Written In Red by Anne Bishop
Published by ROC
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
For Fans of: Patricia Briggs, Werewolves, Vampires, elementals, Human vs. Other conflicts
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
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
How can one book be interesting, and so bloody boring at the same time?
– Me, halfway into this book
This book. Where do I even start?
Okay, look. I love Urban Fantasy. Live for it, even. And in all my years of reading, I have never – NEVER – had this much trouble with an Urban Fantasy book. Usually all it takes is a couple pages for me to know whether or not I’m going to enjoy a UF book. NOT THIS ONE THOUGH. NOPE.
You know what? Imma make this easy for you guys. It’s breakdown time.
THE WORLD BUILDING:
Confusing as heck. Look, I know there was a section at the beginning dedicated to teach me what kind of world I was entering – but it didn’t help. The world this story is set in is an AU. A mangled form of our modern day world. And okay, AUs are fine. New worlds are cool as heck. But the names of things were too close to real world names, and that muddied things a ton. For instance, Moonsday and Sunsday were days of the week in this world. But didn’t correspond with Monday and Sunday.
And even when you leave aside the muddied similarities to our world, there wasn’t really much world building to speak of. Everything was so bloody vague.
Bland. None of them were the least bit stand-out. Simon was a cookie cutter alpha male, and Meg had about as much personality as cardboard box. I imagine things easily and vividly, but I couldn’t build a face for a single character in this novel. The POVs – and there were a lot of them – blended into each other. I know it’s written in the third person, but some distinction wouldn’t have hurt anybody.
I honestly had the hardest time believing this was an adult novel. The writing was juvenile. It didn’t even feel YA level. Middle-grade, maybe. It was all tell and no show. The prose had no cadence whatsoever, and tended to drone. I found myself questioning word-choice pretty often.
70% OF THIS BOOK WAS MEG SORTING/DELIVERING MAIL.
Literally the only thing that kept me going till the end. I liked the idea of earth natives and shifters and whatnot. I liked the idea of the human vs Other conflict. I liked the whole prophet-is-property angle. I liked the ideas, and I was curious as to where the story would go. BUT LORD THIS WAS POORLY EXECUTED.
Written In Red could have been good. It could have been fun and enjoyable. But with it’s paper-flat characters and lackluster writing, this was nothing but a giant disappointment. Worst part is, I’m actually gonna read the rest of the series.
BECAUSE I’M A MASOCHIST. UGH.