Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop: Review

March 6, 2017 Reviews 8 ★★★★

Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop: ReviewEtched in Bone by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #5
Also in this series: Marked in Flesh, Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver
Published by Roc on March 7th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 397
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: Adult (Violence, Some sexual themes)
My rating:
4 Stars

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…

After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…

As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.

With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave.

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My Take copy3

It’s hard to believe that this is the final installment of The Others (at least as we know it—there will be future books, but this ends the Lakeside Courtyard-focused books). Meg has got to be one of my favorite fictional characters of all time, and I’m sad to see her story (and Simon’s) end. Still, Bishop gave us a fantastic send-off, so that’s cause for celebration!

What Fed My Addiction:

  • Meg’s journey. Meg has come so far since the first book in this series. She never completely lost her innocence and good-heartedness, but she is a far cry from the naive, almost childlike girl who stumbled into Lakeside Courtyard in book one. I love that in this book, Meg is looking toward a future, something she’s never been able to do before. She still fights against some of her demons (the addiction of cutting for prophesy), but she has moved to a place of hope instead of acceptance.
  • Brutal. In this installment, we get a deeper understanding of the Elders, who are even more beastly and brutal than the Others. They do not understand humanity (and never saw much use for it before Meg caught their eye). I liked seeing the world through their eyes. And there were some scenes with the Elders that were downright funny—unexpected considering their brutality.
  • Black and white and lots of gray. One of the things I’ve always loved about this series is the fact that there is a LOT of gray area when it comes to who’s good and who’s bad. We get the story as told from the perspective of the Others (and a human who is not quite human), so we see the humans as often stupid and careless and narrow-minded. But sometimes I like to think about what this series would be if it were told from the perspective of the humans—would it be a story of oppression and brutality? Would we sympathize with some of the “stupid” humans who can’t seem to keep themselves from getting eaten? Of course, when it comes to the Humans First and Last movement, it’s hard to be even a little sympathetic—this is an area where the humans are obviously wrong, acting out of fear and hatred rather than common sense and love. Still, I like to think sometimes of what that alternate POV would be like—the humans who live in fear of being eaten for any wrong move. 🙂
  • Simon and Meg. Simon and Meg have one of the most slow-burning romances of all time, and things don’t suddenly heat up in this book. But I kind of love that because it fits so well with the characters. Meg has been through so much trauma at the hands of men, it makes complete sense that she wouldn’t jump into romance. And Simon is … well, Simon. He’s an Other. And no matter how much he loves Meg, she’s still human. The romance in this final book gives us lots of sweet moments without turning Simon and Meg into completely different people.
  • Closure, but room for more. I love it when an author gives us closure to a series but leaves plenty of room to revisit the world. That’s exactly what Bishop has done. Fans of the series will be happy to know that Meg and Simon’s story arc is completed (of course, leaving room for future glimpses). This feels like a final book (but there are plans for more—sounds like more of a companion series, but right now Goodreads is calling it The Others #6).

What Left Me Hungry for More:

  • Lots of logistics in the first half. The first half of the book covered a lot of the details about basic logistics in The Others community, like where they would get food and how it would be distributed, who would work where, etc. They were trying to adjust to the new (more dangerous) world order. While some of this was interesting, I was missing a bit of the dramatic tension of the past books. There were definitely hints of promised drama with Lieutenant Montgomery’s brother, the stakes didn’t feel nearly as high to me as the last book (where Meg was trying to save the cassandra sangue). I didn’t truly feel like the danger and tension picked up until the second half of the book.

So, this is a bittersweet end, but it definitely leans toward the sweet. I’m excited that Bishop will be revisiting this world again in the future, and I can’t wait to see more of the Finger Lakes region and getting to know some new characters. This book gets 4/5 Stars from me, but the series itself is, without a doubt, an All-Time Favorite!

***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop is the winner of the RT Book Reviews 2013 Career Achievement Award in Sci-Fi/Fantasy. She is also the winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award for the Black Jewels Trilogy. Her most recent novel is Marked in Flesh, the fourth book in Anne’s urban fantasy series set in a re-imagined Earth. When she’s not communing with the Others, Anne enjoys gardening, reading, and music. (But, you should go read her much more fun and interesting, albeit longer, bio on her website.)

 

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