Title: Murder of Crows
Author: Anne Bishop
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Others (Book #2)
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 354 Pages
ISBN-10: 0451465261 (Roc/Penguin)
ISBN-13: 978-0451465269 (Roc/Penguin)
Reviewed by: Kristie
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.
Quick & Dirty: Dark, gripping story that continues to fascinate me with complex, amazing characters and intricate worldbuilding.
Opening Sentence: Nudged awake by his bedmate’s restless movements, Simon Wolfgard yawned, rolled over on his belly, and studied Meg Corbyn.
Murder of Crows is the second novel in the Others series by Anne Bishop and continues the dark, gritty storyline of Meg, Simon, the Others and the humans who help them. This novel is set not too long after the events of the first novel, Written in Red, basically just enough time has passed for the characters to clean up after the massive storm. I highly recommend the first novel and I think you should definitely read it before picking up the rest of the series.
As a blood prophet, Meg is still learning how to deal with her powers now that she is no longer controlled by someone else. Cutting isn’t the only way to bring on a vision as Meg learns when her dry skin splits open and she sees a bunch of crows being killed. Meg knows that the growing troubles with the humans and Others will not stop but she can try to keep “people” from being killed. There is a drug circulating among the humans that are helping them in the battle with the Others. Simon realizes what it is and knows that stopping the spread of the drugs can end even more drastically depending on how the situation is treated. Simon also knows that Meg will never be safe as long as the man who controlled her is still around so he must find him before more of his friends are killed.
Meg is also having to deal with Simon and his crazy mood swings, although I could say he is also dealing with Meg’s mood swings too. Simon acts friendly to her one moment and then the next he’s growling at her. But Meg’s emotions come to a head when Simon, who has been sleeping with her in his wolf form ever since the attack because Meg doesn’t like to be alone, transforms into his human skin to find out about a nightmare she had and stays that way when they go back to sleep. Meg knows that means something for humans while it may not for Simon but she isn’t sure she can take that kind of a relationship with him so a lot of this novel is Meg and Simon trying to understand (separately) what their emotions mean about the other character. Simon doesn’t want Meg needlessly cutting herself especially when it means cutting her life shorter with each cut.
This series has such an interesting setup of characters and society. I feel like I should be turned off by the prejudice and harshness of the characters but I’m not, humans have gotten complacent while the Others have allowed the humans to live but the humans don’t quite realize that yet. War is imminent and the Others really have no problem killing humans. The Humans First and Last movement really reminds me of Nazism. Both sides are honestly really harsh with each other but Meg has made Simon think twice before he hurts someone and without Meg in his life there definitely would have been more human deaths.
I really enjoyed how the world grew with this novel. Humans and Others actually aren’t that different from each other after all. There is a look into how other groups of Others and humans get along and it isn’t as nice as how Simon’s group in the Courtyard get along, it is more of a grudging acceptance. I’m really hanging on for when Meg can hopefully bring peace to the two races and for when Meg and Simon let their feelings be known.
I do want to re-iterate that this is an urban fantasy with more of a fantasy book type feel even though it is set in an alternate modern world. The story is told through multiple third person point of views. Even though I’m only two books in, this series continues to amaze and fascinate me. Yes, some of the characters are a little gruff at times but I do love how Meg seems to break them down, add a little more humanity than even the humans have in this series. I can’t wait to see where this story goes next. Also, the more I look at the cover I really think that is Tess on the covers and not Meg.
Fur suddenly covered Simon’s shoulders and chest as he threw his weight against the door, breaking the wood and the slide lock. He rushed toward Meg’s bedroom, but the fresh scent of blood pulled him toward the bathroom. He shoved at the door and Meg cried out, so he squeezed through the narrow opening to avoid ramming her legs again.
She was on the floor, bleeding. The cut ran all the way across her torso just under her breasts. Too long a cut. Too deep a cut. Too much blood.
“Meg.” Barely enough room to straddle her legs when he dropped to his knees to reach her.
“Simon,” she gasped. “You have to listen.”
His friend was bleeding. It didn’t matter that she was human. His friend Meg was bleeding too much.
He lowered his head, then paused.
It would make him so angry. Like the last time when she fell in the creek and cut her chin and he had to get her to the human bodywalker.
I don’t care. She’s one of us now. Clean the wound. Get rid of the blood scent and hide the fact that she’s vulnerable.
He quickly licked the blood flowing from the cut. Licked and licked to keep it from dripping on the towel Meg had put on the floor to soak it up.
“Simon,” Meg moaned. “Simon. I see. . . It’s too much. I have to speak. You have to listen.”
For a moment he’d been very angry, and now he wasn’t. He heard Meg’s voice and something changed and he wasn’t angry at all.
The Others Series:
6. Lake Silence (2018)
FTC Advisory: Roc/Penguin provided me with a copy of Murder of Crows. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.