Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Human among the Others

What would happen if Man was not the dominant species on earth?  Anne Bishop tackles that question in the urban fantasy novel, Written in Red.

The Others (vampires, werewolves, elementals, etc.) were the first intelligent beings on Earth.  By the time humans appeared, most of the land on Earth had already been claimed by the Others.  In fact, humanity has been relegated to a few small cities/reservations where they are allowed to govern themselves.  But, if humans trespass onto Other territory, they become nothing more than “special meat” and can be hunted by the nearest Other.  

Why keep humans around, when they are an inferior species? Well, humans are good at creating and developing new technologies, which the Others crave.  So, within each human city is an enclave that the Others use to interact and buy human goods.  Written in Red begins with Meg, a girl on the run from the human law, who seeks out shelter and a job with the Others.  Will the Others be able to protect Meg from the powerful people that have been enslaving her? Will they even try or care? You will have to read the book to find out.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  It has engaging characters, steeped in a fully developed world turned totally upside-down.  The idea of using humans as a source of meat is very unsettling, yet Anne Bishop’s Other characters see nothing wrong with it and feel it is “just another day,” – which it would be to them.

Written in Red is a masterfully created suspense story set in an alternate universe. Having read books by Anne Bishop before, I suspect this series will develop into a disturbing, yet enthralling paranormal love story where the ending will be well worth the disquieting journey.  But a simple warning, this book is not for the faint of heart.

Read Alikes for Written in Red:
   Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
   Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop
   Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

~Mary P.

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