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The Others #1

Written in Red

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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.

433 pages, Hardcover

First published March 1, 2013

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About the author

Anne Bishop

73 books9,901 followers
Anne Bishop lives in upstate New York where she enjoys gardening, music, and writing dark, romantic stories. She is the author of over twenty novels, including the award-winning Black Jewels Trilogy. She has written a new series, the Others, which is an urban dark fantasy with a bit of a twist.

Crawford Award (2000)

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 6,362 reviews
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,571 reviews33.9k followers
March 24, 2013
4.5 stars It takes a lot to interest me in starting an adult urban fantasy series these days, so I was a bit hesitant when Written in Red landed on my doorstep. This turned out to be a happy surprise, however, because it ended up being a fantastic read.

Meg Corbyn is on the run. As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, she is able to see the future when cuts are made on her skin. This is a painful process in many ways, and she's desperate to free herself from those who have been profiting from her gift her whole life. She soon encounters Simon Wolfgard, a snarly, suspicious shapeshifter who takes her under his wing despite his better judgment.

What I loved: I liked Meg as a protagonist, and her attempts to fit into her new surroundings were well-written, particularly the subplot involving Simon's panicked, endearing nephew Sam. The secondary character are distinct and memorable, particularly the reticent Tess, who just might be more than she appears. Simon is fiercely protective of those he holds dear. And there are short but thrilling action scenes with spectacularly awesome deaths. I admit to being a little bloodthirsty, but really--I was wriggling on the edge of my seat as I was reading some of those scenes!

This book also has one of the most interesting depictions of werewolf culture that I've ever read. The way they interact with each other, the hierarchy, the thought patterns and behavior impulses--all these were well-thought out and integrated into the story, and were both a little scary and endearing in turn. These shifters are primed for action and much more in touch with their animal side than their human one.

"You want us to save any meat for you?" Blair asked.

He wasn't human. Would never be human. "I want the heart. I'll come by for it later."

When Meg was asleep.

But these wolves also aren't above some creature comforts now and then, and can also be coaxed with cookies. :D

A few things that could have been a little better: the villains could have been more complex. The strutting, on-the-make Asia Crane appears often, and yet she's more of an annoyance than a real threat. After such a long build-up, the climax might've been more drawn out. Meg's blood prophecies are pretty cool, so I would have enjoyed seeing more of that. And that cover--oh sweet mercy, that cover should be so much stronger.

I enjoyed this book so much, however, that those things didn't even matter in the end when there's great world-building, humorous dialogue, and genuinely touching moments here and there. I also liked that the book didn't fall into predictable PNR/UF patterns of relationship behavior between Meg and Simon, even though there's clearly an attraction. The way they get to know each other happens gradually, and it's going to be so interesting to see where their story goes in the next installment.

All in all, a strong start to a great series. If you're a YA reader who would like to try more adult crossover titles, this might work for you as long as you know it's not written in a wham-bam instant gratification kind of way. And if you're an urban fantasy fan, you have to check this out. I loved it--I hope you will, too!

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden. An advance copy was provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Mary.
146 reviews81 followers
December 23, 2014
Real rating: 2.5

Let me start this bad boy off by saying that I wanted to love this book. I bought it a while ago when searching for new fantasy and everyone across the board said it was lovely and I mean, really, who can deny a book called Written in Red?

And the book and I started out pretty well. The world building was good, the characters I could get behind, and the writing is solid and at times, lovely. Then it went south, pretty fast.

Have you ever liked something until you noticed a flaw? It's like that one scene in The Two Towers with Pippin. He has his hands bound, then two minutes later for no reason, he has his hands unbound. It's a great scene, but now I can't watch that scene without noticing that and thinking that maybe the film editors just decided 'Fuck all' that day. It makes me cringe because it's a flaw in an otherwise great series.

I noticed the flaws about 40% in this book. Through no fault of the book's own, really. My hubby and I were walking to a basketball game (Our Arizona Wildcats are doing really well) and were talking about books and what we were reading. He's in a R.A. Salvatore book and I was 40% in this book. Naturally, his question was 'What's it about?'

Me: It's about a girl who can cut herself and see the future and she ends up with this group of shifters called 'Others.'

Hubby: Really? That's their name? Others?

Me: Yeah, well, I mean they're other than human. So the girl was pretty much being held captive and then she escaped into the group of Others and is hiding there. Her skin is pretty legit expensive because she can see the future.

Hubby: So what's happening with the Others then? (He's still snickering about the name.)

Me: Well, she got a job delivering mail and is delivering mail. There's people after her too.

Hubby: Have they shown up?

Me: No, well, they're talked about. But the Others are protecting the chick, Meg, and no one messes with the Others.

Hubby: Why are the protecting Meg?

Me: They like her because...um...she delivers the mail.

Hubby: *confused face*

And that's when I started to realize that everyone loved Meg for no apparent reason and there was no plot happening. It was all Meg delivering mail. I think I had realized that Meg was loved beforehand for no reason but I was willing to push it aside because things were going to happen.

Well, for 90% of this book, I can safely say that most of this book is people falling in love with Meg for no apparent reason and her delivering mail.

I mean, I really really really hate throwing the word Mary-Sue around but.....I'm going to have to right now. Because seriously. Werewolf that dislikes humans? Loves Meg. Vampire that dislikes EVERYONE? Loves Meg. Werewolf that will not come out of a cage for any reason, even kin? Well, he's gotta get out of that cage for Meg.

By the last 10%, you know when we should be getting to the climax, we FINALLY get to see some plot in action. And it's boring. It's predictable. I mean, was anyone shocked by what Tess was? Anyone shocked at Asia? At the stupid henchmen? At what the Others could do? At the realization for the poison?

I wasn't.

Also, this is supposed to be a series, yeah? So what happens when you make one species SUPREMELY overmatched for the other? The reasoning for keeping humans (we invent shit, yo) is asinine because the Others don't even LIKE those things.

While I liked the writing and the book had me engaged until about halfway through, I had to wait too long for action and by the end, I had no fuck to give. Meg is just a ridiculously special snowflake Mary-Sue and I cannot handle it.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,460 reviews9,615 followers
November 30, 2017
Re-read on audio 2017

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I just found another favorite series! Happy Dance!

There will be spoilers! I must talk! :-)


Meg has escaped from her controller. She is a cassandra sangue which is a Blood Prophet. They cut themselves and can tell prophecies by doing this so of course evil people want to keep them in a prison.


Meg finds sanctuary with The Others at the Lakeside Courtyard, this is where the Others live and run businesses. They had a help wanted sign for a Human Liasion job. This would involve accepting mail deliveries from humans and sorting the mail like any postal person but putting them in the proper pony sleigh that would come to get the mail. She would also make deliveries to some of the places that other humans didn't go and/or messed up and were eaten. Yeah, in this job if you mess up you can be eaten.

Simon Wolfgard is the leader of the community and he is a werewolf. But there are so many creatures living there that I love and am so excited to have read about. They are all referred to as terra indigene. There are vampires, elementals, owls, hawks, crows, ponies, and the list goes on.

Meg quickly befriends a lot of the terra indigene. Some it takes a bit, but most take to her quite well. Simon, Henry and Vlad are stunned that she made friends with Grandfather Erebus and Winter, the elemental.

Meg makes friends with the ponies that come around to pick up the mail by giving them treats. These ponies are also awesome when they are in their real form as magnificent ponies of different weather elements like Thunder, Lightening, Hurricane, along those lines, no those are really their names and they can bring those things down on you. The Elementals actually ride them as well since they are so connected.


I fell in love with so many of the Others, like I said before. I love Simon even though he is cranky a lot of the time :-) Then there is Henry who is a spirit guide and also a grizzly when the time fits! Henry is so sweet, well unless he is needed in taking something out!


Vlad is another important Other that helps run some of the businesses. He's a vampire and he's very nice. They have all of these shops and of course my favorite is the bookstore that the wolves run :-)

There are a few other humans besides Meg that work with the Others in the shops that I like a lot too. And then we have Nyx, another vampire and Tess, she is someone you don't want to mess with, even all of the Others are afraid of her and the elementals. Henry does find out at the end what Tess is and so do I but I'm not telling you, but she is to be the most feared is all I can say! The crows are hilarious always talking about shiny things and coming over to aggravate Meg buy messing with her office supplies. :-) The Crows, hawks and owls are always on guard around the complex.

Oh yeah and this new policeman comes around saying he will help them in any way he can, his name is Monty and he is good people. Since he's good people they didn't ever eat him :-) although Vlad had a little taste, I guess just to scare more of the crap out of him. He only had to shake his hand to get the blood, so simple these vamps are!

Anyway, one day in the beginning when Meg is starting out in the job, I mentioned that she delivers some mail. She decided she would go on over to the vamps place because they had a ton of mail that no one would ever deliver to them. Meg was a little freaked out because they were all crowded around the fence as smoke, watching her. Then... grandfather Erebus invites her in the gate to deliver his movies and makes sure they all know to never hurt Meg. It was so sweet :-) So no matter what, Meg has the vamps on her side and they will fight anyone to the death for her.


Then as she's coming back around she sees a girl skating on the pond and stops to talk to her. They talk about library books and Meg says she will bring some to her. It was a nice little chat and then Meg was on her way. Meg had no idea she had met Winter the elemental that people just don't talk to like that.


