Review: Etched in Bone by Anne Bishop

May Contain Spoilers

I love this series, and have been eagerly awaiting the final installment.  Real Life kept getting in the way of reading my eArc, however, but I finally found a chunk of time to set aside to do nothing but read Etched in Bone.  This was everything I had hoped for and more.  I was left with happy tingles by the end, and getting there was an adventure with all of the residents of the Courtyard. When Meg encounters danger, she isn’t a passive victim, but instead takes control of her own rescue.  She has grown a lot, and Simon, the growly Wolf, has also been changed from his interactions with the young blood prophet.

When Monty’s brother Cyrus arrives in Lakeside, he knows it will spell trouble.  He asks Simon and the Others to not allow him into the Courtyard, but the Elders have other ideas.  They want to see how a bad human affects the good humans, and they force Simon to allow Cyrus and his family to stay. 

Cyrus and his family cause a ripple of unease and discontent through the Courtyard residents.  I hated Cyrus – absolutely Hated. Him.  If I had one complaint about this book, it is that the villain was too one-dimensional.  Even his point of view was full of hateful thoughts and opinions of the other characters, as Cyrus only ever thinks of anyone but himself.  He has no morals and his only motivations are taking what he wants from the suckers that surround him.  I kept wishing Simon or Henry would just eat him and get it over with.

The relationships between the humans and the Others are the major focus of the novels.  Meg has changed everyone, humans as well as Others.  Before Meg’s arrival at Howling Good Reads, Simon saw humans as meat.  After he gets to know Meg and her pack of exploding fluffballs, he begins to see them as something else.  All of the Others begin to see the humans as something else, and while Meg will always hold the dearest spot in their hearts, they begin to care for the other humans interacting with the Courtyard as well. The strengthening of bonds is the heart of Etched in Bone.  Despite adversity and a catalyst for conflict, the friendships that have been built over the previous novels are tested, and in the end, hold firm. While there was doubt that humans and Others would ever view each other with anything other than suspicion, the actions of one special human prove that there’s a common ground for everyone.

Grade: 5 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book

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 now know to fear the no-man’s-land beyond their borders—and the darkness…
As some communities struggle to rebuild, Lakeside Courtyard has emerged relatively unscathed, though Simon Wolfgard, its wolf shifter leader, and blood prophet Meg Corbyn must work with the human pack to maintain the fragile peace. But all their efforts are threatened when Lieutenant Montgomery’s shady brother arrives, looking for a free ride and easy pickings.
With the humans on guard against one of their own, tensions rise, drawing the attention of the Elders, who are curious about the effect such an insignificant predator can have on a pack. But Meg knows the dangers, for she has seen in the cards how it will all end—with her standing beside a grave