Monday, April 16, 2018

Review & Mini Blogger Girl Chat ~ Written in Red ~ Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)Written in Red by Anne Bishop
The Other #1
Release Date: March 5, 2013
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: 5 Bookworms
Challenges: #COYER

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. Me'gs 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.

Gah! I can't believe I waited so long to read this! Written in Red was so good I was loathe to put it down. The world building was so well done - realistic but with just enough magic to create an escape - along with a fascinating story of creation. The characters - every single one - was so well developed that I feel like I know them all and I'm eager to hang out with them again. And, and, and I adore the fact that Bishop populated this story with strong female characters! There are quite a few "weighty" plot threads and Bishop wove them all together seamlessly. Seriously. So good!

The main story is that Meg escaped from where she'd been held her whole life and she makes it to the Lakeside Courtyward where the Others - vampires, wolf shifters, Elementals, etc. - live. There's something different about Meg and so the Others take her in and she becomes one of their own meaning they will protect her by any means necessary...even warring with the humans set on reacquiring her.

Meg hasn't live out in the world so she's learning every day, which was fascinating. But even more fascinating was watching as she taught the Others. They have an uneasy truce with humans but Meg is showing them that maybe not all humans are bad. The interpersonal lessons were heartwarming. But there was also plenty of action and suspense considering the factions out to get Meg. And while the immediate threat has been subdued - in grand fashion - Meg is still wanted. And I'm anxious for what comes next.

Meg is so genuine and sweet and compassionate. In many ways, she's like a child - not yet familiar with the world and therefore unbiased. You can't help but love her and all the Others prove just that. I'm hoping for something a little deeper to develop between Meg and Simon - a wolf shifter and the official leader of the Lakeside Courtyard.

I could go on and on but suffice it to say Written in Red was fan-freaking-tastic, I can't believe I waited so long to read it, and I will be continuing the series ASAP!

Robyn and I hadn't done a buddy read/blogger chat in quite awhile so we decided to do one for Written in Red. My text is in green, Robyn's is black. Enjoy!

What did you think of the story overall?

I fell into the story right away. I like stories that shift our world to the side just enough to fit a magical one inside. The Others were not likable and remained that way through the whole story and yet I quickly started liking them, even though they ate people! The blood prophet angle was new to me and there were times I felt queasy. I liked Meg immediately. She didn't back down even though nothing in her life was easy or safe. Simon was a growly unpleasant wolf. The supporting cast rocked. I loved the crows. I loved the idea of the Others having so many animal/magical traits that distanced themselves so much from humans they couldn't relate to the odd things humans did that are not actually odd.

I fell into the story immediately too. I loved that the Others were prickly and anti-heroes and heroines but I still ended up liking them...mostly because of how they took care of The Meg. :) I thought the blood prophet thing was interesting. Why are they considered human when they have a special ability? And why was it okay to keep them "captive"? I get humans selling the idea that blood prophets can't be by themselves...that part was sickening though. Simon. *sigh* I flove him! I love how caring he is even if he is super growly and would rather not have to stay in his human skin and doesn't know what to do when something that should smell like prey doesn't smell like prey. I think maybe that is why I loved the cast of characters so much...well, most of them anyway. And The Others in particular. They are scary and they do eat people. But they also take care of their own and they really stepped up when Meg became one of their own.

How did you feel about how the women were portrayed?

This one has me scratching my head as I try to remember feelings on this. The Others didn't seem to have any kind of male/female power struggle going on. Your standing revolved around your power and allies. The only woman really objectified in the story objectified herself and no one liked her for it. I would have liked more female cops/doctors/alpha leaders.

I felt like the women were portrayed as strong. I didn't like - can't think of her name - the bad woman. But I loved the scariness of Tess and Winter and yet they're still compassionate - at least where Meg is concerned.

What did you think of how everyone reacted to Meg?

It was one of the fun parts of the story, waiting for a new person to meet Meg. How will they react? Will they want to wrap her in bubble wrap because of the big bad scary Others? Will the Crows adopt her and start leaving shiny stuff for her? Will Simon ever stop growling? In that way, it felt kind of like a historical romance, all the nutty characters revolving around our awesome heroine.

Ooo, I love the comparison to HR. That's kinda true. And they all felt Meg needed taking care of. EVERYONE who met her, really. And yet, Meg was capable in her own way and she was taking care of them as well. I especially liked how she handled Sam. 

Are you totally shipping Meg and Simon?!?

(Are you totally??? what word did auto-correct fix?)

I'm laughing here...I meant, are you shipping Meg and in wanting them to get to the good stuff! ;) I hope so hard that they get to the good stuff. :D

This is a new author for both of us, do you ever get new author apprehension? 

I do get new author apprehension. Particularly when it's an author that people, whose opinions I value, gush about the author. What if I don't like the author as much as my friend does? It's happened. But NOT in this case. I had it on good authority (*cough*Carmel*cough*) that this was a series must read.  

The Blood Prophet was a new magical ability for me, but the whole thing made me think of cutting and what a person gets out of it. Did you get that feeling? I couldn't figure out how I felt about that.

I liked having this new magical creature that I'd never heard of before but I did think about cutting initially. Then I decided to let it go. That way I could immerse myself in the story more. I don't know why Bishop chose to make blood prophets the way she did but in the end, it works. At least for me. 

Are we going to get good stuff in this series between Meg and Simon? Like in the next book? What's your guess? 

I certainly hope so! Who knows though. I'm going to guess it'll eventually happen but it might not be in the next book. But MAN do I hope it is!!! 

Who is your favorite character?

I don't know if I can decide...but I think I'd go with Meg. And then Sam. :) But honestly I loved them all. Except for the bad lady, of course. ;) Oh, and it was a close call with Elliot for a few minutes there. 

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