I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.
This is the second book in Bishop's The Others series. The dangerous drugs that popped up in the first book become more widely used in this one, although it takes everyone a while to piece together what's happening and who's behind it. Drugged up humans begin killing more and more terra indigene. If someone doesn't put a stop to the drug manufacture and distribution soon, the terra indigene might very well decide that humans aren't worth keeping alive. Meanwhile, Simon accidentally makes his and Meg's relationship more complicated by climbing into her bed in his human form. No romantic relationship yet, but they're both forced to think more deeply about how they feel about each other and whether they really want to be more than friends. Also, Meg's former captors continue to try to get her back.
I didn't like this book as much as the first, although I still enjoyed it. I prefer Bishop's sweet/funny character interactions, and there was a lot less of that here. Instead, the characters spent an awful lot of time thinking, guessing, and debating, as they tried to figure out what was going on, how they felt, and what Meg's various visions meant.
It seemed like the same thing kept happening over and over again: a group of humans would rebel against the terra indigene, and then I and the characters would wait to see if the terra indigene would respond by killing everyone. I became more and more frustrated with how the humans in this book acted. These were people who had supposedly grown up knowing the story of how humans came to be allowed to live in terra indigene lands. They knew that entire cities could be, and had been, wiped out for not following the rules set down by the terra indigene. The people in the Lakeside area had experienced a sudden terra indigene-caused blizzard in the previous book. And yet they cheered for terra indigene deaths and discriminated against terra indigene and those close to them. It made no sense.
What really bugged me was when Monty went to Meg to ask her for a vision, and his question turned out to have a blindingly obvious answer. “What happens if we don't help the terra indigene?” You die. As a police officer in Lakeside, and as someone who'd had a lot of contact with Meg and the terra indigene, he should have known the answer to his question, and yet he asked Meg to cut another precious bit of her skin for it anyway. And no one snarled at him for it. You've got to be kidding me.
I plan to continue reading this series, because I enjoy the overall world and I like Meg and Simon. Okay, I admit it, I'm very much looking forward to future developments in Meg and Simon's relationship. I just hope that the next time a group of humans decides to poke the terra indigene, the setup is more believable.
Oh, and a warning: This book increases the monstrousness of the villain with cannibalism and rape. Actually, yet another thing that made me think of Bishop's Black Jewels books.
(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)