Book Review – Written In Red by Anne Bishop

by Maryse on December 20, 2015 · 28 comments

in My Book Reviews

Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
I returned to my “paranormal/urban fantasy” roots with this one, but considering the BIG love for this book (and series) and that my very own book-buddy, bev, was insistent that I read it, I knew it was time. When I read that blurb I was all… Oh!!! It had an edgy-feel to it, and I was excited to give it a go.

And… I LOVED it!!! I was actually surprised at how much it made me laugh (thinking, when I went into it, that it would be a more somber-serious paranormal read with a bad-ass-type heroine that was smarter than most). But I was delighted in the comedic value (even though this is NOT a comedy romance) and I enjoyed the heroine’s innocence and vulnerability, even though she is a true “paranormal powerhouse” for this group.

Maryse: Tee hee!! I’m reading an absolutely AWESOME paranormal book/series right now that TOTALLY has my heart and I just LOVE every single character.It feels like back in the day when I was “urban fantasy” crazy… *sigh* happy!! I feel like I know them all and the book is both kind of scary (but the cool kind of “paranormal-scary”) AND endearing. “Others” (shifters, vampires, elementals etc..) living openly amongst humans with specific laws and land boundaries (and while not exactly friendly… they tolerate each other). Like… the humans CAN shop in their stores (and vice versa).

And this part made me laugh!! Actually SO MANY parts make me laugh and *sigh* in reading delight (i’m highlighting this book like crazy) but this part made me snort! A wolf shifter & a vampire are watching human college girls shop in their “paranormal” bookstore and are surprised they actually are buying books:

Heather campaigned for some books that I normally wouldn’t have in the store because it gives humans too many wrong ideas.”

Vlad looked amused. “You mean the kinds of stories where the Wolf doesn’t eat the female after he has sex with her?” <— LOL! :P I think I know a few of the books they’re talking about. ;)

Maryse: LOL!!! And then this follow up to that quote up there:

After Asia and I snapped at each other this morning, and Ferus shoved his nose into her privates, we sold out all the Wolf-as-lover books. If you drink one of the customers pale, we should sell out the stack of vampire-as-lover stories.

Michelle: Yey Maryse! That’s what enchanted me about WiR too – it’s so novel that it felt like I was just getting sucked into the genre again. That excited, giggly, just living the words feeling, reminded me why I love those books!

Lisa: Bev look what you started with WiR!! Thank you for recommending it.

Ela: I finished WiR and LOVED it!!!! The scenes with the “puppy” and even Simon as wolf and Nate and the crow who stole all her pens and pencils LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! I gave it 4 stars but since it’s still on my mind and i’m itching to pick up book 2 I may bump it up! And YES that early hunt scene freaked me out….I was like oh no what have I gotten myself into (not a fan of horror of any manner)….

Lisa: Ela thats what I enjoyed about WiR….the gradual development and ‘world building’. The Others seem so dark and foreboding initially (the hunt scene early on) but by the time Meg cares for Sam they already know shes special to them (her not prey status) and seem more human themselves. I love the way the author lets that develop rather than create insta-attraction.
I adore the Crows…..pretty sure theyre my spirit animal..after all things sparkly!

Maryse: YES!!!!! The sparkly love. I LOVE sparklies too… shinies. Yep. This is why me ‘n the crows bonded. ;)

MichelleS: Maryse is reading WiR? Hot damn. She better fall in love with those ponies, that’s all I’m sayin’.

Maryse: HECK YES THE PONIES!!!!!!! <3 <— THAT’S A HEART!!!

Camille: I adore this series. Smart and different.

Robyn: I got excited for a minute about your new paranormal series your reading! Then I realized I’ve read all of The Others books! I loved them and can’t wait for the new one to come out next year. I’m hoping that the two main characters finally get ” together”!

Sally: Gahhhh maybe this is what I need to get me out of my never ending slump!

Kathy: I really enjoyed the Written in Red, so much so that I jumped right into book two and have the third book queued up and ready.

Lily White: Awesome series! Can’t wait for the next book. I’m re-reading her Black Jewels series as we speak.

Sally: Guess I’ll read it for sure now!

Lily White: Be sure to read the Black Jewels series also. You’ll love it. It’s my number one favorite. .

Karen: Maryse!!! This series is absolutely amazing! Waiting very very anxiously for the next book! *-*

Nicole: Thank you for recommending this book. It is great so far. I love how the crows refer to her as The Meg.

