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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Series Opener
Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
By: Anne Bishop

I have not read another author that can world and character build like Anne Bishop does. Her Black Jewels Trilogy is one that I pull out to re-read at least once a year. This new series appears to be one that I am going to be doing the same thing with. She has written this with her usual realism and you...
Published 16 months ago by Dianne E. Socci-Tetro

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn, with lost opportunities
In an alternate North America, where the first European settlers found fierce primordial creatures instead of Native Americans, humans and so-called Others live in uneasy co-habitation. The Others or terra indigene (earth natives) live in Courtyards near the larger human settlements, and Meg Corbyn finds herself in one of these when she escapes from enforced confinement...
Published 4 months ago by David Paul Jebb


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Series Opener, 1 Mar 2013
This review is from: Written in Red (The Others) (Hardcover)
Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
By: Anne Bishop

I have not read another author that can world and character build like Anne Bishop does. Her Black Jewels Trilogy is one that I pull out to re-read at least once a year. This new series appears to be one that I am going to be doing the same thing with. She has written this with her usual realism and you tend to think, "I know these people" or "I've been to this town" while you are reading. Moreover, when you are done with the book, the book is not done with you. You will walk away wondering about the characters, how are they doing in their world now that you've finished the book.
You are also left wondering just when the next book will be coming out!

Meg Corbyn is a Cassandra sangue (Blood Prophet) and has run away from her keepers. And when I say `keepers,' I mean that literally. After all, Meg isn't even known by a name, she has a designation -a number - she is known as cs759 . She has never experienced anything ever that may stimulate her. All that she knows of the world was taught to her via pictures and edited film clips while sitting in a classroom filled with others like her. She is there for one specific purpose, to be a Prophet. One that needs to be cut/sliced in a very specific way to make her predictions. Since her keeper/Controller can receive huge amounts of money for her predictions, she is being hunted extensively now that she has run away. She has run right into Lakeside, a sort of town that caters to the Others but also in a small way to the Humans.

The Others - the terra indigene are shape shifters, vampires and Elementals that do not like, do not trust, do not need the humans. In this world, the Others rule and by that I mean that if the humans do something in this territory that the Others don't like - the human becomes a meal. After all Human Laws Do Not Apply here.

Anne Bishop has made the character of Meg a sympathetic one; she is almost like a fish out of water and someone who might frustrate you if she never grew. However, grow Meg does and while she stays afraid of a lot of things even at the end of the book, she has very good reasons to be afraid. She has seen a vision of her own death after all.

Simon Wolfgard is the shape shifting well...wolf, that has hired her to be the towns Human Liaison/mail clerk and he seems to be regretting it as time goes on...he also seems to be getting attached to Meg. He does not trust her, but you can feel the interest sizzling at the perimeter of Meg and Simon's interactions. However, under Ms Bishop's deft pen, it is never obvious.

Naturally, there is more than one story line going on. There is a very interesting one involving a woman called Asia who is sending information about Simon and Meg back to someone she thinks wants to eventually do a TV show staring her. There are tons of characters.

There is a lot of sly humor in this novel also, for example, in one scene Simon is talking about Meg who had been playing a game with several of the wolves that involved her acting as prey. Simon thinks to himself - "Of course, listening to John whine about not being allowed to go out and play hadn't done anything for his (Simon's) own eroding self-discipline - especially because he could tell just by watching that Meg really did make a good squeaky toy."

Ms Bishop has added an interesting bit at the beginning of the book to let the reader know how this world evolved, how man became food instead of the top of the food chain. The Others are wonderfully written and not the kind of character you usually read about in this genre. They are not kind and misunderstood creatures. They are what they are and they make no apologies for it.

I don't know what more I can tell you about this book that wouldn't ruin the story for you so I will just end with this ---this is a fantastic book, it is one that you will want to turn around and re-read as soon as you are done with the first read.

One more thing I will say, this series is vastly different from The Black Jewels books yet it is similar in some ways. This book seems to be appropriate for anyone over 15 or 16. There is some strong and salty language. There is some sexual innuendo - not too overt though. There is some violence but not as much as you would think for a book like this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good yarn, with lost opportunities, 17 Mar 2014
By 
David Paul Jebb "trainboydave" (Craigavon, Northern Ireland) - See all my reviews
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In an alternate North America, where the first European settlers found fierce primordial creatures instead of Native Americans, humans and so-called Others live in uneasy co-habitation. The Others or terra indigene (earth natives) live in Courtyards near the larger human settlements, and Meg Corbyn finds herself in one of these when she escapes from enforced confinement. She is a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, used by the highest bidder to catch glimpses of the future by cutting her skin. In order to survive, she must avoid the Controller's agents who wish to reclaim her, while doing her best to assimilate herself into an Others Courtyard run by shape-shifting Wolf, Simon Wolfgard.

