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review 2017-07-27 08:00
Written In Red
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

It is not often that a book is recommended to me as much as Written in Red (and the entire Others series really) has been recommended to me. Over the last few years I have heard so many great things about it that I decided to give it a go.

Meg has escaped her compound and is looking for a place to hide when she sees the sign at the Lakeside Courtyard - Human Law Does Not Apply. While working as their Human Liaison (which is really stretching it as Meg herself is a cassandra sangue) she gets to know the Others (or terra indigene as they prefer to call themselves) which consists of anything from vampires, shapeshifters to Elementals. Meanwhile, Meg's master really wants her back and will stop at nothing.

It was a very enjoyable book. In the beginning I was slightly disappointed because after all the recommendations I thought it was rather slow. After I while though, I was really caught by it and it was very difficult to put the book down. I'm already looking forward to reading the second book (but it will have to wait until I finish reading some other books). Nevertheless, there were some things I didn't particularly like or thought were strange (maybe it will be better explained in the next novel). The romance angle that I feel coming since the start of the book is making me cringe already, but since nothing really happened in this book, I'm only stating that I'm sure that is where it is going.

Onto book two!

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review 2017-03-06 02:10
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I loved just about everything about this book!  I can't believe that I waited so long to finally start reading this series.  I bought this book 2 years ago but for some reason never actually started reading it.  I should have read it then but I am making up for lost time now.  Once I really started getting hooked on this book, I didn't want to stop.  This is one of those rare books that make me want to lose myself in the world within its pages.

Meg is pretty awesome.  Since I don't usually read book summaries before starting books, I had no idea what was going on with Meg.  I was as lost about who and what she was as Simon, Henry, Tess, and all the others at the courtyard.  I figured out pretty early on that she was smart, tough, and able to think on her feet.  She went about doing things in a completely unorthodox manner but she tended to get results.  There was an innocence about Meg that I liked and I also liked the fact that she was willing to take suggestions and input from others.

The world building was amazing.  I read the first part of the book at a pretty slow pace largely because I wanted to make sure that I was completely taking in this world that Meg is a part of.  The attitude and feelings between the humans and the Others was quite original.  As a human, I have never thought of myself as meat but I suppose it is all in how you look at a situation.  The Courtyard was a world on its own.  I liked the idea of shops open to both humans and the Others and it was interesting to witness some of the interactions.

The story had so much going for it.  Everything that happened with Sam really helped me see just how special Meg and Simon really were.  The Elementals and Vampires on this world were very original and powerful.  The pacing of the book was very well done and by the end of the story, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  The writing was at times detailed but I think everything added to the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I am planning to binge read this entire series because I am so taken with this world and its characters.

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review 2017-02-20 00:00
Written in Red
Written in Red - Anne Bishop Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
By: Anne Bishop

I have not read another author that can world and character build like Anne Bishop does. Her Black Jewels Trilogy is one that I pull out to re-read at least once a year. This new series appears to be one that I am going to be doing the same thing with. She has written this with her usual realism and you tend to think, “I know these people” or “I’ve been to this town” while you are reading. Moreover, when you are done with the book, the book is not done with you. You will walk away wondering about the characters, how are they doing in their world now that you’ve finished the book.

You are also wondering just when the next book will be coming out!

Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue (Blood Prophet) and has run away from her keepers. And when I say ‘keepers,’ I mean that literally. After all, Meg isn’t even known by a name, she has a designation –a number – she is known as cs759.

She has never experienced anything ever that may stimulate her. All that she knows of the world was taught to her via pictures and edited film clips while sitting in a classroom filled with others like her. She is there for one specific purpose, to be a Prophet. One that needs to be cut/sliced in a very specific way to make her predictions. Since her keeper/Controller can receive huge amounts of money for her predictions, she is being hunted extensively now that she has run away. She has run right into Lakeside, a sort of town that caters to the Others but also in a small way to the Humans.

The Others - the terra indigene are shape shifters, vampires and Elementals that do not like, do not trust, do not need the humans. In this world, the Others rule and by that I mean that if the humans do something in this territory that the Others don’t like – the human becomes a meal. After all Human Laws Do Not Apply here.

Anne Bishop has made the character of Meg a sympathetic one; she is a fish out of water and someone who might frustrate you if she never grew. However, grow Meg does and while she stays afraid of a lot of things even at the end of the book, she has very good reasons to be afraid. She has seen a vision of her own death after all.

Simon Wolfgard is the shape shifting well…wolf, that has hired her to be the towns Human Liaison/mail clerk and he seems to be regretting it as time goes on…he also seems to be getting attached to Meg. He does not trust her, but you can feel the interest sizzling at the perimeter Meg and Simon’s interactions. However, under Ms Bishop’s deft pen, it is never obvious.

Naturally, there is more than one story line going on. There is a very interesting one involving a woman called Asia who is sending information about Simon and Meg back to someone she thinks wants to eventually do a TV show staring her. There are tons of characters.

