Written in Red (The Others #1)
by Anne Bishop
What is it about:
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.
What did I think of it:
Last year everyone around me was raving about how great this book was. But even though I loved Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series I thought the hardcover was just too expensive. So I waited for the Mass Market Paperback.
And I must say I'm glad I did.
This is a really beautiful read, don't get me wrong. I loved it, but it does have its flaws.
One of them is Meg. She is such a Mary Sue. Now I could have expected this, because Bishop likes her Mary Sue's. Janelle from the Black Jewels series is one as well. Still, I had hoped Meg would be more of a real character instead of the greatest thing since sliced bread, so to speak.
And there's Simon. Maybe he'll grow on me eventually, but in this book I didn't like him much. It's hard to like a character who would most probably fantasize about how he would prepare me for his next meal if I ever met him.
And why did the days of the week have different names? It was not needed, confusing, and reeked of lazy world building. (Oh, let's give the days of the week other names, so people know it's not the real world!)
Now that I got my biggest pet peeves out the way:
I loved the world building! It was cool, original and well worked out. It didn't need the 'day of the week' thing to evoke a feeling of Other. It was intriguing, captivating and drew me in from the start.
And the crows! I loved the crows and the inclusion of other unusual shifters. I loved how each shifter had traits of the animal he or she shifted into when in human form. And Jake! I think Jake the crow was my favorite character.
I also really liked the vampires. They were a perfect mix of myth and Bishop's own ideas about vampires.
I could go raving on about the world building and creatures for a long time.
So even though I wasn't immediately invested in Meg I was captivated by the world and all the minor characters. And from there I was drawn into the story. Soon I didn't mind Meg's Mary Sue-ness so much, and I kept reading to find out more about all those cool crows, owls and other creatures.
In the end I loved this book, but I will confess I didn't love it so much to think it's worth paying 18 Euro for. I will most certainly read the next book in this series, but once again I will most probably wait for the paperback.
Why should you read it:
Ehm... I mean: It's a beautifully written Urban Fantasy.