When Simon and the crew find out like I said earlier, they are like.. you know.. the crickets thing. Lol

Suddenly Simon has to go away because there is some trouble happening somewhere else and he needs to try to help figure out what is going on. He tells Meg she is going to have to watch out for Sam. Sweet little Sam, his mom was killed by humans when they were out of the compound one night and he saw it. Sam has been scarred and won't change back into human form and will only stay in a cage and out to use the bathroom when he is dragged by Simon. But.... our dear Meg gets Sam to come out by putting a buddy harness on him and connecting it to her. He seems to like this and goes outside and has fun. The wolves do not like this because they see it as being a prisoner, but Vlad and Henry watch over them and Sam even starts going to work with Meg.


Now there is this b*tch that keeps coming around and her name is Asia, she tried to get the job Meg has and Simon told her no and so she tries to be friends with Meg. She is evil and up to no good and I'm telling you now that I'm glad at the end when this little war goes down that Asia was taken care of by Tess. Oh the glory!!!!!


You DO NOT mess with Tess, she gets angry and wants you dead, you are dead. PERIOD! She is friends with Meg too. I love Meg, she is a great person.

Then while Simon is away his maker yells at Meg and takes Sam away says he wants her dead for putting Sam on a harness and leash and he hurts her arm and makes her puke from fright. This doesn't sit well with vamps and they give a warning that if Meg is touched again, there will be war from the vamps. Well after all of this fighting and Simon gets back that very night, he gets real with his maker and tells him to never touch Meg again and he has to calm things down with the other Others <---- :-) . Then.... all of the sudden... Sam is in human form talking and upset about Meg and they are stunned, just stunned. Meg got him to come out of his shell and his fur so to speak. It's all really sweet.

Well, Meg starts having these bad feelings and has Tess come over so she can cut herself to get the prophecy, yeah, that all sucks. She gets one and there is an uproar about the cutting and about what she saw, but she saved lives and now she has the elementals on her side. Lets just say everyone is on Meg's side after the prophecies, the kindness and the Sam thing.

There does end up being a war with the humans that want Meg back and they want Sam too. People die, a few Others die :-( but it all works out in the end. Meg saw this was going to happen and not one of those jerks made it out alive. They even got a doctor that wanted to provide an office at the compound to help any humans when Meg got hurt in the war and they had to take her to the human hospital.

Now none of this is over, there is a lot of other stuff going on and the controller will always be after Meg too, but that is to be continued in the other books! Yay!

I'm so happy to have found another new favorite series. I know it's just the first book but I can tell! It's one of THOSE kind.

Oh let me add a few excerpts before I close.


Vlad sighed. How had Simon endured this silence from a pup he loved?
He got out of the BOW, carrying Sam so he wouldn't have to dry off the pup. After setting him on the floor in the back room-and watching while Sam rushed into the sorting room to find Meg-he took the sacks and towel out of the BOW and carried them inside.
Moving silently, he entered the sorting room. Sam was sniffing on corner of the room, now oblivious to everything except the scent he'd found. Opening the Private door all the way, he looked at the tableau and thought, A Crow, A prophet, and a vampire walk into the office...


"Do you like movies, little Wolf?"
Meg jumped and let out a squeak. Sam responded by making puppy growls and snarls--which would have sounded more impressive if he hadn't leaped behind her and then poked his head between her knees to voice those opinions.
She looked at the old man standing at the gate, smiling gently at her. "Mr. Erebus."
"I didn't mean to startle you."
"I know. I just didn't see you." She glanced at his mausoleum. The door was open, but there were no footprints marring the fresh snow on the walk. She had gotten so used to seeing smoke drift over the snow, she hadn't even noticed it this time.
Erebus didn't comment. He just stood there smiling gently.
"Sam does like movies," Meg said to fill the silence. She closed the full delivery boxes, then went back to the BOW for another group of packages. "But I don't think he watches the same kind of movies that you do."
"I like many kinds of movies." Erebus replied, looking at Sam. "Have you seen the movies called cartoons? I especially enjoy the ones where the animals or people do the most foolish things and still survive."


"You stirred things up here." he finally said. "Why?"
"I'm not the one who-"
"You've angered the Sanguinati, and that's not going to help us right now."
"You don't know what's been going on here,' Elliot snapped. "what that monkey-fuck female has done."
"She's not a monkey-fuck, and she is not prey," Simon said, his voice a low, threatening rumble. "She is Meg."
"You don't know what she's done!"
"She gets mail and deliveries to the complexes on a regular basis. She has a routine with the deliverymen, so we get the merchandise we bought. And she got Sam out of the damn cage!"
"She put a him on a leash, Simon. On a leash!"
"It's not a leash," a young, scratchy voice shouted. Of tried to shout. "It's a safety line. Adventure buddies use a safety line so they can help each other."
Elliot stared, frozen. Simon turned, barely breathing.


Around midmorning, she got tangled in a bizarre game of tug between Nathan and Jake. She didn't know which of them had brought in the length of rope as a toy, but the Wolf, still lying on the bed, had his teeth in one end of it, and the Crow had his feet clenched around the other and was madly flapping his wings. Her mistake was thinking she could break up the game by grabbing the rope right in front of Jake's feet. Suddenly Nathan was on his feet, wagging his tail while he growled at her, and Jake's caws sounded suspiciously gleeful. Because the floor was a little snow-slick and her shoes didn't have enough traction, she was pulled from one end of the room to the other and couldn't figure out how to let go of the rope without falling on her butt.


There are so many excerpts I would have loved to have added but I figured I should only add a few :-) If you were ever planning on reading the book, I would suggest that you do it, it's awesome!
Profile Image for Anne.
3,917 reviews69.3k followers
April 22, 2018
4.5 stars

Wow. Ok, looking at the ratings and reviews, this is very much a love-it-or-hate-it kind of book. As in, some of my friends hated it so much they couldn't even finish...


Me, on the other hand?
Ohmygod! I haven't guzzled a book down this fast in a long time!


I've already ordered the next one from my library, and I'm looking forward to it more than I have anything in recent memory.
BUT. As a fair warning, I would encourage anyone thinking of buying this one to look at some of the other reviews.


Some of my friends complained that there was too much extraneous detail about Meg's everyday life, schedule, etc., and that it wore on them quite a bit. Now, normally, too much of any sort of words or details that don't move the plot forward will kill a story for me.
I'm extremely action oriented when it comes to books, but for some reason, I didn't notice this particular complaint.
Which leads me to believe that it will come down to each person's individual experience with this one because the opinions are varying wildly.


Another complaint was that Meg was a milquetoast, but I really liked her! And Simon!
I loved that the Others weren't nice. That they weren't just humans under their monster skin. Shit! They were scary as fuck...


And...I don't know. This story just GRABBED me by the balls!
It's set in our time, and everything is recognizable, but it's an alternate earth where monsters live among the humans. They're the alpha predators, and we know it. And the truce between the humans and the Others is precarious at best.

Meg is a human (sorta) who ends up running to a compound/city run by Others, in order to escape her situation in life. And she ends up turning everyone and everything on its ear in the process.
I don't want to say anything else, but if you're interested in a new urban fantasy series, I personally think this one is really fantastic!

Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,573 reviews5,902 followers
March 18, 2015
I almost gave this sucker a five star.
Meg Corbyn escapes her controller, who uses her abilities as a blood prophet aka cassandra sangue to his gain (when her skin is cut she has prophesies). He had kept her completely sheltered from the world. so when she wants a job with the "Others" she has a whole lot to learn about them and other humans. She is almost child like in her outlook of the world.
Then the Others..this is world building frigging extraordinaire. Look I used a big word!!
The Others co-exist with humans. Well partially, there is no sparkly ass vampires in this world.

No, to the werewolves that you wanna bang: These wolves are the big bad type..not the pissy little boy ones.

Well, I might want to bang them.
These creatures don't mind eating you. Steal from them? They will eat your hand off. These are creatures done right. Plus they have some other interesting individuals living among them. Elementals that control the weather and you DO NOT want to piss off and Tess. In this book you get a taste of Tess but you never really get the whole gist of what she is. (The vamps and wolves are scared of her-that's enough to make me want to be her)
Then get this: There is no romance.

No Mary-Sue:

This book is just pure story.
This book doesn't move very fast at first, slowly building up to an ending that had me turning pages so fast my eyes couldn't keep up. I'm so glad I have the next in the series ready to read. I would have to say the only thing that bugged me was the made up names for the days of the week, but it wasn't distracting enough that I didn't love this book.
Profile Image for carol..
1,533 reviews7,860 followers
April 8, 2016
Remember how I said Half-Off Ragnarok was like sugary breakfast cereal? This is sheer milk chocolate candy addictiveness–the M&M kind–where you think “sure, I’ll have a couple,” and then it’s a couple more, and then just a few more, and suddenly the bag is half gone. Written in Red is melt-in-your-mouth goodness targeted squarely at the urban fantasy-paranormal fan whose appeal is intensified by a couple of surprising features. It was so very readable, going down exactly like those M&Ms; before I knew it, it was 3 am and I was almost done. Kudos, Bishop, kudos.

A brief prologue orients the reader to the history of the Others, the indigenous spirits of the world, and of humans. At creation, humans were given isolation to learn and grow, but as they spread throughout the world, they encountered the Others. Humans and Others skirmished, with humans largely on the losing side as the Others control natural resources. Currently, they have forged an uneasy peace, with the Others maintaining compounds in some larger human towns and cities, much like diplomatic enclaves.

