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.
This was my first foray into an Anne Bishop novel (I know, I know!) and I absolutely devoured it. The premise turned everything we know about urban fantasy on it’s head. In this world humans are weak and vulnerable they do as they are told and stay where they are told. The Others (being the paranormal creatures we are used to seeing lurking in the dark) rule the world and hold the keys to the kingdom so to speak.
Meg Corbyn has escaped from her owner, as a Cassandra Sangue, a blood prophet, she has even less rights than a standard human, essentially a slave she has been used for her psychic abilities. Now that she has escaped she has no intention of going back even if that means working for The Others.
As I read this novel there were things I expected to happen, things that would fit the formula of an urban fantasy cum paranormal romance. But Written in Red didn’t cross that line. It stayed firmly in urban fantasy, with some fast-paced action, heavy suspense, and strong world and character building neither of which overlapped on the story which was full of emotion.
There were a variety of threats from different angles, making this multi-dimensional and meaning as a reader you didn’t know where the attack may come from exactly. It made reading much more enjoyable and interesting than just waiting for “that” person to make their move.
Meg was a wonderful character, she was strong but still showed immense weakness that was relevant given her trauma. Her vulnerability was something she didn’t like to show but it would come out at times and with certain characters as her trust built. I felt a real affinity with her which only grew as I got to know her more as the book progressed.
Simon is the leader of the Others in the Lakeside community, a werewolf who lets Meg live and work in the community. He is strong and I felt Anne Bishop shows strongly he is a wolf through and through, even when he is in human form the wolf is always there, he never forgets who is is first and foremost.
Whilst this doesn’t slip into being a paranormal romance, it is clear there could be a romance element in future books. I don’t think this would overwhelm or take away from a main storyline though. Anne Bishop has very carefully woven the underlying elements of what could be a romantic storyline into the book but it is subtle and not a main part of the story.
I haven’t enjoyed an urban fantasy this much for quite some time, I will definitely be getting the second book in this series as soon as I can and will be checking out more Anne Bishop novels very soon.
Book & Buy Links
Title: Written in Red
Series: The Others #1
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Vampires | Werewolves
Publication Date: 5 March 2013
Review Format: eBook
Other Formats: Paperback | Audio | Hardcover
Buy: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository |