Joint review originally posted here: http://thebookpushers.com/2013/03/21/joint-review-written-in-red-by-anne-bishop/
MinnChica: I’m a newbie to Anne Bishop, so when I heard about her new series, I was excited to finally give her a try. And I have to say that I’m so glad that I did. I’m usually not a very big fan of urban fantasy books without a little bit of romance, however, I really enjoyed this UF book, despite the lack of a core romance in the story.
E: **Hang head** apparently I need to visit Bookpusher refresher training because I am a huge Anne Bishop fan. I was extremely excited to see that she was coming out with a new series and the fact that she was branching into UF made me even more curious about it. I absolutely LOVED reading Written in Red. I loved it so much that I read it twice back to back and have read it a third time since its release date. I mentioned on twitter that I had the same feeling of discovering a great read that I had when I first found Bishop’s Black Jewels trilogy. I cannot wait to find out what Bishop will do next.
MinnChica: I thought this story was absolutely amazing. It had a little bit of everything to keep me happy. Engaging characters, a fabulous plot, and a unique and fresh world that pulled me in and kept me flipping pages faster than I could read the words on the pages. I was a little worried that the concept of cutting would cause a little ick factor for me, but I found that Bishop wrote those scenes so powerfully that I wasn’t bothered at all by something that would normally have me a little queasy.
E: Like MinnChica I found that Written in Blood had something of everything. The very otherness of The Others. And yet they were willing to befriend and protect Meg. The sheer ruthlessness of the individuals Meg escaped from and their inability to care about humanity which in some ways made them more alien than The Others. Meg’s self-control and will when it came to cutting and the toll it cost each time. The hints of growing attraction between Simon and Meg but nothing blatant. And the very vividness of the world which seems to be a Bishop trademark.
MinnChica: I absolutely adored Meg. I thought she was such a wonderful and refreshing UF heroine. She had an air of innocence that translated in everything she did, and it made her come across as so sincere. She was sweet and loving to everyone she met, didn’t judge the Others, and was quick to find a friend, regardless of who or what they were. I wish that more UF heroines were like Meg: sweet, charming, loving, willing to bleed for those she loves, and yet knows her own limitations. She was a breath of fresh air.
E: It was wonderful having an UF heroine who wasn’t the all powerful, practically indestructable, and very physically fit. Meg was so the opposite yet her strengths came out as the book progressed. Her innocence and willingness to learn combined with a complete lack of pre-judgement towards anyone was so touching. Yet even with her innocence was an awareness of evil so Meg didn’t come across as saccharine sweet but had a fierce protective streak towards those she cared about.
MinnChica: I hope that we get to see a romance between Simon and Meg develop. I was absolutely blown away by how deeply I was pulled into the stories of each and every character. Simon, Sam, Vlad, Tess, Henry, Monty, Jester, Winter, even the Ponies were all so beautifully written that I couldn’t put the book down. I honestly can’t remember the last time I read a book where I was immediately drawn into and in love with so many characters after only the first book in the series.
E: Yes the supporting cast was also wonderful. Their various personality quirks combined with their animal or elemental traits. How Other politics was rather cut and dried, one species wasn’t above any of the others so they provided checks and balances and a relatively peaceful co-existence. Watching Simon and Meg interact, how others interceded on Meg’s behalf when Simon’s frustration and confusion about Meg came out as anger. The police in the local town and their efforts to stay on The Others good side. I even found myself wondering what the self-centered spy was going to think to justify her actions and thought that she had a very fitting end. I really enjoyed all of them.
MinnChica: All in all I thought that Bishop created one of the best urban fantasy worlds since Ilona Andrews came out with the Kate Daniels series. Everything comes together to create book magic – an engaging world, well written characters, and a storyline that sinks its hooks in you. I can not wait for the next book in the series to see where Bishop takes us next!
I give Written in Red an A
E: Like I said in the beginning I LOVED Written in Red. This is one of the most enjoyable first book in a series that I have read in a very long time. I am very glad that Bishop decided to branch out into UF bringing the same skills she used in her dark fantasy series. This book took the familiar aspects of UF and twisted them to provide something fresh and unusual that had me addicted from the first page. In fact writing this review has made me want to go back and read it for the fourth time. I can’t wait for the next one.
I give Written in Red an A+