I loved this book. Written in Red set the bar awfully high. It was so fresh and original. But this installment springboards right off the ending of that book into new waters for these amazing characters. The story feels like a natural progression. It all centers around Meg and those hunting her since her escape. You would think that after what happened to the last group of guys who tried to get her, a lesson would be learned. But she is too valuable to the Controller for him to give up. The thing is, she is now too valuable to the Others for them to let him have her back.
I love the Meg. (That is not a typo, BTW, but what the Others call her in the book.) I love how she is so determined to find her own way and make a life for herself, despite all she has endured. You see her strength when you juxtapose it to her vulnerabilities. Her kindness and her gentle surety make it easy to see how she has become so beloved among these powerful beings who could destroy her with a thought. I loved watching her continuing evolution into a self-sustaining person. I loved watching her learn about emotional responses and interactions; watching her friendships grow; and of course, watching her dance with Simon.
Because it is a dance between these two. There was no romance in Written in Red, and I don’t know that you could say there is a romance here, either. That does not mean there is no relationship development, though. There is something very real happening between Simon and Meg; something that neither of them is entirely ready for. I am ready for it! But Anne Stuart knows what she is doing. This is a slow build. It’s emotionally believable; and while there is some sexual tension, it’s more about a connection on a deeper level between this two. And it is so satisfying as it unfolds.
As the story progresses, we get to see more of the Others from outside the Lakeside courtyard. I liked the bigger picture we got to see of those beings who have not adopted humans the way our core group has. I loved watching their interactions with the Others we know, and seeing how they reacted –not only to Meg– but to Tess, Erebus, and the human police. Again, I was struck by the brilliance of making these characters so totally inhuman. They are unapologetically alien and that is what makes them so fascinating.
Frankly, I am hard pressed to come up with anything I didn’t like about this book. Except that fact that it is over. And that I will have to wait another year before I find out where the story will go next.
If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy and you are not already reading this series, I can’t urge you enough to give it a try. It’s fantastic.
*ARC provided by Roc
Click to purchase: Amazon
Murder of Crows
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 4, 2014