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Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop (The Others #1)

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Written in Red by Anne Bishop // VBC ReviewWritten in Red (The Others #1)
Anne Bishop
Published: March 5, 2013 (NAL)
Purchase at: Book Depository or Amazon

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 4.5 stars

Written in Red takes place in a modern, alternate reality where Others, or terra indigene, dominate over the humans. Luckily Anne Bishop provides a little “history of the world” introduction to explain things a little. The Others are the ruling faction in Thaisia (what we consider America). In the beginning all that humans were to Others was meat (literally). Over time, the Others have come to understand the usefulness of the humans, and in turn, the humans have become clever in their dealings with Others. Although there is an uneasy truce between them, they both recognize the benefits of each other. Regardless, if a human crosses an Other, you won’t hear from that human again.

Meg is a human, but not just any human she is a cassandra sangue, or a blood prophet. Written in Red opens with Meg running away from the compound where she has been kept since her birth. Cassandra sangue blood is very valuable and so they are kept as property. They don’t get to interact with the outside world. The only reason they receive good education is so they know how to describe their visions. They are provided for in every way. Many would say this is a fair trade for their blood, but not all. Meg has a vision that shows her how to escape, and she takes it, but it also may mean her death.

I was really impressed with the world Bishop created. At first it was a little complicated because it does take place in modern time and I was trying to acclimate it to our world, but it is its own world with its own set of rules. The big cities have courtyards where the Others live and do business so they can enforce the rules. Meg is hired as the liaison because the Others recognize the fact that some humans only want to interact with other humans.

The story moves along at a leisurely pace dealing mainly with Meg and her new role as liaison in the courtyard working her way around the Others. She’s still cassandra sangue, however, and she still has visions. We don’t know when the visions will play themselves out and oftentimes they are little more than a scattering of images. The book builds with the anticipation of when/where we’ll see Meg’s vision come to pass. There’s also the fact that Meg’s former keepers are not happy that she escaped and are willing to go to extreme measures to get her returned.

I liked Meg. She’s naive and vulnerable, but she’s also smart, and this lends itself to her learning the ins and outs of navigating in the courtyard. The Others kind of adopt Meg in their own way and become very protective of her. She brings a freshness to their world because the Others are also unfamiliar with humans. They don’t like to interact too closely with humans and at times it’s endearing and funny to see them trying to accommodate her.

I don’t think I’ve read another shifter book where they were so completely animalistic. They only wear their human skin in order to interact with humans, if they had it their way they would be in their animal form all the time. They are gruesome in that they don’t hide the fact that you will be their food should you choose to break a rule. So it’s interesting to see them become a little more human in the process of learning about “the Meg,” as they sometimes call her.

The story in contained in this book, but there are overall conflicts that will be touched upon as the series goes on. Also, while there is no romance in this book, the potential is there. I look forward to seeing how everything develops.

Sexual content: References to sex

10 Responses to “Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop (The Others #1)”

  1. Colleen says:

    I just picked this up at the library today. Really looking forward to read it, esp. after the review.

    • Amy M says:

      I had originally gotten my copy from the library as well, but ended up buying for my Kindle about half way through the book. I knew it was something I would want to read again.

  2. AJRider says:

    I just finished reading the book for the second time.. The first one was last night.. I haven’t read such an interesting book, that knows how to keep you interested during the whole book.. There wasn’t any part of the book that was boring, a part where I said that I can skip, and believe that is so difficult to find these days.. I didn’t have any question unanswered and yet I can’t wait for the second book to come out.. If anyone is still thinking about reading, you should find some time and start it.. You won’t put it down until the end..

    • Amy M says:

      I, too, couldn’t find a moment where I felt I could or wanted to skip through. The entire world building was done so well and so interesting. I was very impressed with it.

  3. Athena W says:

    I adored this novel. I have already reread it a couple of times

  4. I loved this book and I was glad to have found a new author. This book was amazing 🙂

  5. melliane says:

    Everyone loves this book, I really need to read it too!

  6. snapdragon says:

    I picked this up from the library also…I have read it 3 times so far and I was able to renew it again. There is just something intangable about the world and the story that just makes me go back to it. I now have it on my wish list to buy. It is a wonderful book and I really want the second novel to come out soon. (I know that won’t happen, but a girl can wish right?)

    • Amy M says:

      I cannot wait for the second book to come out too. When I read your comment I realized I didn’t know when the expected publication would be, so I looked it up, and it should be March 2014. So not really soon, but the way things go, it’ll be here sooner than we think.

  7. Lori A Hill says:

    I like “Win It Wednesday”, and it’s a definite improvement with our being given the option of e-book or paper. I just don’t have room for books anymore, but I must have them to feed my reading addiction!

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