Novel: Marked in Flesh (The Others #4) by Anne Bishop
Published: March 8th 2016 by Penguin/Roc
Genre: (urban) fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
I received this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I won’t provide a synopsis, as this is the fourth book in the series.
I had been
patiently waiting for this book to appear on either Edelweiss or Netgalley. Last year, being approved for the previous book Vision in Silver was probably the highlight of my review copies. I have loved this series for a few years now, and often mention it as underrated. When I got approved for this book, I was SO happy. I started reading the next morning, even though I had an exam that day (don’t worry, I already prepared well before I started reading). I’m so happy to say this book didn’t disappoint at all.
This review is spoiler-free, so don’t worry. It is not a spoiler to say that this series is in fact, partly about war. Some humans have decided they don’t have enough, and are willing to wage war on The Others to gain more. I like how this series feels realistic, to this aspect. I know that’s weird to say, because this is a fantasy novel. What I mean, is that war isn’t one big battle to decide it all. Yet that’s often how it goes in novels. What I enjoy so much about this series, is that this fight happens over time, in “small” battles and fights. It has thought-out strategies and plans, started over time and spanning different regions.
To be honest, I felt like this book could be viewed as honest critique on humanity. Greed and self-entitlement have always been at the heart of humanity. How many wars are/were fought over land? Oil? It doesn’t matter. We will always covet what other have. And it doesn’t take much for people to gather around one person, claiming the “unjustice” done to us. That’s why this series seems so realistic in a way. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Humans First and Last would actually exist. In this book, we get to see more of their actions, and how the people react to them, which I really enjoyed.
This book gripped me. Like I said, I had an exam that day, but I read all through the morning, and continued when I finished my exam. I couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t let the characters and the story go. I laughed out loud several times, feared for my favorite characters, embraced others, and became angry with people. I was on an emotional roller coaster. And that’s not even including the love I feel for Simon.
I have so much love for the characters in this series. They are all so wonderful. To be honest, I will always love Simon the most. And Merri Lee. The Others are so much fun when they try to understand humans, or be like them. For example:
After enduring a vigorous debate between Merri Lee and Ruthie about how many lemons and how much sugar make the besttasting lemonade, I can’t say I know how to make it, only that I followed the instructions I eventually received.
It’s the little things like this that make this series, and its characters so great. I also loved getting to know a different kind of Other. The Elementals are already immensely scary, but now. I don’t know, I would have peed my pants if I were in that situation.
As we saw in the last book, Meg is still learning about being a blood prophet. And slowly, we learn alongside her. The route this learning took in Marked in Flesh was very interesting. It makes me want to learn to do the same. Even though I’d probably have no affinity for it, and in reality don’t really believe in that kind of stuff.
I’m excited to see how the final book will conclude it all. I want to know where the story will go from here. As I said that, I can’t believe the next book will be the final one. I am not ready to let go of this world, and these characters. I wish I would have the comforting thought of 10 or more books about them being written.
I really can’t recommend this book, and the entire series enough. I adore it. They are always gripping. It has enough action to keep it fast-paced and interesting, but at the same time it allows you to get to know the characters slowly.
“Even though Meg was a special breed of human, apparently her brain didn’t have a speedy wakeup button.”
“We got to hear his song about Teakettle Woman and Broomstick Girl.”
“There was no mercy in the wild country, and no safety in the dark.”