Book: Written in Red (The Others 1) by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 5th 2013
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating: 3,5 out of 5 stars
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.
While I did enjoy this first book in the Others series, I can’t quite rate it any higher than 3,5 stars. This all has to do with the start.
For me the start to this book was a bit shaky, which had a lot to do with me. I had different expectations about the plot of this book. I had not looked at the synopsis but mostly went on the buzz of other people and that does create some expectations about what kind of book this was. The next thing was that this is a world that is so close to our world that it is hard to get used to all those changes, like the change in the names of the week days. There are just such subtle differences it took me quite a while to get used to it. Once I did it was fine though.
But it truly took me to about page 200 to be hooked into this story. Initially I just wasn’t that charmed by the characters. But the introduction of the young wolf added some heart to some of these characters. It livened up Meg and showed that Simon had some heart beyond just being an Other. It helped create more of a bond between the various characters, especially between Meg and the Others. I also felt that the plot truly started around this point. The first 150-200 pages are a lot of set up of the world.
After that I was hooked into the story though. I wanted to know what was going to happen and where this story was going to go. What would happen to Meg? How would the relationships with the others develop? And more importantly, was Asia going to die a painful and horrible death? I mean, come on there, Simon, you were teasing.
One of the things I enjoyed about this world is how we as humans aren’t at the top of the food chain. The others are. I enjoyed their overall characterization. While I needed the deepening of each individual character, as a group it was good to see they stayed true to their nature where they viewed (most) humans as meat. But they have also adapted where they manipulate humans and play politics with them. If you don’t solve that crime on one of ours, than you will get extra taxes. It’s interesting to see how they adapted to the human development.
Meg as a character was interesting. I grew to like her at the ending of the book. She started standing up for herself, and didn’t let Simon dominate her. For the most part anyway. Her power as a blood prophet is interesting, especially the limitations it seems to have. The way she brings them about, by being cut (which is sometimes through self-harm) and how many times she can cut herself.
While I had issues with the start, I did end up falling for this book. I am incredibly curious as to how the rest of this will play out in the next books. I also want to learn more about blood prophets and about the various species of the Others.