I admit that the place names and days of the week initially put me off, but then I became so enthralled with the characters that putting down the book was an annoyance of major proportions. My husband wanted clean jeans? Well (pointing authoritatively): there is the washing machine, have at it! Leave me alone, I'm not just reading--I'm immersed in the world of the Others, and I'm not ready to leave.
When I finished Marked in Flesh, I immediately ordered Written in Red, the first in the series. It seemed imperative to know the backstories of these characters; I was not willing to let them go. No waiting for a trip to the library. Must have it now. Therein lies the wonder of the ebook--it appears within minutes. Instant gratification.
Written in Red has been all over the blogosphere for a while, but I hadn't paid much attention. Now, I realize why readers are so fascinated. The world Bishop has created is powerful and addictive. Despite the fact that I initially quibbled over some minor details, the world of the Others is compelling: full of suspense and imminent danger and populated with well-drawn characters, but no romance. The book examines prejudice and propaganda, malevolent characters and corruption, but also contains a lot of gentle humor. Bishop has diligently built a unique world, full of layers and anomalies.
Briefly--in the world of the Others, shape-shifters, vampires, and Elementals exist in a precarious relationship with humans. Humans are prey, but they also manufacture products that the Others want, so an uneasy truce is in place.
In addition to the Others and the "normal" humans, a special kind of human exists--the cassandra sangue, blood prophets. Unlike the daughter of King Priam, the problem is that people do believe these Cassandras. To achieve a prophecy, the skin of a cassandra sangue is cut, over and over, one cut for each prophecy purchased; the women are segregated, imprisoned in various compounds under "benevolent ownership" and used for profit by unscrupulous humans.
Meg Corbyn, a highly sensitive and valuable cassandra sangue, escapes from her compound and ends up in one of the Others' Courtyards. Simon Wolfgard reluctantly gives her a job as Human Liaison. Meg's Controller, however, wants her back and will go to any length to regain his property.
In addition to this plotline, a growing rebellion among humans whose slogan is "Humans First and Last" is escalating. The fragile relationship that has been fostered between humans and the Others is being tested.
In spite of the fact that the Others will kill and eat any human who violates the rules of the contract between them, they are more trustworthy than humans. They can be trusted to eat violators. Humans are meat, but the Others can refrain from eating humans as long as they follow the rules. Which, of course, being humans....
As soon as I finished this one, I ordered Murder of Crows and devoured it. :) I'm trying to behave myself and leave a little space before ordering the third in the series, but I'm weak. It will happen sooner rather than later.
I was going to review Murder of Crows, but think I'll just wait. Maybe I'll review books 2, 3, and 4 together, since I don't think I can resist Vision in Silver much longer and may even re-read Marked in Flesh after having read the series from the beginning.
I'll be checking out Bishop's other series as well. If you've read any of her other series, are they as good as The Others?
The series in order:
Vision in Silver
Marked in Flesh is from NetGalley. I purchased Written in Red and Murder of Crows.