Book Review: Written in Red

Written in Red

by Anne Bishop

Written in Red I’ve been a long-time fan of Anne Bishop (loved her Ephemera series, and her Black Jewels series is also great). But somehow I missed that book one of her new series came out last year, and only just got around to reading it. It’s adult urban fantasy, set in an alternate reality of Earth where The Others (fair folk, werebeasts, elementals, vampires, etc.) not only exist, but are the dominant society on the planet. Humankind maintains an ever tenuous truce with them, in exchange for (basically) being allowed to live and form human communities. But humans, living separately from The Others, occasionally forget just how easily they can be snuffed out, and disasters ensue.

The first book in this series focuses on Meg, who is not your average human. She’s a blood prophet, who experiences visions of the future when her skin is cut. She’s been kept ignorant and captive (by other humans) in a compound full of blood prophets, until piecing together information from visions gives her a way to escape. Stumbling through a winter storm, she finds herself at the Courtyard, a community of Others inside a human city. And they just happen to be looking for a human liaison. So starts Meg’s new life, learning to live among the dangerous Others while hiding from her former owners. As bounty hunters close in and the Others start to look on Meg as one of their own, a potentially major clash between the two sides brews.

I loved this book. It’s a bit slow to get going, and Meg’s blood prophet gift doesn’t really come into play until later. And while there was no romance, there’s an obvious potential for that brewing for book two. But the sheer otherness of the Others and the tension behind every interaction just drives the story along. There’s intrigue and friendship and danger and humor. I’ve long admired Bishop for her unique world-building and characters with depth, and this did not disappoint. I’m on the waitlist for book two from the library, and plan on diving into it. I would definitely recommend.

I give it 4/5 stars.

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Written in Red

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Book Review: The Taken

The Taken

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson This is the story of Griffin Shaw, ex-murdered-PI turned angel-grade escort into the afterlife, who makes a slight misstep and finds himself stuck back in the real world, in his former human flesh. It’s also the story of Kit Craig, a stubborn rockabilly reporter in Vegas whose best friend just got murdered following a lead (the soul Griffin was escorting). In order to get back to the heavenly plane, Grif is supposed to escort Kit’s soul when she’s killed following the same lead her friend was after. Except Grif is quite taken with Kit and […]

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Book Review: Sunshine

Sunshine by Robin McKinley Rae (nicknamed Sunshine) Seddon is just your normal young twenty-something with a complicated family situation, working at a coffeeshop and dating a nice guy. Until one night she gets ambushed at the lake and finds herself chained to the wall in an abandoned house with a clearly starving vampire, also a prisoner. Not the best setup for long life expectancy. Except that Sunshine’s complicated family situation includes inheriting a surprisingly strong talent for magic from her father’s side. So a precarious, unlikely alliance is born between Sunshine and the vampire Constantine, as they work to escape […]

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June Book Club Review & Link-up: Soulless

Soulless

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) by Gail Carriger This was the June Blogger Book Club pick, in the Paranormal genre. And personally, I thought it was a treat – just a delightfully fun read. Soulless has the witty flavor of Jane Austen mixed with steampunk, mystery, vampires and werewolves, and a good ol’ rollicking romance. Alexia Tarabotti is an entertaining protagonist, with a penchant for meddling, parasols and good food. The story is told in 3rd person, so it misses a little of the intimacy of having her as the 1st person narrator, but I found her to be relatable and […]

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Book Review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs This was a refreshingly different read. Riggs combines contemporary and historical fiction, mystery, children with paranormal abilities, and (extremely creepy) found photographs to create something a bit off the beaten track, book-wise. The main character, Jacob, thought that all of his grandfather’s stories about monsters and children with peculiar abilities were just that – stories. Until the night he finds his grandfather torn apart and dying in the woods – and sees something he can’t explain. His grandfather’s last words send Jacob on a quest to the little island off Wales […]

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June Book Club Poll – CLOSED

June Book Club Poll

Exciting word-smith related news! I found out last night that I made the 3rd and final round of the NYC Midnight Short Story Challenge I posted about before – wahoo!! My assignment for the 2nd round was science fiction, with the Olympics and a personal trainer, and I had 3 days to write it. I’ll probably post it sometime next week if you want to read. This last round is down to just 25 people, and we have only 24 hours (this Saturday) to write our final story. I’ll find out Friday at midnight what the genre, etc. assignments are. […]

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Book Review: The Bone Key

The Bone Key

The Bone Key The Necromantic Mysteries of Kyle Murchison Booth by Sarah Monette I was a big fan of Monette’s Doctrine of Labyrinths series, so when I saw she had a standalone book, I grabbed it from the library without really reading much about it. So I was a bit surprised when I went to start reading, as I had been expecting a novel; this is in fact a book of short stories. My own faulty assumption, and no big deal, because this book is a fun read. The stories all have the same central character (Kyle Murchison Booth) and […]

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