Series: The Others #2
Published by HarperCollins Australia, Voyager on March 4, 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
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After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more.
The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murders of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside's shape-shifting leader—wonders whether their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or of a future threat.
As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
After the fantastically unique urban fantasy Written in Red, I am pleased to say that The Murder of Crows lived up to the first book and delves even deeper into a world where monsters co-exist with humans….but only barely.
In Murder of Crows, The Others or the terra indigene are struggling to maintain control with the humans, as one of the towns outside of Lakeside falls. The terra indigene have exacted revenge against a murderer of their kind, and the results are disastrous. We get to see a lot of the world outside of The Courtyard, including other characters, towns and even the situation surrounding the cassandra sangue (or blood prophets). Murder of Crows introduces intuits, which are gifted humans with psychic ability, the perfect back story to why blood prophets exist.
There’s a sinister air about, as the Others are constantly under threat based on the prophecies which Meg experiences. She foresees havoc and danger, and we also experience the perspective of an evil character, The Controller who holds the cassandra sangue captive and sells their services to clients. It delves into some pretty dark themes, such as rape, kidnapping and profiteering, and it was really eerie and disturbing seeing his thoughts and actions.
“But if you murder enough Crows, they’ll stop poking through the trash – and secrets will remain secrets.”
My very favourite part of the book was the development between Simon Wolfgard and Meg. They have formed a confusing bond with each other and their cluelessness while dealing with human emotion was really adorable and hilarious. Meg, having escaped from confinement in a facility and only discovering the world, holds a childlike innocence when it comes to learning about men, love and sex. Simon on the other hand, is a wolf and a terra indigene who shouldn’t have feelings for humans who are really their food source, but he regards her as one of his wolf pack that needs to be protected.
This series really does excel in terms of the convincing, well fleshed out world building and these characters that hold a lot of charm. Meg is one of the most unique urban fantasy heroines I’ve had the pleasure to come across; she’s not a kickass assassin or warrior and is actually physically vulnerable, but she has this strength, playfulness and intriguing aura about her. With her childlike charm and ability to build a rapport with each of the creatures in The Courtyard, Meg has really integrated herself into their community. Seeing The Others slowly grow accustomed to their “human pack” that they need to protect was an interesting dynamic.
“Maybe you should go home and rest,” Simon told Meg. Maybe he could go home with her and they could cuddle for a while or play a game. Or she could watch a movie with him and pet him.”
Even though The Others are a group of ferocious and terrifying monsters, they really have this familial vibe about them that is heart warming and unique. These creatures do not fight amongst themselves, because they need to band together to ensure the protection of their species. Their protectiveness, care and respect when it comes to Meg and her decisions shows that they do have a ‘human’ side to them, even if they are still learning to get along with humans. The book does wrap up after a terrifying glimpse into the havoc these monsters can reap when provoked, reminding us not to let our guards down based on their true origins.
Murder of Crows continues Anne Bishop’s brilliant series about monsters and their protection of the fragile blood prophet Meg. Devouring the book will be a treat as you discover how the terra indigene manage to live with humans with a limited understanding of them. Filled with charm, wonder, family ties and horror, this series is a brilliantly modern urban fantasy.
Rating: 5 out of 5
I received a review copy from HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.
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