Thursday, April 7, 2016

Anne Bishop - Marked in Flesh

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others changed. Some, like Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn, see the new, closer companionship as beneficial—both personally and practically.
But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others—and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs…

Comment: I've been eagerly waiting for this book to arrive but since I was told it was dispatched until I finally got it 29 days have gone by. It seems incredible how long it took for the book to arrive, especially when books I was informed were dispatched later from the same local, have arrived sooner than this one. Could the mail services really hold on this book for so long and others not? It's quite the mystery but part of me thinks this book probably wasn't dispatched until later that what I was told...

So, this is the fourth installment in the Others series by Anne Bishop, an author whose writing is one of those I cherish the most because she is elegant, perfect and polished.
In this sequel, Meg and the Others she now cares about, along with the human "pack" that loves Meg too and all the people who share the task of helping others like Meg are getting ready to face the enemies of the HFL, more so now that their radical attacks are escalating. But there's a weapon the Others will let happen even when they also fear it, the Elders, beings so powerful and capable of destroying everything in their paths that is important to be certain who and what should be protected.
How will this fight end, will the future be truly final for some people or countries?

I liked this book but I have to be honest, two things have probably decreased my overall appreciation of all its glory... first, the amount of time I waited and despaired (although nothing to do with the author's talent ) got me in a certain mood, so I felt like I had to really enjoy it because of my eagerness, which means I kind of felt all the little issues like daggers, and then the book itself is like a heavy plan being set, so lots of planning and set ups, meaning the action wasn't the same as in the previous books, where we saw many domestic scenes and world building I couldn't gorge myself enough in.
The talent is still here, bit the book isn't as perfect as the others in terms of content.

The plot keeps all the things that have been happening in the other books but obviously new situations happen here that have to be dealt with. The setting up is quite clever and filled with details one wouldn't even consider but the author explains, develops and presents in such a way it's almost amazing how we wouldn't think of the same things, but indeed they matter. However, this doesn't really make the action develop much, and even less in terms of character's interactions, because it's all so contained and to the point...I felt the lack of situations where the characters I care about would do or say things that the Others, in particular, would see as good traits and how some people are worthy of being respected and taken care of.

This is a book where tension is building and building but the things we do want to see never really get to explosion moment.
Closer to the end we Meg and Simon, whose relationship is cautions, innocent but with hidden sensual layers - never acted upon of course - try to be bolder in what comes next, but it happened in such a way I don't think was very up to what it should, mainly because all their interactions before were too innocent for it to be believable they jumped from one conscious notion to the other. I don't know, maybe it's the setting up of a series finale or something, but I expected a bit more romance, even in their clumsy, innocent mindsets.

The surprises in this book weren't many and not to the point where we could say "game-changer", but it gave an idea of how this is supposed to go into. I really hope the next book can shows the good guys again, having a different but better take on life and friendship.
This world remain amazing, special, strong, but this book didn't have the impact others had, both in terms of plot and characterization. But it's still a wonderful installment and, once again, I can't wait for the next one.
Grade: 8/10

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