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Bookpushers Joint Review – Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver cover image

Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: Out now
Reviewed by: Cass, MinnChica, Has, and E
How we got this book: ARC from the publisher and purchased

The Others freed the cassandra sangue to protect the blood prophets from exploitation, not realizing their actions would have dire consequences. Now the fragile seers are in greater danger than ever before—both from their own weaknesses and from those who seek to control their divinations for wicked purposes. In desperate need of answers, Simon Wolfgard, a shape-shifter leader among the Others, has no choice but to enlist blood prophet Meg Corbyn’s help, regardless of the risks she faces by aiding him.
 


Meg is still deep in the throes of her addiction to the euphoria she feels when she cuts and speaks prophecy. She knows each slice of her blade tempts death. But Others and humans alike need answers, and her visions may be Simon’s only hope of ending the conflict.
 


For the shadows of war are deepening across the Atlantik, and the prejudice of a fanatic faction is threatening to bring the battle right to Meg and Simon’s doorstep…

Where blurb came from the author’s website.

1. Thoughts on the Hero

Cass: I am not sure what is says about me that my favorite hero in quite awhile is an animal who just periodically dresses up as a human and has made no overt romantic moves on the heroine. Three cheers for shelving the bodice rippers in the cookbook section!

MinnChica: What to say about Simon…. He is very wolfish, and although the only advance he’s made on Meg is to hold her hand, he is everything I love about Alpha heroes. He is 110% dedicated to Meg, to keeping her safe and happy. I adore the way his mind works, and how he is willing to think outside the box when it comes to her. For example: the main reason he is so willing to let more and more humans into his world is solely for Meg’s benefit. I adore that about him.

Has: Yes! I adore Simon too! I loved how in this entry into the series, you could see how far he had developed as a character. I loved how he was torn between for his feelings for Meg and to protect her from outside dangers as well as the danger to herself with her addiction to cutting. But at the same time realising that he was worrying about changing and becoming too human, because of all of the changes that he implemented.

E: Simon is so much fun as the hero. I though Bishop did a great job of making him very not Human yet his constant exposure to humans has changed him. I won’t say humanized him but in a way has made him even more dangerous because he seems humans as more than meat. He is so dedicated to protecting not just The Others in his Courtyard but everything/one who falls under what he considers his responsibility, and that span of his responsibility keeps growing. He is desperate to keep Meg happy and this in turn forces him to change yet he also senses his change could be viewed as a threat by the earth natives.

2. Thoughts on the Heroine

Cass: What is up with Meg? In Written in Red, and Murder of Crows, Meg came across as sheltered and naive – largely as a result of her captivity – but ultimately competent and self-sufficient. Now suddenly she (and all the recently freed blood prophets) are so cripplingly disabled by sensory input they cannot function? Where the hell did this come from? It reads more like a retcon than a newly discovered issue. They even have Meg lampshade it, thinking to herself:

How many things had she dealt with because Simon assumed that she
could? And how many things had she dealt with because she didn’t want
Simon to know that she couldn’t?

I’m not even sure why this plot development was entirely necessary. Why did Meg need to be weakened? I understand wanting to distinguish her from the other blood prophets, but their issues could just as easily have been portrayed as stemming from their need to be deprogrammed and taught to cope with their disabilities. Meg, having run away, wouldn’t need the deprogramming and thus was better able to manage the cutting.

MinnChica: I love Meg. While I agree with Cass’s assessment to some extent, I think with the whirlwind of everything Meg was going through, she didn’t have the time or inclination to really think about what she was doing day in and day out. The fact that she didn’t start to have little break-downs until after the other blood prophets were released was a surprise, but I thought the way it was handled was well done. I could see how Meg didn’t start having problems until she was finally settled and getting into a rhythm of everyday life.

Has: I agree with MinnChica about Meg’s character, I think she was in survivor mode when she arrived in the courtyard. And later when she was settled, and then things started changing, that added stress and I could see why she would start to break down. It made sense because she never had the chance to deal with the trauma and past experiences with the Controller and living in a cold and sterile environment. Add to the fact her increasingly complicated feelings for Simon is another complicated dimension to her life and something she had to deal with.

