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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Written In Red: A Novel of the Others

Written in Red - Anne Bishop ****Posted as a guest review over at Paranormalhaven.com ****Written in Red is Anne Bishop’s foray into Urban Fantasy.. and boy, what a book it is. I consider myself a pretty big fan of hers, converting my mom and a former co-worker as well into being readers of her books. The Black Jewel books are a lush, dark fantasy, and Written in Red is written in the same vein, only as an urban fantasy. I really tend to dig urban fantasy that has romance written into it, but this book packs a hell of a wallop even without the romance.Meg is a cassandra sangue, that is, a blood prophet who can see the future when her own skin is cut. She’s on the run from her handlers and ends up stumbling upon a help wanted sign in the Lakeside Courtyard for the Human Liaison position. Simon Wolfgard runs Howling Good Reads, a bookstore in the courtyard, and meets Meg Corbyn when she stumbles in from the cold asking about the position. Simon Wolfgard is Terra Indigene, or in more basic terms, one of The Others. Going on instinct, Simon decides to hire Meg right then and there.I will say this. I struggled with the first 20-25 % of the book. It started slow, there is a LOT of detail to wade through, and quite a few characters are introduced. Anne Bishop has created a marvelous and intriguing world, but it took quite a while before I was actually sucked in. The Terra Indigene runs the gamut, from wolves to vampires to Elementals that call in the seasons. The Courtyard is a tract of land in every single city where the Others reside. Vlad, one of the Sanguinati, or vampires if you like, is one of my favorite characters in the book. He doesn’t get a whole lot of page time, but I found myself loving the idea of having vampires engulf their prey and suck out blood when they were in smoke form. Fascinating ideas populate the entire book and that’s what eventually reeled me into really liking the book.One of the biggest flaws in the storyline came in the form of a woman named Asia Crane. Given the complexity and depth of the world the author has created, the character comes across as rather one note. Having been turned down by Simon Wolfgard on a couple of levels, she decides to befriend Meg so she can get more information on her and the Courtyard. You see how Meg develops as a character throughout the book and by contrast, Asia comes across as petty and villainous. There isn’t a lot of depth and given what you know about the rest of the characters, it didn’t seem to match the rest of the story. But that’s me being really nitpicky. It’s a fantastic story and I would definitely recommend that fans of urban fantasy pick it up if you enjoy complex world building and riveting characters.