The first chapter starts in the city of Lakeland, with Meg on the run during a snowy night. She sees a sign at the Other compound requesting applications for a human liaison, and realizes this could mean freedom from her prior life, as human law doesn’t apply in Other territory. Samuel, dominant wolf and leader of the compound, is vaguely troubled by Meg but gives her the job–after all, they could always eat her. Quickly installed in the Liaison’s apartment, Meg soon begins learning about the Others…as well as herself. Interwoven with Meg’s story, the narrative also follows Asia, a human woman scheming to learn more about Samuel and the Others; and Lt. Montgomery, a recently transferred police officer who takes on the role of ambassador for the department with the Others.

The creation of a supernatural/mystical creature dominant world is one of the most interesting aspects of Bishop’s world-building. I found myself fascinated by the idea of an alternate-history universe where we have many of the same things (cars, sneakers, bagels, chick-flicks), the same rough geographic layout (the Atlantik Ocean, the Great Lakes) but with the threat of the Others looming in the everyday background. For instance, it isn’t long before Monty learns that the the legend of the Drowned City is actually true–a human uprising in the area was punished by a massive flood.

Characterization was acceptable, if rather standard for the genre. Because of Meg’s ability to make predictions through cutting herself, she had a heavily circumscribed upbringing that prevented exposure to the outside world. Thus we have the standard naive young woman who possesses ‘book’ knowledge without ‘street’ knowledge with a highly valuable (magical) skill-set. Bishop’s choice to use blood prophecy was inspired, particularly as ‘cutting’ is a taboo real-world issue. Meg does develop as she struggles with agency, particularly as she starts to understand more about her own abilities. Likewise, the elemental spirits were well conceptualized, with a sense of indifference to consequences and a selfish focus on their own interests. Tess was one of my favorites of the Others, with her moody hair and mysterious identity. However, Samuel mostly seemed angry and conflicted, and rarely gave the sense of a confident, focused personality that one might expect as leader of a large, dynamic group. Likewise, while the vampires initially gave a feel of spine-chilling fearfulness, any efforts in that direction were completely undermined when one of them asked Meg is it was “that time of the month?” Truly, by the end, they did seem a little like television vampires, perhaps because of their own obsession watching it. The two other narrative viewpoints of Monty and Asia were also very straightforward. The police officer might as well have been called Trueheart, and Asia was a one-note scheming narcissist.

Actually, what has been perplexing me is that in the wrong mood, I might have easily hated this book. The language is relatively unsophisticated and dialogue-focused. The plot turned out to be predictable–my tension reading was out of concern that Bishop, as a writer new to me, might come up with unpleasant surprises, but there weren’t any. I could probably make a couple of educated guesses at the next book as well. There’s also the larger issue of Samuel’s tendency towards violence, anger and possessiveness. I think he comes off as more combative narcissist than ‘wolf,’ and more disturbed human than ‘Other,’ no matter how many times he mentions the need to be in his “other skin.” Gender, identity and sexuality are all very straight (literally), with Meg and Tess the only unknowns in the story. Plotwise, Bishop is clearly setting up the beginnings of a romance, but not until Meg learns her own dominance. And Meg is one marvelous, Speshul Snowflake. To meet her is to love her, apparently. For a lot of reasons, this could have gone the other way.

But the marvel was it didn’t. I devoured the book in one sitting, expected plot, Speshul Snowflakes, anger issues and all. I can only conclude that Bishop is meeting my genre expectations so well, with that flair of intriguing difference, that it was irresistible. In fact, when I finished, I was seriously spent a couple of minutes debating whether I should download the next book on Kindle and keep reading. It was only discovering that only the first and second books are out, with book three not expected until March 2015 (and four and five in the works) that kept me from an all-night reading binge. So I re-read this one instead.

Hook me up and pass the M&Ms, please.


Re-read October 30, 2015. Additional thoughts: maybe part of the appeal is that it fails to hit my annoyance buttons. Meg has agency, imperfectly realized. She is kind, a quality I value more and more in my old age. She also generally fails to display TSTL traits. Simon, while over-aggressive, is at least consistent within his species/race/whatever, and shows a great deal of internal conflict. And, as cheesy as it sounds, the themes of the book are tolerance and friendship

Re-read April 2016. Why? Because it's distracting, entertaining and delicious and I've been feeling cruddy.
Profile Image for Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘.
838 reviews3,755 followers
February 15, 2021

I know, I know, but the details, guys!
All. The. Fucking. DETAILS.
They destroyed me.

How do people deal with this?!

"Getting to the outside door to open it was a problem because she couldn't figure out how the short left end of the counter opened to let someone into the main part of the room. So she got the stool from the sorting room and used it to climb over the counter. She turned the simple lock to the open position and then realized the simple lock was augmented by a heavy-duty dead bolt that required a key - which might not be on the key ring she'd left in the sorting room."

2) The POINT?! Have you heard about the POINT?! The point is important - NO, the point is ESSENTIAL. Stop forgetting the point! Or I'll BITE.

And be assured that I don't need to be a werewolf to do it.

I just can't do this, okay? I don't need to know every fucking detail and if the character wants to pee and where the bathroom is and - Oh my GOSH.

OH! And the curriculum of the characters *discreetly* incorporated?


THEY DROVE ME NUTS! Like THANK YOU for these entire paragraphs of infodump, Asia. WOOT! I'm so interested!


This is so very long and tedious. 150 pages in, and I can't be bothered to read another one. Aw hell. I think Anne Bishop is not for me. Moving on.

For more of my reviews, please visit:
Profile Image for Giorgia Reads.
1,010 reviews1,949 followers
March 12, 2021
3.5 stars

I’m gonna start by saying that despite my middle of the road rating, I did enjoy this a lot and I’m gonna continue the series.

I think the world-building is interesting and definitely a different take on supernaturals. (for whom, humans are literally prey - as in they eat human meat - apparently its quite tasty *shudders*)

That being said, I also think that there was plenty of place for improvement. I got the impression that some things were written in for no other logical reason than to move things along for a certain plot point.
An example for that complaint is the fact that the Human Liaison’s job seemed at least 80% ridiculous and a convenient way for our heroine, Meg, to have an way into The Others’s Courtyard - which then starts the whole chain of events in the book.

I mean, anyone could have done that job and it was ridiculous how much importance was placed on needing her to _______ wait for it ______ sort mail.

I mean, all the other species living there were business owners and generally smart, educated creatures, but we draw the line at_____you guessed it: sorting mail. That task apparently comes with a need for special skills.

Okay, so to make this a little less ridiculous, the writer did include her duties as being a sort of middle man for human delivery drivers because most of them would refuse to deliver to the Courtyard because they were afraid of The Others.

From that perspective alone, yes, that would make sense. (Although we were endlessly told how valuable she was because she sorted through mail backlogs - which anyone could have done in the months when they were missing a human liaison)

But her having an apartment provided as a perk of the job? Odd. Not even the human working at the Consulate/Council (whatever it was - more prestigious anyways) gets that. But mail sorting gets you an apartment, free meals, and other odd perks. Everyone caters to you and treats you like a china doll. Okaaaaaay.

Also, everyone loved her!? All of the other species who detest outsiders (humans), loved Meg. One of the oldest, most dangerous sanguinati (vampire - like creatures) gives her access to his house to deliver mail (not even his species gets that honour). But in comes Meg, and all she does is deliver his mail personally - which was held up for months- and he declares he likes her and she has his protection.

Some things (too many) were too conveniently written in and didn’t make much sense in the larger scheme of things pertaining to the world order in the book.

Now that I got that out of the way, I can also declare (lol) that I read this in one sitting and I plan to pick up the next book asap. The things I mentioned above did bother me (a lot) but they didn’t really make me less invested. So take what you will from that 🤷‍♀️

One odd thing I also liked were the very mundane descriptions. Like we would get pages of inconsequential stuff characters did but it somehow worked with the narrative, so I quite enjoyed reading about that, as well as the descriptions of the Courtyard (where The Others live) and how things worked in the day to day of that place.

PS: NOT a romance - apparently there’s a kiss in book 5 and that’s it. So consider this the slowest slow burn possible. (There are cute moments from Simon and Meg though)
November 12, 2021
☠️ Let's Kill UF Tropes Deadly Dead Buddy Reread (LKUFTDDBR™) with the MacHalos and stuff ☠️

Previous rating: 3.6658974566972 stars. (I was obviously ridiculously young and despicably clueless when I first read this book.)
New rating: 4.5 stars. (Seen the light I have. Go me and stuff.)

And the moral of this reread is: I really need to have a chat with Simon and ask him if he'd let my happy little murderous crustaceans family move into the Lakeside Courtyard. I'm pretty sure he'd accept, too. We do share the same philosophy about puny humans meat, after all.

Dinner is served!

P.S. I want to be Tess when I grow up. Mostly because of her hair. And also because spoiler spoiler spoiler.

👋 To be continued and stuff.

· Book 2: Murder of Crows ★★★★
· Book 3: Vision in Silver ★★★★
· Book 4: Marked in Flesh ★★★★
· Book 5: Etched in Bone ★★★★

[August 2019]

Actual rating: 3.6658974566972 stars.