I LOVE THE CROWS TOO Nicole!! Oh and the grumpy PONIES!!!

…she hustled into the front room, grabbed the calendar and a marker, then hustled back to the ponies.

“Look.” She made a big S on Moonsday, then turned the calendar around for the ponies to see. Not that she thought they could read, but they seemed to understand words. “We had sugar lumps on Moonsday as a special treat. We don’t get sugar lumps again as a treat until next Moonsday, which is here.” She made another S on the calendar. “Today we have carrots as our treat.”

*snort* GAH I loved those ponies!!!!

Okay so… she has special powers and fulfills a great need amongst this crew that didn’t even realize they needed her (after all… she is officially “human” and they don’t like humans so much). They tolerate each other. Almost a symbiotic relationship, if you will, but in all reality, the “others” really like to eat the “special meat”.

“Get this into your head, Meg Corbyn. We don’t let humans live in our part of the world because we like you. We let you live here because you can be useful, and you’ve invented things that we like having. If it wasn’t for that, you’d all be nothing but meat. Which is something you should remember.”

*snort* GAH!!!!! LOL!

But what makes this one so much better (or relatable, to me) is her innocence and the dynamic that she has with all of the paranormals. All of them, super-bad-ass and ornery and suspicious of everyone not “other” and yet, she charms them all, without even trying. The whole “you do you” thing? This character is it. She’s just who she is. Nothing more, nothing less, and I was hooked!

She has no qualms about gently bopping werewolves right on the nose if they’re crowding her, she makes deals with crows trying to steal her pens ’cause they are so shiny, she says NO COOKIES FOR YOU!!!, to the most bad-ass alphas around! LOL!!! She even charms the lead vampire (the “grandfather” – the most powerful), and the scariest and most temperamental of the “elementals”, just because… she’s just… her. She’s all good heart. Okay yes… that sounds like Snow White, but I love Snow White. Hahaha!! She’s like a “dark snow-white”. ;) You’ll see.

Her good heart, and unselfish ways, and more pragmatic way of handling issues (even if unconventional or frowned upon) proved to be just plain good, and GOOD for THEM as a whole. And I loved experiencing everything through her eyes, and through their NEW eyes… their new outlook.

I could connect to her 100%, because she was just… “normal” overall. She wasn’t automatically a bad-ass or “brilliant” just because she had an ability, or “power” or can be considered “other”. She was goofy, she had feelings, she was susceptible.

So what’s it about?

Meg has escaped a sort of government-type prison/clinic where they isolate and keep very special girls and women that have visions of the future. And they do so by cutting. And that, right there was very edgy to me, because the “need to cut” (that terrible urge) and the bloodletting and the euphoric feeling these women experience after, sounds so similar to what has been described by real-life “cutters”. And as it is in real life, these women can become addicted to the cutting process, and use it as a coping mechanism to feel better.

But when they cut, they have visions, of whomever is in the room with them (their future) and their “keepers” are paid incredible amounts of money to “use” these girls.

And in one of her visions, she learns how to escape her captors, and finds herself, freezing, malnourished and underdressed in the “others” territory.

Human Law Does Not Apply. She was standing on land that belonged to the Others. She might be momentarily safe from human predators, but if she was caught here, she was at the mercy of beings that only looked human,

An area that is mostly off-limits to humans (while humans and “others” co-exists openly, they do not “mix” so much), but the “others” (shifters, vampires, elementals… and “other” others that the others aren’t quite sure “what” they are… by the way, she was my FAVORITE). OMG!!!!!!!!!

Tess was a worry. Tess was always a worry, because there was too fine a line between her being amused by humans and being unwilling to tolerate their existence. He didn’t know what she was, only that she was terra indigene— and she was so dangerous even other species of terra indigene feared her. But when she arrived at the Lakeside Courtyard a few years ago, there was something in her eyes that made him certain that if she didn’t get some kind of companionship, she would become an enemy of everything that lived.

So anyway, the “others” need a new liaison (a go between for the humans that need to do business with the others – in her case, she’d be their postal worker) and she gets the job. Her new boss is leery of her… and mostly just overall annoyed about everything… “her” (his growly-frustrations would make me giggle!)

“What’s wrong with my hair?” she said, hating that her voice sounded small and defensive.

“It stinks.” Nothing small or defensive about his voice.

