********Re-Read Review (03/2016)********
I loved reading this book just as much as every single other time I’ve read it! Seriously one of the greatest paranormal books I have ever read! Simon and Meg will make my heart go cray cray till I day I die.
There’s praise on the front cover of Written in Red from All Things Urban Fantasy that says “Written in Red isn’t just one of the best urban fantasy of the year – it may be one of the best ever” and I have to say that isn’t hyperbole it is definitely true (at least to me). Written in Red is a reread for me but since the third in the series, Vision in Silver, is due for release at the start of March I thought I would go back and reread and review the first two books. Not that that’s a chore for me I absolutely love these books.
Meg is the type of character who you feel a hundred percent connected to. A cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, when her skin is cut she can see the future. This results in cassandra sangue being treated as property and sold a cut at a time for thousands of dollars. Escaping, Meg hides at the Lakeside Courtyard where the Others befriend and protect her. I love Meg! I would want to be her bestfriend as well! There is a quote that the cassandra sangue “have adults bodies, but they retain the sweetness of a child’s heart” I think this properly sums up Meg, she is strong, brave and proud but at the same time she is incredibly sweet and unsure and positive. A character like this is very enchanting to read.
The world building of Namid is incredible! That Bishop created a world that is parallel to ours in so many ways yet so different blows my mind. At the start of the novel we’re given a brief history of Namid and the ongoing tension between humans and terra indigene. Terra indigene, of the Others, are like the landlords of Namid and allow the humans to stay as they provide both a service as meat (yes, you read that right) and a connection to technology. Allow is the key word in that sentence, a species of terra indigene, called the Elementals have the power to kill off all humans in a town without effort, which they have done in the past. The terra indigene we learn about in this book consists of shapeshifters who are called wolfgard, or crowgard or whatever animal gard, Elementals who control nature and Sanguinati who are vampires with some extra talents than your average vampire. The cities on Thaisia (the country where the book is set) are a parody of American cities, there is Sparkletown, Podunk, and Jerzy just to name a few. In cities, the Others live in a Courtyard where human law doesn’t apply and no humans are allowed unless given permission.
“Do you know the joke about what happened to the dinosaurs?” Burke asked as Monty opened the office door.
He turned back, offering the other man a hesitant smile. “No, sir. What happened to the dinosaurs?”
Burke didn’t smile. “The Others is what happened to the dinosaurs.”
Bishops writing style is immaculate. It’s pure perfection for this genre. She conveys the story through alternating POV, majority of the story is through Meg, Simon, Officer Monty and Asia. Each character is given a unique voice and personality. Bishop managed to make Simon the ultimate alpha male without making him controlling and dickish, which can be used to describe majority of alpha werewolf leading men. Usually when I love characters as much as I love Meg and Simon I get annoyed when I have to read from a characters POV that isn’t there’s but I really didn’t mind in Written in Red, especially when I got to read from Monty. Officer Montgomery isn’t in Lakeside and assigned to be the officer in charge of the Lakeside Courtyard by choice, but what he chooses to do with it is what makes this character. Monty wants to nurture good faith between the Others and the humans, he wants to change the others first instinct from being ‘kill and attack’ to ‘call Montgomery and have him take the humans away’. Which is commendable since almost every human believes the Others are savages and nothing more. Monty’s character added such a good POV to the story, it was great to read how the Others are viewed from a completely subjective human angle. Now I can’t say I enjoyed reading from Asia’s POV anywhere near the same amount. She is annoying, narcissistic and selfish but since that is entirely how Bishop wanted us to perceive her I won’t complain. She did make a pretty weak villain especially since she was such a small cog on the evil guy machine, but again that was the whole point, to start off the story slowly and move up.
The completely no existent relationship between Meg and Simon made me weak. I kid you not, there is no relationship there and I was still melting from the tension. Meg doesn’t even stop referring to Simon as Mr. Wolfgard until page 312, no joke. I just couldn’t help it Simon is all protective of Meg and Meg is so kind and caring I just want them to be together (which I’m sure will eventually happen like in the second last book knowing my luck). I think by the end of the book Simon was pretty much completely in love with Meg but he just doesn’t realise that is what he is feeling. Meg has no feeling apart from friendship and compassion. Another thing that hit me right in the feels is how Meg became a type of surrogate mum for Sam, Simon’s nephew. She protects and helps him and he becomes dependent on her for that motherly love. One thing I did notice in Written in Red was that not one Other was mentioned to be in a relationship. Even Sam’s biological dad is never mentioned, are the Others meant to not be relationship inclined. Do they not have no lasting partners?? I hope they do and the Others in the Courtyard just haven’t found anyone yet because that will just become another hurdle Meg and Simon have to get over.
Overall, Written in Red deserves 5 stars, it deserves the epic hype surrounding it. This book is golden! It is by far the best adult urban fantasy / paranormal book I have ever read. It will take one hell of a special kind of book to dethrone it.