This series does a lot of things right. The worldbuilding is so very cool. I’ve said from the beginning that I love how Anne Bishop makes her monsters so monstrous. The breadth and scope of Namid’s creatures are impressive –and they’re all so very interesting and unique. The main characters are engaging and well drawn. I care what happens to them. And there is a great series arc that is really coming to a head in this installment.
I may be in the minority when I say that I did have a little trouble in parts. I loved the beginning. I loved the end. But honestly, in the middle, there were times I got lost. There are just so many characters that I had trouble keeping them all straight once we left Lakeside. There are so many wolves and cops and Sanguinati… and Intuit. I know it was important to broaden the landscape for what Bishop is doing in this book, but it took me out of the story at times as I struggled to remember who everyone was and the part they played.
This book is basically the tipping point in the uneasy truce between humans and the Others. The Humans First movement has really forgotten who the apex predators are. (Hint: it’s not them.) They decide to take the offensive against the terra indigene and by the end of the book, the world is a very different place.
The action is big. There’s a lot of tension, too, which really kept me turning the page. Waiting to see what the humans would do and how the Blood Prophets would see it in their visions. Waiting for the inevitable backlash from the Elders. I was on the edge of my seat. And this storyline totally pays off.
As for our core characters, Meg is trying to find a way to prophecize without cutting. And her friends in the courtyard are struggling to determine how much humanity they want in their lives. Really, when we see the Bigger and Badder things out there, the Others in the Courtyard are far more human than I ever gave them credit for. They’re also really small in the scope of things, which adds another layer to how we look at them.
The bottom line, I guess, is that this story is big. A lot of things are happening. They involve a lot of people. And the scale of the conflict is a game changer. It’s true that I read “Namid’s teeth and claws” about 857 times and I was slightly annoyed that even the Elders are not immune to Meg’s charm, spending 10 seconds in her company. But I really like these books. I am intrigued by the characters and their struggles. And I will be back to see what happens next.
*ARC provided by publisher
Click to purchase: Amazon
Marked in Flesh
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 8, 2016