Monday 4 March 2019

Review: Wild Country - Anne Bishop

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the outlaw Blackstone Clan will either unite Others and humans...or bury them all.

The Others Series:
Written in Red
Murder of Crows
Vision in Silver
Marked in Flesh
Etched in Bone
Lake Silence (World of the Others book 1)
Wild Country (World of the Others book 2)

Visit Anne Bishop's website for more information

Wild Country is the book I was expecting when I first picked up Lake Silence so I was really excited that we were being given the chance to catch up with familiar faces from Prairie Gold and Bennett. Bennett's human population was wiped out in the war started by the Humans First and Last group, only the Intuit settlement at Prairie Gold survived but they're pretty cut off now that Bennett is a ghost town. Thanks to their connection to people at the Lakeside Courtyard the Elders have decided to allow Bennett to be resettled, but only as a terra indigene run town. Humans who can live in peace will be tolerated but anyone who crosses the line will be punished severely.

Timeline wise the first half of this book runs alongside events in Etched in Bone, we get to see the applicants accepted at the job fair arrive in Bennett and start work on creating a new community and we also get to see how the terra indigene living there react to the news of Meg's abduction. I still miss Meg and Simon as main characters but I loved getting the chance to catch up with familiar faces like Jesse, her son Tobias and the sanguinati town leader Tolya. I also really enjoyed getting to know Barbara Ellen (Michael's sister who went to Bennett to be the town vet) and the new human deputy Jana who arrived to work alongside the existing wolfgard Sheriff Virgil & deputy Kane.

It's been fun getting to see more of this world and how Others in different areas react to the humans they are now far more wary of thanks to the HFL. We also get to see how the blood prophets are settling in and continuing to learn about their own abilities which was something I was very happy about. I think my main issue with this book was that the humans were still able to cause so much trouble. The Others were on high alert thanks to some worrying prophecies, the Elders were watching and had clearly marked the boundaries where humans were allowed and where they weren't and yet we still had a group of humans able to sneak in and cause so much devastation.

I could have understood the Others laying a trap, letting the humans think their plan was working but I found it impossible to believe that the Elders didn't spot these encroachers on their territory and do something about them. The battle scenes could have been epic if it had been revealed that the Elders and the rest of the terra indigene had been working together to lay a huge trap but instead they were caught off guard and once again paid the price when many lives were lost. It was heartbreaking to read about and just didn't feel realistic to me considering everything that had gone before.

That battle came pretty close to ruining this story for me but I enjoyed the rest so much that I can't rate the book less than 4 stars. The truth is that I devoured all 7 books in about 9 days because I was so addicted to this series that I couldn't stop reading! That should give you an idea of how invested I became in this world and how skilful Ann Bishop is as a writer. It's been a long time since I last devoured a series like that and I know I'll be rereading the books regularly in the future. I'm not sure if Anne Bishop is done with this world but I really hope that she'll give us at least a few more books because I'm still not ready to say goodbye.

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

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