Bishop, Anne. 2017. Etched in Bone. New York, NY: Roc Books, an imprint of Penguin Group. ISBN 978-0451474490. $27.00 USD.
I was thrilled to have an opportunity to read an Advanced Reader Copy of Anne Bishop’s latest book in The Others series, Etched in Bone, which is scheduled for publication release tomorrow! It’s one of my favorite series,which begins with Written in Red, and I have recommended it to many of my library patrons during readers’ advisory. I remember that after originally reading the first title in the series I researched the author to find out when the next title would be released. I saw that there was a planned trilogy. When the 4th book came out last year, what a bonus! And now, with the 5th and possibly last book, it's one I savored.
The Others series is what I would call Urban Fantasy (yes, one of my favorite genres)! In it there is a species of creatures who came before humans called "terre indigene," or earth natives. They ruled the land and took on the shape of certain animals over time, such as wolves, bears, crows, etc. They can shift between forms, at will. There are also more fierce creatures called Elders and Elementals who are very powerful. After humans came onto the scene, the terre indigine liked some of the inventions and products humans created, and entered into trade agreements. But the Others own the land and all the water, and the humans only lease space on the earth from them. In this series, the terre indigine don't have a lot of respect for the humans, whom they refer to as "monkeys," and see humans as prey most of the time (an interesting about-face).
Within each major city on earth is a Courtyard ruled by Others where "human law does not apply," and into this courtyard, in the first book, a strange human (or is she?) named Meg Corbin arrives. The Lakeside Courtyard Business Association Leader, Simon Wolfguard, runs a bookshop called "Howling Good Reads," and offers Meg a job as the human liason, and from there the series takes off. In the first 4 books, the author develops wonderful characters, both human and Other, and the plots usually involve how the two groups interact with each other.
I loved being back in the world of Meg, her human pack, and her terre indigene friends in the 5th title, Etched in Bone. This time around, the conflict occurs when human detective Crispin Montgomery’s ne’er-do-well brother, Cyrus, shows up in the Lakeside Courtyard after fleeing the destruction wrought by the Elders and Elementals in Toland on the East Coast (all the major cities and continents in these books have interesting and differerent names than in our own world). The community in the Lakeside Courtyard is growing, and the Elders have decided to observe the interactions between the humans and the terre indigene who live there in order to decide whether or not humans will be allowed to continue to exist (as in possible extinction). Meg and Simon’s relationship continues to grow, and it appears as though they might get their unprecedented HEA, if they survive.
If you haven't had an opportunity to visit this wonderful world created by Anne Bishop, head to your local library or book store and check out Written in Red to get started. I've never had a customer tell me they didn't like this intriguing and entertaining series.