Written in Red by Anne Bishop: Sink your Teeth into this Meaty Paranormal

April 23, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

Written in Red by Anne Bishop: Sink your Teeth into this Meaty ParanormalWritten in Red by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #1
Published by Voyager on March 1, 2013
Source: Borrowed
Genres: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
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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.

Written in Red is not a paranormal book where the creature falls in love with a heroine. Instead, it convincingly portrays the creatures of the night as actual monsters who want to eat people, which was completely refreshing. Written in an immersive world where these creatures and humans live together under a strict agreement, I loved every detail within this story.

Although the concept behind the world isn’t terribly sophisticated, it’s sheer simplicity was effective. The Others or terra indigene were the first inhabitants for Earth and are the ruling class. They have evolved into different forms and over time, have learnt to cohabitate with humans under strictly monitored areas called the Courtyards. From werewolves, to vampires, to weather sprites and crows, Written in Red contains an array of paranormal creatures. I really enjoyed how they each integrated into human society.

Anne Bishop elegantly weaves the intricate details of the world of terra indigene and how they live and interact with the humans into the story. From the shops within the Courtyard, to how they wear human forms to appear less threatening, to serving “special meat” at the butcher and terra indigene horror novels, the author really fleshes out every detail of the world and brings it to life.

Most of the terra indigene didn’t want to love humans; they wanted to eat them. Why did humans have such a hard time understanding that? 

Meg is one of the most unique protagonists I’ve come across. She’s on the run from some hidden captors and there’s an air of mystery about her as she becomes the Human Liaison. Meg has this innocence about her where she hasn’t properly been conditioned about the danger of the Others, so she quickly charms them with her compassion and bravery. I adored the beautiful friendship she built with Sam the werepup, and loved how she baited the werewolves with dog cookies. She does have a special snowflake status though, being a cassandra sangue or blood prophet who can see visions.

The side characters are all fascinating, even Asia Crane, the wannabe actress and special investigator who tries to coerce Simon into sleeping with her. Simon Wolfgard was definitely my favourite, as he growls and scares the humans yet he has this niggling self doubt about whether he’s crossing the line. There wasn’t exactly a romance here, but definitely glimmers of something evolving in the next book.

And Meg. Making deliveries, making friends, making a life among them in such a short time. Meg. One of Namid’s creations, both terrible and wondrous. 

While there really wasn’t a strong plot line, Written in Red is a book that I savoured. I enjoyed the slow paced environment, the character driven plot and the different elements of the story. Anne Bishop expertly weaves mystery, action, paranormal and comedy together and brings us an intricately crafted book in the paranormal genre. I absolutely loved it, and think paranormal or adult urban fantasy lovers will too.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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56 responses to “Written in Red by Anne Bishop: Sink your Teeth into this Meaty Paranormal

  1. […] Written in Red by Anne Bishop, I knew it was going to be good but I didn’t realise just HOW GOOD! The detailed, intricate world building of paranormals who own the Earth and actually treat humans like a food source, along with the interesting character of Meg and how she tempts werewolves with dog cookies was an interesting dynamic. […]

  2. It was sooo good Faye, I knew you loved it so was so pleased when I enjoyed it too! Can't wait to read the 2nd book, think I'll read it soon 🙂 just needed a bit of a break from it so I can enjoy Simon hehe.

  3. I'm very pleased to see that you loved this book, Jeann! I'm sure you know by now how much I love, promote, adore, and worship this series so much. I agree; Simon was one of the best characters here. He appears simple but he has tons of complexity deep inside, with his wanting to be ferocious but wanting to be diplomatic at the same time. When are you reading the next book? ;P
    Faye @ The Social Po recently posted…[BLOG TOUR]Interview – Kimberly Pauley of Ask MeMy Profile

  4. I want to read this one really badly. I've heard so many great things about it and it sounds just like the type of book I like. It's pretty cheap on The Bookdepository, so i think one of these days I am just going to order it.

    A slow paced book can be really good as long as it fits the story, which seems to be the case with this one. And glimmers of romance with the hope of something in the next book, I love those kind of slow building romances. I also think it's an unique twist how The Others just want to eat humans instead of living together. Great review Jeann!
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  5. This review kind of makes me want to swear. In a good way though! Like in a f*ck yeah, kind of way 🙂

    Thank God for supernatural creatures who aren't portrayed to be little bunnies pining over high school girls and who are actual MONSTERS, at least some of the time. We need more paranormal books with vampires who actually act like vampires. Seriously.

    I can't remember, but have you read Coldest Girl in Coldtown? That's pretty good at giving us some nasty, vicious vamps!
    Allie @ Little Birdi recently posted…Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender {Leslye Walton}My Profile

  6. When you said "Written in Red is not a paranormal book where the creature falls in love with a heroine." I was like WHAT!? You have to have a least some romantic interest and plus they are like my favourite kind. Then I saw that there may be one in the sequel I sighed in relief. This is like prequel to a relationship if there is one mainly based on describing the characters persona's which I think is right up my alley. Lovely review, my friend. 🙂
    Emma @ Never Judge a recently posted…“WISH YOU WERE HERE” with Jennifer E. SmithMy Profile

  7. W ow this one definitely sounds like an interesting take on the whole paranormal book because it's so dark yet simplistic. I feel like the atmosphere of this one alone is enough to hook you so that you keep reading and then realize all the other fabulous aspects 🙂 Fantastic review, Jeann! <33
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  8. I'm so glad you enjoyed this too Jeann! Your review is spot on and I absolutely love how The Others are portrayed here because as you know, I do hate it when paranormal characters are overly romanticized in books and WiR is indeed very refreshing in its take on vampires and shifters. And I'm debating on which cover I like better…still can't decide! 🙂
    Amir recently posted…Audiobook Review: Veronica Mars: The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line by Rob Thomas & Jennifer GrahamMy Profile

  9. I have to say i'm interested in this one since you mentioned that the world building is pretty awesome because lately i feel like a lot of world building in books…isn't. Thanks for sharing Jeann i'll be adding this one to my TBR!

    Lily @ Lilysbookblog
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  10. I have heard nothing but amazing things about this book and I really want to read it. I haven't read any UF bok in a while so I think I'd enjoy it and that world-building sounds amazing. I'm so happy you enjoyed it. Great review, Jeann 🙂
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  11. I really liked this too. I agree that it wasn't the most plot-driven book, but the world-building was absolutely phenomenal. I loved that the supes were in charge instead of hiding from the puny humans, and I loved how the human forms of the creatures still displayed their more animal-like tendencies. So much fun this book!
    Jessica @ Rabid Read recently posted…Review: Generation V by M.L. BrennanMy Profile

  12. This sounds AWESOME Jeann! Sometimes simple yet engrossing plots are the best, right? 😉 And I love when stories have such complex, well-developed characters and this sounds like no exception! Definitely going to have to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing and, as always, brilliant review! <3
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