Series: The Others #1
Published by Roc on March 5th 2013
Genres: adult, urban fantasy
Buy on Amazon
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.
Last month Lyn picked Written in Red by Anne Bishop, together with Kara and Maryam! We had some delays, but we finally made it! Please watch us all fangirl below for the first book in The Other series.
(Also, please remember that discussions sometimes lead to spoilers. While we try very hard to stay away from them, it still happens from time to time. If you haven’t read this book, be aware of potential spoilers during the discussion posts. You can’t say we didn’t warn you!)
Lyn: I finally picked a book that everyone liked! That is a rare thing for me!
Kara: I can’t even remember if there was a last book you picked that I liked. Hahahaha! But yes, you did! I loved this book!
Maryam: HAHA I actually did not expect to like it, because the blurb of the book didn’t appeal to me xD But wah, like 2 pages into it and I loooove it.
Lyn: I understand, Maryam. I picked this one purely off of recommendation of other readers. I saw werewolves and I didn’t think it would be for me, but I wanted something out of my comfort zone. So imagine my shock when I adored this book. And that this was not indeed a “werewolf” book. That was misleading.
Kara: I generally don’t read books about shapeshifters. They are just not normally my thing. But because there were other elements here, like vampires (the Sanguinati), and the whole “blood prophet” thing, I thought I might like it. Plussss, I have been wanting to get into more urban fantasy, so why not try this first since it came so highly recommended.
What did y’all think of the world-building? Do you have a favorite scene?
Maryam: OH OH I love the world-building. I kinda love the fact that it’s a world inside a world? Like there’s a whole “world” for only shapeshifters in this Courtyard place. And I love any and all scenes that were in the bookstore. BOOKSTORE. THEY HAVE BOOKSTORES.
Lyn: I have to say that this is a book you have to read to love, because when I was trying to describe it to someone to read, they just kept looking at me funny, but it really works. I have read YA for so long that I found it refreshing to discover a book with a woman with some grown up issues, like, how am I going to live and feed myself when I have been sheltered my entire life? This was one element that really endeared me to the novel: Meg honestly wanted to just have a job and live her life, and she didn’t ask for the rest of this crap. I really enjoyed watching her take pride in her workplace and her job, and I saw a lot of myself in her. Also, I totally LOVE AU Earth stories. And having this one centered around more ancient-folklore elements was brilliant.
Kara: I totally agree with both of you. Maryam, I think you should read more UF because most of them are about worlds within worlds, and I think you will really love how deep they get. I do think this one is probably better than most though, but fully expect me to binge a lot of urban fantasy series this year and next.
Lyn, I totally agree with you. I connected with Meg on a super personal level. I understand exactly what you mean about her wanting to live her life, and I loved her job as the courtyard liaison. I love that she lived in the courtyard with all the other creatures. I loved her friendship with the other girls (Tess, OMG), Sam, and the respect and protection she gets from the Elementals and the Sanguinati. Like, they all love her so it made me love her too. I get why they wanted to protect her. Not at first, I didn’t, because I found myself thinking, “why do they think this girl is so special?” but I get it now. Sorry for rambling, but this series is great. SO great that I read book two already.
Lyn: I don’t often find books that make me celebrate what it is to be human, but this one does. A lot of books want to tote “make so-and-so feel more human” and it always make me crinkle up my nose, but I loved to see Meg through the eyes of those who were inhuman, and while at times it was uncomfortable, it didn’t seem like a bad thing to be human. I celebrated her and her flaws, and her mistakes and her triumphs. By the time this book ended, I loved her like they loved her, just because she was human.
Maryam: I definitely agree with both of you. Meg was one of the coolest characters I’ve ever read. I love it that the author made her special, but not so special? You know, like how some MCs are really special and flawless. And Meg’s not like that. In fact, she seemed normal. Like, instead of trying to suck up with the shapeshifters and stuffs, she kinda just concentrate on her job, and hence, when the other characters became overprotective over her, it made the whole thing seem all the more sweet because Meg didn’t know that they’re protective over her. Omg, do I make any sense?! HAHA.
