No one creates realms like New York Times best-selling author Anne Bishop. Now in a thrilling new fantasy series, enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities - vampires and shape-shifters among them - who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.
As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut - a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg's Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard - a business district operated by the Others.
Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she's keeping a secret, and second, she doesn't smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she's wanted by the government, he'll have to decide if she's worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.
©2013 Anne Bishop (P)2013 Penguin Audio
I have been happily married for 17 years, I have 3 children (12, 14, & 16), and 2 dogs. I am currently working on a 2nd degree. Life is chaotic and stressful, but I wouldn't change it. I am blessed and enjoying my life.
This is truly a wonderful book, from start to finish, just outstanding. The book is 18 plus hours, I managed to listen to the entire book in about 30 hours. I did nothing else! The characters and the world that they live in are phenomenal. As events unfolded, I kept checking to see how much longer I had. This will probably be one that I go back and listen to again. And don't you just love it when the bad guys get exactly what they deserve?! It was really an outstanding performance with both Anne Bishop and Alexandra Harris. And you have got to be damned good to deliver such a fantastic performance without even one love scene!
This performance is worth BOTH of my credits for the month, so it was a bargain at only one credit.
I loved this book!
I am not Anne Bishop's biggest fan (I DO like her writing!) but this was a very nice and happy surprise. The book is original and fresh with scary monsters aplenty.
The world setting was very well done and nicely written, even with the cutting and the pain/pleasure involved.
This first installment (I'm guessing this is a series?) has no big romance or cliffhanger (so refreshing) in the end, I can't wait for the next one!
So until then, this is a reread waiting to happen. ;D
The story, characters and world building! I have read in some places that this is being categorized as urban fantasy but I feel that it is more straight fantasy in the vein of her Black Jewels series. The Other characters are dark and dangerous but endearing. I loved seeing Meg grow while in the protection of the Courtyard and seeing the Others being more "humanized" through their interactions with her. Sam was absolutely adorable!
All of the interactions between Meg and Sam.
I don't think Ms. Harris did a terrible job but I thought most of her female voices sounded a bit childlike in pitch. I also didn't care for the tempo of the reading or how she emphasized some words but I was still able to lose myself into the story.
If you have enjoyed any of Anne Bishop's previous series, you will most likely like this one.
Love Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Romance books.
I have already listened to this twice. It takes a little while to get used to since it is a different twist on the shifter human relations then you see in most paranormal books, but that is what makes it so good. The characters are excellent, well developed and likable. Bishop does a good job of establishing and explaining the world for these characters. The story is engaging and keeps you listening and wanting more at the end. I already cannot wait for the next book to come out.
The only negative thing I can say is that I did have to speed up the narrator's voice. But once I did, it was just fine. And the story draws you right in. I finished the book and still can't get the story and all the things that happened out of my head. I really wish the next book was available, and no other book I have listened to in the mean time has even come close to measuring up. You won't regret this one.
I'll read anything good. I'm easy that way.
The lead character, Meg, sorts mail. All day, everyday. And in great detail. I felt like I was sorting mail. The description of the office where she sorts the mail is also given in minute detail. As it is winter, there is a lot of taking off and putting on of boots and wiping up the floors with a towel so no one slips. (This is an obsession with the author.) We know whether or not a character is wearing a coat. In every scene. Throughout the book.
There is much discussion of the weather, of books from the library, of boxed lunches. There is the purchase of dog cookies, dog beds, and the choice of treats for the ponies. All charming in a way, but not really good fiction. If descriptions of the mundane add to the tone of a story, then they are welcome, but too much of it makes the story too mundane, and very dull.
You are lulled into an almost fairytale state of mind by the reader, which is pleasurable for the first half of the book. It's when you wake up in the middle and start to wonder why nothing is happening, that you begin to question the lack of character growth.
Both Meg and the "Other" characters are one dimensional and emotionless unless afraid (Meg) or gruff (wolves). The only character you care about at all is a wolf cub named Sam. He at least laughs and plays and yet, even he is shown little to no affection.
I believe it was the author's intention to create a sense of innocence in the characters, but that left no one in charge, and created an emotional stasis in the story.
The world building is poorly worked out. When the Big Bad attacks at the end of the story, the wolves, who we are given to believe, are so strong they can rip a man apart, are easily killed by bullets. So what is to prevent all the monkey's from buying guns and wiping them out?
In the end, I felt weirdly cheated. I'd hung in there waiting for someone to get a clue, grow a little, feel something -- but there wasn't enough here to make me buy the next book in the series. If I'm going to spend my day sorting mail, I'd rather be paid for it.
The characters are shallow; the reader isn't given any reason to care about them or like them, or root for them. The protagonist is a Disney princess; she's saccharine sweet and frightened (for a good cause, I should add) but shallow as a pond.
I think the most distressing thing about the book is that it had SO MUCH POTENTIAL. The world is interesting, and the protagonists' powers are interesting. When a story has this much potential, and falls short, it's harder to deal with than if everything about the book sucked.
