Thursday, April 4, 2013
Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop
No 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.
Buy the book! Written In Red: A Novel of the Others