Yes!! This is one of those books that are better in audiobook!
I have no books to compare it to. I never listened to a similar story. At first I wanted to compare it to some shapeshifter books I have read but as the story progressed, the characters were so much different than those books. They were WAY better!!!!
I was surprised that I ended up liking her performance. At first it did seem a bit boring but as more characters were introduced, her performance was great. Animal noises and all!
I don't know why but whenever there are animals involved, I get attached to them. So whenever something or someone threatens them in the book, I get emotionally involved. Sam's story did it for me! He is such an adorable character!
I would recommend this book to a friend who likes damsel-in-distress scenarios along with fantasy characters. But the reader's slower pace and overly precise diction made the narration seem a little choppy.
The characters are inventive and have complex personalities that continue to unfold throughout the book.
Yes... with hesitation. I want to hear a continuation of the story, but I would prefer a different reader.
Mysterious girl struggles to live among carnivores and not become dinner.
I really don't know what I was thinking when I bought this book, but I am glad that I did. The story is great and the narration is also great. I have listened to this book twice which is something that I rarely ever do. I cared about most of the characters and once I realized that the main narration was from the POV of someone like the main character I wasn't annoyed by some of the dialogue that would otherwise have made me gag.
strangely sweet; macabre
I liked the subplot of Sam and Meg. It's cute and still retains that danger of the misunderstandings which can happen when interacting with a cuture so alien. Of course for Meg, almost all culture is alien.
I liked when meg stepped on the watchwolf's foot on purpose because it shows she is getting assertive. It is fun to see all of the tough guys trying not to make her upset. She is a physically frail heroine because she has genuine medical issues but she is not a "mary sue." There are no heaving bosoms or fainting and it is all the more impressive because she was determined and she ran from the only place she knew with only some stolen clothes. She is not physically a warrior but she has a fighting spirit and isn't afraid of the big bad wolf (mostly).
When she slept on the sorting table because she was afraid of being retaken and her statement she would rather live free and die early than go back.
I would have never thought I could be sympathetic to characters who turn into animals and enjoy eating humans. Anne makes these characters likeable without making them into cuddly animal versions of really tough (but good hearted) people. The "others" continue to be very alien and horror inducing, and yet I was cheering for thier team. Fanastic writing, original premise, a plot that kept my attention, creepy, and strangely heartwarming.
Getting audio books to listen to on my buss ride to and from work, it usually takes me a week to listen to a book this long. This was so different I could not stop listening and finished by Tuesday. On to the next one!
Cant explain without spoilers
Winter and Spring. The voice Meg was occasionally too high pitched but you get used to it .
I giggled often causing others on the buss to stare.
An excellent escape from reality for 12 hours
The story is good. the characters and world building were interesting. The performance left something to be desired. ma. Harris seems to have limited inflection and it was difficult to determine which characters she spoke of. Accents did not correlate and she needed better enunciation. The music at the end was intrusive.
This novel is an excellent platform for another great series from Anne Bishop. Much like the Black Jewel epic, Anne creates a rich fantasy world with characters who are interesting, likeable, and completely fallible. As a reader, I'm pulled in by their journey and feel connected to what happens to these well developed characters. Looking forward to see what happens to The Meg!
Long term book junkie only recently addicted to audio books. Now my iPod and I are inseparable.
I listened to the audiobook version of "Written In Red" in December 2013. I didn't write a review because I was so blown away all I'd have been able to say was: "Best fantasy novel I've read in a long, long time." I needed a bit of distance to get some perspective on what I enjoyed and why.
Last weekend, I was in "Forbidden Planet" in Liverpool and saw that the third book in the series, "Vision In Silver" had just been released in hardback. It was an instant and joyful buy. So I figured it was time to review the books that have brought me so much pleasure.
In my view "Written In Red" is closer to classic science fiction than it is to urban fantasy. Anne Bishop isn't writing about supernatural creatures roaming city streets. She's created an alternative reality, imagined the way good science fiction should be: starting with two small changes to our familiar reality - humans are not at the top of the food chain and shapeshifters are not only real but dominant - while keeping everything else the same and then working through the consequences. She then delivers complex, credible, I'm-hungry-to-know-more world-buidling in simple prose. But what makes this book unmissable is the way she made her world real to me by creating characters I cared about and putting them in peril.
The back story to Anne Bishop's alternative reality is that humans evolved and developed their civilization away from the wilderness that covers most of the planet. Then they came into contact with The Others - predatory shapeshifters and fierce elementals - who dominate the planet and to whom humans are "clever meat". The two cultures clashed. The humans lost, again and again, over centuries. Eventually the humans negotiated the right to specific pieces of land in exchange for services rendered.
At the time of the events of "Written In Red", humans are thriving on their "reservations" and are being supervised by Others living in Courtyards from which they observe what the clever meat is up to.
The Others in "Written In Red" can be described as werewolves or vampires or even werecrows but Anne Bishop only uses the familiar tropes to twist away from them. The Others are not humans who shift into wolves. They are wolves who occasionally choose to put on human skin. The Others are fundamentally alien. They literally eat humans that displease them. They are fiercely loyal to each other. They have a strong sense of pack or flock or hierarchy. They are civilized but they are not at all like us.
Into this world comes Meg Corbyn, a homeless waif with a secret. A Courtyard takes her in as their "Human Liaison" and the history of the world starts to pivot. Meg is engaging vulnerable, empathetic, curious, kind, and dutiful. Her innocence is explained by her sequestered life as a cassandra sangue, a woman who can see the future if her is skin is sliced. That she is kind and extremely likable is explained only by the fact that she is Meg.
The interaction between Meg and the Others is one of the most enjoyable things about the book. They laugh at her and puzzle over her but they also give her shelter. They declare her to "Our Meg" and protect her even though they are unaware of her background. She becomes, in effect, a valued pet human.
The treatment of the cassandra sangue by humans is far more monstrous than anything the Others do. When the Others sell human flesh as "Special Meat" it is an honest, malice-free act. When humans exploit the cassandra sangue, their actions are both fundamentaly inhumane and realistically human.
Anne Bishop's alternative reality is as dark and threatening as an ancient forest. Immediately after reading the book, I might have said that the darkness came from the constant threat the Others pose to humans, but the darkest image lingering in my imagination is Meg's razor: the one with her number on it, the one that was used to slice her skin to force her visions, the only thing she carried with her to her new freedom. The razor is a source pain and pleasure, a sign of slavery and a badge of honour, a bone-deep fear and a heart-felt desire. The razor and all it means, makes Meg Corbyn much darker than she first appears to be. In many ways it brings her closer to being one of the Others and makes her disturbing as well as engaging.
In "Written in Red", most humans who have power or are seeking it, are not mentally equipped to accept a status quo in which they are not at the top of the food chain. They are constantly plotting, looking for an edge that will enable them to become the apex predators. This seemed realistic to me, although I think the human evil-doers would have been more interesting if they had been a little less irredeemably venal.
Alexandra Harris does an excellent job as the narrator, particularly with the voice she uses for Meg.
"Written In Red" is original, rigorously thought through, passionate and written in deceptively simple prose. I believe it is the start of an outstanding series.