So. This was Surprisingly Very Slightly Enjoyable (SVSE™). Very Slightly, yes. But mostly Very Surprisingly². Why? Because a) I was so sure it would go straight to my most beloved DNF Graveyard that I shamelessly abandoned it in the treacherous, unfathomable depths of my Kindle for five bloody shrimping years and b) it turns out it does have everything a crappy book needs to warrant my killing it with fire. Only that I didn’t.

I know, right?

Okay, you’re probably busy trying to recover from this shockingly shocking piece of news right now, so I think I shall pass the time by listing all the reasons why I should have DNFed the fish out of this book, but didn’t :

This book is not exactly what you would call a thrilling, gripping, action-packed page turner. 80% of the non-action is actually pretty boring, to be disgustingly honest. I mean, it mostly consists of the MC’s (a chick called Mary-Sue Meg) fascinating daily routine. Which mostly consists in collecting mail. And then delivering mail. With the help of a bunch of ponies who love munching on carrots. (And on sugar lumps. But only once a week. Because it’s a Super Special Treat and stuff.) It’s fascinating, I tell you!

The leads are bland as fish and have as much chemistry as an aging couple of lethargic jellyfish.

The plot is as thin as a starved dinoflagellate. And there are holes in it that are deeper than my beloved Mariana Trench. Not to mention the stuff in the story that doesn’t make any bloody shrimping sense. And the stuff that makes you go Hmmmm… Like the Others (the different pets species who rule over the Monkeys—aka puny humans—of this world) seeing ALL Monkeys as tasty snacks, and hating ALL of them, except for our very human Mary-Sue Meg. Why do they not hate her, you ask? And go out of their way to protect her from The Bad Bad People? Because she delivers their mail, you silly! That makes her Super Extra Special (SES™), you see. (Not as Super Extra Special as the sugar lumps the ponies get on Moonsdays, though.) And therefore Super Extra Lovable (SEL™) and stuff, and not a human of the Tasty Snack Variety (TSV™).

Couldn’t agree with you more, Spockie Dear.

The multiple POVs add absolutely fishing nothing to the story. End of spectacularly brilliant demonstration.

One of the characters happens to be the stupidest, most clichéd treacherous bitch in the history of stupidest, most clichéd treacherous bitches. Quite a feat, that.

Sorry, what? You think all of this ↑↑ is consistent with a 1.565789478-star rating, not a 3.6658974566972-star one? And? Since when am I in the business of making sense rating-wise, Little Barnacles Mine? Okay, okay. So it could be that there are a few things in the book that saved it from a certain death DNF, and perhaps might possibly explain the 3.6658974566972-star rating and stuff. Maybe. So time for another list and stuff.

The World is pretty original and fresh and creative and stuff. End of yet another spectacularly brilliant demonstration.

Some of the secondary characters are Quite Very Yummylicious (QVY™) indeed *waves at Vlad and starts planning his express abduction adoption* Come to think of it, most of the secondary characters (ponies included) seem to be more interesting than our favorite couple of lethargic jellyfish the leads. Hell, even Grandpa Erebus is more titillatingly appetizing than Simon, the male MC ← not sure how this explains the 3.6658974566972-star rating, but there you have it and stuff.


“Most of the terra indigene didn’t want to love humans; they wanted to eat them.”

Now if that quote alone doesn’t justify my rating, I don’t know what will. Because any book that features an oddly-assorted and beautifully homicidal clique who snack on puny humans as a hobby is worth a 3.6658974566972-star rating not DNFing, if you ask me. And if you don’t want to ask me, ask my ever-faithful second-in-command Fleet Admiral DaShrimp. Pretty sure he’ll agree with me on that one and stuff.

Profile Image for Robin (Bridge Four).
1,607 reviews1,480 followers
November 6, 2017
If you are like me you have read a gazillion UF books with the same old same old Shifter/Vampire/Werewolf characterization. They are all super-hot and slightly more aggressive than the average alpha male but basically they are humans that just happen to have a special diet OR can turn furry. NOPE NOPE NOPE….this is not that story.

In this world the creatures that have both a human form and an animal form are not to ever be thought of as human. They might be able to mimic being human to a certain extent but they do not understand most human things and while a few humans might be useful they think of most of them as Meat. Yes you heard me right human are generally dinner in this book and more than one is eaten. I’m pretty sure they all deserved it….pretty sure.
“Enjoy your evening.”
“That will depend on the menu. If it’s beef, it will be a tolerable meal. If it’s chicken . . .” Elliot shuddered. “What is the point of chicken?”

This was one of those books that I really had a difficult time putting down. Once I was wrapped up in the Otherness of the word with Elemental Avatars walking about, various animal/human other combinations and Meg (we will get to her in a second) I was completely wrapped up and couldn’t set the book down.

It all starts with Meg coming to ask Simon for the Liaison job for the Others in the middle of a snow storm. He is confused by her because she is human but doesn’t smell like prey and he knows she is running from something but he can’t tell what. Meg’s history and what she can do is fascinating to say the least. She is a Blood Prophet, which means when she cuts her skin she sees prophecies of the future for who or what she is focused on. This also means that whoever she ran away from want her back desperately.

A small warning: Meg cuts herself. This is integral to the story and the plot, it doesn’t make cutting seem like an okay thing but I could see why some would be sensitive to this.

Meg becomes part of the Other’s community and slowly but surely she finds her place in it. It is still a struggle, most of the time she doesn’t understand their reactions to her and she definitely has no clue why they react in certain ways. But we get to learn about the Others with Meg and honestly that is what really made most of this story for me.
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.”

For all you romantics out there like me there is a very small hint that eventually there could be a romance between Meg and one of the wolves. But if that is happening I think it will take awhile and be a slow burn. Still it was just enough that it satisfied the need I usually have for romance in my books.
He watched her, listened to her, and knew she was truly asleep. He kissed her forehead and found the act pleasing for its own sake. And, he admitted as he licked his lips, it was enjoyable for other reasons. Meg wasn’t bitable, but he really did like the taste of her.

So if you are tired of the same old werewolf vampire story that usually involves a love triangle then this could be for you. I enjoyed the plot, the set-up of the world and some of the main characters and just how unusual and different this story was. Completely unconventional and totally enchanting. I can’t wait to start the next book.


Profile Image for thefourthvine.
519 reviews199 followers
January 9, 2015
Okay, first, a warning: if you ever engaged in self-harm, if you have ever been tempted to engage in self-harm, don't read this book. Don't go near this book. Don't even finish this review. You'd be better off reading Moby Dick backwards while dangling upside-down by a toe.

Actually, everyone would be better off reading Moby Dick backwards while dangling upside-down by a toe. This isn't just a bad book, it's an actively awful one on virtually every level. I finished this book so mad I came back to GR for the first time in years to write this review.

And then I stared at the blank box for weeks, wondering how to encapsulate all that was terrible about this book in one review. My conclusion: I can't. So let's just hit the lowlights, discussed here in no particular order because you can't really rank disasters of this magnitude.

Hero Confusion

This book has no idea who its heroes are. The nominal good guys, the ones the narrative wants us to root for, are the "good" earth natives (supernatural entities of many varieties -- werewolves, vampires, elementals, etc.). Now. The earth natives have powers that far overwhelm any human's abilities. A single earth native of the weakest variety can kill many humans. The most powerful varieties could kill every human on a continent without much effort, and they have no weaknesses at all. Because might exclusively makes right in this world (yeah, we'll get to that), the earth natives own everything in the Americas. (And most things everywhere else, as far as I could tell, but the worldbuilding -- we'll get to that, too -- is super shaky, so I'm not sure.)

The earth natives control resources, transportation, food, water, everything. And they can take any of that away from the humans, any time they want to. (They can also, of course, just kill them. Just sometimes it's more fun to make them eat their loved ones first.) This is textbook oppression. The most powerful control everything and will kill you or take away what you need to live at the slightest hint of dissent. And we're expected by this book to actively root for the oppressors to continue to dominate and oppress. I couldn't manage it.

Oh, and I mentioned that there are good and bad earth natives, according to the narrative. What separates them? The good ones only kill and hurt some humans. The bad ones want to kill all the humans. When the good ones get angry, they only kill or hurt the people who pissed them off, plus a random selection of other humans who had nothing to do with it. When the bad ones get angry, they kill every human in a town or larger area. That's…like, it's an improvement not to kill everyone, sure, but. It doesn't make you good. It doesn't make you acceptable. I'm not going to like you just because you hurt innocent people less.

This Book Hates Women

WOW does this book hate women. The hatred oozes from every page. It's not just that Bishop relies on the same tired old misogynistic tropes -- the Evil Ex Who Has No Redeeming Features and Cruelly Manipulates a Man, the Terrible Woman Who Uses Her Body or Her Looks for Personal Gain and Thus Must Die Horribly, and of course that wonderful standby: the Only Good Woman Is a Victim. It's not even mostly that.

It's that Bishop has structured this world based on the following principles:

1. Might and only might makes right.
2. Humans are weak.
3. Women, even when powerful, are weak.

So you get a ruling class made up of earth natives, and who rules the earth natives? The dudes. The female earth natives may have phenomenal cosmic powers, and many of them do, but they don't make decisions. They serve. They cook. They clean. They care for children. They admire shiny objects. And that is all they get to do. And the human women, being in two despised classes (human and female) get even less.

