*Review for books 1-4, ongoing thoughts about the series so far. More books to be published*
Author: Anne Bishop
Genres: older young adult(?) –> adult fiction // paranormal > shifters, vampires, elementals // slow-burn romance
A Written in Red synopsis for your curious minds. The next books are Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, and Marked in Flesh.
THIS REVIEW IS SPOILER FREE, ASIDE FROM THE LITTLE TIDBIT ABOUT THE ROMANCE…is it really a spoiler, though? *shrugs*
This series is wonderful. I couldn’t recommend this enough for people who enjoy these types of books.
This series is basically about war. Not a spoiler! It’s the entire theme. It’s like an escalation. It gets heavier as the books progress. It is a slower progression to allow for the development of the characters, for you to really get to know them. Which I found important because as you grow to care for characters, laugh at the humor peppered about, fear for those loved characters, and hate others, you realize it’s because you could learn about them that you can experience that rollercoaster.
I love so many of the characters. Simon likes to just snap & snarl at everything that annoys him and it’s quite humorous. And cute sometimes. I really adore Simon. He is kind in his own way, endearing in his snappish behavior, and you can tell he wants to protect his courtyard, his home. I’m glad Meg has him to help and protect her as she learns how to live her life; as she learns how to work out safer ways to be a blood prophet for her and the other girls. Henry is (literally & figuratively) like a giant teddy bear, unless you really piss him off. He always has an underlying wild to him, but he’s so wise and caring toward the courtyard residents. (Really, all of them have constant underlying wild to them.) Vlad just seems like he’d be a sexy, snarky friend.
And the ELEMENTALS. It’s so exciting when they are pissed off. I love their ponies.
And in in the 4th book, you meet the Elders. Look forward to that.
Seriously, though, the characters are awesome. They are friends even if they can’t admit it. Watching the terra indigene figuring humans out, learning human behavior is so entertaining. Their confusion is hilarious and the humans frequently don’t realize that they are actually very weird to these beings. As well as the humor with the humans figuring out the Others’ way of life. And at times it may seem that they continue to become ever more ‘human’, but there are plenty of moments (both humorous and not) to kill those thoughts.
“Vlad hated doing the paperwork as much as he did when a human employee quit, which was why they’d both made a promise not to eat quitters just to avoid the paperwork. As Tess had pointed out, eating the staff was bad for morale and made it so much harder to find new employees.” -Written in Red
“’Okay. I picked up a movie to watch tonight. You can watch it with me if you like. It’s a chick movie. Merri Lee said that means girls like it, not that there are small birds in it.’” -Murder of Crows
The main conflict throughout the books is basically a war between the terra indigene and humans. In my opinion, some aspects of humanity are portrayed. Throughout, we see greed, lots of greed, from the humans. They feel that they are entitled to what they don’t have. They find someone to blame; in this case, the Others. They are so fueled by hate and greed, they will move to such violent tactics. You will grow to hate so many humans in these books. Because you start to care about the terra indigene and want them left alone. But there are good aspects of humanity shown in the Courtyard human pack and even in the Others. The kindness in Meg and her female pack, the help of Burke and his policemen.
The writing style isn’t special, sometimes even YA or younger sounding, but Bishop knows how to tell a story regardless! I mean, that would be my only flak to give to this, but let me tell you that it really doesn’t even bother except for a couple of repetitive things (that can actually be very repetitive) and slower parts. For example: always mentioning when someone, much like Simon, “can’t pass for human”. Otherwise, the story and characters grab me and don’t let go throughout. Makes it easy to overlook those flaws.
“There’s nothing in my fur, is there?”
Simon gave the other Wolf a careful look. “No boogers.”
“Good. I hate washing boogers out of fur.”
“Who doesn’t? What comes out of human noses is disgusting.” -Vision in Silver
And my craving to see Meg’s and Simon’s relationship blossom is strong.
*WARNING: this is a slow-burn romance; don’t grab it looking for insta-love and sex*
That is the reason for my strange ‘YA –> Adult’ thing in Genres above. The characters are adults, some discussions of sexual-related topics, and violence, but nothing explicit enough yet to warrant a full Adult label, I think.
The end of Marked in Flesh definitely left a hint that the romance will speed up. Which I hope is true, because, honestly, Bishop can only take their naiveté so far before readers get tired of it and realize that they can’t stay that clueless forever. I perfectly understand that Meg doesn’t have any romantic experience and can only fear men along with Simon just not having any experience with human females. But we’re getting to the 5th book in the series, a couple of characters already realize their love for each other, so I think it’s about time we expanded more on that. Or maybe I’m just impatient because they are too darn cute *shrugs*
So this series so far is a joy to read. I can’t wait for the next book. Her books seem to progressively get darker and bloodier. So I really wonder what Bishop could possibly have planned for the next installment.
“There was no mercy in the wild country, and no safety in the dark.” -Marked in Flesh
This review seems vague to me… Maybe it’s because I’m trying to talk about what I think of all 4 books so far. Sorry if it seems that way to you, too, but it’s rather difficult to get more specific without having to go through each book. Didn’t want this to be excruciatingly long. Plus, the 4th installment is the freshest in my mind.
I recommend this series if you like:
- Shapeshifters & Elementals that aren’t as nice, by any means, as some of the YA stuff and it’s so much fun
- Violence with blood & brutality because when they’re pissed, they don’t hold back, not to mention the whole bloody war thing
- Slow-burn romance with focus on characters and plot
- If you want to end up wanting humans dead along with the Others because THESE BOOKS WILL DRAW OUT YOUR WRATH (seems awful, but it’s fiction *shrugs*)
QUESTION: do you have a favorite type of terra indigene? Or a favorite character?
‘Til next time, worms (of books)!
Are you reading this series? What do you think of it? Comment below! (Careful of spoilers, though)
~Photo from Google~