Early 5/5 Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop

February 27, 2013 Review 13

Early 5/5 Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne BishopWritten in Red by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Published by Roc on March 5, 2015
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 488
Excerpt: Excerpt
Sexual Content: References to sex
Reviewed by: Abigail
5 Stars

No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

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.

Reminiscent of Charles de Lint and Patricia Briggs, WRITTEN IN RED is urban fantasy the way it should be written.  There is nowhere near enough space here to describe everything that I loved about this book, so I'll just touch on a few.  From the moment Meg stumbled into the Others land, half frozen, and sighed with relief at the H.L.D.N.A sign (Human Law Does Not Apply), I was intrigued.  When the terra indigene (shifters, vampires, and elementals) she met spoke quite candidly about how they regularly ate humans for infractions as minor as trespassing or failing to leave a store the second it closed, I was hooked.  That same sense of wonder and delight only increased as I learned about Meg and the cassandra sangue (blood prophets) who were treated like property by their Controllers.

As a protagonist, I've never encountered a character quite like Meg.  Kept locked up and educated only in ways that would help her describe her prophecies, she's only ever seen pictures and small videos of life, never experienced them for herself, until she escapes and discovers a different kind of danger with the Others.   And yet, unlike most humans, she's not paralyzed with fear and hatred by the terra indigene.  She shows them kindness because it had been the one thing she'd always been denied, and in return, they don't eat her.  Gradually, they begin to rely on one another and Meg even befriends some of the most lethal of their kind.

WRITTEN IN RED isn't just the best urban fantasy of this year, it may be one of the best ever.  The Others are not softened or even humanized in any way.  They don't pursue romantic relationships with their food and they make no apologies for the way they live.  There is an awe inspiring sense of pride and protectiveness that they posses, almost a code that brought to mind the wolf packs in Patricia Briggs books.  The characters are brilliantly realized with flaws and strengths uniquely theirs, and the writing is textured and inviting.  The worldbuilding, though, is the true star of the story, just as it should be in urban fantasy.

WRITTEN IN RED is my favorite urban fantasy since Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews wooed me into a forever love affair with this genre.  From the gorgeous and frightening world that is similar but deliciously other from ours, to the tightly written suspense plot, and the characters who are so primal and wild and so very not human.  I can't gush enough.  I plan to devour Ms. Bishop's backlist while I endure the wait for the next book in The Others series.

Series Titles:
  1. Written in Red
More Reviews: Similar Titles:

13 Responses to “Early 5/5 Review: Written in Red (The Others #1) by Anne Bishop”

  1. Tara SG (25 Hour Books)

    90% of the time, just the fact that you gave a book 5 Bats means I’ll be adding it to my TBR.

    “WRITTEN IN RED isn’t just the best urban fantasy of this year, it may be one of the best ever.”

    Now I’m trying to decide if I want to start the series reread I had planned in case I’m not finished in time to read this next Tuesday 🙂

    • Abigail

      Tara, I had zero expectations starting this book. I’d never read Anne Bishop before and I’m still not nuts about the cover, but literally from the first page, I was enthralled. It’s unbelievably good. I hope you review it. Can’t wait to read your thoughts.

  2. Mary @ BookSwarm

    Already pre-ordered!! I love Anne Bishop and can’t wait to read this book. I love that you’re giving it such high praise and that the Others aren’t made to be “fluffy” in any way. Holy cow. Can’t wait.

  3. Chris

    My only issue with this book after reading this review is do I order it in hardcover and possibly not get it till the day after release or for the Kindle and get instant gratification?

    • Abigail

      Chris, I kid you not, Julia asked me the exact same question word for word! Tough call. I’d go with the HC. This is one you’ll want to have on your keeper shelf 🙂

  4. Mina

    I sooo have to get this book. Now. And living in Germany that means to pay 20 Euros for the hardcover [as in: 26 US Dollars…]. This is how much I crave this book now!

  5. Kt.

    I had received this one for review, but honestly, the blurb just didn’t grab me, so it got pushed down the pile. However, after reading your review, and knowing that our tastes run very similar, it got bumped. I’m currently about halfway through it, and I’m loving it. This is Urban Fantasy at its finest, and I already know I’ll be desperate for the next installment.

    • Abigail

      That was me too! I trust the publicist ho sent it to me, so I started it and sure enough, I could not put it down. So glad you’r loving it.