Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

Etched in Bone

New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop returns to her world of the Others, as humans struggle to survive in the shadow of shapeshifters and vampires far more powerful than themselves…After a human uprising was brutally put down by the Elders—a primitive and lethal form of the Others—the few cities left under human control are far-flung. And the people within them no...

Title:Etched in Bone
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Etched in Bone Reviews

  • Carmel (Rabid Reads)

    It's with deep sadness that I bid adieu to one of my f-a-v-o-u-r-i-t-e series. But, don't despair just yet, Anne Bishop has

    that she will be returning to THE OTHERS world in 2018! I enjoyed ETCHED IN BONE considerably more than book 4 because the scope of the story was much narrower which means that we get lots of Meg & Simon, and less of the rest of Thaisia. The plot was also milder in nature, and that was both a plus and a minus. Yay on account of it bein

    It's with deep sadness that I bid adieu to one of my f-a-v-o-u-r-i-t-e series. But, don't despair just yet, Anne Bishop has

    that she will be returning to THE OTHERS world in 2018! I enjoyed ETCHED IN BONE considerably more than book 4 because the scope of the story was much narrower which means that we get lots of Meg & Simon, and less of the rest of Thaisia. The plot was also milder in nature, and that was both a plus and a minus. Yay on account of it being more character driven, and nay since things end with a whisper instead of a bang.

    The focal point of this novel was Cyrus James Montgomery. He's a con artist, and sees Lakeside as easy pickings because he has an in with his brother, mother and sister already in residence. Jimmy's presumptuous, arrogant, and just plain daft if he believes that he can hide behind human laws in the Courtyard. The terra indigene mete out their own brand of justice; it's ugly and barbaric, and in my opinion the punishments fit the crimes. CJ's schemes escalate until he does the unthinkable. A shot to the heart would have probably hurt less!

    The citizens are busy picking up the pieces of whatever is left in the wake of Namid’s claws and teeth. Cel-Romano has practically fallen off the map, most of the land has been reclaimed by the wild country, and food rations abound in the surviving cities. The Simple Life folk and the Intuits are thriving, and the cassandra sangue are still a work-in-progress, but for the average human, life is hard. Meg's female pack make inroads with the Others by breaking bread together for the first time, and two Elders observe it all like some twisted science experiment.

    The author doesn't yank the rug out from under us as far as epiphanies go although, she does touch upon a few items that readers have been musing over such as what happens when a prophet's old scars are reopened. There were also several delightful moments which I'd found to be lacking in the previous volume. Skippy will surprise you, and Corbyn makes a HUGE faux pas—I'm pretty sure that she only lives to tell the tale due to the fact that she's the howling not-Wolf. And, yes, something DOES happen between Simon & Meg on the romantic front however, don't set your hopes too high because... baby steps!

    Anne Bishop could have probably written ten more books in this series, and I still wouldn't be entirely content, but overall ETCHED IN BONE was a happy finale.

  • Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    Absolutely LOVED this! So sad it might very well be the last book. Full review to come closer to release date.

    Edited to add review:

    It is no secret that The Others series is one of my absolute favorites and anyone that has ever picked up one of the books, doesn't have to question why. With it's unique take on supernaturals and Bishop's unique voice, it didn't take very long for this series to win me over and steal my heart.

    This is a series that I pretty much drop everything for when I start it. L

    Absolutely LOVED this! So sad it might very well be the last book. Full review to come closer to release date.

    Edited to add review:

    It is no secret that The Others series is one of my absolute favorites and anyone that has ever picked up one of the books, doesn't have to question why. With it's unique take on supernaturals and Bishop's unique voice, it didn't take very long for this series to win me over and steal my heart.

    This is a series that I pretty much drop everything for when I start it. Laundry doesn’t get done, calls get ignored and the world (okay maybe just my family) knows to leave me alone until the very last page is done because I will be useless until then anyways. I get completely immersed in the world, in the story, and in the very characters themselves and this latest installment was maybe even more so.

    With knowing that this very well be the very last one, I savored it, devoured it and the whole way through, read it with a sort of bitter sweetness to it. It was hard to put down but at the same time I wanted it to last forever.

    I will say that if this is the very last one, I am completely happy with the way it all came together. With the way things were answered and the way things were left with an air of expectation and lots and lots of hope.

    I can't even describe all the emotions I had while reading this. There were characters I wanted to hold tight and give a hug to and others that I seriously wanted the Elders to get a hold of and all the while, I still couldn’t get enough or love the series any more than I was.

