing these worlds and stories with me from the beginning. Some of you are just discovering the Others and the Blood and the other worlds I’ve created. Thank you. It’s a joy to share the people and their stories with you. 

TRC:  Thank you, Anne for giving us an update on Etched in Bone, as well as what we can look forward to with your new series.    It was a pleasure having you visit us again. 

To learn more about Anne, you can find her at the following links
          Website / Facebook /  Courtyard / Goodreads

 

Giveaway

Anne is graciously offering TWO (2) giveaways.
           – A Hardcover copy of ETCHED IN BONE to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe
         –   Paper copy of the first Four book in The Others series to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

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9. Giveaway runs from March 6 -10, 2017

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Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – a Review

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop – a Review

 

Marked in Flesh
The Others series – Book #4
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 8, 2016

Marked in FleshAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / BAM / The Book Depository

Description:
For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate—both within themselves and within their community…

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…

 

Review:

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop is the 4th book in her fantastic The Others series. I have said this before; I am a huge fan of Anne Bishop, having loved all of her other series; whatever she writes, she is a master storyteller. In Marked in Flesh, Anne just continues to wow us with another fascinating story that had us holding our breaths in the final half of the ultra exciting pulse pounding finish.

The Others is a story about the terra indigene (non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc) who control most of the world, and the humans, both good and bad who live in lands that the Others allow them to live on. Meg is our heroine of this series; she is human, but a valuable blood prophet, who has the ability of seeing the future when she cuts herself. The Others have come to care very much for Meg, and will go to all lengths to protect her from the evil that threatens them all.

In Marked in Flesh, the group who call themselves Humans First and Last, have escalated their foolish threats against the Others, including humans and/or businesses that support the terra indigene. They kill livestock, and threaten the lives of many of the wolves. The Elders, whom we learn more about, as even The Others fear them, decide it is time to reclaim their land and do what they learned from what the humans did.

Simon Wolfgard, who is the leader of The Others, prepares everyone for what is coming. He warns other territories that have been working with the good humans, and the cassandra sangue (young blood prophets that were saved, and whom Meg tries to help). In Lakeside, and in a few other territories, The Others try to bring in humans who have worked with them to protect them from the expected fallout. It was interesting to watch the preparation of a possible destruction of the world as they know it, with the humans and others bringing in supplies to last them for some time; which included books, food, medicine, normal things for their human friends, such as toilet paper. Lol Meg begins to try and find out ways for her and the other blood prophets to be able to see the prophecy without cutting.

Meg has become an important part of the others, especially to Simon, who is slowly finding himself not seeing life without our Meg. I look forward to the time when Simon and Meg open themselves to a romance. I love the great characters Bishop has created for this series, Meg, Simon, Sam, Tess, Vlad, Nathan, Merri, Skippy, Monty, just to name a few, and there are so many.

Marked in Flesh gives us a look at the original others (The Elders), who are different from the shape shifters, and more lethal. When the time comes as we race to the finish, the excitement and danger is breathtaking. The power of the Elders, and the Elementals (Ocean, Fire, Water, Air, Earth, etc,), is so powerfully written by Bishop, as we watch what unfolds around us.

This was an exciting and intense race to the climax, with many deaths that will change this world going forward. I loved the humor that Anne added to alleviate some of the tension, with the wolves howling to let the Elders know that they are there and not to harm those with them. Even Meg did her Arroooo! The ending was very well done, with some sad moments. We are left waiting impatiently for the next book to see where Anne Bishop will take us. Once again, Anne Bishop has done a wonderful job continuing this wonderful urban fantasy series, which is not to be missed.

If you have not read this series, I suggest you do so. This is not a standalone; you must start with the first book, as it is a continuing storyline.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview and Giveaway

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop – Review, Interview and Giveaway

 

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Vision in SilverAmazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository / BAM

Description:
The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

 

 Review:

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop is the 3rd book in her wonderful The Others fantasy series. As most of you already know, I am a huge fan of Anne Bishop, having read all of her books, and loving them all. When I started reading The Others with the first book, Written in Red, I had thought this was a different type of story and I immediately fell in love with this series. There is no question in my mind, whatever she writes, Bishop is such a master storyteller as she brilliantly continues this wonderful world building in Vision in Silver.

