Series: The Others #1
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published by: Roc on March 5, 2013
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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.
Anne Bishop delivers a hauntingly beautiful reading experience with WRITTEN IN RED!
WRITTEN IN RED is unlike any paranormal world I’ve read…in a good way! Last month I joined a month-long group reading challenge on Goodreads (League of Lusty Ladies) titled “Pick it for Me” where group members are paired up and recommend at least three books for you to read. One of my recommendations was WRITTEN IN RED. It went from my wish list to my TBR list and I decided to go ahead and check out what everyone was raving about. I honestly was not prepared for phenomenal read I was about to devour…
The story begins with a prophecy that pushes Meg Corbyn to escape from a compound that has held her captive all of her life. Her journey brings her to the Lakeside Courtyard, the dangerous territory of werewolf, crow and bear shifters, elementals…oh and vampires known as the terra indigene. Meg isn’t an ordinary human, she’s a cassandra sangue and has the ability of prophecy by drawing her blood with a cut on her skin. The terra indigene are not known to “take in” outsiders but are in need of a human liaison and Meg arrives at the opportune moment. Living and working with the terra indigene is no easy feat, but Meg’s innocence and kindness slowly wins these dangerous predators over, especially the brooding alpha Simon Wolfgard.
It’s difficult to review this book without giving too much away or ranting for pages. The world building is intense and a bit intimidating, I don’t think I could have followed all the details if I had listened to it on audio but it was easy to understand while physically reading. When I started reading this story I compared Meg’s life in captivity to scenes from the Resident Evil movies with Alice. She’s had no exposure to the world except through images and has been confined all of her life with other cassandra sangue, all for the financial gain of another. Meg’s childlike innocence is one of her best attributes, she has no prejudices and her curiosity is endearing. Don’t get me wrong, she’s no pushover…she definitely speaks her mind which doesn’t always go over too well with the Others. She has great potential to be a fierce heroine.
“People who entered the Courtyard without an invitation were just plain crazy! Wolves were big and scary and so fluffy, how could anyone resist hugging one just to feel all that fur?” “Ignore the fluffy,” she muttered. “Remember the part about big and scary.”
We’re introduced to a few of the different breeds of the terra indigene in the first few chapters, mostly through Meg’s eyes. I really love that each “clan” is easily identified by their last names in this world, i.e. Wolfgard, Crowgard, Bearguard, Sanguinati and that they can communicate with each other telepathically. Every character has a distinct personality which can be difficult to achieve with such detailed world building, but Ms. Bishop outdid herself with this novel. There are a few humans sprinkled into this world as well and I really enjoyed the interactions between both groups. Henry, Sam, Jester, Tess, Vlad and Erebus were just some of my favorites…I don’t think I can actually choose just one. There’s even a few villains in WRITTEN IN RED that you’ll love to hate…namely Asia Crane, I knew that b*** was bad news from the start!
It wouldn’t be a proper review if I didn’t share a little about the main male protagonist Simon Wolfgard. This werewolf had my attention from the minute he appeared on the page! Simon is the epitome of an alpha with a lot of beta qualities, not in a negative way. He can be a forced to be reckoned with if provoked, but Meg along with his nephew Sam bring out a softer side to him that you can’t help but love. Simon might come off as a brooding, stubborn alpha but he was a playful puppy after spending some time with Meg!
“It was easier when all we wanted to do was eat them and take their stuff,” he grumbled. And it had been easier when he hadn’t cared if he made any of them cry.”
If I had to sum up WRITTEN IN RED in just one word I honestly couldn’t…yeah, it’s that good. This is one of those books you pick up with no expectations and end up falling in love with. It’s by far one of my top three favorite reads of 2014. Its dark tone will draw you in and the engrossing world will keep you turning the pages. I think I’ve said enough…go add this MUST READ series to your list ASAP!
Wasn’t this book great. Now you have to go and read Murder of Crows. It is just as good. I can’t believe I have to wait a year for book three. 🙁
It was great! Beyond my expectations. I did read Murder of Crows and loved it just as much (review coming Thursday)! The waiting is going to be tough but so worth it 😉
Welcome to the Courtyard! YAY! I’m glad you enjoyed too.
Well said girl!
It was one of those unexpected reads that you end up loving! 🙂
Yeah, great review Lori! I am so glad you finally discovered the awesomeness of this series. Question: have you read her Dark Jewels series?
I haven’t read her Dark Jewels series but I’ll have to check it out if it’s anything like this!
LOVE this series and it’s on my must LISTEN list. I can’t wait for the 3rd book.
A year is such a long wait!!!!
I know. That’s one thing about listening to book 1 & 2 back to back. It’s going to make the weight suck even more.
It’s like Fever withdrawals all over again! 🙁