POV: third person, multiple, head hops to (I’d say) most characters.
So first let me say that I don’t usually like books that “head-hop,” as in switch from one person’s perspective to another’s constantly…but my goodness, there is something about this book! After finishing it (the first time) I rated this book four stars and was still a bit on the fence about how I felt about it. This book is brutal, most characters view humans as “smart meat” and yet, I sympathized with them. Also, every character in this book did things that appalled me.
But then…I just couldn’t get past this book, I kept coming back to it, reading it over and over, every time loving it a little more. The world building is so fantastic and original, I’d say that it’s a cross genre of urban fantasy and high-fantasy (contemporary fantasy?).
The world is an alternate modern day society where “The Others” (a race of various supernatural monsters) control all natural resources, and therefore humans are subservient to them in most ways. “The Others” live in compounds separate from humans and only choose to interact with humans because they like the inventions and products humans create. “The Others” hire a bedraggled runaway named Meg Corbyn to be a liaison between them and humans (because they hate interacting with humans.) Meg Corbyn has her own problems these inevitably become The Other’s problems as well.
Quite a bit of this book is centered on Meg Corbyn’s job as a liaison, or basically a mail woman. This is actually one of my favorite parts of this book. Meg is a strange woman and has quite a lot of misadventures trying to work with the fierce and very odd supernatural community.
My other favorite part of this book was Meg’s awkward bonding with the human-hating supernatural creatures she is surrounded in. (Especially her maybe-hopefully-love-interest with Simon Wolfgard!!!)
Okay, so I’m making this book sound light-hearted, which it is at times but it is also very dark at other times, graphic and a little bit gory.
The world building and feeling of this book is so original I’ve spent a good portion of my reading time (after I read Written in Red several times) questing to find books like it, and failing. A couple books that I’ve read in this pursuit:
The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop (different)
Kushiel's Dart (Phèdre's Trilogy, #1) by Jacqueline Carey (like The Black Jewels)
Chronicles of Elantra series by Michelle Sagara (also cross genre urban fantasy and high-fantasy-but very different)
Sunshine by Robyn McKinley (--So if you’re a fan of McKinley you already know how long-winded she can get. I usually like it. Sunshine was a bit much for me at times. However, this book was the most similar book I found to Written in Red.)
All great—but none of them satisfy my weird obsession with this fantastic book: Written in Red. Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to wait for 2014’s release of Murder of Crows (The Others, #2).