No, but I won't read any follow-ups by the same author. At first, I appreciated the fact that the story is about a scared young woman trying to find sanctuary, and that the world isn't full of supernatural characters trying to mate with humans. But nobody in the story is, in any way, likeable, except perhaps one abused little wolf-boy.
I didn't mind the narrator at all. I'd definitely listen to her again.
Not purchase any more books by this author.
Absolutely. The story is riveting. The character of Meg and her interactions with the predators surrounding her are particularly engaging. The narrator's performance feels unforced and makes this the kind of audiobook experience that showcases the medium.
The Daughter of the Blood has a similar predator-interaction bent.
I have not.
It made me tear up once or twice, but I don't remember truly crying. I know I smiled a great deal.
It kept me up at night and I listened clandestinely at work. This book is addictive.
I am a voracious reader of all fiction genres and poetry. I occasionally venture into humor, history, and science. I loathe self-help books.
I was intrigued by the premise of the story but quickly lost interest. I thought the dialogue was repetitive and the storyline boringly predictable. The narrator's performance was fair, but I think her creative talents were hindered by the author's inability to escape circular character exchanges. This storyline might have been improved if written in novella form.
"As `credit-worthy' as Audible suggested."
I bought this after seeing it recommended on a list of credit-worthy listens by Audible and was not disappointed. It is hard to find a fantasy story where both the author and narrator are as good as the standard here. I would personally class this story as a fantasy romance but don't be put off by that if you are not a romance fan because the romance is mild, while the story and characters are strong. I wasn't board once in eighteen and a half hours and will be buying the squeal if it also comes to Audible.
There are many things I like about this story. The fantasy universe is well realized. The author has merged aspects of quite dark subjects and characters, with aspects of almost child like wish fulfillment, providing something new and interesting for her readers. There are several interesting plot's converging in the book and the writing is of a good standard in all the things that are most important to me as a reader: characterization, imagery and plot.
The narrator is also excellent. Time and again I am put of wonderful stories by the grating and robotic tones of a narrator. Alexandra Harris on the other hand, tells the story in a lively and engaging manner, voicing the different parts for the characters. She is one of the few American narrators of a fantasy book that I would recommend and I only wish there where more like her.
Why isn't it a five? Partly it's a four because I'm comparing against my favorite authors like Terry Pratchett, Patrick Rothfuss and Anne McCaffrey and if I give this a five, I have nowhere to go for them.
DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO READ THIS STORY UNSPOILED.
Another reason I haven't given it a five star rating, is that there is a vast and interesting background plot which, if given more focus in this novel, would have greatly improved the story. Instead the author appears to have chosen to tell it over a series and the story looses a bit of momentum and potential because of that. Also, it has to be said that the heroine is the typical outcast who quickly brings anyone of importance round to caring for her, sacrificing some credibility and potentially interesting plot developments because of this.
"A YA book that works for older ones!"
This is a YA book - that's not to say it isn't listenable to and enjoyable for a less than young adults, but it isn't a complex story, and can get a bit girly, with talk early on of "ponies tummies", and rather a lot of hot chocolate and cookie consumption, but these are minor complaints.
I was surprised to learn, a couple of hours or so in, that our heroine Meg is 25 (or maybe 24 - can't remember now) and not the 16 or 17 I'd assumed her to be. She is "read" very young by the narrator, and as the story progresses this apparent youth becomes understandable, but one of the "baddies" came over to me as about 18, while they were probably meant to be Meg's age or more, and they didn't have any reason to some across as a petulant teenager. So I grumbled my way through the first few hours of listening, feeling slightly misled over who the target audience for this book is, however... things got better!
This may be a straightforward and pretty predictable story, but it's also quite compelling once you get going. The world building is interesting and different, Meg is a good, kind, brave soul who grows on you - I was really rooting for her. The development of the relationship between her and the Others is allowed to progress slowly, showing the Others utter bewilderment at how to deal with humans, and Meg's complete lack of knowledge about human life in the real world. There's a host of supporting characters - decent human policemen, shifters of various species, vampires, elementals, the ponies (who have a darker side so aren't so cute after all) and Tess - and nobody knows what she is... The baddies are credible, and potentially quite nasty, although they stay mostly as shadowy background figures.
There are quite a few smile-out-loud moments, and I found myself impatient to get back to listening when I was otherwise engaged.
There's some swearing (the Others find swearing one of the few good things humans have thought up), some mention of sex, but nothing explicit and its all so vague you could easily miss it ("I'll let you do that thing you wanted to do last night" - if you have an adult take you fill in the gaps one way, if you don't ,you fill 'em another!), some violence and death - but again, nothing overt or nasty.
Well read, with the narrator managing to populate a wide cast. She gets a bit gruff when doing angry wolves, but what else could she do? There are a few jarring American pronunciations to my English ears, but not many.
The end leaves several (quite big) issues unresolved, so I imagine there's a sequel or two to come, and if the nasty, rather brutal Others become a tad nice and civilised rather quickly - responding to threats to withhold their cookies for heaven's sake - it doens't detract from what is a good, imaginative yarn about how plain honest-to-goodness decency wins through! I really enjoyed it and will look out for the sequel.
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