Although I love how she slowly starts to discover elements of what it is to be a blood prophet, and learning from her mistakes and triumphs with her abilities and helping the other girls who are left floundering to cope. I also loved the subplot line that Anne Bishop introduced with another girl who chose to survive outside her captivity, and in a lot of ways her story was mirroring Meg’s story and I was very intrigued by her.

E: Like Cass and the other ladies I was dismayed by what appeared to be regression on Meg’s part. But then I realized Meg had been developing her own routine and rituals bit by bit as she settled into life in the Courtyard as her immediate fear and drive to survive were calmed. I did like how she and her friends discovered what was causing the problem. I was glad to see Bishop address the problem of sudden freedom and sensory overload, which I think also explained why Meg’s reaction was delayed. I also liked Meg’s painful realization she was not omnipotent, and just like The Others restrained their impulses around her she had to do the same around them. I continue to find Meg fascinating and love watching the world unfold through her eyes even though this particular story seemed more focused on the viewpoints of other characters.

3. Favorite Scene

Cass: My favorite scene involved Nathan, the Wolfgard enforcer, protecting a little girl from a pedophile on a train.

Humans and Wolves had one thing in common: they didn’t leave their young alone for long. So where were the adults who should be around the girl? She’d been alone when he’d taken his seat. Had the adults gotten off the train and left her behind? […] The door at the far end opened, and the same man entered the car for the third time. As soon as the man passed the seats containing human passengers, his eyes focused on the girl in the same way Wolves would focus on an unprotected calf when they were hunting. Nathan stepped into the aisle and snarled loudly. His fangs lengthened to Wolf size, and his amber eyes flickered with red, the sign of anger. Fur sprang up on his chest and shoulders. Fur covered his hands. His fingers shortened, and his fingernails changed to the sharp Wolf nails that would be more useful in a fight.

[…]

“What’s going on?” the conductor asked. The security guard’s hand hovered over the gun still in its holster.

“Keep this male away from the child,” Nathan snarled.

“There’s just been a misunderstanding,” the man said.

“He stinks of lust.”

Though I have to say I agree with Nathan’s later comment that he really SHOULD have….

MinnChica: There were so many great scenes, it’s hard to choose a favorite. I think the one that sticks out most for me is when Simon is asking Michael about why Meg was holding hands with Merri Lee. I love the way Michael had to explain female friendships and support to Simon, while also explaining how between a couple it was also a sign of romance. *melt*

Has: Oh yes! The romance lover in me, loooooved that scene! I also love how everyone is like they’re falling in love with outright statements, or via subtext. But both Simon and Meg are so clueless about their feelings for each other. Although I am yearning for the day when they finally kiss. Another scene that I loved is much later in the book when there is a huge confrontation with the Courtyard inhabitants and humans who are against them. It was dangerously tense and you can feel how Anne Bishop is slowly ratcheting up the tension and suspense with a huge build-up. I was on the edge of my seat, well nose glued to my ereader and swiping like a maniac.

E: I think the scenes mentioned above are all good but for me I am going to pick the ones threaded through the entire story involving one of the freed cassandra sangue who made the decision to live and how she started discovering what freedom was and how she didn’t need to cut when she had access to other methods of giving a prophecy. I thought her journey was so sweet and touching, and one I wish for all of them.

4. Dislike about book

Cass: Goth glitter, Capitalization Of Descriptive Nouns, and pretentious italics. Admittedly these are trademarks of Anne Bishop’s writing, so though I disliked them, it was hardly a surprise to see them. Seriously though, can anyone explain to me why every single use of “terra indigene” or “cassandra sangue” needs to be italicized? Why are descriptions constantly capitalized to no apparent contextual or grammatical purpose? Why are all the names of the vampires pulled directly from the archived livejournal of a 13-year-old goth? Anyone? Bueller?