    This has been such an adventure, such a journey and one that was worth every single minute and undone laundry and housework and all.

    *ARC copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

  • Shannon

    I don't want to write this review : (

    Any other series and this would've gotten a 2 ... maybe even only a high 1.

    Sigh.

    3/10/17 edit - pouty Taemin stays because I expected more from this series and now I'm sad

    3/7/17 edit - pouty Taemin stays until I finish because I like his face

    March ...

    ? ...

  • Simona Bartolotta

    So I've read it...

    *weeps*

    ...and I almost wish I hadn't because...

    *weeps some more*

    ...because...

    *hitching breath*

    IT WAS SO BORING.

    *cries in a corner*

    ---

    25/06/2016: This morning my exploding fluffball Nina sent me a message: it said "It has a coverrr" and there was a picture attached. I'm still trying to process we are closer and closer to the end of this series.

    (By the way, the cover is beautful.)

    And there's an

    too!

    I'm dying in t

    So I've read it...

    *weeps*

    ...and I almost wish I hadn't because...

    *weeps some more*

    ...because...

    *hitching breath*

    IT WAS SO BORING.

    *cries in a corner*

    ---

    25/06/2016: This morning my exploding fluffball Nina sent me a message: it said "It has a coverrr" and there was a picture attached. I'm still trying to process we are closer and closer to the end of this series.

    (By the way, the cover is beautful.)

    And there's an

    too!

    I'm dying in three, two, one-

  • Yodamom

    Crunchy good ! The Ending KABAAAAM !

    Fast and dirty-Meg becomes a humanal and humans can be horrible.

    Meg has had such a hard time adjusting to an outside life. She has massive scars inside and out, many she will never recover from. She is human but not like the other humans. Finding a place where she can be comfortable to be alive in a constant struggle but she is finding a path and it’s not one traveled before. Love, is something she never considered, and when feelings come she fumbles and str

    Crunchy good ! The Ending KABAAAAM !

    Fast and dirty-Meg becomes a humanal and humans can be horrible.

    Meg has had such a hard time adjusting to an outside life. She has massive scars inside and out, many she will never recover from. She is human but not like the other humans. Finding a place where she can be comfortable to be alive in a constant struggle but she is finding a path and it’s not one traveled before. Love, is something she never considered, and when feelings come she fumbles and struggles with them.

    Simon has a deep bond to this human but not girl. Is it more than his need to protect her, could it ever be more ? Poor Simon , he really has so much to deal with in this book.

    The Elders set about judging, and finalizing their cleansing from the last book. They are watching always watching, but not always the best judges.

    The relative that is like a black plague. We all have one. They manipulate, gossip, disrupt and make being related to them horrendous. Montgomery has the ring leader relative, his brother Jimmy. Jimmy couldn’t be any worse, and his black soul leeches out. There is nothing he isn’t willing to destroy to make his life easier.

    I love Meg Simon, Sam, Skippy, Henry, Tess, Vlad, the Elders.. all of them except two which I completely HATE. Two despicable characters, but one is the turd topping on the turd pile, Jimmy. Oh don’t think me too harsh till you get to know him. I adore the beings in this world and when somebody messes with them they are messing with my friends. That is the kind of book Anne Bishop writes, she pulls me in makes me a part of her world.

    That was the last book in Meg and Simon’s story ? Say it isn’t so, Anne Bishop. I didn’t get a resolved feeling. I wanted to see the follow through, the bing bang, or a puppy ? I need more, that did not feel like a rap up !

    Re-reading #2- Audiobook version

  • Jilly

    The last book in the series and we only get a kiss?

    Trying to calm down now.

    Okay. Well, the story in this one is focused on Monty's jerkass brother who shows up at the Courtyard looking for a free ride. This guy is a total jerk, waste of space, never worked a day in his life, etc..

    So, basically, it's him causing havoc the whole book. You spend your time just waiting for him to die. It really can't come too soon, or be too bloody.

    In the meantime, we have Simon thinking about mates. Specifically,

    The last book in the series and we only get a kiss?

    Trying to calm down now.

    Okay. Well, the story in this one is focused on Monty's jerkass brother who shows up at the Courtyard looking for a free ride. This guy is a total jerk, waste of space, never worked a day in his life, etc..

    So, basically, it's him causing havoc the whole book. You spend your time just waiting for him to die. It really can't come too soon, or be too bloody.

