Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Series: The Others #1
Published by Penguin Audio
Published on: March 5, 2013
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
Length: 18 hrs & 32 mins
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No one creates realms like New York Times best-selling 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.
I don’t usually read a lot of straight-up fantasy but when WRITTEN IN RED showed-up on practically everyone’s year-end top ten lists—my curiosity got the best of me and listening to it became a priority. Werewolves and vampires have been romanticized by the paranormal genre so it was refreshing to see them cast in a purely predatory light. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author but it quickly became clear to me that Anne Bishop is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to world-building. I loved immersing myself in her universe, and with the help of Alexandra Harris’ superb narration, THE OTHERS went from being an unknown-to-me series to a must listen.
Meg Corbyn’s adventures begin when she shows up at the Lakeside Courtyard, fleeing her captors on the heels of a prophecy that foretold her death. Having been confined in a compound all of her life, the heroine’s view of the world is based on images rather than on personal experiences which made exploring THE OTHERS universe through her eyes especially unique. I loved learning more about the cassandra sangue as well as all of the other breeds of terra indigene. Nothing is black and white about WRITTEN IN RED except maybe Meg; her childlike innocence was incredibly endearing. I adored her!
The story has a palpable element of danger to it that makes the audiobook difficult to put down because you constantly want to know what happens next. Despite the dark tone of this tale, there are a few quirky aspects that will end up surprising you later on—everything has a purpose, even the cute ponies! The characters are fantastic and plentiful; from the heroine to cranky Simon Wolfgard, and Winter. I loved Sam, Grandfather Erebus, and even Tess… basically everyone except Asia. I can’t remember the last time a villain infuriated me to the point that, weeks later, just typing her name in a review still makes my blood boil.
I wasn’t blown away by Alexandra Harris’ narration at first, but Anne Bishop’s writing style can’t be easy to convey. As the story progressed she began to grow on me to the point that the possibility of reading the next installment has been taken off the table. Harris does a great job of mirroring the tone of the book and of switching between the multitudes of characters. Her scene transitions were at times somewhat abrupt but overall I enjoyed her delivery.
It’s funny how MURDER OF CROWS, the follow-up installment to the first novel in a series that I originally had no intention of reading has become one of my top most anticipated books of 2014. WRITTEN IN RED is indescribably good and unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Read it, you won’t regret it.
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This is high on my maybe list. It is nice to get a non-fantasy readers POV since usually fantasy loses me. I may need to see if my library has it 🙂
I don’t read a lot of Fantasy, but I was surprised by how much I loved this one. Anne Bishop when from being an unknown-to-me author to the top of my must-read list.
I listened to this book early this year at the recommendation of Lupdilup and I also saw it on many people’s top ten list. I’m so glad I was pushed to listen. I agree, that the narration was a little strange at the beginning, but it really grew on me. I have yet to figure out if I got to like the narration or if the story was just so good, that I didn’t care that the narration was just so-so. Either way, I plan on purchasing Murder of Crows the day it is released. I’m saving an Audible credit just for it.
Great review Carmel.
I’m not sure whether it was the narrator or the story either. LOL Either way, I’ve pre-ordered the next book on Audible.
I think I am the only person that didn’t like this =)
Well that one just got added to the TBR…or maybe I’ll do the TBListen LOL! I had heard a little about Written in Red but not enough to really want to read it. Now you have me wanting to know more 🙂
I tried to do this book justice in my review but in case I didn’t… I LOVED WRITTEN IN RED!!! Hehe
It sure was cool and different 😀 And I approve of that
Yes, it’s a nice step away from the norm.
Awesome review Carmel!!! I couldn’t said it better myself.
We’ll be very busy and totally syncronized the day of Murder of Crows’ release.
I’m so thrilled you loved it 🙂 YAY!
I could have gotten a paper ARC of book 2, but I’m holding out for the audio.
Yeah, so glad you loved it Carmel! The paperback will be available soon, and I am getting that one too. And yes, Murder of Crows, I can hardly wait for it! I follow a group or fanpage on Facebook about this series, and the good news is, she is very busy with book 3.
And long as she keeps ’em coming, I’ll be a very happy girl!
I’ve heard great things and will be reading this one really soon. I originally had it on my read-a-thon post but then realized it didn’t fit the criteria so I had to wait to read. Great review! I love when you’re on the fence about a book that ends up being a top read 🙂
Exactly! Those are usually the best kinds of reads. The unexpectedly awesome ones!
Oh I’m so happy you tried it as well, I loved it so much! I agree with you first book by this author but I was really surprise by the way she did her world, it’s amazing. And well I also loved Meg. At least the great thing about reading it right now is that the second will be there soon. And I’m so happy about that. I never order books like that as expensive but this time I did it without any thoughts.
Audiobooks are always expensive but you’re right, this one’s definitely worth the price! Book 2 can’t get here soon enough!
Yet another series I want to try. Like you, I’m a were-girl myself and I’m sure I’ll enjoy this just as much.
These werewolves aren’t like any I’ve ever read before. Highly recommend!
I really want to read this one simply because of all the hype.
That’s what made me read it, and I have no regrets! It was awesome!
I think this needs to be my next audio purchase..I love your review..sold!
You’re easy! 😀
I loved this one too. I just wrote my review for it on my lunch break today. LOL I’m linking to your review and Jen over at Red Hot Books because of you two I listened to it. I can’t wait for Murder of Crows.
I have Hot Listens & Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks to blame for me starting this series. LOL
I’ve had this on my TBR for a long while but I’m thrilled to discover that it’s also a decent audio read! I tend to get through my audio reads much quicker, so I’m glad when a book I want to read turns out to be a good audio. How lucky would I be if this was in the audible 1st sale?!? Fingers crossed – I’m going to look now. Great review!
There’s one on now and it’s not there unfortunately. Maybe next time!
SO GOOD!!! Read it and now I can’t wait to listen to it 🙂
I read this one after checking out Hot Listens and your reviews. So, that’s pretty funny. Hehe
My friend is a huge fan of this book and I really want to read it. Glad that it’s lived up to the hype.
Really loved the book, but didn’t enjoy the audiobook. The narrator wasn’t very expressive in the narration parts, and I really disliked her Simon voice. Nevertheless, I’ll probably buy the audiobook of Murder of Crows, if only so I can still “read” the book while driving to/from work.
Okay, I know that you reviewed this waaaay waaay waaaay before (lol or more like almost 2 weeks ago :P) but I can’t help but feel so HAPPY that you loved this one. Written in Red is one of my best 2013 reads and I can’t count the number of times I reread it because it just gives me all the feels. I used to NOT like werewolves (thanks a lot, Twilight), but their and other Elementals’ portrayal here changed all that. I absolutely LOVED how everyone else aside from Meg are so dangerous, but because of a kind heart, instead of becoming predatory they became protective instead. There’s just something about that that speaks VOLUMES to me.
Are you excited for Murder of Crows? I can’t keep myself on to my seat – that’s how excited I am. I’ll be buying it once the clock strikes twelve!!!
Faye @ The Social Potato