For What It's Worth

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

15711341No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now 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. ~ Goodreads

*sigh* Another new series that I adored but will have a tough time reviewing because everything I love (& even my nitpicks) could be a spoiler. First I direct you to these two more detailed, non spoilery, reviews by Wendy - The Midnight Garden & KT - A Book Obsession who convinced me not only to read Written in Red but that it was hardcover purchase worthy. It was.

My attempt at a non spoilery review:

Written and Red reminded me so much of Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. Like Andrews, Bishop has given us incredibly detailed world building and a complex cast of characters that make up her new, The Others, urban fantasy series.

This is definitely urban fantasy but with creatures like shifters, vampires, elementals (that were way cool!), ponies and more, it had an almost magical quality to me. Instead of feeling bombarded by each creature and their characteristics I couldn't learn enough. I loved each and every one of them.

The Others control this world. Humans just live in it because the The Others allow it.

“We are the tenants, not the landlords, a temple priest once said at a weekly gathering. We only borrow the air we breathe and the food we eat and the water we drink” pg. 50

I LOVED how this was portrayed. The various creatures retain their animalistic  qualities. They eat human meat. Nothing is sugar coated but they also form bonds and have a fascinating social structure. There is so much I would like to say about this aspect but it = spoilers. Just go read the book lol

Meg, a human, is a protagonist that you are unsure of at first. She comes off as weak but as a blood prophet, owned and mistreated by people who would like to profit from her unique ability to predict future events through the cutting her skin, you realize that her strength comes from just being able to stay alive. This girl is a fighter! I have high hopes for where this character is headed in future installments.

There isn't really any romance to speak of but the bond Meg begins to form with The Others, and particularly with Simon, the wolf pack leader, is so sweet that I didn't even care. Again I sense a big payoff in this regard as the series progresses. And frankly it was nice to read a series that focused on different types of relationships and friendships rather then emphasizing only the romance.

I do have a few nitpicks though. There were several alternating POV's which worked for me except when it was the POV of a human cop named Monty. I just didn't care what he was thinking. I believe his character was used to help explain a lot about The Others and their ways but every time I was taken away from Meg, Simon and company I got bored. It does all tie together and is important to the plot but meh...

Also, there are a few villains. Some have the potential to scare the bejeebus out of me with their evil-ness as they continue to develop but one in particular had me rolling my eyes. The motivations felt weak at best and the character’s actions were cheesy.

Final thoughts: If you're looking for an un-romantic view of the creatures that go bump in the night, AWESOME characters and rich, detailed world building this is the series for you. After I finished Written in Red I felt like I was saying goodbye to family. I felt close to everyone and invested in their outcomes.

Author: Website
Source: Purchased
Buy the book! Written In Red: A Novel of the Others


  1. Wow, this is some endorsement! The Others eat human meat? ick, but hey we eat animal meat. I love how you said that you enjoyed reading about every creature portrayed even though there were a lot and how you felt like you were saying goodbye to family when you finished.

    1. lol I think you would like this one Pam. Very light on the romance with good character development.

      I usually glaze over when there are a lot creatures and the author feels the need to explain all of them but these were all so cool that I could have read a whole volume just on that.

  2. Yeah I know monty was tough but so glad that you enjoyed this little family . Sam & Meg and Simon...Yes love the special meat lol . I am so glad you read this one :)

    1. If it wasn't for Monty the book would have been perfect. I want to say more about Sam but I don't want to spoil anything because it was awesome!

  3. Why are you doing this to me, Karen!!? Don't you know that I have loads of UF series that I'm already trying to catch up on? And now this one. I'm definitely adding Written in Red to my tbr. Great review!

    1. I feel absolutely NO guilt making you buy a book! Do you know how many books you've convinced me to buy? lol
      It's really different though which is hard to do these days.

  4. YAY!!! I'm so glad you loved it. I'm always worried when I "push" adult hardcover books on people. Those babies are expensive, and I think that kind of money just takes a lot more consideration before purchase. That being said, Written in Red is the exception to that rule I think. It's just so unique and THE book for Urban Fantasy fans. Fantastic review, and I agree wholeheartedly with you on all of it, even the minor complaints you had. I'll be definitely counting down the days until the next installment, which looks like will be released in March of 2014.

    1. I cringe when people buy a book I recommended lol But you were right about this one. I loved it and it was worth full price, hardcover.

      It was a great first book but what's even more exciting to me is all the possible places this story can go! Do you know if it's a trilogy or longer?

    2. I haven't been able to find anything more than just the sequel, Murder of Crows next year.

  5. aww, this sounds really good! i love the wolf on the cover :) the cover made me think it was YA, though.

  6. Ohhh I want it! :D Yes this one is for me

  7. Wow, this one sounds awesome. I really want to read more urban fantasy so I guess finding a new series is always a nice place to start...I won't feel too overwhelmed at first!!


  8. This sounds so good! I'm so going to be putting it on the wishlist. Hadn't heard of it before either. I have to say tho, that I love/hate it when you grieve for a good book. Still, it is a sign of a good book! Thanks!

    1. From reading your reviews I *think* you would like this one.

  9. Definitely sounds like it's worth picking up! I've read quite a few positive reviews of this one lately, and I'm all for some great characters!

  10. I agree with you on the one villain with the cheesey actions...haha. I loved loved loved this book. I also picked it up read/reviewed it because of Wendy! haha. I know what you mean about Monty - but overall I liked him, I didn't mind reading from his POV.

  11. I think the problem I had with Monty is that I don't' like crime solving in general. SO that was boring for me. I do think he's going to play a bigger role later so I tried to pay attention anyway lol

    Great book though!


    Hello my name is becky wayne from United Kingdom, I never believe in love spells until I experience Dr. IGHODO HIGH temple, and after he cast a love spell for me, my Ex husband who left me and 2 of our kids for 3years called me to apologize for the pain that he has caused me and till today we are living a happy family, if you need a right place to solve your problems contact DR IGHODO HIGH temple is the right choice. he is a great man that have been casting spells with years of experience, and his spell is absolutely harm free. he cast spells for different purposes like:

    (1)If you want your ex back.
    (2) if you always have bad dreams.
    (3)You want to be promoted in your office.
    (4)You want women/ men to run after you.
    (5)If you want a child.
    (6)[You want to be rich.
    (7)You want to tie your husband/wife to be yours forever.
    (8)If you need financial assistance.
    (9)Herbal care

    Contact him today is the only place all your Problems can be solved!

    Yours Sincerely,
    debora wayne.