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May 5, 2013 / Leslie

Review: Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Written In Red by Anne BishopWritten in Red
by Anne Bishop
Narrated by Alexandra Harris

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Audio, 18 hours | 32 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Intermediate
Rating: 5 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

Enter a world inhabited by the Others, unearthly entities—vampires and shape-shifters among them—who rule the Earth and whose prey are humans.

As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.

My Thoughts:

I read a fair amount of science fiction but I’m fussy about fantasy. I don’t like the romantic vampire and paranormal stuff that is everywhere today. This novel was a refreshing surprise. It is filled with preternatural beings and I loved it. It’s all in the way the world is built. I like a well-constructed world and this one is fantastic.

The story begins with an introduction, A Brief History of the World, which provides background and sets the stage for the novel. Also provided is some geography: A few maps and a legend of names of land masses, rivers and days of the week, which are helpful but not essential to enjoy the story. However, having this frame of reference does make it easier to become oriented.

There are multiple story lines but the main focus is on Meg. As a blood prophet she has spent her entire life locked away. As she learns more about the world on the outside, so do we, the reader. There are a lot of other characters, some quite well-developed, and story lines that I can see evolving in future novels. There are shape-shifting owl, crows, hawks and wolves, plus The Others, which include vampires and werewolves. The one thing we don’t have is romance. Nope, no romance. No sexy vampires. Just great storytelling. Well, the door is open to a possible romance, but not in this novel.

I listened to the audiobook and I’ve said this many times before, and I’ll say it again, the inclusion of a simple pdf file with the maps I just mentioned above would be a very nice addition. The audio was narrated by Alexandra Harris. It was nicely paced and pleasant to listen to. The multiple story lines and complexity of a new world might make this difficult to follow for those not already comfortable with audiobooks. The book runs over 18 hours, but I was completely engaged and the time flew past.

It’s probably pretty obvious that I loved this book. I haven’t enjoyed an urban fantasy novel this much since I found The Dresden Files. This is book one of a new series and I’m already looking forward to book two. For those who enjoy adult urban fantasy, or want to try a different genre, this is highly recommended.

Source: Review copy
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.



  1. Mary / May 5 2013 3:47 pm

    Yay for a hit! At 18 hours that’s a good thing 🙂


  2. Suko / May 5 2013 4:52 pm

    Very nice review, Leslie! I’m so glad you enjoyed this audiobook.


  3. Sheila (Book Journey) / May 6 2013 7:34 am

    OOH this sounds amazing!



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