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Life, Law & Libros

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop (4 stars)

12 comments
I read Anne Bishop's Written in Red earlier this year and really liked it. It was exactly the kind of non-YA fantasy with limited romance I'd been looking for. I'm pleased to say I loved its sequel just as much, if not more. The romance factor is present, but it's a slow, developing friendship. And it makes me laugh. :)


Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #2
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Published on March 4, 2014
Published by Roc
Final Rating: 4 stars

Synopsis:
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Review:
What I liked:
  • Meg, our protagonist. She's still learning, but she seems much more self-assured and comfortable in her new surroundings. But she's still a source of entertainment for the Courtyard and us.
  • Simon. He spends most of the book frustrated with everyone, including himself. He's confused by all the changes happening and annoyed that he can't eat/scare the "human pack" the way he used to. It's a lot of fun to see him so off-kilter and struggling.
  • Bishop maintains the humor of Written in Red. The wolves continue to be sucked into the world of dog toys and treats, there are several awkward conversations and, again, Simon- especially when he's angry. :)

What I didn't like:
  • Although Bishop includes humor, we don't see as many of the humorous incidents surrounding the Crows and Sam as we did in the first book. I like their replacements, but I would have liked a little more of the original jokes carried over, too.
  • There are a few spots where the pacing/tension goes way down, and it doesn't return to normal speed fast enough for my liking.
  • Without giving anything away, most of the book is building up to finding out what a big problem is and from where it originates. So, big climax taking care of the big problem. Except that the climax is very, very quick and easy and kind of a letdown. Efficient, but a letdown after all that buildup. Not that I necessarily wanted an extended take of gore and violence, but it seems too easy. Then again, I guess everything looks simple in comparison to a certain blizzard in Book 1...

Final Thoughts:
Despite some problems with the plotting and pacing, I loved this book. We're slowly getting a better understanding of this whole alternate world and the politics involved, but at its core, The Others is really about the characters, their growth and their relationships with one another. Thus far, the series continues to please. I want Book 3 now. :)

12 comments :

  1. I'm a bit of agreement there on the anticlimactic letdown ending. It DID happen much too fast. There needed to be like a whole several chapters of confrontation there. Instead there really wasn't ANY confrontation.

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    1. I know! On the one hand, I was impressed by the seamless operation (like a whole army of Navy Seals). On the other hand, that's it? These are supposed to be super rich, super bad guys with access to tidbits of the FUTURE. They should have put up more of a fight.

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    2. Yeah I think more of a fight would have been better - did you see the cover for book three!!!

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    3. I have! I have to say I prefer the cover art on the first two, but I'm still super excited!

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  2. A hard-earned four stars from Kel!? Excellent. I have not heard of this one, but your review got my attention. Although I'm not really liking what I'm seeing about the ending.

    Excellent review, Kel!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I'm trying to be a little more "generous" with my ratings (mostly because my 3 stars ranged anywhere from 2.5 to 3.9 and needed separation), but yes! A whole 4 stars! I warn you, Written in Red is low on the romance, but once you get to this one, I'm pretty sure you'll be hooked. :)

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  3. Man, I'm telling you, those covers are G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S. Haven't actually read the first book but I did receive it last week so will surely get to it soon. That is a very honest and detailed review you have there. I'm eager to get to know Meg :D

    Lola @ Hit or Miss Books

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    1. Thank you! The covers are nice, and I'm torn between telling you to read it NOW and telling you to wait until January. If you like it as much as I did, you'll want to read the next one (and the third, out March 2015) IMMEDIATELY. :)

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  4. YAYYYY! I LOVEEE this series so much. It is incredibly rich, and the characters are extremely compelling. I love Meg so much, and I agree, seeing Simon off-kilter is quite fun. I definitely missed Sam, but was so drawn into the book that the pacing issues didn't bother me as much. I cannot wait for the next one and more Simon - Meg buildup. I've had such fun watching them discover that they want each other.

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    1. Exactly! It's so much more fun watching their relationship slowly progress over the course of several books. And no chance of a love triangle because Simon will eat any rivals. :)

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  5. The comments here are great to read as well. This sounds like a series I need to get into asap! I AM headed to the library today...

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