You ever read a book or series by an author and chucked it into the DNF pile after one or two books? I’ve done that a few times. I won’t be specific on that list but Anne Bishop was one of those authors. I read (tried to) the first book in her Ephemera series and it was just no. I didn’t finish the book and I have this habit of swearing off the author after that. In hindsight, I probably should have known from the reviews but I try not to read book reviews too deeply before a first read because spoilers. The writing style just wasn’t what I expected or my cup of tea. This was a couple of years ago. I thought about picking up her Black Jewels series for a while but never did.
“If you must blink, do it now”- Kubo (because this is going to be a long)
Why did I wait so long to read The Others series?! I asked for a vote last week on a bunch of book covers with no descriptions. The overall consensus picked Written In Red.
It can’t be the same author who wrote that awful series I DNF! And yet, IT IS! And this book was glorious! Here is my long winded, sort of review.
The story opens up giving us a history of the world. The world is called Namid. There are 8 continents and even the lakes and oceans are named. Namid created the world and gave birth to all the creatures on the planet including humans. Humans were given a piece of Namid to be able to reproduce and live on in harmony on her fertile lands. Humans were doing great until they pushed into the wild places where the terra indigene (earth natives). The terra indigene didn’t like the humans taking over their lands so they ate them. Settlers came in from other lands to try and take over and the terra indigene would eat them too. Slowly human civilizations started to disappear and the “Others” took over the continent. The last batch of settlers came to the continent and instead of taking over, they offered the Others clothing, blankets, shiny things and taught them human ways. The Others decided to allow these humans to stay because they controlled the elements the humans needed to survive; water, air, fire, land. Now there are laws in place between the terra indigene and the humans and consequences if these laws are violated.
WHAT THE! When a book opens up like that, what do you do? You keep reading of course!
Skip to present day. You have the Wolfgard, Owlgard, Hawkgard, Beargard, Crowgard and Sanguantis. In simpler terms, wolves, owls, hawks, grizzlies, crows and vampires. They all live in a town called Lakeside that entertains humans from time to time. For example, Howling Good Reads is the resident book store, Meats-n-Greens is the grocery store and A Little Bite is the cafe. I should mention here that these are all terra indigene and they consider humans, monkeys they want to eat. Also, there are signs posted all over stating H.L.D.N.A. (Human Law Does Not Apply). This means if you steal something, its a high probability your hand will be eaten and depending on which offense you’re on, you could lose your life.
So the terra indigene have these humans come into their abode so that they learn human mannerisms and skills so that when they turn into humans, they know how to channel a true human and less of their animal nature.
Enter Meg Corbyn. She’s enters Howling Good Reads (bookstore) one night frozen looking for a job because the Others have been wanting a Human Liaison. She doesn’t smell right to the Others because most humans smell like prey but she doesn’t and she seems desperate so they offer her the job even though she has no experience.
The course of the book from here is Meg learning how to do her job well. However, the humans realize that she doesn’t act like a regular human. She has emotions but she doesn’t show them the right way or doesn’t have a full understanding of how the world works. She made friends with some of the more notorious creatures to the shock of the residents and they find her to be very intriguing. Then a wanted poster appears with her picture on it and you find out that Meg is a cassandra sangue or a blood prophet. A blood prophet is a human that’s specifically raised in a special facility where they have limited interaction with what’s going outside in the real world because their only purpose is to have their skin cut so their benefactors can know what’s going to happen in the future. The deeper the cut, the more clear the vision. The problem is over time, the blood prophets become so addicted that they crave the cut and without proper supervision, they can cut themselves to the point of death.
The Others find this out and Meg is ready to run again but now they won’t allow her to now because she’s ingratiated herself into the Others culture so well that they consider her one of them now. Most of the humans are referred to their names with “the” or “our” in front. So Meg is “the Meg” or “our Meg”. FYI, this book is 500 pages long. I’ve just touched on the tip of the iceberg! The plot gets insanely good and there’s desperation, surprises, betrayal, loss and found. Yes, I said found. The dynamics since Meg was integrated into the community open a whole set of gamechangers throughout this book and I found myself learning so many things even though its all fiction.
Before I go off and spoil it possibly more than I already have, you MUST give this book a chance. I’d rate it 10 stars if it was possible. This is not the same author, and yet it is! I don’t know where she was earlier but I love who came out for this story and yes, I’ve already dived into the second book. I never want it to end!!
(P.S. I am not a professional book reviewer so sorry if this sucked but I hope you enjoyed reading it anyway :D)