    In the meantime, we have Simon thinking about mates. Specifically, Meg maybe being his. In the beginning of the book, he does the old "don't want to ruin the friendship" thing, so it's a bit disappointing. There is really no romance going on. And, that's frustrating because we have all been waiting for this for 5 freaking books! But, then I figured, hey, things are just moving slowly. I can wait another book.

    But NO! There are no more books! We don't get to see them become mates and the cuteness that would come from that. We don't get to watch them try and navigate a romantic relationship when neither one of them really know how to human that well. This is it. The end.

    The good news is that if you go into this knowing that there is not going to be a romance pay-off, you will enjoy the story. It was entertaining, and has all of the adorable misunderstandingness that we want from the Others.

  • Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*

    Etched in Bone marks the end of the Lakeside story. I heard the author is making a side series based in the same invented world, but it will involve new characters.

    One of the discouragements about the third and fourth books was I thought the author spent far too much time outside the main Lakeside courtyard to explore around the world where the disasters were happening. While interesting and pertinent to the story and where the disaster was heading, I was more involved with staying with the ser

    Etched in Bone marks the end of the Lakeside story. I heard the author is making a side series based in the same invented world, but it will involve new characters.

    One of the discouragements about the third and fourth books was I thought the author spent far too much time outside the main Lakeside courtyard to explore around the world where the disasters were happening. While interesting and pertinent to the story and where the disaster was heading, I was more involved with staying with the series regulars I'd already grown attached to. The main story-line was resolved in the fourth book, so for this fifth we get to thankfully stay in Lakeside and see the progressions for the characters themselves. A big win there.

    As the main character, Meg has progressed a lot. We don't get any frantic cutting moments thankfully, and the author has dialed back from her existence tying into the other blood prophets. They're mentioned some but we don't get any more points of views though them. Anne's picture is helpful and Jean's letter wanted, but it's all about Meg, the police and Lakeside again.

    Even though Lakeside is the focus, we have new elders to contend with while they're still evaluating what should happen with surviving humans. A horrendous man, Jimmy, is given permission to stay in town and stir trouble. Honestly he's a little unrealistic - sure, he's a bad seed all the way, but almost a carbon cut-out of one. The man has no redeeming qualities whatsoever, really. We're in his demented head a few times too. Thankfully Jimmy gives the plot conflict but he isn't the main focus. It would be cool to say that was Anne and Simon's relationship, but we all know romance isn't the main focus of these stories, so we get what we get. Some readers may not get everything they want on that front with detailed moments, but we do get a very satisfying ending and outcome as expected.

    The world-building for The Others is detailed and dark, but it's the characters I really love. Humor comes through Vlad's interaction with the human pack and bookstore, Simon's misunderstandings as he can't figure people out, (the beginning play chase scene on the bike was SO funny), and the town's small nuances that make them so memorable. Tess is around but she plays a smaller role this time. We see a bit more of Nyx but I missed Erebus - would have loved hearing his thoughts more on the Wolfguard and Meg. Skippy has a major breakthrough - love Skippy. Grrr bear and children abound. I'll miss Winter, my favorite of the elemental seasons. The crows again play an important part of the story, and again it's interesting how they work together to find and protect those they consider valuable.

    Overall the plot is a bit milder this time but of that I'm actually glad because I was rearing up for more character-driven moments. I just love this community and how protective they are of "our Meg", how they come together into a working relationship despite how different they are from each other. It's both adorable and twisted. Such a dark series that came to the best conclusion it could. A lot of series end with the last book wrapping up the overall arching plotline - I'm so happy the author this time did that in book four, and spent the last book showing the outcome for all the main characters in such an extended resolution.

    Awesome.

    This review is based on an ARC received from Netgalley

  • Anne

    If this were any other series I would have one-starred it for being so dull. To me, the overall quality of this last installment was terrible, but my overall enjoyment of the other books kept me from pulling the trigger on such a bad rating.

    So. 2.5

    stars.

    Now, no one would ever accuse any of the books in

    series of having breakneck pacing, but

    takes the meandering plotline to a whole 'nother level.

    The plot? There really

    a good plot.

    Mon

    If this were any other series I would have one-starred it for being so dull. To me, the overall quality of this last installment was terrible, but my overall enjoyment of the other books kept me from pulling the trigger on such a bad rating.

    So. 2.5

    stars.

    Now, no one would ever accuse any of the books in

    series of having breakneck pacing, but

    takes the meandering plotline to a whole 'nother level.

    The plot? There really

    a good plot.