I was drawn to this book by its premise: I love alternate world fiction, especially when the Point of Divergence has a supernatural element to it. I am a huge fan of the original Kushiel trilogy by Jacqueline Carey, and thought this might be a similar idea but set in a more modern time frame. When I read the opening chapter, which explains this fictional Earth's origin myth, I got excited by the ways in which this story might explore the implications of that myth. Unfortunately, it did not, and Written In Red turned out to be , for me, a pedestrian, hum-drum urban fantasy that treads no new ground.

My first misgiving comes from the Others themselves: they are set up as beings whose real nature is beyond human understanding, and yet their characterisations don't follow through with this. We are led to believe they are spirits who inhabit a North America with no understanding of European humans before the first wave of migrants arrived. However, with names like 'Simon', 'Elliott', 'Henry' and so on, they all conform to white, Euro-centric descriptions. This could have been a great chance to create urban fantasy characters that break the mold, but Simon Wolfgard is just another 'Alpha male werewolf lover', of which there are legions in UF fiction. By the time I reached the midway point of this book, I felt cheated by the lack of discourse on colonialism and its impacts, albeit with a supernatural bent. And before anyone says, 'it's just entertainment', Bishop inserts so many references to how 'Others are not human', 'Others fold the real power over humans', 'humans don't understand and are frightened by the Others'. The subject of colonialism is broached, but not explored in any satisfying way at all.

Another gripe I have is Meg Corbyn, the heroine herself. She is not unlikeable, and I get that she is a stranger to the real world, having only learned through a series of images and video clips and not real experience. Bishop is adept at portraying her as a determined innocent, but there are inconsistencies. Meg escaped from a high-security, scary compound where she lived her whole life, and she frequently shows a fierceness I find appealing. However, in the next moment she'll be cast into the damsel-in-distress mode, needing the help of stronger males to come and help her. As I said, I didn't dislike her, but I'd like her to maintain that iron will a little more than she did.

There were some good points about Written In Red, the relationship between Meg and Simon's young nephew, Sam, being one of the highlights. Bishop managed to melt my heart with their growing bond, and I do admit to uttering 'Awwwww' on more than one occasion. This is where Bishop rules her story: the emotional core. She tunes me into the feelings of the characters, and I would most assuredly come back for more of that.

Written In Red is a good tale and there are flashes of something unique and exciting, but frustratingly these are eschewed for more comfortable and well-covered UF tropes. The Others are too Caucasian and Middle American and not 'Other' enough, and this is what disappointed me most of all. It's a cozy read and you'll recognise all the characters from any other UF you've ever read, which is what keeps it as good UF and not great UF.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Arrogant pricing for subsequent books in the series. Would YOU pay 14 for book 2 of a mediocre tale?, 18 July 2014
By 
M. Paton "Rabid Reader" (Leicester) - See all my reviews
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An excellent start to a series in an urban fantasy, but not outstanding enough to merit 5 stars, simply because it's very typical of it's genre. I did like the world building, but there wasn't enough 'uniqueness' to the others. You have your standard Vampires, and Werecreatures, and one outstanding mystery 'other' who didn't get enough coverage in the story. However, I enjoyed the yarn enough to go to download the 2nd, but hey, what the Hell? FOURTEEN QUID for a Fantasy? 14! World Renowned authors like Patterson, King, Rowling and Auel - all MASTERS of their talents aren't THIS expensive, and for a very good reason. Nobody would buy their books! Now, I suggest this author has some serious words with her publishers, or her publishing company has some serious words with the author, and come up with a realistic price for these books, otherwise she's going to be found on the bargain shelves in supermarkets in a day when kindles rein supreme. This is total arrogance on someone's part, but believe me, no author in this day and age is worth this outlay, especially as there are so many great indies out there who do it better for a fraction of the price. Harsh criticism? I don't think so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant new world from Anne Bishop......., 25 April 2013
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This review is from: Written in Red (The Others) (Hardcover)
What a great book to start off Anne's new World of the Others? I read it so fast in one sitting as I couldn't get enough. Definitely well worth a read if you like climbing inside a story and making yourself at home. Please hurry and bring out another one soon, I cannot wait to read more! I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did x
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 7 July 2014
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Any Twilight fans will love this
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5.0 out of 5 stars warning, 5 July 2014
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If you want time to catch up on your sleep make sure you start reading this book when you know you have the opportunity to sleep into the following day. If you don't, a lot of self control will be required to ensure that you don't stay up till the wee hours of the morning. Which is what I did. I have barely had 4 hours sleep and yet all I can think about is this book. Wishing I had savoured it more as it was so fantastic loved loved loved it
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5.0 out of 5 stars Never disappointed and couldn't put the book down, 24 Jun 2014
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D. J. Chowney (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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Anne Bishop never fails to keep me turning the pages and I am not going to give you any spoilers. If you've enjoyed other Anne Bishop books, what are you waiting for!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally fab!!, 17 Jun 2014
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S. Finn - See all my reviews
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Have now read this three times, love it every time, have pre-ordered the next book in the series. if same standard maintained this series could rank up there with The Black Jewels series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Written in Red, 4 May 2014
By 
Ronda (Newcastle England) - See all my reviews
I finished reading a trilogy a little while ago and I rated the books with 5 stars... They were stunning books to read and they sit proudly on my 'favourite' shelf of 2014 (Shadow Reader, Sandy Williams). I didn't think I'd come across any books that would rate the same as these - and then I put my hands on Written in Red by Anne Bishop!!!!