The main female character, Meg, is a classic Good Woman Victim, having been raised in captivity, abuse, and total isolation (…and yet somehow she's able to function in society; sadly, I'm not going to have room here to cover the unrealistic pile of damaging crap that is this book's approach to trauma), with her actual life starting at the beginning of the book. She finds work as a clerk and gets adopted by the earth natives because she's -- well, nice to them? I guess? And also does her job better than her predecessors? It's never made clear. But her weakness is emphasized again and again, from her inability to get over a countertop (played for laughs) to her inability to make choices for her own body (repeatedly taken from her by many characters) to her helplessness and need for protection. She's the classic heroine who does not do but is done to. Her main ability is to hurt herself. (No, seriously, that's her gift: she cuts herself so she can issue prophecies.) It's frustrating as hell.

The male main character, meanwhile, is everything you ever hated about the dominant male werewolf stereotype multiplied by ten, with a heaping helping of oppression thrown in.

The only really interesting character is Asia, a woman who attempts to do things for herself, investigate, learn stuff -- except she's the buffoon bad guy, depicted as an over-the-top scheming moustache-twirling villain who should burn, burn, burn for her crimes (of…using what she has to attempt to get ahead in this oppressive society that limits her choices). Spoiler: she's killed horribly! As is the inevitable fate, in Bishop's world, of women who do stuff and make choices.

The Worldbuilding Is a Disaster. A Racist, Racist Disaster.

Okay, so, Native Americans. You remember them, right? Well, they…don't exist in this book. They never existed, as far as I can tell. And they aren't just erased, either. No. They are explicitly turned into monsters. The little legend at the front of the book describes the European colonists arriving in the New World and trading baubles and cloth for land rights. Um. That actually happened, except it was to actual people who were then horribly abused and killed. But no, here, they were all-powerful monsters! The heroes were the brave, noble, outmatched colonizers!

Yup. This story attempts to reclaim the colonizers as heroes myth, while apparently turning Native Americans into non-human monsters. I'll give you a second to settle your stomach.

But once you've swallowed that giant, choke-inducing, rotten pill, you have to swallow a whole bunch more tiny crap-flavored ones. Bishop has no explanation for anything in this book. Why did human society develop along such similar lines, with similar governmental systems, for example, when everything is so different? The earth natives were always there! The human government has been a sham from the start! Why would it look like ours? Why would the police system look like ours? Why would the entertainment industry be like ours? Why are the same inventions present when access to raw materials is tightly controlled by the earth natives and there are far, far fewer humans? Innovation should be stunted, but -- I guess it isn't. WHY? I could sit here all night coming up with these questions. None of them is ever answered, or answerable in a way that makes logical sense.


If you can ignore the misogyny, the racism, the utter senselessness, the hero confusion, and the other flaws of this book, it's a page-turning id romp. If you read it with your brain turned on for even a single second, the whole house of cards will collapse and you'll be left with absolute seething fury. At this book, at this author, at the people who published it, at the place that sold it to you, at the paper it's printed on.

Read something else. Almost anything else. Read Ilona Andrews' Burn for Me and discover what urban fantasy looks like when it doesn't hate women. Read The Martian and discover what page-turners are like when they don't leave you feeling dirty.

Or read this. In which case, I wish you strength. You'll need it.
Profile Image for Tatiana.
1,399 reviews11.7k followers
March 17, 2017
This urban fantasy is for those who like to read about sorting mail, training wolf puppies, staff meetings and snow. Evidently, I do, but to a degree.

Interesting mythology, but WAY too much attention to unnecessary minutiae. I don't need to know whose socks got wet in the snow, who is minding the book store or café when the main employee needs to step outside for yet another meeting, and how many steps are there between the front door and the back door of the sorting room or between buildings. It's too much when repeated 20 times in a book. All logistics and meetings in this story are super boring. And no romance. Yet.
Profile Image for Simona B.
892 reviews2,985 followers
May 6, 2016
Buddy read with my wonderful friend Nina. Let's do this! :D

"Of course, if Meg had taken shelter somewhere else instead of stumbling along until she came to the Courtyard, she might not have found them, and he might never have known her. So maybe Namid was wise to make human females do foolish things."

Notice to mariners: I'm still trying to collect myself. Thus, I'm not in the position to guarantee that the following review will contain more than incomprehensible gibberish. I apologise in advance.

I won't say that Written in Red was a surprise for me. I already knew I was likely to appreciate it, thanks to some reviews I had read and, above all, thanks to a couple of friends of mine who claimed this series was a hidden jewel of the urban-fantasy world. So, no, I'm not surprised that the quality of this book is so high; but for sure I am astonished by how much I enjoyed, loved and adored it.

If you have already read some of my reviews, you must know I never provide a short summary of the plot, not even the slightest description of what the book is about, before writing down my opinions. Very probably, more than a few details emerge just the same, given how specific I tend to be when analyzing the different element of the book, but that's all. You will almost never find in my reviews a sentence like "This book tells about". Even more so, you won't find it in this one. I knew literally nothing about the plot when I started reading Written in Red, except that there were werewolves and vampires, and I strongly feel this played a part in my overall enjoyment, which, as you may have guessed, was very, very high.

“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.”

• The plot is one of the thing which please me the most. It is well-structured , solid, not too fast-paced nor the opposite. It is exactly the kind of plot a first book in a series needs: action is not neglected, but at the same time the readers have time to get acquainted to the world and the characters, totally at their leisure and without a bit of boredom.
Moreover, this is one of those plots which are not composed of a single narrative thread -what I like to call 'multiplots'. And the thing about these category of plots that makes me fall head over heels is that at the end, in those hectic moments of the final battle, or anyway in that which is the climax of the whole story, it turns out that all these separate storylines converge into one. You already know they are meant to, of course, but every single time I think of it as a little narrative miracle. It's so satisfying. And it's not as wasy as it may seem to 'reduce' the intricacy of such a big multiplot in just one key moment.

• The world-building: fabulous. I do not have any other word. I loved its richness, its impeccably neat complexity, and can only admire and worship Anne Bishop for the coherence, the attention and the work she put in shaping it. A plus.

• The writing is maybe the very first thing that made my heart beat for this book. Anne Bishop uses the third-person, which she surely knows how to employ and thus had me sold completely after only one page (I'll always chose the third-person narrative over the first-person). Besides, she has such an enticing way to write, with her full and well-turned sentences and rich descriptions. She is always precise about what the characters do and how, and this gives her writing a sort of concrete, material quality that I cannot explain. Her style gives the world she lays down for us a texture and a consistency that made it easy for me to attune to the story itself. Anne Bishops writes as if she is shaping something material. Her writing is a sculpture.

• The characters- oh, good god. The blessed characters.
If you love books that feature a respectable but not so much cast of characters, each one unique and adorable (and that's the case to add: downright scary) in his own way, then Written in Red is your book. A prophet, Wolves ("big and scary and so fluffy"), Sanguinati (what did you say? Vampires? Oh, please, only meat- humans! Only humans call them vampires), a girl who's probably Medusa's daughter or anyway a close relative of hers, Crows (really a lot of them), Howls, a Bear, a Coyote, a couple of mice that will be quickly eaten. And I've surely forgotten someone.

Besides, did I mention that one of the Wolves is a pup? His name is Sam and I swear on my heart, you've never met anyone more pretty and cuddly than him.

And did I mention another one of the Wolves is Simon Wolfgard? Like, SIMON WOLFGARD .


He made me melt in a thousand ways.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,965 followers
April 13, 2018
I'm rather surprised that I didn't get into this nearly as much as I had hoped I would. Something wasn't clicking with me, and as I kept reading, I spent way too much attention on other things.

Like little things like why I ought to care.

I expected Urban Fantasy, and to me, it doesn't even remotely equate with sparkly vampires or huggable monsters of any stripe. I like grit. I love plot. Characters are everything, but if I had to place all my hopes upon one thing and one thing only, I'd say it had to be conflict.

For way too long in the novel, there was no real conflict. Sure, we have the Others and the Monkeys. We have Meg running from her past and her late-revealed ability. That's all out there as a potential conflict, but in the meantime, we've got growls and innuendo and something that smells entirely of a different kind of novel.

Like I said, it took me a long time to figure it out. But it dawned on me: this isn't really a UF novel. If you ignore all the light fantasy elements, what we've really got is a novel about an awkward girl from a bad home that ran away and took up living with a gruff immigrant community, and specifically with a mean-sounding bookstore owner with a heart of gold. She gets bedazzled into being a jack-of-all-trades and she eventually gets adopted by the enclosed community.

Mary-Sue syndrome? Yeah. Self-esteem issues boiling down to cutting, but magic making it a useful trait? Yeah, there's that, too.

If there hadn't been magic in the novel at all, it might have been a rather heartwarming tale about a kid finding a community to belong to, with other heartwarming elements like befriending the abused puppy, discovering that sorting mail really is interesting as long as you can use REAL PONIES... oh wait.. I mean elemental steeds... and getting that heart-in-throat moment when, against all odds, your new friends go way out of their way to protect you when your official family tries to drag you back to your old hell.

And you know what? I might have been more at home in this real-life setting kind of tale. I'd likely have attached to each character more deeply.

And you know what really scares the living shit out of me? I'm A HUGE FAN OF SF/F, almost to the exclusion of all other genres. I NEVER say this kind of shit about any book. I never pine about how a tale might have been better-served vanilla. And yet, I just did.

