Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Brief Useless Thoughts: Marked in Flesh

Marked in Flesh

by Anne Bishop
Book 4 of The Others

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.5 Stars

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 changed.  Some, like 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…

I totally have nothing useful to say for this book for two reasons:

First:  Truth be told, this book was really no different than the previous book.  I loved Vision in Silver because this series is strangely addictive and strangely endearing, and because Vision in Silver actually, finally, included a plot that had a direction to it.  But for reasons I cannot figure out, I liked this fourth installment of The Others much more.

In a way, the latter half of the book was pretty fast-paced, and while neither of our two main characters really develop much (in fact, there's very little character development in this series, period), the characters are still as readily lovable as ever.  It also helps that the books are constantly moving forward towards... something.

Secondly:  ARROOOO!!

Which is basically the only thought I could come up with to tell everyone how much I'm loving this series, no mattering that the story outline is totally chaotic.  It helps that all that inspirational, global controversy and thought-provoking parallels I talked about in my review for Vision in Silver continues to roll on into subsequent The Others installments... even if nothing new is actually introduced.

I could argue that this book might have dragged on the entire "Elders vs. Humans" conflict a bit longer than it needed to... but really, I didn't find it as big of a problem as I normally would for some other books.

This, my friends, is the power of bias.  Because when you love a series for the most unfathomable reasons, you will overlook any flaws as long as you were properly entertained and satisfied with the results.

In a way, I would actually call Marked in Flesh either a long-drawn out extension of Vision in Silver, or a bridging book from #3 to #5.  I know a lot of things happen in this book.  A lot of new characters are introduced, and the biggest conflict is coming to a conclusive closing.  But to be honest, nothing happens in Marked in Flesh that we didn't already foresee happening after the closing of Vision in Silver.

Still... again, this series is strangely addictive.  It helps that the book is written quite well, even if it still maintains a pretty juvenile voice.  And it also helps that the characters are strangely endearing, even if character development is still lacking.  And it definitely helps that our lovely author has created such a wonderfully extensive world that can continue on to produce many stories for many characters, even after the conclusion of the Meg story arc... as she seems to be proving by adding a new installment to the series that will be based around a new character completely.

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