To give you a brief refresher, The Others is a story about the terra indigene (non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc) who control most of the world, and the humans, both good and bad who live in lands that the Others allow them to live on. Meg is our heroine of this series, as now in the 3rd book, she is fully a member of the terra indigene, even if she is human. Meg is a blood prophet ( cassandra sangue) who is very valuable, as when she cuts herself, she sees the future. The Others have come to care very much for “our Meg”, and will go to all lengths to protect her from the evil that wants to use the blood prophets to their own gain. In the last book, Murder of Crows, most of the young blood prophets were rescued and send to different areas to gradually get them used to living in freedom. But this is not an easy process, as they are all mentally challenged to see the world as it is, having been shut down all their lives, with just offering up prophecy that is asked of them.

In Vision in Silver this is escalated, as there is a huge threat that will not only threaten the lives of the blood prophets, but also the Others. A group called Humans First and Last (HFL), has been inciting humans with lies, and using force for them to stop serving the Others, or they will put them out of business if they don’t comply. They also want the blood prophets for themselves, blaming things that go wrong on the terra indigene, thereby turning humans against them.

Simon, the leader of the lakeside pack, is determined to help the blood prophets with Meg’s help, as she is a trailblazer, who will teach them how to survive in the open world. The human police force that we have come to know from previous books have worked closely with Simon, and the rest of the pack to stop the violence. The humans labeled as wolf lovers (those helping Meg, Simon and the others), must leave town and move to the courtyard run by the terra indigene.

What follows is an exciting storyline from start to finish, which finds Meg trying to control her own compulsions to cut herself, and learning how to control it to be able to help her fellow Cassandra sanguine. Lt. Mongomery plays a big part, as his little girl surprisingly arrives to the Courtyard with hidden secrets that will eventually reveal the real villains behind this plot to hurt the Others. But most of all, it is Simon, and his entire pack that must face the evil threats, and rise up to fight them, which will put Simon’s life in danger. It is Meg, whose prophecy will help them all.

In between, all this intense action, is the continued sweet relationship that slowly grows between Simon and Meg. Simon is the alpha wolf, the leader of the pack of non-humans, but it is Meg, the sweet girl, who has won all their hearts, as she opens the door for the Others to learn to live with humans. There is no relationship between Meg and Simon…not yet. But it is so beautifully done, how much they each care about each other, as each passing day goes on.

Anna Bishop continues to wow me with her fabulous world building, and storytelling that is flawless with each book. Bishop has also created some of the best characters in this fantastic world, such as Simon, Meg, Sam, Nathan, Tess, Vlad, Henry, Merri, Monty and even little Skippy. Make no mistake, this is not a romance, but a fascinating, fun, tense and exciting story, in a complex world. I loved every moment of Vision in Silver, and have grown to love so many of the non-human characters that make up The Others. Bravo, Anne Bishop, you never cease to amaze me. If you have not started this series, it is time to do so. A great series that is not to be missed.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

 

Interview

Anne Bishop photo

 

 

Hi, Anne. We are excited to have you back with us again at The Reading Cafe,to discuss your new release “Vision In Sliver”, as well as to give us an update as to what else you may be working on.

 

 

 

 

TRC: You have just released your 3rd book in The Others series. For those of our members who have not read this series, can you give us a description of the premise of The Others?

Anne: The Others novels take place on an alternate Earth where the earth natives, the supernatural beings known as the Others, have always been the dominant predators, evolving with the world. Humans, while inventive and clever, are nowhere near the top of the food chain and have to deal with the Others for all the natural resources they need. The appearance of Meg Corbyn, a blood prophet who has run away from her controller, adds to the ever-present tension between species in the city of Lakeside. Meg’s presence is the pebble that starts the avalanche of changes in Lakeside, and the question, more and more, becomes who is going to survive those changes.

Murder of the crowsTRC:   Congratulations on Murder of the Crows being nominated for the 2014 RT (Romantic Times) Reviewer’s Choice Award in the Urban Fantasy Worldbuilding category. It must be gratifying to receive another nomination for this wonderful series?

Anne: I’m thrilled to receive another nomination for a Reviewer’s Choice Award. It’s especially flattering that it is for the worldbuilding category because this world, being not-quite-Earth, requires selecting the right blend of details to make the impossible things seem perfectly reasonable.

 

 

Vision in SilverTRC:  Vision in Silver is being released today. Can you please give us a brief description of the book?

