Tuesday, March 13, 2018

BOOK REVIEW: WRITTEN IN RED by ANNE BISHOP - THE OTHERS # 1 - PENGUIN - URBAN FANTASY

By: Anne Bishop
Published By: Penguin
Released: Available Now
Details: Paperback, 484 Pages

RATING: 4 STARS!

Blurb: Goodreads

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.

BOOK REVIEW:


This is my first Anne Bishop read that I had recommended to me. I adore urban fantasy and paranormal romance in YA and adult.

This book has garnered many, many thousands of five star reviews and that is absolutely fantastic. It is a real mixed bag when it comes to the age bracket.

It’s not typical YA. I am not sure how old Meg the lead female character even is, but she feels young, but parts of this story feel not YA.

Anne has done a wonderful job with writing something very different in this genre. The ‘others’ are quite scary, if you are a human. They will eat you, if you fark-up, without hesitation.

Meg is like the missing jewel in their crown. She's a special snowflake to this group.

Meg is a character I found pleasant. She’s super nice. She delivers the mail for the others and builds relationships with the most unlikely ‘others’.

Simon, Vlad, Henry, Tess… to name a few, have their roles that are sometimes scary, but then they can be so understanding and totally love Meg, in their own way. 

I laughed out loud at Vlad’s comment.



“Is it that time of the month?” Vlad asked.

Some feeling blew through her. It might have been embarrassment, but she suspected it was closer to rage. “What?

He studied her. “Is that not an appropriate question to ask?”

“No!”

“Odd. In many novels I’ve read, human males often ask that question when a female is acting…” Puzzlement as he continued to study her face. “Although, now that I consider it, they usually don’t make that observation to the female herself.”




They all love her and that is lovely. Meg has her secrets as she is in hiding from the peeps we don’t ever meet, but hear about. I didn't get a real sense of these villains, because they used their henchmen to do the dirty work. I can't put a face to The Controller, Meg's controller.

Anne has thrown in the annoying character, Asia, who is more a fly you want to swat, rather than a character that has great importance to the story. She is used more as a means to an end.

I adore Winter. She really is my favorite sub character in this story. The seasons in this book were amazing. So well written. They do have the power to wipe the earth clean… hence the ice age and the dinosaurs. Which made me question who truly was the leader when you have that kind of power that could really stop Simon and the others in their tracks?



“Kindness,” Winter murmured, taking the scarf and wrapping it around her neck. “So unexpected.”



The first 100 odd pages, give or take, I found hard to get through, for a little lack of interest, but I could see how many four and five star reviews were on Goodreads, and the 37,000 plus ratings the book currently has received, so I pushed on.

Meg’s character honestly really does just deliver mail in this first instalment for most of the book. But it is the connections she makes with the others along the way that writes the story. Sure she is the blood prophet and she does her thing and sees things, but predominantly her character delivers mail.

This is an incredibly descriptive story to a point I was like, dude!

There is no romance, but Meg is kinda the romance for the 'other' characters. They simply adore her, for the most part.

Sam the wolf pup is a great character and I loved the interaction with Meg and Sam. She does things the way she innocently thinks is right and she in a way teaches the others a new way of looking at things they would normally take insult to—or kill you for.

I liked Monty and his interaction with the others. He’s a good guy who is trying to work alongside the others and stay alive doing it.

If you are looking for a lead female character that is written to be kickass, then Meg isn’t that in this book, she's more a gentle, thoughtful soul. By the end of this installment, she's taught the others a few things, which in a way helps them to be a little teeny bit more compassionate to the humans working for them. 

They are foremost killers and will rip you apart and sell your human meat if you do the wrong thing. Humans are not the dominant beings, the others are, but they learn from Meg.



“They really aren’t human, Karl,” Monty said. “Intellectually, I knew that. Now I know that with the body as well as brain. The terra indigene aren’t animals who turn into humans or humans who turn into animals. They really are man shape because it suited them. They gained something from the human form, whether it was standing upright or having the convenience of fingers and thumbs, just like they gained something from the animal forms they absorbed.”



I enjoyed the last 70 pages the most as the action came into play, otherwise there is a lot of pages where Meg is delivering mail and who she meets along the way. She likes to hand out treats, with Asia popping in and out to be really just annoying. (where’s that fly swatter?)

I still give this four stars, but for me and my reading tastes, it is a very slow large middle section, but I am totally invested in reading the rest of the series. 



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