Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written in Red (The Others, #1)

Written in Red by Anne Bishop

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An interesting concept of an urban fantasy with a twist, yet unfocused.

I wanted to like this book a bit more. The thing is, I do like the world, the concept, and a lot of its characters. I just kind of feel that the focus was not in the right places for a lot of the story, especially the second half. I would have thought Meg (and hopefully Simon) were supposed to be the main character in this, but after the first initial chapters we don’t really get any substantial focus on the development of their relationships, just snippets here and there. I, personally, wish that the bit about Asia could have been left out altogether, and we could have had more time with Meg and Simon. A lot of their interactions get of ‘looking back’ treatment, when we don’t actually get to read about them happening, but get told that they had happened because one or another character was remembering them happen for a brief moment. It’s like the parts that were supposed to be more interesting were left out or breezed over, and boring insignificant parts about characters who didn’t even matter in slightest got a lot of focus and ‘screen time’.
Regarding the world-building: While there probably could have been a better name than ‘Others’ (and why do we even need the word ‘Others’ if there is a proper name?), I sort of like the more savage concept for the ‘supernaturals’ that were something that have been around long before humans, and will always be more powerful than humans they can feed on. Can’t say if the concept had been really developed believably from all angles, but I think I just like it enough to kind of believe it without looking for holes much.
The concept of blood prophets on the other hand… Definitely had more holes than substance, and was also left out of focus half-way through. I believe it will probably be revisited in one of the following books, but right now it feels more like just a convenient way to make the main character more special and let her predict things from time to time an be useful.

Returning to my very first point, (I just can’t really get over it) I feel that the most interesting parts were the interactions between Meg, Simon, Wolves, and some other supernaturals, but unfortunately they were too diluted by others and felt even more few and far between than they probably were. With the progression of the story, we got less and less insight into Meg and her actions, and it felt like we were getting farther and farther away from her.
I think I’m still interested enough to read book 2, but if it will follow the same pattern – of focusing on insignificant side characters and not on the developments between the main characters – that probable will be ‘it’ for me.

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