Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

etched-in-bone-by-anne-bishopEtched in Bone by Anne Bishop

The Others, #5

Publication date: March 7, 2017

e-ARC (from NetGalley and the publisher)

–All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Urban Fantasy

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

……………………

I’ve read books by Anne Bishop for at least ten years. She’s one of my favorite fantasy authors. And I’ve read all the books in the series–and enjoyed them all.

World building

World building is so important for any fantasy and Anne Bishop does an excellent job in this series. It’s a very imaginative and unique alternate version of Earth (called Namid). There are vampires and werewolves (as well as other supernatural beings), but they are so different from any I’ve read about before.

The Others–the terra indigene–are a separate predatory species. They are very different from humans–part of the essence of Namid–and humans have to work with The Others to get natural resources (such as water). The Others appreciate the cleverness of humans, but throughout history humans seem to forget over and over that the Others are at the top of the food chain. During this series the dominant question: Does the cleverness of humans provide enough reason to keep humans alive when some humans keep forgetting who The Others are and humans try to become the dominant species on earth? Another important question in the series: Are some of The Others becoming too much like humans?

Favorite characters

There are so many great characters in these books: Simon, Meg, Sam, Vlad, Captain Burke, Lieutenant Montgomery, Tess, the Elders, the Ponies and many more.

I really like how Meg Corbyn has grown and changed throughout this series. At the beginning of the series she was very much alone–without friends and with difficulty managing to survive outside the compound where she was owned by humans who used her for prophecies. She has managed to overcome so much in these books, but hasn’t lost her ability to form friendships and trust others or to keep learning. She’s truly courageous. And she has changed the world!

Simon Wolfgard is also a great character. He has also changed a lot in the course of the books and that’s been fun to see. Sometimes he wishes he hadn’t changed so much. Life was much simpler before he had friends who are human. Things aren’t as simple now that he can’t think of all humans as meat.

My thoughts

I like the fact that Meg and Simon are so special to each other. But I also like that these books aren’t romances. Individuals have relationships–sometimes friendships, sometimes more than that. The focus isn’t the romance or friendship, but the fact that these can exist between some of The Others and some of the humans. Namid has changed and will continue to change. I like that!

I thought this book did a great job finishing up the series. I can imagine the characters going about their lives. I like that not every single thread is knotted neatly. People’s lives are messy and don’t always go smoothly.

I read on Anne Bishop’s Facebook page that she’s working on a new series set in the same world. That sounds great!

Rating: A

Have you read this book or any of the books in this series? How did you like it?

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Waiting on Wednesday: July 13

I am participating in Waiting on Wednesday hosted by Breaking the Spine. This gives me a chance to show books that will be published in the next few months which I’m looking forward to reading.

Check out Breaking the Spine for more information.

………………………..

etched-in-boneEtched in Bone

by Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #5

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publication date: March 7

Synopsis: After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

…………………………

The reasons this book appeals to me:
  • The Others series is one of my favorites.
  • Anne Bishop is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read many of her books through the years.
  • I’m looking forward to what happens next with Meg and the Lakeside Courtyard.

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

marked-in-flesh-anne-bishopMarked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #4
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Setting: Lakeside
Published by Penguin/Roc, 2016
Format: e-Arc (Release Date: March 8)
–I received a review copy of this book from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
416 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…

Initial impressions

  • Loved it! I read this book so fast! Now I have a long wait for the next one. . . .

The story

  • Despite losses by the Humans First and Last (HFL) group in earlier books they are still determined to defeat the Others so they can claim more land.
  • What the HFL doesn’t understand is that the Others who interact with humans are the tip of the iceberg. The Others humans don’t see are much more powerful and scary and don’t have or want any understanding with humans.
  • Simon Wolfgard (leader of the Lakeside Courtyard and wolf shifter) wonders at times during this book “how much human is too much human?”

Pluses

  • This series is the other reason March is one of my favorite months. Along with Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series this is one of my other favorite series.
  • I love the world building in this series. It’s a different type of urban fantasy than many others. Our world is somewhat recognizable, but the Others are the ones in charge instead of humans. Also the Others are different from many other urban fantasy “fantasy” characters.
  • This book pushes the story ahead. Many of the things the earlier books have set up come to fruition in this book.
  • Meg grows in this book as she looks for new ways to make prophecies without cutting herself.
  • This books goes beyond the Lakeside Courtyard to other parts of the world.
  • I especially like the relationship and friendship between Simon and Meg as well as the way some humans and the Others are finding common ground.

