Marked in Flesh
by Anne Bishop
There’s a myriad of reasons why I love this series. As a reader whose tastes tend to lean towards stories that are more in touch with reality, The Others is one of the few paranormal series that slipped through that filter. Typically, I’m drawn to the romance that a book promises. This series, however, doesn’t offer much in that respect. And that is why it’s astounding (especially to me) that I’ve consistently rated them high with every installment. So what is it about them that keep me coming back?
For one, Ms. Bishop has created a world that to me, is fascinating. Now if you’re a regular reader of paranormal fantasy, you would probably consider hers as one of many. But since I have no basis for which to compare it to, I remain amazed. After all, I can only name at least one other series that I follow in this genre: The Black Dagger Brotherhood. And that’s about the extent of my experience.
Second, Meg and Simon themselves know how to tease me enough with their budding romance. Confounding, really. Because if it were another book, the slow as molasses progression would have me running out the door faster than you can say DNF. That is not the case here. I love how seemingly innocent they are. Simon has no experience whatsoever in handling a relationship with a human. Meg does not have any experience with any healthy relationships period. Together, they are sweet, funny, and more often, silly – which makes them so irresistible.
Third, the anticipation of reading the demise of the Human First Last Movement. Truth be told, I thought it was unrealistic how far The Others have let them. It took too long to snuff them out considering how easily they can destroy their enemies. It’s just silly, I thought. So with every installment, I waited upon bated breath.
There is an underlying social relevance to these books that I’m just now realizing. Nowadays, talks of climate change and its deniers persist in social media platforms. Some political groups insist that humans are in no way responsible for the increasing greenhouse gases that contribute to Earth’s rising temperatures. But scientists insist that we are destroying the only place we call home. We have the same scenario in this series, albeit the humans were only too happy to accept responsibility. Sometimes, I wish that we have the same creatures governing the world’s natural resources. Because if you think about it, we would probably live more harmoniously in a world where war can easily be eradicated by much more superior
supernatural beings. The conflict in the Middle East would not exist because the land would not be owned by Israel or Palestine. Countries cannot invade other countries. There will be no Axis of Evil. World peace is not just a wish uttered by beauty pageant contestants. It could be a reality if The Others actually existed.