Anne Bishop: Etched in Bone

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

I’ve been waiting a year for the fifth and final book in The Others series to come out. And I’ve had the ARC in my collection for months–I had to have been one of the first to be approved for it. My willpower is SO STRONG, guys. Sometimes I don’t know how I manage to wait until the release month to read these. Probably because I just have way too many books in line.

Anyway, the anticipation was strong with this one. I’ve loved the first four, and the last one teased some mega romance. My body was ready.

But maybe my brain wasn’t? Or maybe it’s because I’m halfway through marathoning ASOIAF for trivia next week. THIS FELT LIKE SUCH A CHORE. I couldn’t make it halfway.

Something about Etched in Bone just didn’t measure up to the rest of the series. Slow doesn’t begin to describe it. It also barely focuses on Meg and Simon at all, which is what I was really looking forward to in this last edition.

One thing I noticed, in the slowness, is that Bishop is continually reintroducing characters to us, even though this is the fifth book. Really, if you’ve made it this far, you should know her world by now–how packs operate, why Meg is special, etc. A little bit of that is fine, but it shouldn’t still be happening more than 25% into the book. it makes the story/series seem very choppy and ruins the flow of it.

The plot also focuses around domestic abuse, and there is a LOT of victim blaming. For a series that unpacks mental illness and addiction, I was pretty grossed out by how this topic was being handled. Maybe it resolves itself later–but it wasn’t looking good.

I hated to DNF this, but I hated to finish it more. When a book becomes a chore, it just is not worth it, no matter how much I loved the rest of the series. I’m so disappointed.

NetGalley and Roc provided this ARC for an unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links.

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WWW Wednesday 3/23/2016

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I’m back from vacation and catching up on allllll the reading I need to do. I’ve also taken on a new project, so I’m extra busy. May be an every other day schedule for the next week or two, and then we’ll get rolling again.

What are you currently reading?

Switched On:  A Memoir of Brain Change and Emotional Awakening by John Elder Robison

Graphic Novel:  Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

For Study:  The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

Legends/Poems:  Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

 

What did you just finish reading? 

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop (and two other books in The Others series)

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Popular by Maya Van Wagenen

 

Marked in Flesh

I’m baaaack! Did ya’ll have a good Spring Break? I certainly did.

I keep thinking that I didn’t get much reading done at all–but in reality, I read THREE books! They were all just from the same series, so my brain counts them all as one. I mentioned this last week, but I was due to read Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop for its release on March 8…and then realized it was not the second book in her The Others series, but the FOURTH! Oh no!

I always hate being late on a deadline, but I was taking a hiatus anyway, so I’ll just play a bit of catch up with my reviews this week. You’ll forgive me, right? Thanks!

I read the first book, Written in Red, almost exactly a year ago, and loved it. Anne Bishop mixes fairy tale with indigenous culture set in a dystopian landscape. It’s pretty fierce. It’s been awhile since I’ve binged an entire series like this, and this was a great one to lose myself in.

When you get into the series as a whole, you really get to see the themes Anne Bishop pulls into her dystopian fairy tale. As I mentioned before, the main component is about prejudice between the indigenous race and the humans. The war between the HRL and The Others reads very familiar to those in America today (and heck, those in America throughout our bloody frickin history). Another very heavy theme is in regards to mental health. The first two books reference cutting and severe bodily harm quite often, even referencing it as an addiction–the other two books do too, but it’s a major theme in the first two. The third book is all about abuse:  getting away from the captor, healing after the fact, recovery. The fourth is war. All of them cover PTSD.

Sounds pretty rough, right? Did I mention that those big themes are wrapped up in a completely gorgeous, dark, dystopian fantasy series? GUYS GO BUY THIS SERIES IMMEDIATELY. The romance tension is so thick you will need Namid’s teeth and claws to cut through it.

This is the fourth book. And as it was getting closer and closer to the end I was thinking, this can’t be it, right? I mean, there’s only 5% left and not enough closure and I NEED ANOTHER BOOK! Goodreads says there’s an Untitled Book #5. All is well with the world. I only have to wait until 2017. GIVE IT TO ME NOWWWWWWWW.

Sigh. I guess I’ll just have to read something else. This is why I don’t binge anymore.

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BUY HERE:

WWW Wednesday 3/9/2016

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Sooo…I had two ARCs due yesterday–Until We Are Free, and a new book by Anne Bishop. What I did not realize was that the Anne Bishop book was actually the FOURTH in a series…not the second as I thought. OH NO!

I had planned on making that ARC the last review before I took a break for vacation, but alas, I will not make it. I’m reading the middle two The Other books to catch up, and then read the final.

The good news is…I’ll have lots of great material when I get back!

What are you currently reading?

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Graphic Novel:  Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

ReRead:  The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

For Study:  The Ramayana by Ramesh Menon

Legends/Poems:  Chasers of the Light by Tyler Knott Gregson

Legends/Poems:  The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

 

What did you just finish reading? 

Until We Are Free by Shirin Ebadi

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas

 

What do you think you’ll read next?

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab

Written in Red

Fanfiction of fairy tales is the “it” thing right now, and I am loving it! For some reason Red Riding Hood especially seems to be popular. She was never my favorite character growing up, but I do love the modern day remixes.

Book Club Fiction is reading Written in Red this month, and while it’s been awhile since I’ve participated in one of their readalongs–I was able to get this one from my library in time. I am so glad I did!

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I will say that at first, I wasn’t too sure about it. The prologue really doesn’t explain what the Others are very well, and so the whole time I was thinking “Oooook….so you’re saying if Native Americans just would have been evil cannibals, the white men wouldn’t have come in and taken over?” It just seemed a little…off. Once I got into the story and realized the author wasn’t talking about people at all, it made perfect sense, but at first, I was more than a little concerned.

Don’t let the prologue scare you like it did me. The Others are actually ancient earth natives. Terra Indigene. Their basic form is a pumped up form of animal (Wolf, Crow, Coyote, Bear, even Vampire), but they have adapted to be able to shift into human shape as necessary. However, they hate humans, and see them as just another form of meat that they somehow have to live with.

Meg, however, doesn’t smell like prey for some reason. She’s different, and they don’t know why. But she is scared and needs shelter, so they hire her on. Suddenly things get super complicated.

I loved this story. It was both scary and also gentle. There was friendship, but not exactly romance. I kept expecting it to break off into romance, because, you know, that’s what always happens in books like this. But it never came, and it was a nice change.

I do want to give you a trigger warning. There is quite a bit of discussion and a couple of scenes with cutting. Meg was in a cult type culture before she came to The Others where the girls were cut to induce prophecies. If that will trigger you, please don’t read this book, or proceed with caution, as it is a big part of the story. Please take care of yourself!

Two books in a row that I couldn’t put down? Maybe my slump is finally over! *fingers crossed*

 

Fulfills Popsugar #37:  A book with a color in the title