Author: Anne Bishop
Released: march 8th 2016
Warnings: Graphic deaths
I still can’t get over how wonderful the Others series has ended up being. When I first saw the description for it, I had a lot of concern that it would be either too dark or go off the rails, but knowing that Anne Bishop does a great job producing immersive worlds, I knew I had to give it a chance anyway. Four books in and I still don’t regret that decision. If anything I just wish I could read faster so I could get caught up with the series quicker (yeah, I’m still one novel behind and it’s killing me).
Warnings first: Some of the characters (for sake of spoilers I’m not going to say whom) in this novel end up dying a pretty graphic death. It’s one of those things where if you don’t let yourself think about it too much you might be okay – but maybe not. I made the mistake of letting myself think about it, and it felt like a punch to the gut, so consider yourself warned. You’ll see the event coming from a mile away; Anne Bishop does a pretty good job of warning her readers with this one.
Trust me when I say there’s a little something for everyone in Marked in Flesh. Meg is still working to understand her abilities (more on that later), the plot is intense, but there’s still some funny moments in it, there’s still some cute pup Sam moments, and then there’s the whole Simon/Meg relationship buildup that’s been going on. Needless to say, there’s quite a bit going on in this novel. So if you’re looking for a book (or series) to dive into, let me suggest this one for you.
I love that they’re going forward with Meg trying to gain control over her abilities. I’d love to see a future where Meg doesn’t need to cut to see…well…the future. Not only for the obvious reasons (her life expectancy for one), but because it means that the quality of life for her and all the other girls would significantly go up. Plus it means that there’s a chance that future generations might never need to get hooked on the euphoria of cutting for prophecies. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Of course, as Meg mentioned multiple times, there’s no euphoria with alternate forms of prophecy telling. I don’t know how long it’ll take her to truly understand the alternate options for her here, but it’ll be interesting to see her sort it all out.
The Humans First and Last movement (oh man do I hate those jerks – and yes, I’m holding back by calling them jerks) have been an active nuisance for the Terra Indigene for too long, and frankly I don’t understand why they thought they could continue to get away with acting like that. The higher ups in the organization I almost get (even though they’re by far the worst of the bunch), in their minds they’ve become untouchable; safe even. But the everyday people on the ground thinking they could get away with back talking to a wolf in human skin? That just seems suicidal to me (I mean, it’s not like the police could arrest said wolf for eating the guy).
With so many different humans acting up for as long as it has (going on four books worth of time now), it really was just a matter of time before they went too far, or for the Others to get tired and finally respond in kind. I’m actually surprised it didn’t happen right after they raided the Cassandra Sangue compounds earlier (because there’s no way what was happening to those girls was done by a ‘benevolent benefactor’).
What I really love about this series is the ability to make us laugh despite all of the tensions in the air. Seeing the wolfgaurd constantly being thrown off by a blood prophet’s human actions is oddly endearing, as well as frequently hilarious. Though I don’t think anything will top Simon trying to learn how to deal with Meg and the rest of her ‘human pack.’ It’s adorable, but it’s also really hard not to laugh at Simon at times. I suspect that’s why so many ship Meg and Simon getting together, and to be honest, I really can’t blame you guys there. Sign me up for that ship!
In a way I’m almost happy that I’m still behind in the series. I still have one more published novel waiting for me, and then the next is out in just a few months. So there really isn’t that much waiting for me, right now that is. Once I’m caught up I’ll be forced to wait along with everybody else, and that isn’t going to be fun.