Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal
Series: A Novel of the Others (Book 4)
Format: Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Roc (March 8, 2016)
Author's Website: http://www.annebishop.com/
The Others own the continent known as Thaisia and the humans who live there are, for all intents and purposes, their tolerated guests. When guests overstay their welcome or abuse the hospitality extended to them, heads literally roll as well as other bodily appendages. In this case if you bite the hand that feeds you they'll bite back, for the Others view humans as the other dark meat.
For the past year, tensions between humans and the terra indigene have been rising. A movement known as the Humans First and Last (HFL), under the leadership of Nicholas Scratch, has been getting more and more aggressive with its pursuit to provoke discord in Thaisia. Promising humans they can overtake the Others and claim what they feel should be rightfully theirs--namely the land, houses, etc. that they've been allowed to lease/build. What they don't realize is that the terra indigene that humans have so far encountered aren't the worst of their race. The Others that populate the Courtyards were strategically placed where they are to protect humans from the real Big Bad that roam the continent. Boundaries were not just established to keep the humans out, but to keep the truly terrifying of their species in.
The HFL truly has no idea of the Pandora's box their actions are about to unleash upon the world, but soon they and everyone else will...
If you haven't already guessed, I love this series. A portion of the story (and, yes, I'm trying not to reveal any spoilers) had an almost biblical feel to it. Not in a preachy, spiritual, or religious way, but rather in a destructive/vengeful large scale way--think Noah's Ark and Sodom & Gomorrah type of chaos. The Others show why they're not ones to be reckoned with, and why the ancestors of those presently living in Thiasia strictly observed the Others' rules.
Meg and Simon's relationship is complicated, but it's kind of fun to see Simon who is usually so confident and sure of himself feel totally out of his element. Simon, for those not up-to-date with the series, is terra indigene. His other form is a wolf. Meg is a Blood Prophet, aka cassandra sangue. When her blood is exposed to the elements, whether accidentally through wounds or scrapes or via controlled cuts, she predicts the future. Her predictions and those by others like her are extremely reliable. She came to the Lakeside Courtyard seeking escape from the people who used and abused her. To say she has trust issues is putting it mildly, but Meg is slowly warming up to Simon and takes a big step (for her) towards furthering their relationship in this one. I love how she seems to win the Others over with her innocent charm and by just being herself. One of my favorite part of the book is when she asks, "Was it...were they laughing at us?"
I couldn't help but rate this one 5 out of 5 roses. I'm loving the series, but I'm not overly sure where the author, Ms. Bishop, will take this series next. I'm sure she has something up her sleeve because there is at least (and I stress at least) one more book forthcoming. I'm not sure when it is due out, so I may need to try one of her other works to fill the void like her Black Jewels series, her Ephemera series, or her Tir Alainn trilogy. I am so enjoying the characters and world Ms. Bishop has created in her Others series. I HIGHLY recommend this series. Just be warned, there are some gruesome and disturbing moments in these books and they are not for the faint of heart.