Author Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others, #1
Release date: March 5th 2013
Publisher: Penguin Audio
No one creates realms like New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.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.
I am, first and foremost, an urban fantasy reader. On the secluded island that is my mind, a new series as good as The Others is more rare and more coveted than a fresh batch of blueberry muffins. And I do love my blueberry muffins. It should be mentioned that Written in Red leans more towards the fantasy part of urban fantasy. In fact, if we take the strictest definition, it’s not urban fantasy at all. But it’s a thin line, and Bishop’s world so unique that I see no point in making the distinction.
In Written in Red, we familiarize ourselves with Thasia and its inhabitants. In Thasia, Others live in compounds where they govern themselves. Human laws don’t apply. Their contact with humans is extremely limited, which is for the best. Any human who breaks a law of the Others ends up eaten or worse. Humans (or monkeys, as the terra indigene call them) have access to a few stores and restaurants, but they aren’t allowed to go anywhere near the residential complexes where the Wolfguards, Hawkguards, Crowguards, Sanguinati and other clans live.
The terra indigene are not human. They are supernatural creatures that acquired human skin because it suited them for some reason. If visitors to the courtyard expect them to react and behave like humans, they are most likely to get eaten. The Others don’t advertise the fact that they all eat special meat, but they don’t try too hard to hide it either. To them, humans are monkeys, and they only tolerate them because there are certain human inventions and products they enjoy.
“But what would they have said to their Liaison? It’s like this, Meg. We didn’t like that Asia Crane, so we ate her.Meg Corbin, a blood prophet and the courtyard’s human liaison, is not your typical urban fantasy heroine. She is physically weak from being imprisoned all her life and her knowledge and social skills come from carefully selected photographs and video clips. Until she escaped, she wasn’t allowed to talk unless she was speaking a prophecy. But despite her obvious weaknesses, there is a certain strength in her quiet, persistent ways, a steel spine in her small, fragile body. And unlike all the other humans, she doesn’t smell like prey.
When dealing with humans, honesty isn’t always the best policy, Vlad thought”
The narrator’s voice has a very pleasant timbre and her voice characterization is excellent. Simon Wolfguard is a true alpha male if there ever was one (notice how I wrote male but not man!), and getting his voice just right was no small feat, yet Harris gave him just the right amount of growl and menace without making it seem like she was trying too hard. 18 hours is a very long time to spend listening to a single person, but Harris made it very easy. In the future, I won’t hesitate to pick up any audiobook she narrated.
I can’t believe I have to wait a whole year for Murder of Crows to come out. Just thinking about it is painful. But I do know I’ll wait for the audio, if they keep the same narrator. This is another book I can already add to my ‘Best of 2013’ list.