Title: Written in Red
Author: Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Release Date: March 5, 2013
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.
The feeling of when you find a new series you love and can't stop obsessing about it:
“If you ever scare me like this again, I will eat you!”
Can someone please explain to me why I didn't read this series before? I'm blaming all my UF friends for not forcing me to do it.
Anyway, now I'm hooked and I can't stop thinking about this amazing world and its characters.
Meg Corbyn is a cassandra sangue, a blood prophet. She has been a prisoner and kept in a compound with other females like her. Her only contact with the outside world has been through images she has been told to learn and her own visions. Thanks to a friend, she's able to escape and her fate brings her to the Others' Lakeside courtyard.
The Others rule the world. They are powerful beings that have taken the forms of different animals and elements. They have let humans into their lands and as long as the trade with them is convenient, humans are allowed to live. The courtyard which Meg joins is ruled by Simon Wolfgard. For Simon, humans are just meat until he encounters Meg, who despite being human Is Not Prey. She intrigues him. He can tell she's running from someone and she's hiding things from him but he decides to hire her as the human liaison between the Others and the humans living around the Lakeside area.
“It was easier when all we wanted to do was eat them and take their stuff,” he grumbled.And it had been easier when he hadn’t cared if he made any of them cry.”
The Lakeside Courtyard is full of interesting Others besides Simon and Meg. To name a few: There is Tess (she's a mystery even to the Others) who runs a coffee shop called A Little Bite. There is Vlad who's a Sanguinati, and in conjunction with Simon, run the bookstore called Howling Good Reads. Elliot Wolfgard is the political face of the Lakeside Courtyard and Simon's sire. Crispin James Montgomery aka Monty is a human police officer for the Chestnut Street police station who was relocated to the Lakeside area after defending a little wolf girl against a pedophile. His job entails becoming an intermediary between the police and the Others at the Lakeside Courtyard. Sam is Simon's nephew and a wolf shifter. He's sweet and develops a strong friendship with Meg. Henry Beargard is a grizzly bear shifter. He enjoys sculpturing and is the spirit guide of the Courtyard.
Of course with the "good characters", we have the evil ones. The main two in this book were Asia Crane and the Controller. Asia was sent by big-wigs to obtain information about the Courtyard. The Controller is the human who's the owner of the compound where Meg was a slave. He wants her back and will do anything to get her back.
As you can see the world-building is very well established with many great characters who make the story so much more interesting. I had so many favorites and every scene was a new experience.
Both main characters have so much potential. Meg is discovering the world outside the compound. She's learning to make her own choices. She's learning what she likes and dislikes from the outside world. Despite everything she has been through, she radiates innocence which I think is the reason the Others learn to like her.
Simon is a predator. He tries to remain in his human form as little as possible. He tolerates some humans in the Courtyard but he doesn't care for any human until Meg joins his world. I believe her influence will make him think of some humans different.
“Most of the terra indigene didn't want to love humans; they wanted to eat them. Why did humans have such a hard time understanding that?”
Written in Red was a fantastic introduction to the Others world and I can't wait to read the next one.