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Etched in Bone

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Etched in Bone (2017) Anne Bishop

The fifth Others book, and the completion of the story arc started in the first book.

The Others have struck back at the humans and the world is once again irrevocably changed. Human communication is no longer instantaneous OR private. Humans are no longer safe to travel the at night.

In Lakeside, things are attempting to settle into a new normal in the Courtyard, except that Lieutenant Montgomery’s brother shows up sowing chaos, and the Elders have decided he should remain, so they can watch him, and determine what makes him so dangerous.

So now I’m finished with the main story arc, I have some thoughts.

First, I still don’t accept that humans and others have not attempted to come to an accommodation before this time. It’s just not realistic. Yeah, lots of humans are flaming assholes, but not all of them. And I find it beyond the realm of probability that those humans are like us, yet in two thousand (or more) years, no one managed to make friends. I also find it exceedingly unlikely that there hadn’t been Human/Other matings before.

I also find the idea that humans might have still attempted to be hostile to the others after the (deserved) massacres in the previous book. The results were spread around the world. You might be hostile and angry, but there is no way anyone sane would actually voice those opinions out loud.

All of which means I had serious problems with the underlying premises of the book. Many of these events should have happened several hundred years before (especially with the advent of the telegraph and railroads). That humanity could have developed cell phones but not succeeded in making friends with at least some of the others just seems incredibly unrealistic.

And it was hard for me to keep setting that aside to enjoy the rest of the story. Which is too bad, because I wanted to know what happened (which is why I kept reading). But I was frustrated by the way many of the Others seemed to be inconsistent. They’re either mercurial or they are capable of planning a world-wide revenge. Humanity should have become friends with the others centuries before. That multiple groups of Others become friends with humans (and even multiple humans) all at the same time is again inconsistent.

If the others had been interacting with humans for hundreds (perhaps even several thousand) years, it makes no sense that the social changes would never have happened before. Nor does it make sense that the Elders would have lacked memory and record of what humans did in the past to get wiped out.

All of which means, as fascinating as I found the world-building, there were some serious weaknesses that kept me from truly enjoying the story.

Publisher: Roc
Rating: 7/10

Categories: Fantasy, Female     Comments (0)    



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