Written in Red

The Others, Book #1

By Anne Bishop

ISBN# 9780451464965

Author’s Website:  annebishop.com

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi


Her visions showed her what she needed to do to escape the compound and her controller.  She also saw her own death, but that’s later.  Knowing that she is going to die gave her the bravery to go to an establishment ran by the Others to answer the help wanted sign in the window.  As the sign says…. human law does not apply here.  Her controller will come for her and being where human law doesn’t apply will give her the best chance to live for as long as she is able.  Until her death vision comes true.

The Others rule the continent of Thaisia.  They allow humans to live in certain areas because they enjoy the things the humans have created.  However, they must live there on the Others terms.  It’s a tenuous relationship that could change in an instant.

“Vlad hated doing the paperwork as much as he did when a human employee quit, which was why they’d both made a promise not to eat quitters just to avoid the paperwork. As Tess had pointed out, eating the staff was bad for morale and made it so much harder to find new employees.”

Wolf shifter, Simon Wolfgard, is the face of the governing body of the Lakeside Courtyard.  Every Courtyard is required to have a Human Liaison to help the dealings between humans and the Others to go more smoothly.  It’s a position that has been vacant in Lakeside for quite a while.  Asia Crane has been badgering Simon for the job, but he doesn’t trust her.

Simon could tell Meg was running from something when she showed up asking about the job, and also that she’d be dead if he didn’t take her out of the cold from the current winter storm.  He saw it as an opportunity to help the pathetic thing, but to also get Asia off his back too.  So, he set Meg up in one of their efficiency apartments and gave her the job.  There are enough Others around to keep an eye on her, after all.

Meg is a blood prophet.  A human with a special ability to see visions … when her skin is cut.  People pay her controller big bucks for her and the other girls’ visions.  Once all of her skin has been “used” she is no longer profitable.  The girls don’t even have names, just a designation number the controller has assigned to them.  Meg is a name she has given herself. The blood prophets are not treated as people, only as property.  And, now that Meg is free, she would rather die, then go back. 

Simon’s sister was killed by humans and his young nephew, Sam, has been in his care ever since.  The boy has been stuck in his wolf form and is scared to explore his world, as a wolf pup should.  He wants to be in his cage all the time.  However, when Simon brings Meg around the pup takes an interest.  Meg is able to do things for Sam that Simon never could.  But Meg has had a vision of men in black coming to take Sam.  She’ll do anything to protect him, even if it means giving up her own life.

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this book.  It wasn’t like any other urban fantasy books I’ve ever read, which is saying a lot in such a saturated genre.  Bishop weaved an interesting world before our eyes, where the creatures that go bump in the night rule.  However, there are some foolish humans that still think they can change the status quo.  It’s up to the Others to show them who is truly in charge.

I enjoyed the characters in this book quite a bit.  Naïve Meg doesn’t know much, never having experienced life outside the compound.  Simon is a force to be reckoned with.  Anyone that crosses him will pay with their lives.  I found the other Others quite interesting too, Vlad and Tess especially.  I look forward to learning more about the entire Others community in the subsequent books.

There is NO ROMANCE in this book.  That may come as a shock to some so felt I should mention it.  There is no romance in this book (it deserves repeating).  However, there definitely is one brewing and I expect it to start showing more in the next book.  I’m sure you can guess who….

I really enjoyed this book.  It had things you’d expect with the paranormal, but also had enough things that were different to keep it interesting.  I can’t wait to read the next book and discover the new things it will reveal.