The book was easy reading, exciting, gripping, tantalising, beautiful and one that I hated putting down. I can honestly say that my working career was in the way of this book - the book that I want to rate with more stars than I am allowed to give it.

The story centres around The Others, the creatures that see humans as meat. Simon is The Pack Leader and he shares the courtyard with The Others, the elementals, the vampires, coyote and a bear! There are creatures that reside here that humans don't even know about... and even The Others are unaware of all of them, Tess!

Meg is on the run and Simon agrees to give her a job instead of tossing her out in the deathly winter storm... She doesn't smell like prey and confuses his wolf.

Meg is different...

Sam is Simon's young nephew, his mother was murdered by humans and they have yet to be found. Since his mother's death, Sam has remained in wolf form... then Sam meets Meg, the new Liaison Officer.

The story's main line is finding out what Meg is and why her 'controller' wants her back. We work our way through why The Others are where they are and who most of them are. We learn about humans being 'meat' and simply prey.

This story was absolutely fantastic, a story so gripping I will be thinking of it for days to come. It doesn't paint the vampires as we know them from many other books and it does not paint the wolves are a species that are furry or friendly. Anne Bishop has an amazing talent, she puts the scenes from each chapter firmly in my mind without me having to work at thinking things through. She has created a world that I have never come across before and it's a world where I think would be far to scary to live in and the world is very believable considering this is paranormal at its best.

As the chapters fell away and I came to the end of the story, I breathed in a sigh (literally), sat back and then my immediate thought was 'I can't wait to read book two'...

Brilliance at its best for sure!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clever and original, 23 April 2014
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This is my first introduction to Anne Bishop and I have to admit that I'm hooked. Her world building is excellent, so much so that Written In Red seemed more like real fantasy rather than urban fantasy, even though it is set on Earth. It doesn't particularly feel like YA either, as some other reviewers have commented, although I think readers of many ages will enjoy it.

This Earth is set up and described very well. There's a prologue of sorts explaining that essentially Earth is divided into 'Others' and humans. Historically, the Others used to kill all the humans until they realised they could benefit from them. There's never any doubt, however, that the humans are essentially prey and the Others - who range from all manner of beings with all sorts of powers - are the predators.

The main character, Meg, is on the run from a mysterious Controller who not only kept her captive but didn't even deign to give her a name. The author doesn't immediately reveal what the reason for all this is, so I won't either. Then there's Simon, a kind of werewolf who runs the Courtyard area of Others that Meg has run to. He seems equally obsessed and irked by her presence, in a large part because she doesn't smell like prey in the way that other humans do. Although there is no immediate romance between these two, there's a delicious frisson between them.

Some of the other characters are a little irritating as either they come across as a bit one-dimensional or there simply isn't enough about them even though what glimmers we get are incredibly imaginative and interesting. However, this is a lengthy book for this genre so perhaps to have added in more would have made the rest of the story - which is exciting and original - rather unwieldy.

I'll definitely be reading more of Anne Bishop's books after this one - I just wish that Murder of Crows was available for Kindle UK...:(
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Written in Red (The Others)
Written in Red (The Others) by Anne Bishop (Hardcover - 5 Mar 2013)
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