    Monty's gross brother shows up and acts like an evil thug. He's so ridiculously

    that even his inner monolog was full of cliches. There wasn't

    remotely two-dimensional about him, which made him pretty unbelievable as a villain. He's

    . He uses everyone around him, feels for no one but himself, and says and does whatever he wants - to the point of stupidity. I couldn't

    some of the things he said about

    the Others while he was staying in the Courtyard! Did he somehow miss that the Elders and Elementals just wiped out the majority of the human settlements across the world? Why kind of a suicidal moron would call those people

    !?

    He was just such an awful person who had such blatantly awful behavior that it was hard to take him seriously.

    Then you have the romance

    thing with Meg and Simon. We've been waiting for 5 books for these two to make it official! Wheee!

    That had to be the most anti-climactic ending to a romance in the history of underwhelming anti-climactic romance endings.

    I guess the whole point of this was to let the Elders see if humans were worth it or something. I don't know, it seemed like the entire Jimmy situation could have been avoided by the Others giving him a serious beat down right off the bat. At the very least, Monty should have done it. I mean, the survival of the entire human species is riding on whether or not your lowlife brother can keep his shit together. Is that even a

    ? Take a baseball bat to that motherfucker before he does something stupid!

    The whole scenario played out in such a way that it seemed like they almost

    him to do what he did. Everyone kept giving him more and more rope, all the while loudly expressing how they hoped he wouldn't hang himself with it.

    I've heard there will be more spin-off books set in this world, but I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. I really

    enjoy this series for the most part, but it never actually

    , so I'm torn when it comes to picking up more books like this one. I think I'm going to have to wait and see who the characters are before I decide. If it involves more inter-species dating I'm going to give it a pass, because this one was just poorly done. I kept thinking it would get better or something, but it ended up feeling like a mentally challenged girl made out with a talking dog.

    Squicky.

    It's too bad because I really think Anne Bishop has not only a way with words but also a vivid imagination when it comes to building new & interesting worlds.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Douglas Meeks

    NOTE: I have tried to limit my superlatives but I am probably writing a review that sounds more like some gushing fan instead of a top level reviewer, so be it .......

    -------------------------------------------

    There are books you read that you hate, there are some you read that you love but there is that very rare group of books that just leave you awestruck that such a book can be written, some author's imagination could be so amazing and at the same time have the skill to make it into a true w

    NOTE: I have tried to limit my superlatives but I am probably writing a review that sounds more like some gushing fan instead of a top level reviewer, so be it .......

    -------------------------------------------

    There are books you read that you hate, there are some you read that you love but there is that very rare group of books that just leave you awestruck that such a book can be written, some author's imagination could be so amazing and at the same time have the skill to make it into a true work of art. That is where this series has taken me each time but this one just lifted me into that place where only a small handful of books can even be considered in the same class. Many authors can paint a picture with their words on the page but most do it by giving us pages of descriptions that just burn off pages, only those talented few can do the same thing with so few words as Anne Bishop has painted for us in this series and this book was no exception, you can "see" the story playing out without mind numbing pages telling us the color of grass or the hardness of rocks, instead you get to look inside a whole community of characters.

    Those of us that have been following this story since the inception when Meg stumbled into Simon's store rain soaked and looking for a job, to this pinnacle of their story, hate to even think about an ending but I understand this will be the last book that revolves around Simon and Meg but i hope we don't leave Lakeside Courtyard behind completely since we have a whole family of characters to love.

    It is SO hard to write a review for this book since like others I just want to scream "IT WAS SO AWESOME, BUY IT NOW!!!" but I am guessing that is not a professional review. This book as pretty much all the others just weaves itself into a story that is addicting, stressful, while a touch of humor is slipped in randomly along with a touch of romance and warmth.

    In addition to everything else the Elders want to observe the Lakeside community to help decide if they should "remove" more humans from the world so almost everything becomes important. One of the things that make this series so endearing is that in the middle of this "test" Meg schools the Elders in the proper way to ask for cookies (which they obey), it was one of a few LOL moments that breaks up the stress of this story but shows that in this class of exceptional books humor can be used to raise the bar (Ilona Andrews does this exceptionally well also).

    These books are filled with secondary characters who all have a story and become more than just another faceless character to fill up pages, you care about these people, you love the interaction of how everyone grows to care about those who they once saw as an enemy, this book is the culmination of those stories.

    Meg is no longer cutting herself, Simon can't decide what his relationship is with Meg but before the book ends he has to make some decisions and events will force him to see that she is more than just "a friend".

