Posts Tagged ‘Anne Bishop


Did you know that wolves and vampires don’t like cottage cheese? Its neither cheesy nor tasty. CBR9 Review 22.

Unknown-1This was the fifth (and final?) book in the Others series, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. There were some nice developments — mostly about what it means to be a family, which I liked.

But. But. But.

Things that didn’t bother me in the previous books — constant repetition of non-important details and sexism, mostly — really, really, really bugged the hell out of me this time.

This book had at least four separate discussions about cottage cheese. I nearly couldn’t take it.

But what was slightly interesting this time, is that Anne Bishop actually talked about the elephant in the room. She had the characters discuss why they are so obsessed with the mundane details of day-to-day life — because your day-to-day life doesn’t stop when there’s a crisis, and its hard to balance between the two. I get that. Really. I just don’t need to read anymore entries into who was buying a pizza and who made lasagna and who had meatloaf sandwiches for dinner.

As for the sexism, it was crazy worse in this book. MEN do this. WOMEN do this. MEN eat the food. WOMEN prepare the food. MEN eat meat. WOMEN eat cottage cheese. MEN are rational. WOMEN are exploding fluffballs.

There was also a totally offensive scene with LITTLE KIDS that was more or less a sexual assault and absolutely disgusted me.

It nearly ruined the entire series for me.

This book took nearly 200 pages to get even remotely interesting. And the interesting part — to me, anyways — probably wasn’t the part that Bishop intended. I’m pretty sure she wanted us to be all-in on the eventual crash and burn of Monty’s ne’er-do-well brother, That Cyrus.

She created this horrible (seriously, file him and his AWFUL family under stock villain characters) antagonist. He was crude and vulgar and disgusting in every single way. But he didn’t interest me really. Not until the last 50 pages.

What interested me were three things (and these really aren’t spoilers).

  1. Miss Twyla (Monty’s mother) chose the wolf pack as her family instead of choosing any of her own flesh and blood. She chose to be the grandmother to Sam and Skippy, and she loved them like she loved her own grandchildren.
  2. Skippy fascinated me this time. His fierce need to be included in pack activities almost (not quite) brought tears to my eyes.
  3. Captain Burke was really the focal point of the human characters in this book, as opposed to Monty. I really liked some of the things he had to say and some of the things he did to prove himself a worthy human.

We learned a lot about what kind of man Captain Burke was, and how he didn’t necessarily think that an “other” tearing apart a human was any worse than what humans do to each other on a daily basis. He had a nice (well, not nice, but important) monologue toward the end, really symbolizing the entire human/other relationship, saying:

When you’re a cop serving in a small human village within the wild country, sometimes you make hard choices that you wouldn’t — couldn’t — make in a human-controlled city. And you look the truth in the face when its fangs are bared and its fur is smeared with the blood of the prey you had gone out to talk to that morning. But you’d taken a walk beyond the village lights the night before, and you were mulling things over out loud about how to handle a difficult situation, about the nice woman who had a broken arm again, how her mate beat her but she was too frightened to say anything against him so there was nothing you could do, and that was a shame because she really was a nice woman who had shown a couple of terra indigene females how to mend clothes, which is what started the argument that ended with her arm being broken, along with a couple of fingers to keep her from doing any mending for a while. And when you go to talk to the man the next morning and discover he isn’t home, you follow the game trail behind his house and you come upon a savaged, partially eaten body and you look the truth in the face — not the truth that has fangs and fur but the hard truth about yourself, that you’re just as dangerous as the beings the rest of the people fear but you can’t afford to be as honest about it. You can’t tell those people that you’ll make deals with what they fear in order to keep them safe from the monsters who look just like them.

Here’s a few spoilers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

The Elders who have been hiding out in the courtyard and have taken an interest in Meg, conduct a social experiment. They demand that Cyrus be allowed to live there and keep doing shady and illegal things without consequence. They want to see how it effects the rest of the humans. But when Cyrus abducts Meg, thinking her prophecy will be his meal ticket, all hell breaks loose. Of course, Meg is rescued, but not without damage. Cyrus was cruel and vulgar. He cut her many times and almost raped her. He was disgusting. The crows eat his eyes in the end.

Also, Meg and Simon decide to be mates. But they do not actually mate, for those of you who may have been waiting for that sort of thing. But they kiss, and its all good.

In the end, I’m glad I read this series. I liked most of it, but this last one was really a grind for me.

4 stars for the series. 3 for this one.



This wasn’t my favorite entry in the series, but I still can’t wait to find out where its going. CBR8 review 43.

unknown-5Marked in Flesh is the fourth in a series of books, so really, if you haven’t read any of these yet, I can’t imagine that this would be a good place to start. This book is honestly just filler — the major plot points have already been laid out, most of the main characters have been introduced, its just marking time until some of the larger conflicts occur in future installments.

Here’s the main thing about these books. I know that these Anne Bishop novels about “the Others” have been extraordinarily divisive amongst Cannonballers.

Some have complained about the tedious, monotonous details that are described regarding the every day activities of the characters — they go to the store, they make phone calls, they fill out forms, they wait for the mailman. I don’t mind the details, as I think they are there for a reason…I like seeing the Others attempting to adjust to the basics of human life, and I appreciate the way that Meg uses her routine as a way to ease into her new world, away from the other Cassandra Sangue.

Others have argued that these books are sexist and that Meg is a “Mary Sue.” And really, I don’t want to get into that argument. Personally, I don’t feel that way, but I can surely see how some may. I think that the Others may treat Meg as less dominant than they are, but I don’t see that as sexism, I see it as more like “survival of the fittest”. The Others are still closer to animal than human, and that would be their instinct. Again, this is just my opinion, and I certainly don’t disagree with any of the problems others have had with these books. I just haven’t been bothered by it.

