A big round of a-caws, because my good friend Birdie Bookworm is back, and she’s reviewing Etched in Bone with me! It seems like The Others is all over the internet these days, and with good reason. The world building in this series is in comparable, and these are characters we’ve all come to know and love. The good news is, we don’t have to completely say goodbye to The Others, because there’s a spin-off (or maybe an extension?) in the works! Did Etched in Bone live up to our expectations? Read on to find out!
Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop | The Others #5
Published on March 7th, 2017
ARC from Netgalley
| Buddy Review |
Birdie Bookworm: I have to say, I was a little nervous diving back into this world. I’d loved the first couple books so much, and I really liked the followups. I just wasn’t as hot on it as I was in the beginning. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be as into it, so I was thankful when I totally was. This last book was really friggin’ good!
Angie: Sadly, for me, it was the weakest of the series. I mean, I say that, but the weakest book in this series is better than the best in other series I’ve read, so take that with a grain of salt, but this one was just missing something for me. But I love the way it started – the high speed (bicycle) chase that was hilarious.
Birdie Bookworm: It definitely wasn’t as good as the first, but I struggled most with the middle books. They were still good, but I felt like we were getting less and less of Simon and Meg. I loved how much of them were in this one, which is probably the only reason I enjoyed it more. Haha.
I totally loved was the bicycle chase. It was so funny, especially since you knew that Kowalski was crapping himself just a little, not getting that it was the chase game. It was great as the launching chapter.
Angie: Yes – a quick reminder to show you how differently humans and Others think. Also, I loved how quick Vlad (et. al.) was to show up when Meg was having a fitful nightmare. It makes you wonder what’s going to happen when she and Simon finally do the deed. If they’re loud, is everyone going to show up with popcorn and soda to watch the show? LOL
Birdie Bookworm: Or to kill whoever is hurting the Sweetblood. And imagine Meg’s mortification! That would have been hilarious to read.
What was interesting to me was in how the plot with the HFL was actually finished in the previous book, so Etched in Bone got to take the story somewhere simpler. It reminded me more of the earlier books, being more about the differences in humans and The Others. The Cyrus made for a compelling story.
Angie: I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know that I enjoyed the HFL aspect of the story. I didn’t care for Cyrus’ story. He was looking for more, more of everything and free of everything. He felt like a cruder, male version of Asia Crane, making him a recycled character and plot.
Birdie Bookworm: I can see that. I guess, for me, I prefer these bad guy types to the HFL story. That was when I struggled with the plot. I liked that Cyrus was connected Montgomery and Twyla, and how that posed its own issues. But if course we’re opposite in how were the same! We both love the series, but love opposing parts.
Speaking of, I really loved the addition of Miss Twyla. I loved that she was a member of the human pack and that The Others recognized traits in her that were similar to them. I also loved how she was with Skippy.
Angie: I liked Miss Twyla with Skippy, too, but I had a really hard time with how Simon seemed to cow to her. I feel like the strength of the Others diminished over the series, and I don’t like that. On the one hand, I think the author was trying to show how the Others were trying to acclimate themselves to the humans and trying to integrate, but on the other hand, I feel like with as tenuous as things are with the elders, the Others should be asserting their dominance to show they can hold their own with the humans.
Birdie Bookworm: I think that the only reason Simon was like that was because she didn’t act Human. He repeatedly said that she was more like his kind than she was like the humans. I think Twyla was the first time he didn’t see a human as prey. Even the “human pack” still felt like prey. I liked that. Plus, I do think the Others that will live among humans are changing. They’re adapting to live in harmony with “good humans.” LOL
Angie: I get that, and I get what the author was trying to do, but the fact remains that while she may not have acted human, she was human. And I have a hard time believing his nature would allow him to cow to her. Simon is leader of a pack. Those actions don’t signify leader to me. I guess I needed to be sold more to buy it.
I love ‘Others’ logic. There were times when they were mocking the humans, but only among themselves and it was always good-naturedly. It was hilarious because the things they say are so obvious and true.
Birdie Bookworm: Like all the Bunny talk. Haha. That had me cracking up. I loved how they compared them all to angry bunnies.
Some of the story line made me a bit uncomfortable, particularly with the children. I understand why Anne Bishop went there, and I believed the logic behind it; I just didn’t like reading it.
Angie: I agree. It almost felt out of place in this series. I think because it was on the tail end, it just didn’t fit for me. And I also had a hard time with Cyrus’ crude speech and thoughts. I do think it was authentic for his character, but it felt very jarring in a series that hasn’t been crude in that way so far.
And I was floored when they mentioned how it had only been a few months since Meg had shown up in the courtyard. Can you believe so little time has passed? So much has happened!
Birdie Bookworm: I didn’t notice that. I feel like she’s been there for years. It’s unbelievable to me that so much has changed in such a short time. No way.
I loved everything about Simon and Meg, from the very beginning. I also loved the end. I think they’re perfect together. I just think I was hoping for something more. The end was kind of abrupt.
Angie: I agree; the end with Simon and Meg was abrupt. But what is doubly frustrating about that, was that I felt the events leading up to the end were dragged out. They could have been shortened significantly, and more time spent on Simon and Meg, who still have a long way to go to work their relationship out. There was a lot of heart to this series, but Meg and Simon were at the center of it. I wanted more, too. I wanted more Vlad, I wanted more Tess, more Elementals…I wanted more of the main players from the beginning of this series. There were too many ‘others’ who weren’t Others that got way too much page time for me in this installment.
Also, and I know this was a long shot, but I was hoping for closure with Daphne’s murder. I feel like Sam was the catalyst in bringing Meg and the Others together, and I would have loved there to be some focus on what happened to his mother.
Birdie Bookworm: I wasn’t too surprised that wasn’t solved. I figured it was just one of the random Other killings that they were always talking about. It would have been nice to get closure though. With Daphne and between Meg and Simon.
Angie: Gosh, reading back through, it probably seems like I didn’t like this book, but there were parts I really enjoyed. The way Meg prophesies has evolved so much since the beginning of the series, and as always, I loved the interactions of those within the courtyard. I also loved the big turkey dinner, like their own version of Thanksgiving. I’m excited that there is going to be a spin-off series, and I can’t wait to see what else we can learn about the Others. There are just some things that still haven’t been covered – have we even learned the life span of an Other?
Birdie Bookworm: Nope, we haven’t. There is a lot unexplored. Maybe they’ll develop that more later. I hope they do, and I hope I love the new series as much as this one. I’m very unsure about it.
Angie: I am, too, but it won’t stop either of us from picking it up. This series has been a wonderful ride, and I’m just glad it’s not over!
If you haven’t read The Others yet, keep in mind that it is best enjoyed if read in order. There are new characters introduced in each book, and if you’re not with them as they appear, they can be hard to keep straight in the later books. Also, if you are a listener, I highly recommend this series in audio. The narrator is fantastic, and she brings such life to the characters. She does a great job allocation a different voice to each character; often you know who she is portraying the moment she starts speaking. Phenomenal job!
The Others Series