28 October, 2016

{Review} Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop
The Others, book 3
Published March 3, 2015 by Roc
The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.

Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.

For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

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My Review

♫ ♫ ♫ 

Okay, this review has been a looooong time coming, so just bear with me here?

I've never read a series where such an intricate urban fantasy setting has been created. Anne Bishop created new names for everything in this series--from the continents, the oceans, to the months and weekdays.

I've never read one that was so boring.

I think this series is an acquired taste. I must be in the minority because I've seen countless people on GoodReads rave about this series. But from the get-go, I've always felt very meh about it.With the cassandra sangue free, the terra indigene face various problems. Not only do they have to take care of the fragile sweet bloods, they also have to deal with the slander Humans First and Last Movement leader, Nicholas Scratch, says about them in press, and what they might be holding the girls. And if that isn't enough, the HFL movement has been getting a bit too rowdy for their own good throughout Thasia and the terra indigene aren't happy.

In the Courtyard at Lakeside, Meg is facing more problems. With her addiction to cutting and being suddenly prone to freaking out over little things, the overall craziness with the humans' actions, things are very tense at Lakeside. And they don't seem to have a quick ending in the picture.

(Quick note: the Others (or the terra indigene) are creatures of the land, and are able to shift to a different form, such as wolves, bears, vampires (they're smoke). The cassandra sangue are humans who can tell prophecy when they cut their skin deep enough to scar and go through a high when they do so, hence the addiction to cutting.)

This is a series of five books and while each book focuses on its own plot, there's definitely a bigger one that ties everything together. I don't remember much from book two, but I do remember the HFL movement being a big part of it.

Anne Bishop has amazing writing--that much was obvious. As is the fact that she gave this world a lot of thought. Her world building can easily make you picture the alternate world the terra indigene live. It would be a terrific urban fantasy except everything takes so long to happen. Each book feels like a first book in a high fantasy series, in a sense: the author is still trying to lay down the foundations of the world and it's not as exciting as we'd want it to be. While I admire Bishop doing this, getting to the plot takes ages, up to a point where if I'm already in it, I wouldn't know.

There also isn't much action in these books compared to other urban fantasy series. Or, at least, it doesn't feel like it to me. The series takes place in an alternate (kind of) world, where the Others rule. So while humans may be innovative and progressing, they're doing so under their supervision. So it's lowkey civilised throughout the book--you won't be getting any sword fighting or other magical fights during the book. This is more of a high-tension stakes book.

So with not much action and a slow going throughout, there's not really much I like about this series.

But!--because there is always a but--I do want to mention the characters because they're kind of a bright spot.

They're all so real. From the humans to the Others, Bishop creates an amazing cast of characters and it's amazing to see how they interact with their own kind and with the opposing species. While each and every character does not get their own point of view, those who do are well fleshed out and not just there for plot purposes. The characters have all grown from the beginning of the book so it's kind of neat to see how they handle their problems because you know it wouldn't be done in the same manner before their progress.

Also want to briefly mention the romance: there is none.

I'm not even really kidding? It's actually really hard to tell about the romance. Like the main plot, it kind spans--or will span, I suppose, since the last book isn't out--throughout the entire series. At some intervals, it's mentioned but it's not anything huge. Clearly, I want Simon and Meg together but they have so many issues--both separate and together--before they can be a couple, but good LORD. This is the slowest slow-burn romance I have EVER read about. I don't want it to be annoying but it makes my eye twitch sometimes.

So! With all of that being said, this gets 3.5 stars overall!

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