Wild Country by Anne Bishop
Series: The World the Others #2, The Others #7
Also in this series: Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Marked in Flesh, Etched in Bone, Written in Red, Murder of Crows, Vision in Silver, Written in Red
Publication Date: March 5, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Cliffhanger: View Spoiler » Continuing Story Arc « Hide Spoiler
Content Warning: View Spoiler » Violence, Self-Harm/Cutting, Domestic Abuse, Rape, Torture « Hide Spoiler
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Reading Challenges: Holly's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.
There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.
One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.
But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.
Wild Country is the 2nd book in Anne Bishop’s World of the Others series. Though it’s set in the same world as the Lakeside Courtyard, and features many characters we’ve come to know and love, it’s set in Bennett, which readers of the Lakeside Courtyard books should recognize. This is the book I thought we’d get after Etched in Bone, as it runs parallel to the events there.
It took me the entire week to read this book, which is completely unheard of for me. It jumped around quite a bit, so I think I had a harder time connecting with it than I did with the previous books in the series. Still, I love this world and I was glad to see some of my favorite characters return. Wild Country picks up about the time Cyrus Montgomery arrives in Lakeside in Etched in Bone. We see the events that happen in Lakeside from a different perspective and see more about the inhabitants of Bennett.
In the land of Thaisia, there are very few human controlled towns, and no human controlled lands. The Terra Indigene – The Others – control everything that comes from a natural resource. Shapeshifters live in Courtyards in human controlled cities to keep an eye on what the humans are doing, and to act as a go-between for The Elders – the truly terrible Others that live in the wild country. The Humans First and Last movement brought death and destruction to many towns by attacking The Others, thinking the shapeshifters were the only Others out there. Bennett was one of the towns The Others made an example of. Tolya Sanguinati agrees to go to Bennett to try to reestablish the town, with the help of Intuits – humans who have an overdeveloped sense of intuition and often “know” things before they happen – and shapeshifters. They agree to allow some humans into the town, but The Others are distrustful.
Wild Country follows Jana Paniccia, Jesse Walker and her son, Tobias, Barb Debaney, and Tolya Sanguinati, all of whom we were introduced to in the previous series. I was ridiculously excited to see how Jana would fare as the first female cop in Thaisia, and how Barb would do with all the animals in Bennett. The whole series is really dark, but the overall tone is still..hopeful, I guess. Like, all of this bad shit happens, and all these dark things are explored, but each book ends in a…not happy, but hopeful place. I didn’t really get that here. The world is very well drawn, I feel like I’m living in Thaisia with the characters, but I didn’t end it feeling super happy or glad for them.
There wasn’t as much humor in this book to balance out the darker aspects, so it didn’t end on the hopeful note Etched in Bone and Lake Silence did. The lack of trust the The Others have in the humans made perfect sense, but I wanted to think they’d realize some were different – especially those who put their lives on the line for The Others. I also thought Jana and Barb would have more common sense, or better intuition about danger. I was frustrated with them on a number of occasions.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did. I absolutely loved how Virgil Wolfgard came to see Jana as his pack, I loved the cast of characters and the way this story played out in connection to Etched in Bone. Bishop is a master at world-building, and like I said, I could easily imagine everything that was happening on the page. Though this isn’t my favorite in the series, I can’t deny it was well done.
Rating: 3.75 out of 5