“Marked In Flesh – The Others #4” by Anne Bishop – dark, chilling but deeply satisfying

Marked In Flesh 00Anne Bishop’s series about an alternative world where Humans are in the food chain rather than at the top of it, keeps delivering a wonderful mix of page-turning tension, moments of amusement as races misunderstand one another (the agony aunt letter from a wolf who was confused by a woman who wants foreplay but doesn’t invite another couple to join them, had me laughing out loud), and a strong sense of revulsion at human greed and… well… inhumanity.

“Marked In Flesh” pulls together the themes from the previous three books to create a huge confrontation between The Others and the Humans First & Last movement.

The strength of the books comes partly from the contrasting characters of Meg: innocent, ignorant, vulnerable, carrying the scars of long abuse and yet always willing to risk herself to save others and Simon, strong, fierce, leader of the Wolfguard and the Courtyard who despises humans yet helps those who behave well and partly from the fact that Anne Bishop has created a world where the humans seem more monstrous than the shapeshifters and vampires who surround them.

I read this book in two days, showing all the classic signs of a high-functioning addict: changing my schedule to be alone with my book, losing more time than I meant to spend, covering my work quickly so I could get back to what I really wanted to be doing.

If you’ve read the other books in the series, then you’ll need no convincing to read this one. If you haven’t read any of them yet, then the good news is you can now read all four in a row (wow, that would be good), starting with “Written In Red”.

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