Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Posted March 31, 2016 by Jen in Listen Up!, Rating A, Reviews, Sci-Fi or Fantasy Fiction, Urban Fantasy Tags: , , , ,

Welcome to my new weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…


Audiobook review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Author: Anne Bishop
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Series: The Others #4
Source: loan

Marked in Flesh AudioMarked in Flesh is the fourth title in Anne Bishop’s amazingly interesting and utterly unique fantasy/urban fantasy series know as The Others. For newcomer’s to the series: you cannot start here, in fact, if you’ve missed any titles, I strongly urge you to read all the books before cracking open Marked in Flesh. This book is the culmination of all that has come before, in the previous three books. The books are all interrelated and build upon one other, making it important to start with the first book in the series, Written in Red.

Ms. Bishop has developed a world where creatures known as the terra indigene, or Others, are Mother Earth’s favored creations and the top predators on the food chain. The Others have the ability to shape shift into forms such as wolves, crows, bears, and even vampires, and those are the most tame of the Others. After befriending Meg Corbyn, a special human known as a cassandra sangue, the Others in the Lakeside Courtyard continue to adjust to having a “human pack” within their own, even learning to trust and care about these humans.

Tension is at an all-time-high, as Nicholas Spark and his Humans First and Last (HFL) movement become irresponsibly aggressive in attempts to claim the land of the terra indigene. With events occurring simultaneously across the land, the story is shared from multiple points-of-view, with focuses in Lakeside (Meg, Vlad, Simon), Sweetwater (Jackson Wolfguard, Hope), and Prairie Gold (Joe Wolfguard, new Intuits). Additionally, there is follow up from Great Island and Talulah Falls, where there was much action and strife in the previous book.

Marked in Flesh is my favorite book of the series by far. Finally, we see all the working parts of the story come together for what looks to be the final showdown between the humans and Others. Ms. Bishop is able to capture the fears of the human pack and Intuits as they process just what it means to face extinction. Conversely, I loved seeing the Others, most especially Simon, struggle with how much human to keep – whether it be human traits, human-run business, or actual humans. The time spent pondering these questions is both thought-provoking and utterly engrossing.

Yet it is the characters, who I’ve come to know and care about over the course of the series, that push the stories beyond good to fantastic. At the heart are Meg and Simon, two very different individuals whose unique friendship continues to grow and evolve. Their relationship is so earnest and honest that I can’t help but feel completely tied to the pair as they navigate new waters (literally). It’s their friendship that is the cornerstone of human-terra indigene interactions and even the basis for human survival.

Beyond Meg and Simon, there are a dozen or more humans and Others that are central to the continuing plot line, with additional characters introduced in Marked in Flesh. Their common struggles coupled with individual worries and concerns help shape deeply emotional stories, ones that cause joy and worry in my own heart.

The narration of the series has been a sticking point for my enjoyment of the titles in the past. I felt that Ms. Harris spoke too slowly, too simply. However, this time around, I was able to listen to the book at 1.25x (I had only been able to listen at 1x speed in the past), and what a difference it made. I have always enjoyed Ms. Harris’s portrayal of Meg: young and naive, yet inquisitive and ready to fight for those she cares about. Hearing Ms. Harris as Meg for the fourth time further cemented this in my mind. However, hearing the other characters at the faster speed was a huge improvement and worked much better for me. Their voices were familiar, yet improved.

In the end, Marked in Flesh is an amazing story, filled with intense emotions and moments. I was fearful, I cried, I laughed, and I had hope for the future. Ms. Bishop laid the groundwork for Marked in Flesh in the previous three titles, and the culmination of the stories explodes within the pages of this book.

My Rating: A 
Narration: A-


9 responses to “Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

  1. I can’t believe there is only one book left in the series. I agree that this is my favorite book in the series. But, each new book has been my favorite. I’m both really excited and dreading the next book. I hope that that the series wraps up well, but I also don’t want to see it end. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Rabid Reads

    • Thanks. I was talking with B. (reviewer on my blog who writes the book reviews for this series) yesterday about there only being one more book. In many ways, this could have been the final book, so I wonder what will come up in the next book. I have ideas, but we’ll have to wait and see!

  2. B.

    I loved this one, too! But, I agree that each one has been my favorite, so… I think the narration was better in this one, as well. I wasn’t so much a fan in the first one, especially. I read that the author discussed the pronunciation of some key terms with the producer in between books, and they straightened it out. Regardless, I’m going to miss this series so much.

    • It bugged me when he terms changed from the first to the second book, but I am used to the new terms now. While I still think Simon sounds perpetually angry, I actually like it now… It fits his personality!

  3. I really have to start this series. I have the first on audio. I’ve been having to listen to all of the ones I’ve ‘read’ so far a little faster than the 1. It’s crazy how big a difference that can make.

    • I usually listen to my audiobooks at 1.25x speed, which is perfect for me. It is slow enough to not sound off, but fast enough that it sounds like spoken conversation rather than being read to. Until recently, iBooks (which used to be iTunes for audio on the iPhone) only had 1x or 1.5x which is too fast for me. Glad they updated to the 1.25x option!