Meg has become an integral part of the terra indigene community in the Lakeside Courtyard. Loved and cared for by all, she is also more confident when standing up for herself. That potential I hoped for when I read Written in Red is slowly coming to fruition for this character and although she is still sweet, Meg is not as compliant. After the events that occurred a few weeks back, the Courtyard's leader Simon Wolfgard is not only an overprotective best friend who cares deeply for Meg, but her own personal bodyguard. He is there, in her bed, when her dreams bring an unexpected vision about death and blood.
Meg is having visions and those prickly feelings without the necessity of cutting her skin, but the urge to cut overwhelms her more often. She sees black feathers, blood, and snow. When crows and members of the Crowgard become targets, violence breaks out nearby between a human town and terra indigene Courtyard, and again in the Midwest. Investigations lead to the involvement of the Humans First and Last (HFL) organization and the two addictive drugs, "feel good" and "gone over wolf." The terra indigene from Thaisia won't take these attacks lightly, and as the incidents snowball, Simon, Meg, human policemen, Captain Burke and Monty, along with the rest of the crew find themselves in the center of the upcoming storm. Particularly after an incident reveals that the Controller and cassandra sague may be part of the problem. Simon won't stop until the evil man is found and his Meg is safe.
There is so much going on in this book! First, the relationship between Meg and Simon shifts from a caring to a deeper friendship that is quickly turning into more, but doesn't quite get to romance. I'm glad this relationship hasn't been rushed. I like the way Bishop handles Meg's confusion about what is going on with Simon -- after all she is pretty naïve and needs time to process new information. And, Simon's reactions and almost complete ignorance about his growing feelings for Meg are priceless. They are SO cute together. So cute!!
"Simon leaned against the back wall of the Liaison's Office.The growing relationship between Simon and Meg is wonderful, but overall Murder of Crows is a darker than Written in Red. There is carnage interspersed throughout the story from beginning to end, and gruesome scenes with seriously horrific villains. And please note that the shifters in this story are not the worse "monsters" you will find. There is more tension and less of the humorous everyday life scenes that I so enjoyed in Written in Red. Don't get me wrong there are a few quiet scenes and fun, amusing moments that made me laugh, but for the most part there seems to be a shift in focus.
Done. Simple enough since Meg had done most of the work of setting boundaries around a friendship that had had none before. He should feel grateful, but what he wanted to do was raise his head and howl the Song of Lonely."
Having said that, one of the aspects of Murder of Crows that I enjoyed is that although the perspective of the Others -- Simon, Tess, Vlad, Henry, etc. -- toward certain humans have changed or are changing through daily interactions, they still retain that certain wild darkness that makes them unique among shifters in other books. However, with the latest human communities introduced by Bishop in this installment and Simon's plans for training terra indigene in the future, it is clear that already not all humans are just "meat." So I do wonder where Bishop is headed. Probably balance, but, will these shifters retain their uniqueness by the end of this series? We'll see.
The outcome of this book is not wrapped in a tidy little bow, but the way in which the most immediate threads are resolved work for me. I am certainly looking forward to reading the next book! There are more than enough threads left open to continue with the world and relationship building. Who was the man on the train? Will there be war? Will Monty get his daughter Lizzy? I hope so! I'm also hoping for more character growth all around, as well as more growth in Meg's and Simon's relationship. I want to know more about the human cities in the old world, the newly introduced Intuits, and even more about the cassandra sangue. Bishop addresses the cutting -- how it began and the consequences -- but I'm still hoping for possible resolutions. Placing all my hopes and questions aside for now, that final, sweet scene is definitely a winner. Sigh . . .
Category: Fantasy (UF)
Series: The Others
Publisher/Release Date: Roc/March 4, 2014
Visit Anne Bishop here.
Written in Red, Book #1
Murder of Crows, Book #2