Short Review: ‘Written in Red’ by Anne Bishop (Book One of ‘The Others’)

Synopsis:

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:

So I really enjoyed reading this book, despite it being quite long and thus I expected it would drag on on some parts and not be as interesting or exciting. But I have to say, there wasn’t a time while reading this book when I felt like I was getting bored. Although the story is somewhat building up slowly, it is benefitting for the plotline, since you are actually able to see the development of both plot and characters. Although some things were a little bit predictable, I still wanted to read on and know exactly how it’s going to go down.

Also the characters were quite interesting. While in normal fantasy novels the loveinterest, when described as some otherworldly species is made up to be just this feral on the outside, but in secret only wants to be loved and be human. In this book it’s quite the opposite. The Others, the earth natives of this series who are able to shift forms are in fact, wild. Their most outstanding charactertraits and instincts are purely on the animal they change into and to quote the book ‘They don’t want to love humans, like in those romance novels humans write… they want to eat them’.  And this was quite a funny and refreshing take on it, I thoroughly enjoyed and I hope for the most part, that the author will keep this up, although the relationships are changing.
For the female mainlead I have to say that at the beginning, I didn’t have a high opinion of her, she seemed kind of faceless to me. But reading on, I felt that was exactly what the author intended and her personality showed through more and more while she adapted to her new surroundings. In the end it seemed to me that it was a natural way for her development. But you’ll have to read for yourself to understand what I want to say with this.

So what else did I enjoy about the book, besides Simon Wolfgard and the whole aspect of shapeshifters (which I love btw). The writingstyle lets you read on and on, without you really realizing how far you’ve already read. Although in the beginning of my review I did mention the book is kind of long (and the font isn’t really big either), I said I wasn’t bored even for one page and that is because Anne Bishopbuilds up one cliffhanger after the other and when you read an especially enjoyable scene or one that is really building up suspense… she switches the P.O.V. Just ike that. And then you read on, because you want to know, have to know, what is going to happen next. I know this isn’t quite a unique way of storytelling andkind of common to use different perspectives of different characters to maintain a strong hold on your readers. But I felt like this book really just got so much better because of it (Although of course, I had my moments internally screaming that I don’t want to read about that person now and give me more of THAT interesting stuff… but oh well…)
So and now to something I don’t especially feel negative about, because that issue doesn’t involve me in any way. But the only thing that had me a little on the edge time and time again, was the prospect of selfharm in form of cutting. While in our society now it is quite the serious topic like anorexia or the like would be, in the book it is part of Meg’s ‘power’ as a blood prophet. (And described as some barely fightable craving). And that had me wondering a few times, if it would be appropriate for teenager to read this book (or people who may had issues with this before). I guess (or hope) it wouldn’t trigger people, since the book is more aimed at adult/young adult audiences (Meg the leadfemale is already 24 and Simon the male lead is described to be in his midthirties. Which I rather enjoyed. Not that I don’t enjoy a good teen-romance, but hey… we’re all getting older and always reading about teenylove doesn’t change that fact.)


So overall there is just a mild minus in my rating for the reason above. But all in all I can highly recommend this book to all people who want to read 1) Urban Fantasy, 2) An adult, more realistic version of MAYBE something like Twilight. (not Twilighty at all though in many aspects, but you’ll again understand when you read it and can decide for yourself) and 3) People who want to read a book I liked. 😛

4 1/2 out of 5


(And I’m already halfway through the second book ‘Murder of Crows’… so fallerallala. I’m hooked!)

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