Anne: The Others freed the blood prophets to protect the girls from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences for many of the girls–and would also open a door to freedom for another young prophet. While Meg Corbyn and Simon Wolfgard search for a way to help more of these girls survive, Lieutenant Montgomery has to unravel the mystery of why his young daughter has arrived in Lakeside alone. And all their lives, and the future of Lakeside, are threatened by a fanatic faction of humans who have a connection to the growing war across the Atlantik.

TRC:  When we last talked to you on how many books you were planning on this series, you were still in discussion on this.   Have you decided how many books you will be doing in the series? I hope a lot, as I do not want to leave the world of The Others.

Anne:  I know there will be five. After that, it will depend on whether or not the characters have more to say.

TRC:  What challenges or difficulties do you encounter writing this series?

Anne:  The fun of the series is writing from the point of view of characters who are not remotely human in the way they think and feel and act. The challenges are making decisions about details–like what kind of service weapon does Monty use versus Burke, and how much do I need to know about bison–so that there are enough details for the story to feel real without bogging it down. And there is geography and figuring out who is living where and how that would convert (approximately) to an actual map because we have another location in Vision in Silver.

TRC:  When not writing, what do you do to relax?

Anne:  In the winter, I watch movies, listen to music, do yoga, indulge in recreational reading. In warmer months, I spend a lot of time in the garden. Gardens are instant gratification–you spend thirty minutes weeding and you can see the results.

TRC:  Would you like to share with us what you are currently working on, and what you may have upcoming in 2015/2016?

Anne:  I just turned in Book 4 in the series and will start working on Book 5 very soon. That will take me through March 2016.

TRC:  Would you like to add anything else?

Anne:  I’d like to thank all the readers who have joined me on this adventure. I’m having a lot of fun writing these stories, and I hope you’re having just as much fun reading them.

Thank you, Anne for giving us an update on Vision in Silver, as well as what we can look forward to in the future.   It was a pleasure having you visit us again.

If you want to learn more about Anne, you can find her at the following links:
Website / FacebookFacebook Courtyard / Goodreads

giveaway

Anne is graciously offering a paper copy of the first two books in The Others series, WRITTEN IN RED & MURDER OF CROWS to TWO (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe.

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8. Giveaway is open to USA only.

9. Giveaway runs from March 3 -8, 2015

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Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop – a Review

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop – a Review

 

Murder of Crows
The Others series – Book #2
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Murder of the crowsLinks to order Murder of Crows:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository


Description:

After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

 

Review:

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop is the 2nd book in her The Others series.  I love all of Anne’s books, and this series is not any different.  The Others is a different and fascinating story about the terra indigene (non humans, such as wolves, crows, vampires, elementals, grizzlies, etc) who control most of the world, and the humans, good and bad who live in lands The Others allow humans to live on.  The main storyline is a young woman, who is a blood prophet and lives among the terra indigene.  In case you have not read my review of the first book (Written In Red), a blood prophet is someone who must cut themselves to see the future. Written in Red introduces us to Meg and her arrival in the Lakeside courtyard where humans were minimal, as we discovered more about her, and how the others learned to care very much for this human, and how far they would go to protect her as one of their own.  Murder of Crows continues with these fabulous people we have become invested in.  Meg, Simon, Nathan, Tess, Vlad, Winter, Monty, Merri, and so many more wonderful and new characters that Anne has created in this fantastic world.

Though this is not a romance, Simon finds himself caring more and more about Meg, whom he cannot seem to stay away from;  but it concerns him, since he is non human, and should not care about any human.  They are just friends at this point, perhaps in the next book, this friendship will change.   But in Murder of Crows the story is two fold.  An evil group is killing crows or any other non human. The Others are determined to protect Meg, as well as stop the attacks; they concentrate on using Meg’s prophecies or clues to find the Enemy. The story is tense at times, with all the threats and unrest.

I cannot tell too much, since I do not want to give spoilers.  Only to say I loved this book, and the entire series. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book, which is a year away.  Just watching the others is fun, as you see them caring so much about “our Meg”; as well as learning some new and confusing things that humans do, which may or may not help them to understand humans better. This is so well done.  Simple things like flavored cookies for animals (wolves, etc) or humans taking notes is pretty funny.  It also helps the others form a workable relationship with some of the human police force to help find the enemies.

