Written in Red by Anne Bishop

NAL | Hardcover, 433 pages
March 5th, 2013
Urban Fantasy | Adult Fiction
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Set in an alternate universe where humans are the less dominant creatures, The Others series, is perhaps one that can easily be bypassed by readers of this genre. After all, shapeshifters and vampires have been written and reinvented many times over. So what else can it offer for readers and non-readers alike? 

Meg Corbyn escaped from prison that held beings like her: cassandra sangue. She’s a blood prophet; foretellers of the future read through blood that they’d spilled. They are slaves, used for profit by a man called the Controller. Their prophecies are worth a fortune, and their blood can be both   a source of bliss and violent death. 

When she stumbled upon Lakeside Courtyard, she saw a chance to hide among the terra indigene, the earth natives who rule the continent. She will be virtually untouchable if she’s under the protection of The Others. But first, Meg will have to gain their trust, beginning with the disdainful leader of the pack, Simon Wolfgard. 

When she was hired to be the Human Liaison, no one expected for her to last a day. But Meg is determined to make some semblance of life, and escape a nightmare. To their surprise, Meg became more than just clever meat. She started out as an amusing curiosity, then she slowly snuck her way into everyone’s lives. 

With prophecies thrumming in her blood, Meg will have to find a way to release them without letting anyone know what she truly is. But when human forces determined to bring down the Courtyard, and the Controller hot on her heels, Meg will have to heed the call of bloodletting.  

This is indeed, a rarity for me. To have enjoyed urban fantasy immensely – let alone read one – is astonishing. I procrastinated reading this for the only reason that I’ve never been a reader of the genre. Over the last few years, The Black Dagger Brotherhood is the only series that prevented me from being a reader-non-grata. That is an annual read, dear readers. Otherwise, I know nothing about the ins and outs of this field. 

Written in Red have been widely enjoyed by a lot of trusted friends on Goodreads, but I still had doubts. So last week, while I was packing for the weekend, I decided to take a peek to get a feel for the book. Well, colour me happy when a couple of chapters went by without my noticing. 

Let me be clear, I am not knowledgeable in this genre. I don’t know what makes for a fantastic Urban Fantasy read. What I can tell you is it has the clever ability to captivate until you’ve practically read the book in one sitting. The Black Dagger Brotherhood has the same characteristic, and why I am up to date with the series ( 12th book coming out next week). The world, the characters, and their stories are  highly immersive. Anne Bishop perfected a formula wherein abject suspense, and ominous terror was blended with heaping spoon of humour, and the characters are the proverbial cherry on top. 

I love Meg’s innocence and determination; I love Simon’s ferociousness, and Tess’s mysterious and fierce ability. I love the seemingly familial dynamics of the community, and the reluctant trust they placed on the humans that they let into their fold. I even love the Elementals, which I thought were the most powerful beings in this world. I love stepping into a different kind of universe where humans are subspecies that have to live and abide by the paranormals’ rules. 

It’s so exciting to find a series that I could love. I know it’s still early in the game (the second book just came out), but like I mentioned above, Urban Fantasy is pretty much unchartered territory for me. I have very little doubts that I will tire of these books easily. 

Do yourselves a favour and pick up Written in Red. Guaranteed to keep you up at night, not from terror but the book itself will not allow you to put it down. 

  • So I really knew nothing about this book but I have been seeing so many people rave over this one that I already put a hold on it at the Library hah. I am easy to influence like that (hence why I am also reading Open Road Summer next) but now that I actually take a moment to read the synopsis and a review, I am glad I did because this has a great premise and I'm excited to read it!

  • Will be reading this soon! So glad you picked up an urban fantasy read this time, J.! 🙂

  • I'm like you when it comes to UF. It's very very rare that I will pick up one, but when I do though, I find myself thoroughly entertained. I've heard so many good things about this series and your review just solidified my decision to grab a copy when I go book shopping next time. I love the sound of the characters and I'm happy you enjoyed them so much. Have you tried the Weird Girls series by Cecy Robson? I think you might like that series. It's more on the funny, sarcastic side, but it's so much fun! Great review, Joy!

  • Brilliant. Brilliant. I hope you'll love it too, Jeann. 😉

  • Just finished writing my review for Murder. It's the first time that I wrote a glowing review with such ease. 🙂 You're a marketing genius! You were the one that pointed this book out to me.

  • Murder of Crows is fantastic! Love. Love.

  • Yes, yes. I want to see how you'll fare with this book. You read a lot more UF than I do, so you should be a better judge than I. 🙂

  • Loved Fever, Kate Daniels was so-so. Rachel, you MUST read this series!

  • Oh my. Get going on BDB! The next one's out next week, I think. 🙂

  • This is worth the read, Cayce. Try it. 🙂

  • Yeah, not at all versed in this genre – whatever it is. 🙂

  • This one is a book that you could probably like as well, Carina. You should try it even though it's Adult.

  • I just picked this up from the library and I've heard it is brilliant from trusted goodreads friends as well! I am a fan of the urban fantasy genre but I'm glad it pleased you as well being new to the genre. Lovely review Joy!

  • *dances triumphantly and unbecomingly around Joy's blog* I'm so happy you loved it! Just wait until you read MURDER. (of crows)

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  • Oh you tried it, I'm so glad you did, it's my revelation lol, I just loved loved it and book 2 is as awesome. I hope it will be the same for you. Can't wait for book3!

  • You too, Joy? Wow, I haven't seen a anything less than 5 stars for this book yet. I read this authors Black Jewel series and enjoyed it. I'm betting it's much darker than this one. I'm making this a priority in April or no later than May.

  • How did I miss that you haven't read many UF's, Joy?!! You are definitely missing out! You must read the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning and Kate Daniels! For sure, Joy! It's a rule, or law or something, lol! 🙂 Anyways, this brings me to this book. I've wanted to read this for sometime, but I thin your review just gave me the extra added push to pick it up. It's concise and details exactly why I'm sure I'll love this book! Brilliant, Joy!

    I'm done with my current audio and need another, so I think this is going to be the one.

  • Everyone's been raving about this series…and I'm still not sure. :/ Love your review though (and I totally need to pick up BDB again, I've only made it to book 6 or 7).

  • Oh I love me some good Urban Fantasy (and it's been a while I ready any). I have to make a note to look this one up too 🙂

  • So glad you read and loved this! This is not an 'average' UF, it's more fantasy actually, but it's definitely AMAZING. I listened to the audio and absolutely fell in love. I'm glad you gave it a try!

  • I haven't heard of this book before, but I'm really glad you ended up loving it so much 😀 It sounds pretty interesting. Amazing review Joy. <3 I hope you will continue to love this series, even though only two books are out so far 🙂