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

Rating: ***** / 5 out of 5
Genres: Adult/Young Adult, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Published March 5, 2013 by NAL Hardcover
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As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

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If one mere sentence could sum up Written in Red by Anne Bishop, it’s this:

BEST PARANORMAL BOOK, EVER!!!

Holy. Crap. I’m not kidding. I’ve grown tired of most of today’s so-called Paranormal books, because they mostly use the same overused elements over and over again. It doesn’t help the fact that a lot of them portray creatures such as Vampires and Werewolves… in a… not-so menacing way, as they should be. I’m not pointing fingers to what those books are, but most of you get my drift, yeah? In this book, such creatures and many more are really in their original elements – Werewolves are capable of eating men, Vampires really do suck blood – and painfully at that, the seasons are personified and if you tick one of them off, be ready to experience Nature’s wrath… and so many more that it becomes a whole, new, interesting world!

For some odd, otherworldly reason, it’s really hard for me to write a review about this book. Have any of you ever felt that words are not enough to describe the euphoria that was experienced? That a paragraph here or two cannot give it justice? Yeah, that’s the kind of feeling I have right now, and while it is a positive thing, I feel a bit frustrated because I want people to read this book. I want people to witness and experience the same happiness and exhilaration this book gave me. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to convince you guys of giving this gem a chance, but I’ll try.

Okay, so in this book, the world is divided into two factions – the Human Beings and the Others, the latter consisting of beings like Wolves (werewolves) that hunt in packs, a family of powerful Vampires who can easily suck you dry, the different seasons personified, and other Paranormal beings. Both sides have created a truce in order to co-exist. The Others won’t harm the Human Beings as long as the Humans give tribute to them. In order to make sure that such promises are upheld, the Others take on human forms, but will not hesitate to transform at will if situations call for it.

But there’s also another kind of being going about called Blood Prophets, humans who can see the future when they are cut and blood flows out. Meg is one of them, and she’s running away from the people who’ve used her and held her captive, and she found solace and “protection” in the turf of these Others as their Human Liaison.

I think one of the factors that made me really, really like this book was the way the relationships, be it romantic or platonic, were written between the characters. They were just handled so well and so naturally, that I couldn’t help but feel an attachment to each and every one of them. Others are wary of Humans and vice versa, so it was so refreshing to see the wall between the two factions crumble and fade as the former adjust and be touched by the heroine’s innate innocence and kindness. It’s like, I don’t know, witnessing a cold and stony heart learn to love again. Meg is absolutely endearing and adorable, and the little things she does out of goodwill to the creatures that have not been treated as such by the other Humans, were so captivating and heartwarming, that I couldn’t help but feel happy and warm myself. You even feel for the side characters, plenty as they are. They’re all so characterized uniquely, each having a personality of their own, that there were times I actually looked forward to seeing them again. Now that’s a feat not easily accomplished!

Usually, I don’t like multiple POVs, but it really worked here. In this book, you get to see the story from various perspectives – from Simon, the Wolf leader; Henry, the Spirit Bear; even from antagonists such as Asia Crane! It’s really well written, and I cannot stress enough how the narration was so delicious to consume – I could eat spoonfuls of it! Absolutely musical and perfect. Sigh. You guys have no idea how this book is making me want to read the next installment NOW. The deaths were exceptionally written as well. The author has a wild imagination, and there are times that I wish I thought of them myself. Anne Bishop is seriously one of the best writers I’ve ever encountered. I am not worthy ;-;

Overall, this is a story with many beautiful themes worth noting – friendship, love, family, and of course, growing up – for both Meg and the Others who’ve lived since time immemorial. Compelling. Haunting. Engaging. This book will keep you up all night for many reasons, and you’ll be sad when it’s over.

 
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Faye

Faye

A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena

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  1. says

    I’m so not into paranormal…. But I trust the books you like so, if I see it in the library I’ll check it out. But I’m not buying it!

    • says

      Awww! I’m not into paranormal, either, but this one was just so good! You’ll see ;p Check back when you read it! Interested to know what you think ^^

  2. says

    Everything I see tells me I NEED this. I love PNR and UF, but so many of them are repetitive that I’ve gotten wary. But you promise this is not that AND it has multiple POVs done right. WANT.

    • says

      YES. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE. YOU NEED TO GET THIS ONE – ASAP!!!

      My friend from GR just ordered hers after reading my review, and she’s a tough one to crack. And what happened? She loved it as well! :> That speaks volumes!

  3. laila bc says

    So much for this book <3 this was recommended so highly over at goodreads by a friend of mine and i was so glad i gave it a chance. like you i was so engrossed..i love how they all bandied to protect their little human Meg like she is really one of them. i think Simon is going to thaw up more for Meg. thank you for this review. It needs to be recommended more!