Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Title: Marked in Flesh (A Novel of The Others, 4)
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: ROC (10th March 2016)

For centuries, the Others and humans have lived side by side in uneasy peace. But when humankind oversteps its bounds, the Others will have to decide how much humanity they’re willing to tolerate – both within themselves and within their community . . .

Since the Others allied themselves with the cassandra sangue, the fragile yet powerful human blood prophets who were being exploited by their own kind, the delicate dynamic between humans and Others has changed. Some, such as Simon Wolfgard, wolf shifter and leader of the Lakeside Courtyard, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn see the new, closer companionship as beneficial – both personally and practically.

But not everyone is convinced. A group of radical humans is seeking to usurp land through a series of violent attacks on the Others. What they don’t realize is that there are older and more dangerous forces than shifters and vampires protecting the land that belongs to the Others – and those forces are willing to do whatever is necessary to protect what is theirs . . .

Rating: ***** (5 stars)

MARKED IN FLESH by Anne Bishop is the fourth book in The Others series. This book continues the story of Meg Corbyn and the residents of the Lakeside Courtyard. Unrest caused by a radical group of humans who seek to control land belonging to the Others attracts dangerous attention that could cause trouble for everyone.

This is one of the books I have been most looking forward to getting my hands on this year, and I can honestly say that it does not disappoint. MARKED IN FLESH is everything I have come to expect from a book in The Others series. There is a lot of tension in this novel both visible and below the surface, that made me want to turn the page so I could find out what was going to happen next. A lot happens in this book, but that is part of the fun and I found it easy to keep track of what was going on with whom. I think that this book really marks a turning point in the series; as you can guess from the blurb lines are drawn in the sand, and there are consequences for everyone to face. This book blew me away, and I think this may be my favourite book in the series so far.

Bishop really cracks up the tension in this book, by contrast the events in the previous three books have been little niggles. The basic plot is pretty similar to the previous books, just amped up, so if you’ve enjoyed how the series has been handled so far then you will appreciate this one too. Although I had a general guess about how things were going to go from the blurb, Bishop surprised me a couple of times which I enjoyed. And the end of the book has me looking forward to the fifth book in this series.

As with the previous books in this series, the story is narrated on the third person and the narrative focuses mainly on Meg, but Bishop does give a broader view of events by also giving peeks into what is going on with other characters including the bad guys. I thought that the split focus of the narrative really worked well in this book, as the multi-focus allowed Bishop to paint a much broader picture of events going on in the world of The Others than just focusing on Meg or the Lakeside Courtyard would allow.

Although there were times when Meg felt a little flat to me – though I can’t pin point why – I really enjoyed following her journey through the book. Watching her struggle to deal with certain things but push forward and do things regardless was inspiring to read. I really enjoyed the way Bishop wrote her characters – human and Other – and the way they came alive on the page. Her characters really made the story believable, and the clash of cultures understandable. The strangeness of the Others was particularly on point for me, especially in relation to their understanding of human behaviour.

Overall I think that MARKED IN FLESH was a wonderful addition to The Others series. As I have said before, if you are a fan of this series then it will not disappoint you.

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