There is a lot of sly humor in this novel also, for example, in one scene Simon is talking about Meg who had been playing a game with several of the wolves that involved her acting as prey. Simon thinks to himself - "Of course, listening to John whine about not being allowed to go out and play hadn't done anything for his (Simon's) own eroding self-discipline - especially because he could tell could tell just by watching that Meg really did make a good squeaky toy."

Ms Bishop has added an interesting bit at the beginning of the book to let the reader know how this world evolved, how man became food instead of the top of the food chain. The Others are wonderfully written and not the kind of character you usually read about in this genre. They are not kind and misunderstood creatures. They are what they are and they make no apologies for it.

I don’t know what more I can tell you about this book that wouldn’t ruin the story for you so I will just end with this ---this is a fantastic book, it is one that you will want to turn around and re-read as soon as you are done with the first read.

One more thing I will say, this series is vastly different from The Black Jewels books yet it is similar in some ways. This book seems to be appropriate for anyone over 16. There is some strong and salty language.

There is some sexual innuendo – not too overt though. There is some violence but not as much as you would think for a book like this.
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text 2017-01-02 05:10
Top 10 Books/Audiobooks from 2016
The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene,Keith Minnion
The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate
Written in Red - Anne Bishop
Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop
Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop
Gilded Needles (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Christopher Fowler,Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola
Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride
The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride
Close to the Bone - Stuart MacBride
The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell

Image result for top reads

Last year I read 212 books.

 

A breakdown of my reads:

 

Graphic Novels/comics - 146

Audiobooks - 5

Novels/Novellas - 61

 

Here are some of my book stats

 

 

My Favourite Reads of the Year

 

The Girl on the Glider - Brian Keene,Keith Minnion 

 

Author Brian Keene tells a tale of being haunted by a young girl. This story works best as a glimpse into the life of the author as he tries to manage work against family life. This for me was a brutally honest and personal read, kudos to the author for baring so much of his day to day life, warts and all.

 

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao,Katherine Applegate 

 

Ivan is a captive gorilla, housed in mall zoo!! He and other animal residents seem resigned to their life until Ruby arrives and Ivan decides he wants more for her.

Beautifully told, heartbreaking at times but ultimately uplifting. Ivan's observations on humans had me laughing as well as crying at the senseless cruelty that is meted out to  animals.

 

Written in Red - Anne Bishop  Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop  Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop  

 

The Others series is the book equivalent of crack. I literally can't get enough even though this series should bug the shit out of me, it works. I never expected to like this series as much as I have and I'm grateful to the BL peeps who put up such great reviews that piqued my interest.

 

Gilded Needles (Valancourt 20th Century Classics) - Christopher Fowler,Michael McDowell,Mike Mignola 

 

1880s New York, a power struggle between Black Lena and the upper class Stallworths begins as the Stallworths sentence 3 of Lena's family members to be hanged.

I loved the period feel to this read, there was a lot of detail that went into each area, the dirty, debauchery of The Black Triangle which contrasted sharply with the sterile elegance of Washington Square.

This tale of revenge was brutal and shocking but I still felt myself cheering Lena on.

 

Birthdays for the Dead - Stuart MacBride 

 

Gritty and disturbing as most of Macbrides work is, this was still able to deliver a gut punch at the end that left me reeling. Scottish noir at it's best.

 

The 45% Hangover [A Logan and Steel novella] (Kindle Single) - Stuart MacBride 

 

A novella that highlights the relationship between Logan Macrae and DCI Steel who find themselves in a tricky but hilarious situation.

 

Close to the Bone - Stuart MacBride 

 

Although this book had me disliking the caricature that DCI Steel is becoming it was still a strong read for me. I do feel sorry for poor Logan and hope that Macbride gives him a happier home life at some point.

 

The Elementals - Michael Rowe,Michael McDowell 

 

Creepy and something I couldn't read when it got dark as it was freaking me out too much. Amazing to think how much horror you can get out of sand and a dysfunctional family.

Simple but very effective

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review 2016-11-14 19:36
Written in Red
Written in Red - Anne Bishop

There were things I liked, and things that bugged, but the likeable content far outweighed the rest.

 

I love the world this is set in. I have read books that have a variety of paranormal characters, but so much of what Anne Bishop has created here is unique. I have really developed a liking for so many of these characters. I absolutely love a character named Tess, and another named Winter. They have some amazing, wicked, scary powers. Also I like that there isn't graphic sex, or much romance to speak of. It was a welcome change from what I have grown to expect from this genre. So many books in this category use it as a filler to make the page number increase, not saying that I am not a fan of using it, but this was nice for a change. I don't know what to expect from future books, they may or may not follow suite.

 

I do think that was maybe a bit too much of the book spent reading about the main character doing her job of basically "mail sorter," or Human Liason. I much would have preferred read about the amazing characters, and their extraordinary powers.

 

I will definitely continue this series as soon as my library copy is available.

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