And while they remain mistrustful of her, and she is extra-cautious, events and how she handles stuff (this is where the endearing comes in) makes it so they become friends. And in fact… begin to consider her one of them. And all of this, while she keeps her own “secret abilities” away from them.

Simply fantastic!!!!

‘Cause once the “secret” comes out, and stuff starts happening, and “bad guys” come out of the woodwork, all hell breaks loose, and I’ll let you get caught up in that whirlwind with them.

Either way, it was fantastic, wonderfully laid out, exciting, and chuckle-inducing. No. Not just chuckles. Full on belly-laughs. Some I even read to my mother last night, via FaceTime and even though she didn’t “know” them yet, she was laughing her butt off like I was. <— THAT is how good this book is.

The humans and the “others” trying to relate to each other. Not always just to co-exist but to actually get to know each other is SO FUN!!

“Humans don’t like mice?”

“Not in the building!” Meg said.

“And not around food,” Merri Lee added.

The three terra indigene looked baffled.

“But it’s fresh meat,” the brown-haired woman finally said.

“Humans don’t eat mice,” Merri Lee said. “Or rats. We just don’t.”


LOL!! And still there are even FUNNIER moments, but you just gotta read it for the full effect.

It’s absolutely heartwarming and endearing. She to them, she to us… and in turn, all of them, to the readers. The laughs, and the much darker moments will win you over. And they are equally plentiful in this story.

“Do you know the joke about what happened to the dinosaurs?” Burke asked as Monty opened the office door. He turned back, offering the other man a hesitant smile.

“No, sir. What happened to the dinosaurs?”

Burke didn’t smile. “The Others is what happened to the dinosaurs.”


5 stars!!! <— THANK YOU BEV FOR RECOMMENDING THIS!!!!! Over and over and over and over again. I love that you didn’t give up on me. ;)

I pretty much highlighted the whole darn book, and I keep wanting to paste in quotes that had me laughing my butt off ’cause they were SO good. Let alone the sweet relationship she had with the baby wolf pup. *sigh*

“Sam and I are mighty adventurers, just like in the movies.” <— You’ll see why this is SO SOOOOOOOO SIGNIFICANT and endearing…

This book is pretty darn perfect! So yeah… for sure 5 stars.

I’m literally all… “Oh no!! I should put this quote. No… THIS quote. ” GAH I can’t choose, and if I went with my need to post all the best parts, it would end up being the whole book, and I’m sure the author wouldn’t like that.

So all I can say is READ THIS and you’ll get it. ;)

P.S. Here is the series reading order (and yes, they need to be read in order and you’ll see in the reading order the HUGE love for this series!!!).

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

deb December 20, 2015 at 6:01 PM

Is there romance in this novel?

bev December 20, 2015 at 6:05 PM

I’m a bit jealous. I was so immersed in it that even when I finished it still felt like I was in the courtyard. Miss that feeling.
I was a bit nervous. You know how I love it but I can see how it wouldn’t be for everyone. But 5 stars and no lip biting!!!!!
And the games. Like the is Meg warm enough, when he goes to touch her nose, lol.

Maryse December 20, 2015 at 6:24 PM

deb… not in this one. But it will absolutely build I know it…

This will develop slowly, but most assuredly. And in the meantime, you get to crush on a few and see it develop.

Maryse December 20, 2015 at 6:25 PM

bev YES!!!!! She warns him… hahahahahaha!!!!!!

Michelle December 20, 2015 at 6:29 PM

You all know this is one of my favorite books ever, not just in the genre, and Maryse your review nailed it! So well said…I’m a little verklempt here…hold on, talk amongst yourselves – topic: when are you reading book 2?

bev December 20, 2015 at 6:38 PM

Bishop’s writing is like buttah.

Michelle, I feel like we were adventure buddies trying to get everyone to read it.
Except Tessa. Cause she read it as one of her 10 books a day. And Cheryl. Oh, yes, Cheryl. We remember you.

Tessa December 20, 2015 at 6:52 PM

Hey now! I read the book before I even discovered this blog! *glares at Bev then sticks out her tongue*

Sam. He’s my favorite, I think. So much heart in the whole story. Also, yeah. When are you reading number two?

Also, squeaky toy!

Michelle December 20, 2015 at 7:11 PM

Like buttah – squeee ya got that one too Bev!

