Tiresome and at times flippant about serious issues

Written in Red  - Anne Bishop

I finally muster up enough boredom to buy and read this book. It was a fine book at times, sometimes fun in a passing fashion but never truly awesome if you ask me. This book should have been called Meg's day to day life amongst monster , at least that way I wouldn't have gotten excited waiting for action.

 

The world building is the biggest plus this book has and the only true reason why I would recommended to anyone because the characters have a hard time breaking out of their mellow moods and when they do break out of it is just to scream around a bit before settling down.

Meg is the protagonist, she is a Cassandra Sangue or blood prophet, basically this chick sees vision when she is cut and if she speaks the vision she experiences orgasmic euphoria but if she doesn't speak them she experiences terrible pain. She ran away from this place where she was been kept as property by someone who acted as her owner and would cut her up to clients who paid the right price to hear her prophecies. 

Meg's routine where she was kept was specially designed for her to never be able to properly go about life outside of her imprisonment an as a result she sounds like an incompetent child despite the fact of her being a grown 24 year old woman. Somehow she manages to escape and stumbles upon the territory of the Others. This Others are basically monsters and creatures with powers and they don't like humans at all, but they run some stores that make trade with the humans and in one of those stores a position is opened for a human liaison. Obviously, she gets hired by the wolf shapeshifting owner and thus her exciting adventure of delivering mail to monsters begins.

Yes, she delivers mail and accepts deliveries, that is what this whole book is about. If you want blood and heart stopping action this is not the book for you, if you want to read about a community of pleasantly civil monsters receiving their daily mail and making friends with a boring, special human girl then this is it folks, look no further. Even the supposed action at the end is lacklustre and this is a letdown, I thought I was picking up more exciting fare and as it is, this is quinoa splash with some cayenne pepper. It was fun for a bit reading about the delivery service Meg did but it got tiring when I realized the whole book would revolve around this.

There are some characters that are very exciting but they have so little screen time compare to Meg, the boring special person, that they don't make up for much really. Simon is this  pathetic excuse for an Alpha Male but he is really just bland with no personality, he is the leader of the Courtyard and owns the store where Meg works but that is where his interesting traits end as Bishop really did not dispensed on him a lot of personality besides him being either stoic or snarling. 

I also have a bit of bone to pick with Bishop for writing the blood prophet thing that way she did. You see Meg is addictive to cutting and she feels an euphoria when she does cut and speaks the prophecies which gives me the creeps because it feels like she is glorifying in some ways the horrible issue of self harm. 

I thought that if Anne Bishop where to introduce something so controversial into her books such as self harm she would handle it with some tact but as it is the issue is mostly put in the back burner until Meg has to heroically use it to save her friends. I don't feel like having her cut herself in order to save her friends was a very healthy way in which to portray self harm because Meg was feeling extreme anxiety previously to cutting and then relief after she cut since she spoke a "prophecy" and saved her friends. 

Afterwards everyone is very much concerned for her, but in this strange comforting way where no one actively tells her that she mustn't cut ever again. In fact, everyone takes her cutting as a big act bravery and I feel this might be harmful to people who do cut and read this book. I am just not comfortable with how she portrayed this issue in the book or the thinly veiled mentions of rape instead of facing the issue in a straightforward manner.

By the way, Meg's emotional present state is that of a young child sometimes and it makes me uncomfortable that she has a love interest, Simon, because her voice just sounds so very young. Overall, while interesting, this book is just touches on issues that I feel are extremely serious in not a very tactful way and I am not comfortable with the main romantic couple. 

By the by, I also read the first chapter of book 2 and I was left cold, you see Meg has accepted to sleep and cuddle with Simon in his animal form, but in the beginning of book 2 she has a nightmare and she kicks him out of bed so he turns into his human form, a very naked male, and climbs back into bed with her despite her obvious protest and her discomfort of him been naked. I felt this was very callous of Bishop to write, Meg has been sexually abused as a child while speaking prophecies for the clients sick entertainment and Simon just changing into a naked man and climbing into bed, forcibly hugging her and ignoring her protest of her being uncomfortable is just not right folks. It's not like Simon doesn't understand that his naked male form might be a sign of possible sex while they are in bed together. Simon acknowledges in book 1 that he has "rutted" with "females in heat" so his actions just feel abusive when Meg is fresh from the rapes she suffered for years while locked up.

I doubt I will pick up the next book or any of Bishop's other works if this is how she writes abuse and other sensitive issues.