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Life, Law & Libros

Written in Red by Anne Bishop (3 stars)

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I've been working on hunting down some "adult" series and authors to read (to give me more options when YA becomes too saturated with love triangles and such). I'm glad to say that this was a promising first kill. Which sounds really horrible, now that I've written that. Anyway, Written in Red is a story of an alternate world in which humans aren't at the top of the food chain and all natural resources are controlled by the Others. A little Planet of the Apes meets The Jungle Book, but more paranormal and with human technology similar to modern day stuff.

Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Published on March 5, 2013
Published by NAL Hardcover
Final Rating: 3 stars

Synopsis:
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.

Review:
What I liked:
  • No romance. It had me scared for a chapter or so, but nope. None. :D
  • The "paranormal" Others are not just humans who happened to turn into animals. They are fundamentally different, which makes their reactions to Meg's human thoughts and behaviors amusing.
  • The humor. There were these light, sometimes subtle, fun moments. I know the setting and plot were often tense and dangerous, but I loved the humor and wish there had been even more. (Minor spoilers) Like the crows stealing Meg's pens and slowly returning them in exchange for toys. Or the werewolf guy napping on the dog bed!

What I didn't like:
  • Chapters in Asia Crane's perspective. I was fine with all the perspective switches except this one. I recognize Asia's chapters provided information that would have been difficult to obtain/understand elsewhere, but I really disliked seeing things through her eyes. She was this odd mixture of strangely competent and horribly naive, not in a good way. She was overly trusting of big promises from bad guys who were most likely to lie, cheat and kill.
  • At times, the fact that Meg is the main character. I would start thinking about how I'd rather follow x cool person for a bit instead. But the fact is, Meg is likable, and no other character in the story could have effected the conflicts and changes she did. Her "special-ness" meter is a little high for my liking, but there are good reasons for those special traits that not only fit the story but play key roles in engaging conflict and character development.
  • Despite knowing a lot about it, the world never felt fully fleshed out to me. Possibly because of the surreal mixture of modern-like cities and technology with obviously old world and Other elements. And the fact that, despite hearing about other towns, other places, the story was restricted to one smallish city, and often to one "neighborhood." I'd like to know more.

Final Thoughts:
Not perfect or "oh my gosh!" but I enjoyed it, I felt invested in several of the characters, and I'd like to read more. Definitely on the lookout for the next in this series, and I may pick up some of the authors' other books as well.

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