Kara: Yeah, I get it. She was just human, and I love how all the other humans sort of turned into a pack of their own (I apologize if I am straying into book 2–I don’t know what I read in which book), and they became a part of the courtyard and were just living their lives.
I think it’s also important to mention that I REALLY appreciated how the author wrote the terra indigene–they truly do feel like animals. It is very clear they are not human, do not have human instincts, they behave like the creatures that they are. Wolves lick blood and sniff humans in unmentionable places, crows like shiny pieces of jewelry and glass—basically, the character development is pretty special. Lots of paranormal books make the creatures seem too human, but not here.
Lyn: I really have to ask, because it made me laugh, even though it was horrible, but did anyone laugh at the jokes they made about eating people? I mean, it is horrible, but the thought of really eating rude customers or bad employees made me laugh out loud. I agree with Kara, they were more of their animal counterparts and you could tell they lacked some basic compassion skills, but sometimes, the lack of human emotion was hilarious. I think Vlad had some of the best lines due to his cluelessness of when it came to humans.
Kara: I adored Vlad. In fact, I am kinda bummed that Meg seems to be heading towards a relationship with Simon. I want her with VLAD. Grrrrr. LOL. But yes, the eating people jokes were hilarious. In a way, I kind of feel like it made me turn a mirror on myself. It made me slightly uncomfortable but I also laughed quite a bit over how horrible humans can be.
Maryam: I love Simon! Like, my new book boyfriend, nobody touch him. I think he was actually one of my favorite characters, together with Tess. I love how each character seemed unique in their own way. I mean, Simon was obviously the alpha male here, but he wasn’t the leader. In fact, I don’t like the leader. But yeah, I agree with you guys at the part where we actually get to see the shapeshifters connect mostly with their animal counterpart. AND TESS. Tess is THE best. She’s like REALLY COOL, and I want her hair. Is it possible for her to have a side story? I hope she gets a story. But yeah, you see? The author kinda put together this whole kickass squad, without prioritizing one over the other, which to me, is pretty amazing. I was easily sucked into this whole world.
Lyn: The secondary characters in this book are fantastic. I always look for a wonderful cast of characters outside of the main two focal people, and Anne Bishop excels in this department. There is so much love for all of them – the Elementals, the ponies, Vlad (MINE, KARA, MINE!!), the other Wolves, Tess, Sam, Grandfather, the crows – you fall in love with the world, and the people in it.
Kara: You cannot have Vlad. I won’t allow it. But yeah, these characters are amazing. I always criticize authors A LOT over the lack of development in secondary characters. I feel like a broken record sometimes, always saying, “They were just faces with names.” And the thing is, you can’t say that here. You absolutely cannot. These secondary characters feel like a family. They all play a part, they all interact, and they all matter. They have lives of their own and stories that we will probably unravel in due time. THIS is what a fantasy book should be. This author has a gift. She really does. And I mean, we haven’t even touched the plot yet. Which was fine, but honestly wasn’t even the part I liked the most. Weird, isn’t it?
Lyn: There is so much to love. The plot was so well woven together. How did she put it all together like that? The last 100 or so pages were intense! I couldn’t put it down!
Maryam: YAY one more thing that I love about this book is someone called Winter. She’s uniqueeee, she’s REALLY unique. But I won’t tell y’all who she really is, because the moment you figure it out while reading the book, your mind WILL BE BLOWN. I know I was definitely excited and amazed and just plain astounded when I figured her out HAHAHA. I love that there’s so much magic inside this book!
Okay, so ratings? What do you guys think?
Kara: This was definitely a 5 star book for me. The second book wasn’t quite as fabulous for me (there wasn’t enough Vlad), but I still really liked it. But the first? Definitely 5 stars.
Are you guys going to continue the series soon?
Maryam: 5 stars for me too! I definitely am going to continue! I might even buy the books hehehe. I’m so glad that Lyn made us read this.
Lyn: 5 stars. And yes, I bought books 2 and 3, and I am waiting for next week so I can buy book 4.
Forgotten Friday Pick for March: Dreamwood by Heather Mackey