The Others, Book 1
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Okay so here is my first and biggest question: why did I wait so long to read this book? Yes it is really incomprehensible!! Completely and hopelessly incomprehensible! Okay because I have not had much time to get into it this is true, but too bad I should have abandonned my reading and start this one! Yes now, I know that! And again, I think the book would have stayed some time in my TBR pile if I had not had a great conversation with Angie and Zenda who really made me want to start it. I must say that Zenda (who also gave me the book and I thank her with all my heart now that I finished it) has some great arguments to make Written In Red completely irresistible. As soon as I finished my currently book, I rushed to start the novel and I must say that I totally fell in love with it! But I had no doubt about it, given the great reviews I had seen before. Now that I made an eulogy to Zenda and about this first installment, I will now tell you a bit more about the story (yes, of course, you need to know more).
I think that as Anne Bishop is an author of fantasy novels, she knows how to build her worlds and I admit that it was really beautiful to see that. I was completely conquered (well I’ll tell you right now, everything has completely conquered me lol, so do not worry if I repeat myself). I never read any of her books but it is true that the urban fantasy label always attracts me so I was very intrigued to see how this one was going to be. I think that in view of her writings, her world is a mix of the two genres, and as she masters all that, it allows to present us a fascinating universe. Besides to tell us a little more about the context in which we are, we have a small introductory chapter, allowing us to understand what happened in this universe to get there. I enjoyed this introduction as it has helped me to clarify many points for the future. So therefore, we discover a world cut in two, we have on one side the Others and on the other: Humans. The Others have lived on earth forever, but with the arrival of Humans wanting to conquer everything, conflicts began to appear. But these wars have often ended in bloodshed, the Others being a people with creatures of all kinds and I must say that I was really fascinated by all the various kinds of species we met. But of course, for once, these people are up to what we can imagine, they eat meat and they greatly appreciate human flesh. You can imagine that it poses some problems! Especially during a fight between human and shapeshifters, I think that like me you directly bet on the non-humans. Yes because it’s not a human who can take the shape of an animal but it’s an animal who can take the shape of a human. But despite all this, the two worlds have managed to live in compromise although one is very afraid of the other. And here we are, in a two divided city where laws are very different. I took a great pleasure in understanding the intricacies of each and see how they all managed to live together, because it is ultimately more complicated than expected. Then it is true that wild people really think differently from Humans and has a real animal personality regardless of their form.
In this environment, we discover Meg Corbyn running away from people who wants her and from her former life. It will take some time before we can understand the reason but it’s true that I was quite surprised (yes because I had already forgotten the synopsis, so it’s always a surprise to me). To survive, the only solution she managed to find, is to become the liaison for the Others and so live with them, away from human’s rules. Yet despite these differences, it will be quite difficult for her to adjust, especially surrounded by all kinds of creatures who threaten to eat her if she makes any mistakes. We also meet Simon Wolfgard a werewolf responsible of these strange people. When Meg shows up for a job, he was immediately intrigued by her. He knows she is hiding something … anyway that would be quite abnormal to want to work with them without ulterior motives. But more than that, she is the first person he meets that does not smell like a prey, something that intrigues and upsets him highly! Alas, he will surely not expect that this young woman will finally take a full role in their lives, the first human who touches them all and yet who will also bring chaos in their lives. It only remains to see if they are willing to fight for her or not.
I loved to see that the human that everyone hated, finally became a key person in their life. Meg is a young woman who is not afraid to do whatever it takes to survive even if it means to deal with scary creatures. Being free is so much more important to her. Yet she is also fragile and must learn to live by herself, something she will immediately appreciate. But of course her escape is far from being as simple as she thought and this is far from arresting those who want her. Yet she will create a life here, and although she sometimes forgets that they are far from Humans, she discovers many things and will be able to have some wonderful friends. I’ll let you read the book to learn more about it, because I can tell you that it’s worth it. In addition, there is so much to learn about her nature and what she can do! It’s always something fascinating! What about Simon Wolfgard? I must say that I was immediately intrigued about him. He is different and it is true that his changing attitude makes us want to understand what goes through his head. He will also really evolve in contact with our heroine and will be the first surprise by this fact. This is a character who has a strong head and who is not used to being disobeyed and yet, despite some difficulties fairly present throughout the chapters, he’ll form an unbreakable bond with Meg. But there is also more than them and I loved many of the characters here, whether Winter, a personified winter that everyone fears; Sam, the puppy who since the death of his mother no longer changed shape and who learns to trust Meg throughout the story. I have something to add, because I really loved Sam, this is a very important character in the novel and he brings an undeniable freshness. He touches us, upsets us and we hope very soon that our heroine will come to help him so he can manage to ignore his trauma and live a « normal » life. There are also the Crows, these shapeshifters with a spirit like the animals and who are a delight to follow in their attitudes. But of course, there are still others, like vampires whose myth was once again revisited and I enjoyed the ideas presented.
The plot was really fascinating and I really struggled to put down the novel before finishing it. I also spent a whole day reading it without any problems and I couldn’t wait to have all my answers. I was so curious to see how our heroine and that people would coexist and evolve together. We also meet some big villains who will do everything to realize their plans, and we see that little by little along the chapters as well as the results. Each character has a really important role to play and we discover what it would be as we move forward. You must also wonder if you’ll have a beautiful love story, right? I think for once, everything is done fairly realistic and even if there is a real link between our two main characters, nothing is really done, but I am sure we will learn more with the sequel. This novel is mostly a base for the story and a discovery of the characters and their world. And it is already a great job. We thus find a mixture of deadly creatures, conspiracies, kindness and originality.
You therefore understand that this novel was a wonderful read for me, and before telling you the whole story, I’ll stop there. I really recommend this first novel, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and you will be able to discover something completely different in a world where urban fantasy books begin to look the same for many of them. It’s really a must read and I must admit it, I’ve already preordered the second volume and I can not wait to receive it to discover if it is as good as the first one. You need to read it!