Murder of Crows is a fascinating world, deeply complex, with a fabulous cast of characters.  The story has everything, from fun, exciting, mysterious, tension and a wild climax.  But it does have an ending to this storyline, that also addicts us to want to continue into the lives of Meg and The Others.  Again I have to say I love everything about Anne Bishop’s writing, and Murder of Crows was great.  I would suggest you to start with Written in Red, if you haven’t started this series yet, and do not wait.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Author

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Written in Red by Anne Bishop – a Review

Written in Red by Anne Bishop – a Review

Written in Red

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / The Book Depository / Kobo

Anne Bishop is one of my favorite authors.  No matter what she writes, she never fails to totally hook me into the story.  Written in Red is the start of her new series, The Others.  I loved this book, so well written, with such wonderful characters, and there are a lot.  The storyline was fun, exciting, and tense, not to mention interesting. 

Description:
In a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

Review:

Written in Red is a fantastic start to a new series, set in a world run by The Others.  They consist of non humans, such as shapeshifters, elementals, vampires, in a paranormal story unlike anything we have seen before.   Humans learn to live in the lands allowed to them by the Others, who control everything, not mention put the fear in the hearts of humans, who do not follow the rules.  The Others all live in an area that is their own, within different parts of the world.  This story follows the Lakeside Courtyard, run by their leader & our hero, Simon Wolfgard, a wolf shapeshifter. 

But the story starts out with our heroine Meg Corbyn, who is running away from a secret life, and ends up in the Courtyard, where few humans are allowed.  Meg applies for a job as a Human Liason, to help with the mail.  Simon smells something different about Meg, but reluctantly gives her the job, on probation.  He knows she is running from something, and is determined to find out what it is. 

Meg, though in dangerous territory, finds it safer to be with the non-human Others, where she thinks she cannot be found.  Along the way, she must face all the distrust from various shifters, such as wolves, crows, vampires, grizzles, and others.   But Meg is a sweet girl, and you can’t help but like her, and root for her.  The Others begin to like Meg, and though they watch her, they start trusting her.  Meg does well to clean up the mess at the mail office, and starts her own way of dealing with each of the different types of Others. 

As in most stories, there are villains, and Bishop excels at creating these villains.  The Controller, whom we hear of, but do not see much of in this book, is the main villain of the series.  Asia Crane has had eyes on Simon, but keeps getting rebuffed. Now she turns her eyes on Meg, as she wants to find out who and why is she here with the others. and use Meg to make some money.   

This is such a great story, in a totally different world.  We get to meet all the Others, including the vampires and the Elementals, besides the shapeshifters.  Bishop has created a wonderful cast of characters that bring this story to life.  From Tess, who is a powerful member of the Others, yet no one knows what she is, just that she can be very very dangerous & scary, so never get her mad.   Tess, despite her early distrust of Meg, does take her somewhat under her wing.  You get to meet the wolves, and the crows, as well as a grizzly, and you will get to love them all, and watch them come to love Meg.  I loved meeting Winter, and her sisters Air and Spring.  So powerful, so dangerous, and feared.  But Meg somehows befriends them, as she has most of the Others.  My most favorite character turns out to be Sam, the young wolf pup,  that Simon takes care of.  Meg manages to help bring Sam out of his shell, that happened when he saw his mother get killed, and both learn to love each other.  Meg will do anything to protect Sam, and watching their friendship is so much fun, and beautiful.

Simon discovers that Meg is a cassandra sanque, and is running away from the man who imprisoned her, the Controller.  What is a casasndra sanque?… a blood prophet, who must cut themselves to see the future.  Meg is valuable to the Controller and he wants her back at any cost. 

This leads into an exciting story, where Meg’s life is in danger, and the Others band together to help her. It was a wild exciting last 1/3 of the book.

This again was such a fantastic book, from start to finish. I enjoyed learning about the Others, their disdain for humans, yet their learning to care about Meg; seeing all the different types of others, whether it be shape-shifters, vampires, elementals, etc.  Learning how the human police force, understands the need to keep the peace, and work with the Others to protect all humans, which becomes all too real near the end.  I cannot say enough about this book, as well as Anne Bishop.  I marvel how she comes up with these ideas, and makes it so real.  Bravo Anne, I loved Written in Red and cannot wait for the next book.

Reviewed by Barb

Copy provided by Publisher

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