Let me just start out here by saying that this sort of book isn’t usually my cup of tea. It has elements of all sorts of things I don’t go for: fantasy, paranormal, and for god’s sake, it even had HANDSOME WEREWOLVES.
But I really, really ended up liking this book. Thanks to Malin, who reviewed it for CBR5, when I saw it at the library I decided to give it a go. It took me about 100 pages to get into it, and up until that point I kept wondering if maybe I should just put it aside and move on to the next book in the constantly growing TBR pile. And then…something just clicked for me. And by the end, I was disappointed that I didn’t have more to read, and googling the author to find out when the next book was coming out.
Quick overview: Meg is a runaway looking for protection from a mysterious someone who is trying to return her back to where she came from. She finds shelter in the local “courtyard” — a section of each city set aside for the Others (werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters, and all kinds of other spirits who were the original settlers of the earth, way before humans). In the town of Lakeside, the Others are making a bit of an effort to live alongside the humans. The Others run businesses (like a cute book store and cafe combo, I would totally go there if I lived in Lakeside), hire human employees, and try really hard not to eat their customers.
Meg stumbles into the courtyard and sees a Help Wanted sign in the bookstore window. The courtyard is looking for a Human Liaison to the Others — someone to sort their mail, accept all of their deliveries, and get packages where they need to go inside the gates.
Oh, and it turns out that Meg isn’t your typical human. She is a blood prophet (i.e., she has visions of the future when she is cut) and is worth unknown sums of money to her owners. That’s why there’s a huge manhunt underway for her.
But Meg charms the Others and falls under their protection. She particularly charms little Sam (a werewolf boy so traumatized by his mother’s death that he lives in a cage and won’t change back into a boy), and his uncle Simon, who runs the courtyard. Simon, who just so happens to be very handsome and temperamental. Simon, who has no need for humans. Simon, who inexplicably finds himself drawn to Meg, and suddenly becomes willing to risk everything for her.
I loved the weird little world that Anne Bishop created. Not quite our world, but similar enough to understand easily enough. I enjoyed the characters (especially the Others and their disgust with humans) and wanted to know more about them. And I particularly liked the lack of romance here (but I’m not so sure I’ll be able to say that about future volumes in this series). Everyone loved Meg for who she was and what she did, not for what she looked like.
I’ve looked over Anne Bishop’s other books and I’m not convinced that I’ll look into her other stuff, but I’ll continue with these books for sure.