Series Review – The Others by Anne Bishop

So I started this series before I started really trying to consistently write book reviews so I decided to do a full series review when I finished it instead of retroactively reviewing the early books or only reviewing the later books. I’ll try to keep this as light on spoilers as possible, especially for the later books.

The world of this series is an Earth inspired world where the world was originally populated by The Others, who are various types of shapeshifters, and they control the world and humans live according to The Others rules. This series follows a fairly big cast of characters, that grows as the series goes on, but the main characters are Meg, a blood prophet, and Simon, a wolf shapeshifter. Prior to the start of the series Meg had been kept captive by people who would sell her prophets to customers and she escapes and finds herself in the Others controlled area of a city where she takes shelter. As the series goes on we see her befriending the Others of the city as well as befriending a cast of humans from the city as well.

I had a roller coaster of feeling about this series. The first book has been on my Goodreads tbr shelf for years which means it got added to my shelf back in the day when I was more into paranormal. But in the past few years I’ve really strayed away from paranormal books so picking up this series was some what of a whim. And I surprised myself and actually ended up liking the first book more than I expected and figured I’d give the rest of the series a shot.

The first two books I enjoyed in the way I like watching The Bachelor. I had fun reading them, but at the same time would not have considered them to be really great quality books. The characterization of the shifter characters taking traits of their animals was a little too exaggerated for my taste, especially the crows, and all the all fell into stereotypical gender roles, and everyone falling over themselves for our main character, Meg, for no readily apparent reason. But I’m a pretty easy to please and non critical readers so I was still having fun with the first two books despite their flaws.

Vision in Silver, the third installment, is where the series took a sharp downturn for me though. Meg started out this series as somewhat naive and a little meek, which makes sense as she had been captive and away from the real world and now that she had escaped and was making friends and living in the real world we could start seeing her grow out of that. But for some reason in this book Meg did a 180 turn and her character ended up being worse off than when she escaped the compound in regards to how she was able to handle the stimulus of the real world. And the author gave us no reason or triggering event for this sudden change in behavior so the third book was an infuriating read for me. And on top of that, the main plot line of this book was the least compelling in my opinion so I couldn’t distract myself from my annoyance with Meg’s behavior with caring about the plot.

Honestly at this point I probably should have DNFed the series, but I have a really hard time actively deciding to stop a series and I had already acquired the last two books so I finished the series. And I did like the last two installments better than the third so I definitely don’t regret finishing out the series. Monty, the human policeman, started to become my favorite character and I think that and the human driven plot lines were what made the book enjoyable for me. I kind of just stopped caring about Meg’s plot (which is awful since she’s lowkey the main character). I also found the main villain in the fifth book to be an almost cartoonish character and yet super fun to hate read.

Overall I think I’d rate the series as a whole a 3 star series. I rated the five books as 4, 4, 2, 3, and 3 stars in order. What has continually surprised me is whenever I’ve gone to update my status for one of these books is how universally loved these books were in the reviews posted. I often like positive and negative reviews of books I’ve just finished. I’ll do this for books I liked and ones I’ve disliked just as a way to see both perspectives on it, so I was definitely not expecting to have to dig super far down the reviews to find any 2 or 3 stars reviews for these books. Everyone on Goodreads is in love with this series, and I guess I just missed out on the hype.

My last reflection on this series is two things I came away with after completing it that I now know about myself in terms of reading preferences. The first is that while these books didn’t ignite a new thirst for paranormal books, I did enjoy the first two enough and like the premise enough that I could definitely be persuaded to pick up paranormal again on a good recommendation. And the second is I learned I’m just not into prophetic characters. I can get behind a singular prophecy that’s part of lore and hangs over the series. But I am just no into characters that are continually giving cryptic prophecies and as a reader I have no interest in putting thought into prophecy after prophecy about what I think it’s saying.

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