There were a few elements of magic and history that were promising, such as the drowned city. Maybe if a little bit of the plot had revolved more around the implications of the magic rather than just being bad ass and driving away all the bad monkeys, I'd have at least had that to point at, but as it was, almost the entire novel was mundane this and mundane that. Getting Sam to trust anyone, let alone quasi-human Meg, was all very nice, but he was just a hybrid abused boy/abused dog.

I wanted to like this more. I really did. The end action was, unfortunately, too little, too late. The magic and the UF elements were too bland. I couldn't even taste them through the mundane. Needs more spice.

I'll read the next in the series later this month because I've already promised that I will, but I really hope it picks up with more real conflict than this.

Mundane conflicts are mundane conflicts. They appear larger only as long as there's nothing else to compare them with. Once you add some truly breathtaking conflicts, the rest of it just fades into the background.

Maybe for some readers, all this mundane buildup served the function of complex character building, but I haven't seen that much in the way of character development or change except in how Meg is no longer prey and is accepted. Of course, all of that could have been accomplished with some severe editing out of 300 or so pages until we were left with an actual interesting story with all the fantastical elements not being drowned out.

Here's to hoping it gets better!
Profile Image for Jen Davis.
Author 7 books700 followers
January 14, 2016
I really enjoyed this book -- for a lot of reasons. I can't recall the last UF book that portrayed monsters as, well, monsters. The Others in this world Anne Bishop has created aren't sexy. Or emo. Or anything like human. They see humans as monkeys... as meat. They eat them. And they make no apologies about it. There is a woman that comes into their world, though, that makes them see all humans are not created equal. Some may be worthy of their protection and friendship.

Meg is a cassandra sangue, a blood prophet. Women of her kind spend their entire lives imprisoned and bled for prophecy. But she uses her gifts to escape. She seeks refuge in the Courtyard, the land of the Others, and takes a job as their human liason. The Courtyard leader, Simon, senses something different about her. His wolf senses categorize her as "not-prey," though he doesn't understand why. It isn't until after Meg has wound her way into the affections of those who live in the community, that her true nature is exposed. Then, they must all band together to protect her from the humans who want to get her back under their thumbs.

The only very small criticism I have about the book is that Meg is a little too-good-to-be-true. The book does acknowledge, though, that her emotional innocence is part of her heritage. And she is just so damn likeable!

Simon is the male lead, but I wouldn't call him the hero in the traditional sense. You can clearly see a bond forming between him and Meg, true, but this isn't a romance. (Maybe later? I would like that!) It's all about the way this woman plants the seeds of change in the Courtyard community with her goodness. Her simple kindness and positive approach manage to break down the prejudice the Others feel toward humanity. As the story unfolds, we see the characters among the Others become richer and more developed through their interactions with her. Yet they don't lose their edge. We never forget they are vastly powerful or that they are killers. Simply put, she becomes theirs.

The secondary characters are plentiful and add so much to the story. By the time the book was done, I felt like I knew the beings who inhabit the Courtyard. I cheered for them. I rallied for their defeat of the humans who turned out to be an entirely different breed of monster.

The tone is dark and intense. There's plenty of tension and action. I was 100% invested, and when it was over, I was so disappointed that there was no more to read. I'm really looking forward to taking the next step on this journey!

Rating: A

*ARC Provided by Roc
Profile Image for Mary Beth .
381 reviews1,645 followers
April 2, 2019

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.

This book is the first book in the Other Series and it has been on my the forever. I don't know why it has taken me so long to read it. I love usually don't read urban fantasy but have seen so many glowing reviews that I finally decided to read it. I loved Meg and all the other characters. I really don't know who I loved the best. I loved the world. These creatures aren't human and they shift. I was totally captivated and it was gripping from the very beginning to the very end.

I am so happy I found another series that I love and can't wait for the next book. I read this with my buddy, Susan and we will both be reading the series togethor.

Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,164 followers
September 15, 2015
Some people loved it, some hated it. I'm in the "loved it" category. This book charmed my pants off. Seriously, why am I not wearing pants? Be right back....okay, better.... Now, it's not easy to charm me. I'm a sarcastic pessimist. So, it really irritates the hell out of me to be charmed. Bad book!

So here's the deal with this book:
We have an unusual alternative world where there are "others", which includes every type of supernatural creature, living among humans. But, they are separated, by their own choice, and live in their own communities. Our story takes place in one of these communities where there are a few businesses that allow both human and others to shop together. Nothing brings several different species together like over-priced coffee made by a barista who may or may not kill you. (And you thought Starbucks baristas got grumpy. You spelled my name wrong on the cup! No, no, don't bite me. It's fine if you didn't spell Cindy with an "i"!)

The thing about this book that is so different is how little the supernatural people understand humans and humanity in general. They have always lived apart, so they have never tried to blend-in or adapt to human ways. This makes for sticky situations when they have to deal with humans.

They have a position for a human liaison, who is supposed to help them with the deliveries and mail that comes to their community. They have always had trouble keeping them because they get scared away, or the others eat them. Try putting *may get eaten* in a job description and you might have a hard sell when it comes to getting employees.

Meg is a blood prophet, which means if she bleeds, she sees a prophecy. She has been locked-up all of her life to make money for her "owners" by being cut to give paying clients their fortune. That's some messed-up shit right there. For some strange reason, she's unhappy with this situation and runs away... right into the others' human liaison job.

The best part of this story is the others trying to understand their human, Meg. It is so hilarious and adorable. Many of them are shape-shifters and they have the qualities of the animals they shift to.

The crow's reaction when Meg cries because the werewolf yelled at her:
"Simon was being mean. He made the Meg cry. I'm going over to the store to see if I can find a sparkly that will make her smile again."

The bear, owl, and crow's reaction to seeing Meg & another human jump up on a chair because of a mouse:
"humans don't like mice?"
"Not in the building!" Meg said.
"And not around food," Merri Lee added.
The three looked baffled.
"But, it's fresh meat," the brown-haired woman finally said.

When Meg was upset because one of the wolves threatened to eat her, and Simon, the main wolf was trying to make her feel better:
Not sure what to do, he gave her cheek a gentle lick.

This is what made the book so charming to me. The author didn't try to humanize or sexualize the others. They were not human, and they did not think like humans. It was such a different take on supernatural characters. Also, there was NO romance. NONE! But, I never missed it at all. The interactions between Meg and her new friends was more than entertaining. I am looking forward to continuing this series.
Profile Image for Maja (The Nocturnal Library).
1,013 reviews1,891 followers
April 28, 2013
4.5 stars
I am, first and foremost, an urban fantasy reader. On the secluded island that is my mind, a new series as good as The Others is more rare and more coveted than a fresh batch of blueberry muffins. And I do love my blueberry muffins. It should be mentioned that Written in Red leans more towards the fantasy part of urban fantasy. In fact, if we take the strictest definition, it’s not urban fantasy at all. But it’s a thin line, and Bishop’s world so unique that I see no point in making the distinction.

In Written in Red, we familiarize ourselves with Thasia and its inhabitants. In Thasia, Others live in compounds where they govern themselves. Human laws don’t apply. Their contact with humans is extremely limited, which is for the best. Any human who breaks a law of the Others ends up eaten or worse. Humans (or monkeys, as the terra indigene call them) have access to a few stores and restaurants, but they aren’t allowed to go anywhere near the residential complexes where the Wolfguards, Hawkguards, Crowguards, Sanguinati and other clans live.

The terra indigene are not human. They are supernatural creatures that acquired human skin because it suited them for some reason. If visitors to the courtyard expect them to react and behave like humans, they are most likely to get eaten. The Others don’t advertise the fact that they all eat special meat, but they don’t try too hard to hide it either. To them, humans are monkeys, and they only tolerate them because there are certain human inventions and products they enjoy.

“But what would they have said to their Liaison? It’s like this, Meg. We didn’t like that Asia Crane, so we ate her.
When dealing with humans, honesty isn’t always the best policy, Vlad thought”

Meg Corbin, a blood prophet and the courtyard’s human liaison, is not your typical urban fantasy heroine. She is physically weak from being imprisoned all her life and her knowledge and social skills come from carefully selected photographs and video clips. Until she escaped, she wasn’t allowed to talk unless she was speaking a prophecy. But despite her obvious weaknesses, there is a certain strength in her quiet, persistent ways, a steel spine in her small, fragile body. And unlike all the other humans, she doesn’t smell like prey.

The narrator’s voice has a very pleasant timbre and her voice characterization is excellent. Simon Wolfguard is a true alpha male if there ever was one (notice how I wrote male but not man!), and getting his voice just right was no small feat, yet Harris gave him just the right amount of growl and menace without making it seem like she was trying too hard. 18 hours is a very long time to spend listening to a single person, but Harris made it very easy. In the future, I won’t hesitate to pick up any audiobook she narrated.

I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for Murder of Crows to come out. Just thinking about it is painful. But I do know I’ll wait for the audio, if they keep the same narrator. This is another book I can already add to my ‘Best of 2013’ list.

Profile Image for Sanaa.
411 reviews2,556 followers
October 10, 2015
[5 Stars] Goodness, this was an absolutely fantastic urban fantasy novel. I'm not sure exactly what I expected going in, but I did think this book was going to be fast paced with supernatural creatures living amongst the humans and some kind of supernatural police force cleaning up problems around the city. I've read three other urban fantasy books with this kind of beginning: Soulless by Gail Carriger, Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, and Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. I feel like it is a kind of urban fantasy novel I am familiar with, at home with. This wasn't that kind of Urban fantasy novel, but it was still absolutely fantastic.