    I won't be providing any spoilers but this was just such a great book to bring us to the point where the series can move on to other characters while hopefully not leaving us without at least an occasional glimpse at Meg and Simon as the series moves along since we hate to even think of there being no more bits of their story.

    The big thing here is that the main plot about Meg and Simon is only a part of what makes these books exceptional beyond description, the interaction of the whole cast of characters and their desire to help each other is what this is all about and just leaves you breathless and almost depressed that the book ended and you have to wait another year for more.

    Bottom Line: I will save all the mountains of superlatives since they still would not be able to convey how much this series is in an elite class that is outside of normal reading entertainment. I rate this book only because they don't have a rating for a separate Elite Class of books so all I can do is give it 5 Stars and an acknowledgment that some books are just so far outside of a normal rating that it becomes almost meaningless.

  • Carol.

    Apparently, some times I'm a little subtle, and the trolls have difficulty following my train of thought. So I'll be direct: I feel kind of sick about reading this book. I mean, the whole series has been one long sugar high, but this is like the regret after eating a thousand calories beyond reasonable, or the vaguely ill feeling when my bloodstream has more sugar than red blood cells.

    But I confess: I started reading and didn't stop until the last page. There's something in Bishop's writing that

    Apparently, some times I'm a little subtle, and the trolls have difficulty following my train of thought. So I'll be direct: I feel kind of sick about reading this book. I mean, the whole series has been one long sugar high, but this is like the regret after eating a thousand calories beyond reasonable, or the vaguely ill feeling when my bloodstream has more sugar than red blood cells.

    But I confess: I started reading and didn't stop until the last page. There's something in Bishop's writing that carries one along; granted, I was post-night shift, so my brain was a little sleep-deprived, fuzzy, and in need of distraction. And sure, I might have spaced out a little when the plot became 'manly-man protect special woman,' and 'manly-mens protect other womans,' but that's just letting myself be carried along with the enjoyment of the moment, right? Chocolatey goodness melting in the mouth (not the hands). It's only later one thinks, 'wait, what did I just

    ?'

    So I have to admit,

    is probably enjoyable in distraction-eating kind of way. This might be the day for confessions, because I have another one--I suspect half the enjoyment of this series comes from revenge fantasies. In every book, the bad guys--who are truly selfish, greedy, without empathy and such horrible people that absolutely no one will find them sympathetic--will meet an ugly end. The last book gave us virtually world-wide destruction of racist governments and subsequent reassertion of the 'natural' world. In this one, however, even the revenge feels old, as Bishop recycles the tired plotting of

    (book one) while attempting to regain the threat of world-wide destruction that drove books three and four.

    However, Bishop couldn't really be bothered to deal with more character creation, so she resurrected least three or four of the villainous personalities to provide some of the meat for this book. Ha-ha: that's a pun for those in the know. Speaking of meat, in this book, Girly-Girl decides she has an Issue about eating meat, because she's troubled by images about it. Me too, Girly; me too. But I'm not not-dating a top-level predator whose Manly-Man friends tease him about bringing spinach to a potluck. You should probably figure that shit out.

    Damn, did I mention how gross this books make me feel? It's like Sexism 101, all wrapped up in a sexy werewolf bow to make girly-girls kind of enjoy it.

    Will you like it? Idk, I guess it depends on how altered your level of consciousness is at the moment, and how you want to feel when it's all over. As a modern feminist, I felt more than a little dirty being wrapped in the Super-Chivalry of Bishop's world (ooh, a woman wants to be a cop! Shocking! Let's let her try after she's vetted by all the Mens), where women write pen pals and have pizza parties, and the men work out on bicycles and go around having meetings Deciding Things. As a modern person, I also felt kind of dirty with the elderly black woman (only one older person in the community) being A Force to Reckon With as well as the Mother-Figure for all the new community members, and her daughter being the Weak and Easily Manipulated by Men character. The rest of the community of wives are white, normal and pretty homogeneous. There's no way about it: this series is seriously sexist, and only reinforces ethnic stereotypes in any attempts to be inclusive.

    Then there's the writing: the villain is completely ridiculous, a caricature of selfishness, sexism and manipulation, and is accompanied by equivalently ridiculous henchmen. As a further kick in the funny parts for those who are looking for Hawt Schmexy Times, the ending will almost certainly piss off those hoping for a particular romantic angle. Honestly, I thought the ending was the one consistent note through the series, but then, almost everything here was recycled, and Hawt times would have required some new material.

    Overall, I read, finished and felt gross about doing both. Your mileage may vary.


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