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Not so much a blog; just lots of books

Currently reading

Emma Newman
Three Parts Dead
Max Gladstone
Conservation of Shadows
Yoon Ha Lee
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Le premier jour
Marc Levy
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Moby-Dick: or, The Whale (Penguin Classics)
Herman Melville
Manifold: Time
Stephen Baxter, Chris Schluep
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Stephen Baxter, Terry Pratchett
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Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows  - Anne Bishop

Series: The Others #2


It’s interesting to go back and look at what I wrote about the first book in the series, Written in Red. If I may quote myself, one my comments about the next book in the series was,

“I’m hoping that the writing will have smoothed out so that I can have a more immersive book experience.”

It didn’t happen. If anything, it got worse. A lot worse. This time the plot suffered.


I debated about the rating for a long time, but the books that I rate two stars are generally better than this. It was disappointing, because it actually started off fairly strongly with a series of Crow attacks. It’s also misleading because we never follow up with any of the characters involved in the attacks. We never see the aftermath of the scene in the kitchen. And later on, the setting isn’t sufficiently described and we’re left wondering how some crows actually died until halfway through the scene. And I don’t think it was suspense: it was sloppiness. Also, BOW (Box On Wheels) was even used several pages before it was defined for new readers.


But we don’t even spend that much time on the attacks, because what’s apparently really important is to wade through a series of really awkward conversations that made me want to bang my head against my ereader. And by awkward, I’m referring to the actual dialogue. It just went on forever (or a hundred pages). It’s like the books is saying, ‘We don’t want to read about the interesting stuff, dear Reader. These movie nights and teen-style “interventions” are far more important.’ It kind of makes me wonder how this book got published since it reads more like an early draft than a final product.


The prophecies were pretty bad too. They were just a series of images that were used to outwit the enemy. Nothing really happened because the prophecy always saved the day. Even the politics weren’t handled very well and I never felt any real apprehension about how things were going to turn out. I’m surprised I didn’t sprain an eyeball. We’re even subjected to an explanation of a character’s nickname (Shady) when that character is never mentioned again.


All this wasn’t enough to make me declare that I was rage-quitting the series, but I’m not convinced that I’d find the rest of it interesting. Meg is transforming from an understandably vanilla character into an incredibly boring one and I’m warily side-eyeing her potential love interest. It’s devolving into typical urban fantasy territory despite the interesting setting.


All in all, this could have been a good book, but it really wasn’t. Maybe I would still like the series if someone had told me to skip this installment because I really hope this is skippable. So do yourself a favour and if you didn’t adore book one, skip this one. I’m sure the next book will fill you in enough without having to suffer through this one.


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