Marked in Flesh by Anne BishopMarked in Flesh by Anne Bishop
Series: The Others #4
Published by Roc on March 8th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal
Pages: 399

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…

2.5 Stars

This series has been full of ups and downs for me, and with Marked in Flesh I have reached the point where I’m no longer sure I will spend more money to finish the series. I still like the first instalment Written in Red best, which means that none of the following instalments has been able to sweep me off my feet as I had hoped.

The first half
Let me rip of the band-aid, quick and easy: The first half of Marked in Flesh was a borefest. The plot was dissatisfying. The multiple POVs inflicted physical pain, as in there were so many voices crammed into the book that the ones I wanted to hear were not heard, not enough. There was an absolute lack of character development (or any characterization, in general), friendships, and romance. There was just blah blah blah. Bishop has always been an author that gives a lot of attention to details, as in detailed descriptions of thoughts or actions which readers would deem unnecessary – and this has been a special trait of her writing from the beginning, but this was the first time it started to piss me off. Enough with the supply lists and the meaningless conversations! I often found myself skimming and I had never skimmed parts in this series before, so I guess the quality stooped to a new and unexpected low.

And though the second half, which I will get in a minute, was considerably more exciting, it cannot rub out the stain the first half left. Yes, that borefest weighs heavy. Further, there were general aspects that bothered me throughout the book (perhaps even the series):

➟ The pace of romantic development – despite the little goodies we were fed in the end, the overall development is going at an agonizing snail’s pace (yes, I know it’s not the centre of the book, I know, but come one, the pace of this romance is a snoozefest!)
➟ The randomness of some of the subplots – sometimes it feels like Bishop had a plan for the plot at large but is making up the subplots as she works her way through the series (as in, things suddenly happen without a build-up, without a prior development that would give any hints as to why something happened)
➟ The multiple POVs are a huge problem as they take away “screen time” from the main characters, the ones that actually interest me, the ones I care about (I don’t give a damn about Steve Ferryman or Joe Wolfgard, I just don’t)

The big bang theory photo: Angry Sheldon tumblr_inline_mvk9c8mGpD1rnvwt1.gif

The second half
The second half was more satisfying as the pace picked up, the tension increased and I finally got the well deserved action parts. There were still too many POVs to my liking but it finally held my attention as the wrath of Namid’s creatures unleashed on the Earth. There was a lot of death and chaos and Nina clapping her hands like an excited little girl. And finally, there were also some subtle developments in the characters and in the romance. The latter I enjoyed particularly but, still, I expected more.

scar the lion king photo: TLK Not Leaping TLK_NotLeaping.gif

With how the book ended, I’m actually wondering what the next book’s plot will consist of since this could have very well been the finale. Of a sort. I might pick up the next book if the reviews are good enough, but it’ll be mostly to complete the series. My expectations for this initially promising series have plummeted from the sky like a comet full of disappointment.

Btw, beware of the sharks.

“Do you know what we call humans in a boat?”
“No, what?”
“Meat in a can.”