Reviewed by Nikyta
Title: Written in Red
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Heroine/Hero: Meg Corbyn & Simon Wolfgard
Genre: M/F Urban Fantasy
Length: 448 pages
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Available at: Penguin, Amazon & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: 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.
This was the first book I’ve read by Ms. Bishop and I came across Written in Red when I was looking at the nominees in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2013, I saw the cover and I thought “Hmmmm, that seems interesting” (yes, I’m a cover whore). So I bought the book, expecting to read a typical paranormal story. What I found instead was something amazingly fascinating and wholly unique.
If I had to classify this story, I’d say it’s urban fantasy but even that doesn’t exactly explain it. Nevertheless, this novel took me on a wild ride set in a gruesome, cruel world where the terra indigene, the Earth Natives, rule the world. These Others only tolerate humans for the technology they’ve managed to create but even then, the relationship between humans and Others is uneasy, filled with fear and sometimes hatred.
The story follows Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, as she seeks refuge with the Others at Lakeside. Taking a position as a Human Liaison for them, she’s safe from the Controller who is looking for her as long as she stays on the Others land. Unfortunately, Meg has secrets and Simon Wolfgard, the leader of Lakeside Courtyard, knows she’s hiding something and determined to figure out just what that is and why a human such as Meg doesn’t smell like all other humans, like prey.
Beyond the amazing world that was created, the author managed to bring life to just about everything within the story, including the characters. The descriptions surrounding Meg and her role as a blood prophet made me fall in love with who Meg was and broke my heart over what kind of life she’s been forced to endure. I adored the savagery around Simon and his fight to stay in his human skin but mostly I loved how much Meg unintentionally changed Simon and his way of thinking of humans. The chemistry between Simon and Meg is a slow but intense burn. Meg is so innocent that she doesn’t quite understand what is happening between the two while Simon is unwilling to think, and ultimately accept, just what Meg is starting to mean to him and Sam, Simon’s nephew. It’s hard to adequately express just how much I loved this story, ALL the characters and what they end up going through.
The only issue I had with this novel is mostly with a certain character’s POV. Asia Crane is a human looking to find out information about the Others in Lakeside Courtyard. At first, I found her interesting but as the story progressed, her inner monologue grew tiresome and annoying. She fancied herself an actress and a special investigator but her constant mention of a TV show that wasn’t going to happen and her abilities as a SI (special investigator) for that show were very repetitive. I dreaded it when the POV shifted to her because I felt like a good majority of her thoughts were monotonous.
Regardless of that, I found this to be an intriguing and captivating story. The world Ms. Bishop created was just phenomenal where the Others are frightening and deadly creatures who only barely hold onto their humanity and only barely tolerate humans. Meg and Simon were interesting characters and the conflicts Meg inadvertently drags to Lakeside Courtyard were very well done in both conclusion and description. Not to mention the writing pulled me into the story so quickly I stayed up multiple nights until early morning to keep reading. It’s suspenseful at times and gruesome at others. It’s the type of story that touched my heart and even made me tear up a few times and I cannot wait to read the sequel!
In the end, I’m so glad I picked up this book. It’s one I would recommend to anyone who enjoys urban fantasy and paranormal but also who can appreciate the uniqueness around this world and the viciousness that inhabits it.
Overall Impression: I loved it!
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*