This post:

That’s when I shared my love for this book (and we became adventure buddy and book pusher extraordinaire) and I think that was my first time posting ever!

bev December 20, 2015 at 7:33 PM

That is hilarious. And we are dorks. I think my first comment was on a book Maryse loved and I did not like.
But didn’t post regular until MichelleS replied on a post I made. Haven’t shut up since.

Maryse December 20, 2015 at 8:22 PM

PLEASE never shut up!!!!! I LOVE all you guys. I mean it… You’re my book-family!

Maryse December 20, 2015 at 8:22 PM

When am I reading #2…

well… I am missing them all badly right now.

Michelle December 20, 2015 at 9:19 PM

Great, you hear that MichelleS, you are responsible for Bev and her NEVERRR ending comments…she does have impeccable taste in books though so it evens out ;)

I miss them Maryse and I’ve read the dang-blasted addicting books too many times!

bev December 20, 2015 at 9:47 PM

Since my work here is done I will just pack up my books. I’ll go join Jean and Amy where ever they have gone to. When I find them.

Lisa December 21, 2015 at 3:12 AM

Got to say…its one thing to read a book and love it…but something else entirely to share that book love with kindred spirits. It just adds that bit MORE to a great book when others ‘get it’.
Thanks for the great review Maryse….as always, you just ‘get it’.

Jean December 21, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Great review Maryse! Love it! You brought back all my feelings about this book and the characters and now I’m wondering why I didn’t jump right into book 2! You really made bev’s year by finally reading this one!

Teri December 21, 2015 at 11:35 AM

I’m so glad to hear how much everyone loved this book!! I LOVED this book and this series. Even with out all the romancie/lovie-dovie stuff we all enjoy (+the alpha-male/claim you girl stuff) there is just something about this book and this series. It has the “IT” factor so to speak. I love The Meg and Simon and Sam and ohhhh all of them!! I’ve read the series to date and each book just gets better and takes you a little further into the Courtyard. Gah, I’ll stop now cause I really could just write all morning about this book. SO glad it got the Maryse 5-STAR mark!!! Whoop Whoop!

MichelleS December 21, 2015 at 12:20 PM

So this is a book you almost love more AFTER you’ve read it and absorbed it than when you are actually reading it. You miss the courtyard and all the “creatures” and the mail sorting and all that dorky detail. It’s the next level of cool PNR… more UF, I think. Just adore this book and series.

Ela December 21, 2015 at 2:09 PM


bev December 21, 2015 at 3:41 PM

Absolutely Jean!!! But now where do I put my peanuts?

Ela, Yay!! Are you liking it? It is hard to leave the courtyard, isn’t it?

Ela December 21, 2015 at 3:44 PM

It is very hard to leave the courtyard! And I’m loving Meg’s sense of humor or maybe lack of being scared of the Others???? I am missing Sam in this one BIG but still loving the story!

MichelleS December 21, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Yay Bev!!! Don’t know what I said, but glad you chimed in. So many great reads have come from your recs & gentle prodding! Deeper, E&P, WiR, etc etc. and you like Rhage & Ram, so you’re on my short list of favorite book buddies!!!!

bev December 21, 2015 at 4:50 PM

Do you see that. Short list people. :-)
I believe you asked me about LK books.
In that link that Michelle posted is, I think, the first time I talked to Tessa.

Ela December 21, 2015 at 5:10 PM

Starting Vision in Silver! And, this weekend I even got in a Mercy Thompson book :) Yay ME!

Jeannie Smith December 22, 2015 at 9:37 AM

I so loved this book too! I loved the next two books also, but I think this one is my favorite. I love Simon and Meg together and the relationship that develops slowly between them. It’s slow building, but it seems even special because of that. I can’t wait till book 4. Has anyone read any of Anne Bishop’s other books?

Kelly Moore December 22, 2015 at 12:44 PM

I received an ARC of the 4th book in the series a couple of weeks ago, (I’m a librarian). This is one of my favorite UF series of all time. The world is so unique and it is pure joy to get immersed in the the lives of “The Others.”

Laura January 5, 2016 at 4:47 AM

I can’t believe she read it bev *dances with bev* now we just have to get her to read book 2!!! * hint hint maryse*

Maryse January 5, 2016 at 9:35 AM

*snort* :P

I’m still thinking of the crows… ;)

bev January 5, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Laura, I was surprised my self. You can take on MoC. If I started up on the next one so soon I would probably be banned.:-)

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