I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Murder of Crows is the second tale from the wickedly interesting world created by Ms. Bishop. Directly following the conclusion of the first book, Written in Red, the story focuses on the Lakeside Courtyard, its human and Other residents, and how life is changing because of the Blood Prophet, Meg Corbyn. I strongly suggest reading the first book in the series prior to this one, due to the intricacies of the world and the depth of the histories of the well-developed characters.
Like its predecessor, Murder of Crows is a deeply involving book, told from multiple points-of-view, to include a few Others, multiple humans, and even the villains. Although the POVs change frequently, the story doesn't jump around. The story flows from scene to scene and person to person naturally, and this method of storytelling provides a marvelously rounded picture of all that is happening.
One thing that I didn't care for about the book was the level of gruesome acts and violence against women. While not graphic in nature, there are parts of the story that gave me pause and horrified me. In the end, it didn't diminish the quality of the work, but while listening, there were times I needed a break from the story. These parts are few and far between, but there were enough for me to make note of it.
Due to the extensive nature of the book, it wouldn't do justice to try and highlight the various storylines. While many of the plots are shown to intertwine and conclude by the end of the book, there are a couple, such as Lt. Sgt. Montgomery's ex and daughter and the humans first and last movement, that are left unfinished. It is clear that the world is heading for war, and I just hope that the bits and pieces dropped into this story are picked up in the forthcoming book, Vision in Silver (March 2015).
Probably my favorite aspect of the story is watching how Simon (the wolf) and Meg (a non-edible human) learn from and about each other. Their growing friendship is both touching and sweet. Due to its unusual nature, the pair have learned to take time to listen to the other. Their communication is developing, creating a solid base, even though neither is sure what is happening. I also enjoy how this friendship is translating into a larger trust between some of the Others and humans. This coupled Meg's own personal growth as she learns how to live outside the compound and abuse of the Controller, gives the story heart.
Listening to this, the second book narrated by Alexandra Harris, I found myself more used to her idiosyncrasies, including her slower pace and her odd voice for Simon. I found comfort in the familiar and so, while the narration isn't remarkable, it isn't horrible, either. I was able to look past the issues I had with the narration more than in the first novel.
Overall, Murder of Crows is a well-written, intense and engrossing fantasy.
Story rating: B