The bottom line for me, is that these books entertain me. I want to know more about Simon and Vlad and their world. I’m curious to see how the humans and the Others are going to interact in the future. And after this book, I’m definitely on board to see what happens with “the Elders”. If this isn’t your thing, that’s ok with me.

I will say that this was my least favorite of the books so far. I had a hard time getting into the story this time, and it wasn’t until about half-way through that things actually started to happen. But once things got moving, I was all in.


I will say that I’m not too sure how I feel about a potential romance between Simon and Meg. Its clear to me that they love each other, and want to “be together” but I’m not sure to what extent. I’m both glad and nervous that Simon doesn’t see that adding a sexual component to their relationship as as big deal as Meg does.


I’ll keep reading these books and am curious to see what’s going to happen between the humans and the Others. But I hope that the next book has a little less “detail” and a little more action.





I love these books. But, hey, what exactly was silver? CBR7 Review 18.

UnknownI know there’s been quite a difference of opinion on this series, but I’m going to side with Malin here. This is my favorite current series of books. I’m a little bit in love with them.

A Vision in Silver is book three of Anne Bishop’s “Others” books, and they focus on Meg Corbyn, a young blood prophet who seeks shelters with the world’s “others”, the terra indigene, who were the first inhabitants of the earth. Way, way before humans.

I enjoy reading about Meg’s interactions with the Others in her life, and with the humans she is getting to know, as well. I’m interested in Meg and Simon Wolfgard’s blossoming relationship, which after three books, is still not settled. It’s way more than a “will they/won’t they” love story. I’m enjoying reading about the members of the local police department, and seeing which ones will stand up for what’s right, no matter what the consequences.

And I love seeing how the Others deal with getting to know the humans in their “pack”, and trying to understand their strange customs. At one point, Vlad, who is, for all intents and purposes, a frightening predator, gets flummoxed when confronted by a group of human women:

“…He picked up a pen and moved a couple of papers on the desk. He’d seen a human in a movie do that as a way to end a meeting. Apparently, the females hadn’t seen that movie. “Don’t any of you have work to do?”
They beamed at him before they filed out the door.
Vlad watched them go….
He sat back and sighed. “And humans think vampires are scary.”

There are a lot of day-to-day details in these books. We get to read about what each character is doing every day. IN GREAT DETAIL. I find this level of detail appropriate to the story — Meg is new to life away from the CS compound, and needs her days to be filled with familiar tasks and items. I find the details comforting, and a good way for us to get into Meg’s head.

But I get why some other ‘Ballers have had an issue with this and found it a bit annoying. But I can’t wait to read more about what’s going on in the Lakeside Courtyard. I was delighted to read that there will be at least two more of these books, and I look forward to finding out what’s going to happen to the humans and the Others.

Also, I just wanted to share the following with you. When I did my google image search for the book cover, I somehow was rewarded with this picture instead. So, I’m keeping it.



Scootsa1000’s #CBR6 Review 20: A Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Unknown-3A few months ago, I was delighted to stumble upon Written in Red, the first in “the others” series from Anne Bishop. Written in Red was the story of a world where creatures like vampires and werewolves are real, living in cities with humans, but barely tolerating them. Their world is a world where humans are seen as little more than meat. That is, until Meg, a blood prophet on the run from her captors, finds herself suddenly wrapped up in their lives and under their protection. In particular, the protection of Simon, a werewolf who is the leader of their area of Lakeville. Written in Red ended after a huge battle to save Meg — the others and the earth’s elements had banded together to protect Meg from the men hired to bring her back “home” — to the blood prophet factory where she would predict the future for men who were willing to pay.

A Murder of Crows starts off almost immediately afterwards. The crazy snow storms brought on by Winter have tapered off, and life in Lakeside is starting to get back to normal.

Until, in nearby towns, someone starts killing crows. Not only are they murdering members of the crowgard, whoever is behind these attacks is also killing regular crows, as well as any humans that get in their path.

And there have been other attacks across the country — and they can all be traced back to two new drugs: one that makes it’s victims docile (a feel-good drug), and one that makes them violent attackers (gone-over wolf). Someone is distributing these drugs and trying to destroy the others. Simon and his friends at the Lakeside Courtyard seem to think that the drugs are created using the blood of the Cassandra Sangue — the blood prophets, like Meg and her friends. Research done by Meg, the others, and their friends in the Lakeside police department, points to a man simply known as the Controller being responsible for the extraction of the drugs from the girls, as well as for the distribution of the product and the plans to create chaos and violence.

Meg starts to have terrible, violent visions about the future of Lakeside, and of the country in general. Growing human political and social movements, like the despicable Humans First and Last group, are upsetting the balance between the others and the humans that has taken hundreds of years to set straight.

Meanwhile, Meg and Simon spend the book dancing around their feelings for each other. Although it would be wrong for a member of the wolfgard — the leader of the pack, no less — to have feelings for a human, it looks like that just might be inevitable.

I’m not going to lie. This book made me feel the feelings.  It made me laugh, and it made me cry more than once. I hope Anne Bishop writes a bunch more of these, and soon.

And yes, I totally get the criticisms that I’ve seen from other Cannonballers. Some of the descriptions of Meg’s banal, day-to-day activities can be a bit much. But I get where that’s coming from — Meg has experienced a huge trauma in coming to Lakeside. I think these basic chores and schedules make her feel a bit more human and give her something that she’s able to control on her own.

But I sure didn’t miss the descriptions of how she had to take off her boots and wipe the wet floor with a towel every single time she came in to a new building in Written in Red. Every. Single. Time.




Scootsa1000’s #CBR6 Review 3: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Unknown-4Let 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.


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