Book Review: Written in Red

Bishop launches a new series with a fully realized alternative world where humans and paranormal creatures collectively called the Others share an uneasy, often contentious coexistence. From the moment Simon Wolfgard, leader of the Lakeside Courtyard met Meg Corbyn, a human desperate for a job, he knew there was something strange about her. For one thing, Meg didn’t smell like prey and was not forthcoming about herself but being unfamiliar with how humans behave, Simon gave her the job as Human Liaison. As Meg begins learning about her duties she quickly realizes how little she knows of the world and the Others but is determined to build a life. When flyers begin circulating throughout local police precincts, officers attempting to build a working relationship with the Courtyard realize Meg is the object of an intense manhunt.

Although Meg has worked hard and begun making friends throughout the Courtyard, news of the manhunt as well as an abduction attempt force her to reveal that she is a cassandra sangue, a blood prophet capable of seeing into the future when her skin is cut deep enough to scar. Although most believe blood prophets live a pampered life, Meg quickly debases that myth with revelations about their treatment at the hands of Controllers. As Meg was the only person able to connect to Simon’s withdrawn nephew Sam, there is no way he is going to allow anyone to invade the Courtyard and remove her. Spies and covert missions converge to launch a full-scale assault on the Courtyard forcing humans and the Others into a battle that could destroy a city.

Fast-paced action, well defined characters and an imaginative storyline make for a fine paranormal read as Meg emerges from her sheltered life to take an active role within the Courtyard and discovering self worth along the way. The assorted shifters and their reactions to things like mice and dog beds is great fun as is a slightly different slant on vampires and Elementals. Once again, Bishop demonstrates her creative prowess with satisfying world building and a nice depth of history along with a variety of secondary characters, many dealing with difficult issues of their own. Better start this on a weekend ‘cause once you get started, you won’t want to stop.

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