Review: Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

This sixth installment in Ann Bishop’s The Others series is like a spinoff and a reboot all in one. It feels almost just like the first book, with a kind, emotionally damaged heroine in a new terre indigene community where the monsters learn through her that some humans are worth not eating. There is a very very very slow-burn/ might-be-a-romance one day. And a cop who doesn’t want to be there, but feels compelled to do the right thing. The only things different from Written in Red are the names and the particulars of the bad guys who threaten the peace of the community.

The new heroine is Vicki. She is a frumpy human divorcee. She was emotionally abused by her ex to the point where she has terrible panic attacks, is largely intimidated by men, and thinks very little of herself. She inherited the Jumble in her divorce settlement. It’s basically a bunch of cabins surrounding a rustic main house where she can rent rooms along the lake community largely populated by Others. The almost-love-interest is Julian, an Intuit and former cop who runs the local bookstore. Wayne is the highway patrol officer sent in to investigate a dead body Vicki reports as the story begins. [Read more…]

Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Reviewed by Jen

It’s hard to say goodbye to a series I’ve enjoyed as much as this one. So reading this last installment of Anne Bishop’s The Others series was bittersweet. It definitely feels like the end, but the world is big enough and in enough turmoil that Bishop will easily be able to pick up with her planned a spinoff series in the future. [Read more…]

Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

marked in fleshReviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

vision in silverReviewed by Jen

The Meg is back! Well, she is not actually The Meg anymore. She’s Our Meg and that may be even better.

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you are clearly missing out on one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series and you need to stop what you are doing and go buy Written in Red. No really. Do it now.

This third installment picks up right on the heels of book 2.  It follows Meg as she continues to find balance, free of the Controller and the Walking Names who shaped her life for so long.  She has come a long way, but she still struggles with her need to cut.  Now it’s not just her life on the line, but the lives of all the girls rescued who are like her. Meg needs to understand herself and her triggers in order to help those like her survive in the outside world. [Read more…]

Jen’s Favorite Books of 2014

2014

Another great year of reading is drawing to a close and looking back on some of the awesome titles, I am tempted to go back and read some of them again.  Now that I have put this list together, I realize that just about every one is part of a series. Some of them can stand alone. Others are better read after enjoying earlier installments.  But either way, for me, they are the cream of the crop from the year 2014. [Read more…]

Review: Queen of the Darkness by Anne Bishop

queen of the darknessReviewed by Jen

I thought for sure that this installment would be the book that launched this series into the stratosphere of epic-awesomeness where my book friends would rank it.  Alas, I am doomed to be the odd man out here.  I can definitively say I do not love this series.  There were things I liked, characters I cared about.  But whatever it is that makes other reviewers swoon, simply escapes me. [Read more…]

Review: Heir to the Shadows by Anne Bishop

heir to the shadowsReviewed by Jen

I am still waiting to be bowled over by this series. I hoped this would be book that would do it.  I figured Janelle would finally age past puberty and give poor Daemon the chance to love her.  I was only half right.  Janelle does grow up, but I kept waiting and waiting for her reunion with Daemon.  Only to end the damn book still waiting.  That’s right.  They spend the entire book apart.

But Jen, you say, this isn’t a romance novel. You can’t judge the book on the romance… or lack of it. And you are totally right.  The book did not fail me because the romance failed me. It failed me because I spent the entire book waiting for something to happen that never did.  [Read more…]

Review: Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

daughter of the bloodReviewed by Jen

I have no idea where to start with this book.  Some of my most-trusted book-friends gave it the gold seal and since I absolutely adore the Others, another Anne Bishop series, I dove in.  And promptly found myself in morass of character overload and ambitious world-building of brain-hemorrhage inducing proportions. I was completely and utterly lost for at least a third of the book.  Then, I was horrified to discover the sexual perversities, ranging from rape to incest to pedophilia and sadism.  Hell, the female lead only ages to 12 years-old by the end of the book and she is assigned sexual significance. But somehow in the second half, I found myself becoming invested in the outcome. [Read more…]

Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

murder of crowsReviewed by Jen

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. [Read more…]

Review: Written in Red

Reviewed by Jen
 

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 manages 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

Click to purchase: Amazon
Written in Red
by Anne Bishop
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Roc