MinnChica: I really liked the book overall. The problems that Cass had didn’t bother me, because those small little writing decisions don’t distract me from the overall book. 🙂 I think the biggest complaint I have about this series is that there is too much time between books. Bishop poses so many new questions about the series, I am DESPERATE to know what’s going to happen next!

Has: Me either! I felt it added to tone and feel of the series. My only gripe is romance, I so want a kiss happening soon. I feel like I am reliving the early days of the X-Files when every touch, glance, hand holding and hug, tugged on my shipper heart. But I understand the slow pace, because both Meg and Simon are so not ready. But I can be impatient and I hope we get rewarded soon, although I don’t want a bee moment interrupting a kiss in a future book!

E: Knowing I have to wait another year is painful but I also really enjoyed how things are moving along as the big confrontation between Humans and The Others gets closer and closer. And unlike Has I am enjoying the very slow romance pace because neither Simon or Meg is ready for all of the additional complications, so I guess I really didn’t have any dislikes.

5. Any other misc. thoughts along with grade

Cass: I went into Vision in Silver expecting the conclusion to a trilogy. The first two entries in the series very clearly set it up for a Resounding Conclusion this go around, but Bishop surprised me. Vision in Silver did a great job transitioning from a formulaic fantasy trilogy into a jumping off point for a larger series. As for the romance Has and MinnChina are so desperate for….I don’t see it happening for a long time – there is going to need to be something big to finally push these two together.

All in all, I give Vision in Silver a B-. It would have been a C, but I bumped it up specifically due to the periodic chapters featuring another surviving blood prophet.

MinnChica: All in all, I think Bishop is continuing to write amazing stories that I can’t get enough of. I love this series. It’s so unique and the world is so exciting. I love each and every character that walks onto the page. The second I close the book, I’m already anxious and awaiting the next. I love when a book can do that to me!
I give Vision in Silver a B+

Has: Vision in Silver really cranks up the stakes and tension and I love how Anne Bishop interweaves a wider subplot with the Humans First and Last movement, that is leading to an epic showdown which shows how dangerous the tensions are between humans and the Terra Indigene. I also loved the focus on some of the side characters, such as Monty and hints of the other blood prophets, who I really hope become more of a focus in future books. And even though the romantic subplot, is subtle, it definitely moves along with a lovely quiet undertone, that helps to develop the characterisations of both Simon and Meg. I was also left on tenterhooks with the ongoing plot arc, and this is certainly a series that has continued to captivate me. I am already counting the days for Marked in Flesh.

I give Vision in Silver a B+

E: I really enjoyed this installment. While Murder of Crows was good, it was so dark I wasn’t able to reread it over the last year. To me, Vision in Silver is one I can reread often like Written in Red. I thought how Bishop intertwined the impacts of the drastic actions taken in the last book along with answering some questions I had about the number of cassandra sangre and if they were used as possessions in other parts of the world. She also pulled some lingering threads from the first installment and started tying them to other world events. The decision made by the earth natives and communicated to Simon has so many implications as does the spreading impacts of Meg’s presence in the Courtyard. I can’t wait to see what Bishop comes up with next.

I give Vision in Silver an A-

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By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

3 replies on “Bookpushers Joint Review – Vision in Silver (The Others #3) by Anne Bishop”

Hmmm, I didn’t know that about the italics, capitals and such, I’ve only listened to the audiobooks but folks, I highly recommend them. To hear Simon and Sam and that goofy Skippy – well, that’s just plain fun! Alexandra Harris has done a great job of narration with these books and if you get the chance, listen to them for a different perspective on the characters. I too, can barely wait for the next book and will re-listen, often, until then.

@Carolyn: Maybe…..but are those really foreign languages in that world? It’s basically just the name of the group of people.

If it were the equivalent of calling human beings “Homo sapiens,” then why wasn’t it capitalized? See? no grammatical logic to the use of italics vs capitals. Admittedly a pet peeve…..but I like consistency!

Other reason for italics in urban fantasy? To denote telepathy. Instead she uses the . What???????

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