I love the way Anne Bishop re-imagines the relationship between the supernatural beings and the humans, the fact that the humans are the ones who have to deal with the whims and fancies of the supernatural creatures not the other way around. It puts the world in such an interesting light and makes the human-supernatural interaction all the more exciting and wrought with tension. Bishop also manages to have some of the most believable and relatable characters ever. You see their anger, compassion, and their dangerous natures, but you also see them at their goofiest with their guard down. Meg is also extremely endearing, and you can't help but love her. She is strong without being physically strong. She is spirited and smart and selfless and wonderful and I love her.

One thing I will say about this book is that it is a little slow. It isn't your typical fast paced urban fantasy, but I didn't mind that. I was engrossed immediately. I love the world building and the characters and the implication for later books. Also, can I just say I adore the Crowguard? Seriously! I love them and the ponies so much! That being said, you need to read this book. It was absolutely fantastic!
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
April 6, 2018
5 Fantastic Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This is the first book in the Others series a fabulous urban fantasy series..... I read this book in February 2017 and binged the series finishing the last book in March 2017..... I am not a huge fantasy/urban fantasy person but this book was spectacular as were all the other books in the series,.... so much love to Meg and Simon and all the rest of these amazing characters! If you are thinking of dipping your toe into this genre I strongly suggest this series...

~ review February 2017~

I think I have found myself a new favorite urban fantasy series....
The question I ask myself is what took me so long to read this book? My favorite part of books are the character and the character development... and both of these were done so very well in this book...

Meg the female protagonist was so well written... she was naïve and yet she was so strong.... and she never came across whiny, and that is something I have a problem with in a lot of books in the fantasy/urban fantasy genre.... and then we have Simon.:. a little rough around the edges, but he is a wolf after all.... all the secondary characters were done so well, they were all very necessary to the book.... and added so much color.... and I was never confused as to who was Who and I give the Author credit for this...

My favorite of these secondary characters being the bear, the crows, and of course Tess..... I also really liked the part the elementals and the ponies played in this.... shoot I could go on forever, but I won't.... Will definitely be reading the next book in the series very, very, soon!

**** as I mentioned above I have read all the books in this series and all my favorite characters remain throughout and were fabulous throughout... and even played a bigger role in future books... cannot encourage you enough to try this series!
Profile Image for Choko.
1,198 reviews2,583 followers
November 7, 2017
*** 4.44 ***

A buddy read with my GR Family in the Wednesday Group @ BB&B!

Weeeeeellll, I had no idea what to expect, because the opinions of some of my closest friends on GR about this book and series are wildly varied. And both sides once again are right, it just depends on what you feel like when you embarked on reading this book and are you a fan of Urban Fantasy with supernatural creatures, The Others, openly leaving in the world and humans as the Beta Players. That's right, the Others own it all and we are just renting a piece of it from them.

Some semblance of a balance exists between humans and The Others (terra indigene), who were created before us and had already established themselves on Earth before we came about. At first, The Others just ate the droves of humanity who tried to overtake their land, but eventually they decided it is in both groups interest to exert some effort and co-exist. However, Nature is always a big component in behavior, isn't she...

"...“There would be a spike in the number of girls who went out for a walk in the woods and were never heard from again. There always were when stories came out portraying the terra indigene as furry humans who just wanted to be loved.

Most of them didn't want to love humans; they wanted to eat them. Why did humans have such a hard time understanding that?”..."

A very frozen from the weather human girl, who is obviously on the run, arrives at The Others settlement in a small town, and after being fed and warmed by the very wolfish Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard and very mysterious Tess, she asks for the job of a Human Liaison and the wolf decides not to eat her at that particular moment and gives her the job... That is the beginning of a new era of trouble that befalls the quiet town.

"...“She looked so painfully cold he didn’t have the automatic consideration of whether she’d be edible.”..."

Turns out, Meg Corbyn is not just a human, she is a super-special type of human - a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, who can see the future when her skin is cut. As such, she has been raised by something like keepers in a compound, which is using the girls with her gift for profit and they are the only humans who can be "owned" for their"safety", since obviously the only thing they are good for is to make money for their owners and have no personal lives whatsoever. Ghhhrrrr!!!!

"...““Whether you’re beaten or pampered, fed the best foods or starved, kept in filth or kept clean, a cage is still a cage,” Meg said with fierce passion. “We are taught what the Walking Names want us to know because what good is a prophet if she can’t describe what she sees? We sit in classrooms, day after day, looking at pictures that describe things that exist in the world, but we’re never allowed to know one another, never allowed to have friends, never allowed to speak unless it’s part of an exercise. We are told when to eat, when to sleep, when to walk on the treadmill for exercise. They even schedule when we take a shit! We are alive, but we’re never allowed to live. How long would you last if you were kept like that?”..."

The monsters!!!! I want to find them and personally eliminate them slowly and painfully!!! Of course, they are not going to let her go and live her life, but want her back, since she is considered their property ans asset. At the same time, the live in the Lakeside Courtyard, the business district operated by the Others, is very interesting for a young woman who has never had any real life experience and has learned everything from pictures. Her learning of the Outside World is hindered by having to learn from The Others, who have even less understanding of normal Human life than she does. The many wild and Elemental creatures who at times take human form in order to communicate with the Humans, are very far from fitting in what humans think as norms.

"...“Humans don't like mice?"
"Not in the building!" Meg said.
"And not around food," Merri Lee added.
The three looked baffled.
"But, it's fresh meat," the brown-haired woman finally said.”..."

The best part of the book for me was the constant bafflement of the Others when People were thinking of themselves as not pray. They had a very difficult time getting over their cultural differences, thus the constant reminder that if rules were not followed, you will be just meat as in a snack or for supper, depending on the time of day.

"...“Vlad hated doing the paperwork as much as he did when a human employee quit, which was why they'd both made a promise not to eat quitters just to avoid the paperwork. As Tess had pointed out, eating the staff was bad for morale and made it so much harder to find new employees.” ..."

Meg did tend to suffer a bit from the "special-snowflake" syndrome, but for some reason this did not bother me. Everyone likes her, but she is not otherwise that different from any sheltered young woman. The other absolutely sweet character was Sam, the orphaned nephew of Simon, whom Meg helps get back into acting like an actual young pup, and the process was adorable!

"...“It’s not a leash,” a young, scratchy voice shouted. Or tried to shout. “It’s a safety line. Adventure buddies use a safety line so they can help each other.” ..."

Tess, with her scary ability do do things that scared even the rest of the Others, was my favorite character, but the one I actually disliked, and more so because I did not feel that the author gave her any debt, was Asia - just an evil scamming bitch, when she could have been a bit more devious than she truly was. A bit flat, too tunnel-visioned, and not once did she learn from her mistakes - just not a good bad guy. Simon was very likable, not because he was this benevolent wolf, not at all! He was raw and cranky and always ready to make a meal of the next person he didn't like, which is almost everyone, and the qualities that brought him down to his basic nature in a very honest way is what made him so enigmatic to the reader.

"...“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.”..."

This was a very engaging read and I happily recommend it to all who love Fairy-tales, but will warn that there are slower-developing parts and some info-dumping in the beginning. If you guys do not mind that, this book would be a treat!

I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!!!
Profile Image for Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ .
1,258 reviews8,701 followers
February 7, 2018
2/7/18 - ON SALE for $2.99:


Lately I've been dividing genres into parts, and in keeping with that pattern, there are two types of Urban Fantasy (generally speaking).

In the first type, various supernatural creatures live hidden among us, and maintaining that secrecy is paramount to their society.

In the second type, various supernatural creatures live openly among us, but are forced to constantly walk the tightrope of human approval. Vampires, Weres, Fae, etc. are either met with fangirlish worship by pandering wannabes, or thinly-veiled contempt from the rest of the humans who fear what their bones recognize as Predator. They are threatened with things like formal registration, so that they can be tracked and/or monitored by a fearful government, and they live in a constant state of tension, waiting, waiting, waiting, for the humans to freak out and try to exterminate them.

If for no other reason, this is why Anne Bishop gets a gold star.

In Bishop's world, supernatural creatures don't hide. They don't cater to human fickleness in the hopes of preserving a fragile peace. They own the earth and everything in it, and they allow humans to exist as long as "the monkeys" don't become too much of a nuisance.

So that's pretty awesome.

As for the characters, Anne Bishop is either in possession of oscar-worthy acting skills, or she made a deal with the devil in order to be able to create such believable and consistent characters (or I suppose she could just be an incredibly gifted writer).

Take Asia Crane. She is the most hateful, the most self-absorbed, the most narcissistic villain I've come across in a LONG time. But even while I was wishing she was a real person whose eyes I could scratch out, I couldn't help but appreciate how unflagging she was in her set-behavior. There was no incongruence of actions. Asia Crane was Asia Crane (devil that she was) until the bitter end.

Then there are the shifters. It's postulated somewhere in the book that the shifters had adopted their animal forms so long ago that they had likewise adopted some of the animal behavior along with the form. And this, in my humble opinion, is the best part of the book: wolves, and crows, and hawks, in people form, acting like wolves, and crows, and hawks. Whether it's a wolf threatening to eat someone b/c he's aggravated, a crow refusing to give correct change from a register b/c coins are shiny, or a hawk snooping through packages b/c he smelled a mouse, it's ALL hilarious.

