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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Audiobook Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

TITLE: Written in Red 
SERIES: The Others, Book #1
AUTHOR: Anne Bishop 
NARRATOR: Alexandra Harris
PUBLISHER: Penguin Audio
PUBLICATION DATE: March 5, 2013
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 18 hrs and 32 mins
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 9781405674188
No one creates realms like New York Times best-selling 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.

MY REVIEW: 

I received this audiobook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own. 

Why have I never picked up an Anne Bishop novel before this? <bangs head> I actually didn't even realize how long this book was until I started to write this review. The time just flew by, and it was really hard for me to put my iPod down!

Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue, which is a blood prophet. Her kind have been bred by The Collector, who treats these girls as property and are raised in an isolated environment where they learn all about the world around them but never experience it. Cuts are sold to the highest bidder and, as the blood is drawn, the cassandra sangue reveals a prophecy about the person who is in the room with her. Meg escapes and knows that the only place that she will be safe is in The Courtyard, a place where human law does not apply…a place ruled by “the Others” who are other-worldly creatures with special gifts of their own.

In Bishop’s urban fantasy world, the Others rule the earth’s resources and have a place called “The Courtyard” in many major cities where their kind live. Foolish humans who enter The Courtyard uninvited are eaten. The Lakeside Courtyard is a little bit different because its leader, Simon Wolfgard, not only employs humans in The Courtyard’s shops but also allows humans to enter The Courtyard to frequent the shops. When a woman named Meg applies for the job of Human Liaison, he is intrigued by her and hires her. Although she is human, his sensitive nose does not distinguish her as prey and that confuses him.

When the local police department issues a “wanted” flyer that shows Meg’s picture on it, Simon confronts Meg and asks her why the police are looking for her. She explains why she is on the run, and Simon discusses the matter with The Courtyard’s business council. They agree that they will protect Meg at all costs and, when Meg has a startling prophecy that involves one of their own, they become even more protective.

Meg’s job as Human Liaison involves receiving packages from drivers and sorting the mail, which will be taken by ponies to the various residential complexes. Some packages that are too large for the ponies can be delivered, although previous Human Liaisons have neglected to do so because of their fear in venturing away from the protection of the Liaison’s office. Meg loves her new-found freedom and does not appear to be afraid of the different species of Others. Many of them are shape-shifters, including: wolves, crows, owls, coyotes, bears, and hawks. There are also vampires and elemental witches. As Meg ventures forth into each territory on her package deliveries, she gets to know these creatures and befriends them. Many of the Others are at first very wary and cautious of her, and they find her lack of fear a little confusing. Meg is very kind and polite, and they are not used to being treated in such a way. Her thoughtfulness is what sets her apart from any other human they have ever encountered. She wins the hearts of all, and the Others soon come to think of her as one of their own.

I was truly enchanted with Bishop’s world-building. She has woven together an amazing array of unearthly beings, and Meg’s interactions with them taught me more about their kind. While the action was slow to develop, I was enthralled with learning more about The Courtyard’s inhabitants and each one of them won my heart over as Meg won theirs. The last quarter of the book was non-stop action, and I loved seeing all of the Others pull together to protect their own. I think my favourite creatures are the elemental sisters and their magical ponies.

I cannot wait to read more about the Others and am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series, Murder of Crows, which is expected to be released in March 2014. Until then, I plan to explore more of Bishop’s work.

Narrator Alexandra Harris is also new-to-me, and she did a great job conveying Meg’s innocence and kindness. The gruffness of her Simon characterization was a little overdone, but I appreciate her intent to give unique voices to each character. Overall, I thought she did a good job. 

MY RATING:
View all my reviews

2 comments:

  1. This sounds really interesting, Darlene! I am adding it to my TBR!

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    Replies
    1. I hope you love it as much as I did, Becca!

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