Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Ace Roc Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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.
I won't do a recap, I'll leave that to the other bloggers who've posted reviews before me. The short of it is there's a race war going on, humans came after The Others, the latter retaliated, things are definitely changed, tensions are high, and the already fragile relationship between humans and The Others is vulnerable than ever.
MARKED IN FLESH is yet another engrossing installment. Simon, Meg, and the rest of the characters had me wrapped around their fingers from beginning to end. There's a sense of danger almost from the start, something dark is about to pass and the entire world is on edge. This novel took us beyond Lakeside Courtyard and gave us a horrific glimpse of what's happening in this world. Sadly, I don't find it any different from the world we're living in right now.
And despite all the doom and gloom feel, there's a LOT of funny moments as well. To say that there's a big difference between humans and The Others is a big understatement. The Others are ruled by their instinct, they don't put much thought on their actions in that it's always purposeful and deliberate and it's their efforts to understand humans that had me chuckling and giggle-snorting in amusement. Case in point:
Shifting his (Simon) head to Wolf form, he loaded the toothbrush with toothpaste a seond time and brushed the other, better, set of teeth.
Underclothes smelled a lot more interesting after the female wore them.
This is my favorite though, a letter sent to The Others Etiquette column by a baffled Wolf, asking for advice pertaining to human dating and relationships.
Dear Ms. Know-It-All:
Last night a human female invited me for dinner ad some four-play. (It turned out to be a two-okay since no one else showed up.) After dinner she wanted to sit in the back of her car to play. Since this was my first social interaction with a uman, i was trying to be polite, so I didn't point out that the nearby field provided a lot more room to run around. I also didn't point out that she didn't have any toys. Anyway, she started patting me with her hands and licking at my mouth. When she put her tongue in my mouth, I thought sh was hungry despite having just eaten a large dinner. So I obliged and gave her a mouthful of pre-chewed food.
After she got done spitting and screaming, she told me to get out of the car. Then she drove off, and I had to walk home.
why did she do that?
Signed, Baffled Wolf
Yet despite it's fantastical tones, foreboding feel, and hilarious moments, I was very affected by the story. I can't help but read into the story and see it as a metaphor for what's happening in our world right now: racial discrimination and supremacy, hate groups, and the ongoing rape (yes, I believe in climate change) of Mother Nature and her eventual retribution, is very evident in MARKED IN FLESH. For all intents and purposes, The Others is a very entertaining read, but as I interpret the story a differently, it's also alarming. We are The Others and we are upsetting the balance of nature because of our own prejudices and biases.
Anyway, I love this series so fucking much! Checking it out is a MUST!