But it was also LONG. So very long. And the beginning, while being highly entertaining, was very slow plot-wise. Also, after 500+ pages, I don't have a solid grasp of what this is all about. I think it may have something to do with world peace unification of supernatural creatures and humans, but I'm not sure, and I don't know why that's important. Right now the series seems to be focused on protecting Meg from "The Controller" but I'm having a hard time swallowing that as an endgame, b/c (more than likely) The Controller is a human, and Bishop's world paints a very clear picture concerning how easy it is to snuff out an aggravating human.

Overall it was excellent. Hopefully more will be revealed in A Murder of Crows, and then I will have absolutely no cause for complaint.

Sidenote: There is currently a murder of crows in my backyard. They are almost large enough to be ravens (but I'm pretty sure ravens don't live around here), and they are freaking me out. Fyi.
March 22, 2013
First 100 pages were terrible. Can't get into the world, and the world-building confused me. I didn't know whether it was an apocalyptic world, or a modern one in which supernaturals exist, or an alternate reality...I can't get a good sense of the book without the proper knowledge of the world in which the book is set. The characters also didn't hook me, Simon is typical alpha wolf, pretty boring on paper, and Meg so bored me that I can't be fucked to find out what her story is. I just can't seem to get into Anne Bishop's works.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books351 followers
June 29, 2022
This was great. I love The Others series by Anne Bishop. Meg is on the run from someone whose identity is not immediately revealed. She's a prophet and her ability to see visions helps her make choices that may save her. She winds up in the Courtyard, run by the Terra Indigine, the non-human shapeshifters who rule the Earth and need a human liasion to sort the mail. The perfect place to hide. I loved the simmering romance between Simon Wolfguard and Meg, how she was trapped in a situation not of her making but that threatens those around her anyway. So many wonderful characters in this one. Really appreciate the way the pieces of this all come together and definitely want to continue with this series.
Profile Image for Corina.
756 reviews2,127 followers
October 17, 2020
I'm in such a funk that all I want to do is re-read favorite books.
UPDATE 2020 - going to read it for the third time :D


Update - 5 stars after reread
First read - 4 stars

I’m a little late to this series, but I’am really happy that I have found it.

Written in Red was my audiobook for December.

I read all kind of genres, as long as they keep my interest. Written in Red did that in spades.

It was a great fantasy book with fabulous world building. Unique societies. Mystical creatures. And predators that saw humans as prey.

Meg Corbyn, a cassandra sangue, or otherwise known as blood prophet, found refugee with the shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard as the Human Liaison between the human world and the Others. The Others were comprised by everyone that was NOT human. That included were-wolfs, crows that changed into humans, vampires, mystical creatures, and so many more. The Others were unimaginable powerful, mysterious, and rulers of all. Especially over mankind.

After a bloody war between humans and the Others, their relationship was fragile and at the tipping point of another war. Anything could upset the balance from one moment to the next.

Simon Wolfgard was the leader of the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others, and in charge of filling the position of Human Liaison. From the very first moment he set eyes on Megan and got a good sniff of her, he knew something was off. He didn’t know what it was, just that he wanted to keep her close until he figured it out. That’s how Meg Corbyn found herself being employed and slowly becoming a part of the community at Lakeside Courtyard.

Her genuine and warm-hearted personality endeared her to the residents at the Courtyard and she slowly started building relationships that grew into friendships.

Almost naive in certain ways, Megan was free of any judgment or preconception. All her knowledge came from TV and books. Because of that, she had an unique way of handling situations, especially regarding the Others, which were feared by the rest of the human population.

The Others were not regular shape-shifters. They were less human, more animal. And felt better in animal form than in skin. They also considered humans as monkeys and MEAT. Literally food.

There was a deep abyss between the Others and humans. Animosity, hate, fear, disgust.

Megan, soon to be known as The Meg, slowly established herself as a kind-hearted and cherished person. And the Others at the Lakeside started to look out for her, and took care of her. The day came when her prophetic talents brought on a chilling revelation that forced her to choose her place and path in the upcoming war.

Written in Red was a fantastic book. There were so many things I loved about it. I truly enjoyed the Others. Their unique characters, personalities and unusual creatures made this book unforgettable.

I especially loved Simon Wolfgard. He was such a grump. Fierce, loyal and protective in a primal kind of way. His interactions with Meg and other humans, were hilarious. If he could have gotten away with it, he would have tried to eat them all. After he used them as squeaky toys first, of course.

The Others protectiveness towards Meg was heart-warming. I loved how they all rallied around her. They almost adopted her in their possessiveness. I adored that. For me Meg was the star of the book. I loved her character. She was such a genuinely good person, no pretense or falsehoods.

This book was an amazing surprise in every possible way. And I can’t wait to get started on book 2.


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Profile Image for Ian.
1,346 reviews188 followers
March 11, 2023
Meg is a blood prophet....her prophecies are released by cutting into her skin, and her skin is worth millions. Before escaping from her controller, he would sell a "cut" to wealthy men who wanted to know the future. Now she is on the run and she seeks shelter amongst the Others. A community of werewolves, vampires, elementals and other supernatural creatures.

But the controller wants her back and has dispatched hunters to find her. As the threat against her circles she finds allies amongst the others, but with the human government pressuring for her return and the Others just as determined to shelter her, war seems inevitable.

This book is too long. A good set-up and the ending is amazing, but seriously, divide the book into three and throw out the entire middle section. All the elements for a 5 Star book are present except a vicious edit.
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 79 books16.9k followers
November 5, 2016
This book was recommended to me by the owner of Cupboard Maker Books in Pennsylvania who knows her books! When I started it, I was a little hesitant as there's a "brief history of the world" that starts things out and I stopped reading epic fantasy because of all that history and world building details (which is great, but I don't have the time/energy/brain power to keep track of!). However, I trusted Michelle and pushed on. The first couple of chapters are rather thick with world building details - the author renames the days of the week and the continents, but I just ignored it as it wasn't that important to the story and they're close enough (Earthday, Moonsday, etc...). But once I got into the story, well, I couldn't stop.

There's something about this story and characters that is really compelling and I'm not sure what it is! Normally I like strong protagonists, but Meg isn't quite strong - she's more a survivor and she's just so....nice! As for the plot, it takes a while for things to start heating up, and the climax was over rather quick .

I'm glad I didn't put the book down after the first couple chapters. Michelle - you were right! What should I read next?
Profile Image for Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*.
2,428 reviews1,059 followers
March 27, 2017
“Vlad hated doing the paperwork as much as he did when a human employee quit, which was why they'd both made a promise not to eat quitters just to avoid the paperwork. As Tess had pointed out, eating the staff was bad for morale and made it so much harder to find new employees.”

For some reason when reading the first half of this one as a Kindle sample, I couldn't get into it. Maybe it was mood, maybe it was insanity. Either way, I tried again and loved it - finally saw what so many Urban Fantasy fans were gushing about.

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.

She escapes her controller and the compound she had been held, daring to find safety at a paranormally- ran town that needs to hire humans but doesn't like them. The world-building in this one is dark, detailed and unusual. Humans are the lesser species and mostly despised and misunderstood, or at least some of them are. Lakeside is blended with a varied bunch of supernaturals - aggressive but awesome Simon; a traumatized young wolf who can't shift form, Sam; a funny but vicious vampire family (funny because of how much they misunderstand); the element Winter, a little girl who holds the harshest control of all, and several others. The Crowguard grows on you.

“Is it that time of the month?” Vlad asked.

Some feeling blew through her. It might have been embarrassment, but she suspected it was closer to rage. “What?”

He studied her. “Is that not an appropriate question to ask?”


“Odd. In many novels I’ve read, human males often ask that question when a female is acting…” Puzzlement as he continued to study her face. “Although, now that I consider it, they usually don’t make that observation to the female herself.”

As Meg settles in she has to worry about kidnappers and intruders, fitting in without being killed, people finding out her secret and value, resisting cutting herself to death outside the compound, and getting out of trouble when she accidentally breaks 'societal' rules like putting Sam on a leash.
It does have its amusing moments and these work to make the series charming, but trust me it's a dark ride. The paranormals see all humans as meat. They don't shy away from killing and show little sympathy. It's definitely an "other" mentality where humankind doesn't have respect by the others, who ultimately control everything.

Meg as a protagonist is enjoyable. I like how the crows are particularly protective of her at first, and her way of bonding with the ponies. The ending finale is a tightly paced and tense one, showing how much she has grown in the hearts and minds of those Others in the village. It's not particularly suspenseful as a whole but the book is intriguing, easy to read, hard to put down. I did grow bored with some of the sideline stories with the cops, who play a large part in the story as well to add in that normal human element, but this can be overlooked.
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.7k followers
November 30, 2020
Written in Red is kind of like the fast food of urban fantasy. A Big Mac, maybe, or some Kentucky Fried Chicken. It tasted pretty good going down but then I felt a little blech afterwards. In other words: it was pretty fun while it lasted, but the worldbuilding is on the weak side with several logical holes in it, the main character is kind of bland, and the whole "blood prophet" concept (getting visions of the future through cutting oneself) left a sour taste in my mouth.

Full review to come. I'm kind of curious about what happens next, but reading the GR reviews for the later books in the series isn't exactly motivational.
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