Minuses

  • Lots of POV in this book. I would like one of the future books to focus more on Meg. I want to see more growth in her.

And concluding thoughts . . .

  • This book came out this week and it’s a winner. I like where the story is going and look forward to the next book.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop is the winner of the RT Book Reviews 2013 Career Achievement Award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. She is also the winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for the Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel is Vision in Silver, the third book in Anne’s urban fantasy series set in a re-imagined Earth. When she’s not communing with the Others, Anne enjoys gardening, reading, and music.

Reading Challenges

Review: Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

visions-in-silverVision in Silver
by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #3
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Penguin Publishing Group, 2015
Library book
400 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: The Others freed the  cassandra sangue  to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

You can’t change the constant things!” Meg screamed.

Merri Lee stared for a long moment. Then she stepped forward and placed her hand over Meg’s. “Calm down. The CDs are back where they belong. Breathe, Meg. Just breathe.”

Breathe. She could breathe. Simple. Routine.

and

Why couldn’t they just give the human female a bag of money and then pee on the building so that everyone would know it was theirs?

Cheers

  • I really like this series. It’s interesting to see where Ms. Bishop is taking the story with each book.
  • I like the way the Others are portrayed. We find out more about some of the more wild Others in this book.
  • The Others call humans “clever meat.” Not great for humans!
  • Simon Wolfgard’s life has become more complicated since he and the Others have gotten to know Meg who has become “Our Meg.”
  • Simon’s not human, but he finds himself wondering; “If the terra indigene who work in Courtyards [might] become too human [for the Others who never take human shape], do we become the enemy?” He is getting more and more tangled up in human affairs.
  • This series is different and unique.
  • Meg is becoming more her own person, but she has so many challenges. She still needs to cut sometimes, but she has responsibilities now to try to help other cassandra sangue and it’s difficult for her to find her balance.
  • I like the way Ms. Bishop writes: I can visualize so much through her writing.
  • I like the humor in the book. Often it is the things the Others don’t understand about humans. Sometimes that ends badly for humans, but sometimes it’s funny: ” ‘…We are piss-in-the-pants scared….’ Simon stopped himself from ducking under the table and taking a sniff, but the aborted motion made Steve smile.”

Jeers

  • As more happens throughout the world–especially the human world–less time is spent on the day-to-day world of Meg and Simon and the Others living in the Courtyard. I miss that. But to tell this story it’s necessary to tell the ramifications of the many actions of both humans and the Others.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • I want to know what’s going to happen next!

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Author info

  • Anne Bishop is the author of the widely acclaimed Black Jewels novels as well as other fantasy books including The Others series. She lives in upstate New York and when she isn’t writing she might be gardening.

Reading Challenges

Review: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

murder-of-crowsMurder of Crows
by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others, Book 2
Genre: Fantasy
Published by Roc, 2014
E-book, Purchased
369 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.

The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.

As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

“The cow-shaped cookies have a beef flavoring, the turkey-shaped cookies have a poultry flavoring, and…”

Jane held up one of the cookies. “Human-flavored?”

Meg stifled a sigh. That would be the first thing on her feedback list: don’t make people-shaped cookies. The Wolves were way too interested and all of them leaped to a logical, if disturbing, expectation about the taste.

and

“Human females, they’re kind of crazy during this time aren’t they?”

“If you chose to believe the stories written by male writers.” Vlad replied.

They heard a bang and thump from the kitchen, followed by Meg yelling at something.

Simon sighed. “That many males can’t be wrong.”

Likes

  • Lots of humor, but also darkness.
  • I continue to love Meg. She loves interracting with humans and the Others. She still doesn’t always understand why people and the Others react the way they do, but she’s learning and she’s completely loyal.
  • Simon is the leader of Lakeside so he has lots of responsibilities, but he also finds a fun-loving side with Meg–as well as a completely puzzled side when he deals with her. This is new to him since he never cared enough about humans to try to puzzle out why they react the way they do.
  • The terra indigene are especially interesting. They’re loyal to their friends and implacable to their enemies.
  • Great world building. With this book Ms. Bishop increases our knowledge of the world and introduces new characters.
  • There’s tension between the humans and the Others…talk about understatement!

Dislikes

  • I don’t dislike anything about this book.

Thoughts

I like the first book a little better than this one, but really only a little…maybe because the world Anne Bishop creates in the first book is so unique and the newness wore off some in this book, but still this book is such fun to read.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?

Reading Challenges

I’m participating in the Book Bingo reading challenge for this book.2014-bingo-challenge-01