by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #2
Published by: Penguin
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Length: 14 hrs and 13 mins
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard - Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader - wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat. As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet - and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.
Murder of Crows is the second book in The Others urban fantasy series by Anne Bishop and I chose to listen to the audio version. Alexandra Harris, the narrator, did a stellar job of giving the characters voice, and I once again I gave up my life for two days to consume this. Bishop is brilliant and I am in awe of her world. Mini review: Epic, complex, dark, light and brilliant.
With the appearance of two addictive drugs in Thasia reports of humans and terra indigene dying have created problems for the humans as the terra indigene respond with force. In the Lakeside community though they are working side by side to figure out what is happening and for the first time, thanks in part to Meg the terra indigene are protecting those in the human pack. Meg has prophecies of blood, snow and black feathers putting them all on alert. HFL (Humans First and Last) is active, and the tensions are high. The tale that unfolds held me captive as I worried, laughed and held my breath.
Gods above and below I love the characters that Bishop has created. I have always loved shifters, vampires, wolves and elementals, but Bishop’s interpretation of those residing in Thasia is unique. They are a little raw and use to seeing humans as prey. Yet we see tremendous growth in them as well as the humans who interact with them. Simon Wolfgaurd the leader at Lakeside made me laugh, and swoon a little. I truly enjoyed his developing relationship with Meg. Meg is such a refreshing heroine, and unlike any I have encountered in urban fantasy. She is tough when dealing with the others and shows little fear, but she is also timid and unsure. Sometimes she has this childlike innocence about her and at other times she seems wise beyond her years. All these complex sides of Meg work and make her feel genuine. I loved the growth we see in her, and when she gets annoying I cannot help but laugh. Characters from the previous novel are further developed. I love all of the supernatural characters in the courtyard and appreciated how Bishop took the time to develop these secondary characters. Bishop introduces Skippy, Intuits, and additional supernatural creatures who added humor, enriched the world and at times made me giggle-snort. We get another perspective from another cassandra sangue that was brutal, and clearly showed how these girls have suffered. Her voice is strong and she brings a clearer picture while enchancing the story in her own right. Bishop introduced villains, and other humans which added to the tale and furthered my enjoyment of this world. I did miss some of the interactions in the courtyard, but am confident we will see more.
In Murder of Crows, Bishop’s world and character building blew my mind. The threat intensified as we gained more insight into the HFL, traveled to other parts of Thasia, and new characters came into the fold. Those things alone made the book stellar, but then Bishop fleshed out relationships, introduced three dimensional characters and increased our knowledge of the terra indigene. We learn about their books, movies and have an interesting time with cookies. Meg and the community are beginning to understand more about the cassandra sangue and Meg’s prophecies. From the first page to the last the tale ebbed and flowed perfectly as the tension increased. Bishop does an outstanding job of balances the darker tones of this plot with the light. We get multiple povs, including those of the Controller and another cassandra sangue which intensified the story keeping me enthralled. The treatment of the cassandra sangue by these controllers was dark and violent from abuse to rape. Bishop didn’t attempt to flower these details. She simply presents the facts leaving them to smack and enrage the reader. When reading my reviews you often hear me say, “I wanted more world-building and fleshed out characters.” Murder of Crows and Written in Red are exquisite examples of what I crave. All of my needs were satisfied from the panoramic view to the depth of details. Nothing was rushed; the plot was well thought out, and every word and detail was relevant. If every author gave me these beautiful details as seamlessly as Bishop, I would be on a never ending book high.
I was very excited to see that once again Alexandra Harris was the narrator. Harris did a wonderful job narrating Written in Red and impressed me even more with Murder of Crows. Her depiction of Meg truly captures her emotions and even her growth. She brought the characters to life for me, and I think her pacing is perfectly matched for the Others series. She uses different voices for each character that are so unique and so clear I could immediately identify them.
I rarely re-read books. My habit is to read favorite passages of books that I loved, but I will tell you I own both the books and the audios for this series and plan to re-read them again a little each night. If audio books are your thing I totally recommend, you listen to Written in Red and Murder of Crows. If not buy the books, rent them, or borrow them but for heaven’s sake read them. *flailing hands*
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