Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop: Review

Murder of Crowsby Anne Bishop
Series:The Others #2
Published byPenguin on March 4th 2014
Genres:Fantasy
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
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Return to New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop’s “phenomenal” (Urban Fantasy Investigations) world of the Others—where supernatural entities and humans struggle to co-exist, and one woman has begun to change all the rules…After winning the trust of the terra indigene residing in the Lakeside Courtyard, Meg Corbyn has had trouble figuring out what it means to live among them. As a human, Meg should be barely tolerated prey, but her abilities as a cassandra sangue make her something more. The appearance of two addictive drugs has sparked violence between the humans and the Others, resulting in the murder of both species in nearby cities. So when Meg has a dream about blood and black feathers in the snow, Simon Wolfgard—Lakeside’s shape-shifting leader—wonders if their blood prophet dreamed of a past attack or a future threat. As the urge to speak prophecies strikes Meg more frequently, trouble finds its way inside the Courtyard. Now, the Others and the handful of humans residing there must work together to stop the man bent on reclaiming their blood prophet—and stop the danger that threatens to destroy them all.

Murder of Crows is the second book in the Others series by Anne Bishop. I wasn’t able to read the first book because the library doesn’t have it anymore. It was fairly easy to jump into the series. I didn’t feel like I had missed too much. The author gave enough backstory to get me going. Despite this, I had a few problems reading the beginning of the book. First, I had to adapt to the writing style. I was very conscious of the narrator. It felt stiff in comparison to most books I read.

Second, there is a lot of set-up, some of which was necessary, some of which was not. It took a long time to get the main problem and goal of the story. Later, it becomes clear that the separate issues at the beginning are actually connected, which makes some of the set-up understandable.

Third, there are a lot of point-of-views in this story. This, combined with the writing style, made me feel disconnected from what was going on with the characters. I couldn’t get attached to any of them. I couldn’t even tell who the main character was. I thought it was supposed to be Meg because that’s who the blurb mentions the most, but it felt like Monty and Simon had more time in the spotlight throughout the story.

Although it took me a while to really get into the story and the characters, I did enjoy reading Murder of Crows. The world is interesting (despite corny names such as a continent called Australis–too much like Australia–and a drug called feel-good) and very well developed. I liked the idea of a world controlled by supernaturals. It makes more sense than a world where supernaturals have to hide. I also liked the suspense throughout the book, especially the ticking time clock near the end. There is a lot of tension and action throughout the book. It never got boring.

Meg is an interesting character. I saw similarities between her cutting compulsion to have prophecies and real-life cutters who often say it is a form of release, not driven by depression or self-hatred like many people believe. Even though she seems to be a minor character in this story, I liked her and would read the next book to see how she grows and adapts in her new environment. Simon is also likable. I found it humorous and cute how he tried to learn how to deal with a human female. I am hoping their relationship develops in future books.

Back to negatives for a moment… I didn’t see the significance of all of Meg’s prophecies. I never understood the relevance of the need to hide the children or the prophecy of the hand in the jar. I understood what they represented; I just didn’t see how they connected to the problem of the drugs or the Controller trying to reclaim Meg.

Overall, I liked Murder of Crows. I will read the next book in the series. I give Murder of Crows 4 stars for excellent worldbuilding, interesting characters, and great suspense.

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