Marked in Flesh is the fourth in a series of books, so really, if you haven’t read any of these yet, I can’t imagine that this would be a good place to start. This book is honestly just filler — the major plot points have already been laid out, most of the main characters have been introduced, its just marking time until some of the larger conflicts occur in future installments.
Here’s the main thing about these books. I know that these Anne Bishop novels about “the Others” have been extraordinarily divisive amongst Cannonballers.
Some have complained about the tedious, monotonous details that are described regarding the every day activities of the characters — they go to the store, they make phone calls, they fill out forms, they wait for the mailman. I don’t mind the details, as I think they are there for a reason…I like seeing the Others attempting to adjust to the basics of human life, and I appreciate the way that Meg uses her routine as a way to ease into her new world, away from the other Cassandra Sangue.
Others have argued that these books are sexist and that Meg is a “Mary Sue.” And really, I don’t want to get into that argument. Personally, I don’t feel that way, but I can surely see how some may. I think that the Others may treat Meg as less dominant than they are, but I don’t see that as sexism, I see it as more like “survival of the fittest”. The Others are still closer to animal than human, and that would be their instinct. Again, this is just my opinion, and I certainly don’t disagree with any of the problems others have had with these books. I just haven’t been bothered by it.
The bottom line for me, is that these books entertain me. I want to know more about Simon and Vlad and their world. I’m curious to see how the humans and the Others are going to interact in the future. And after this book, I’m definitely on board to see what happens with “the Elders”. If this isn’t your thing, that’s ok with me.
I will say that this was my least favorite of the books so far. I had a hard time getting into the story this time, and it wasn’t until about half-way through that things actually started to happen. But once things got moving, I was all in.
I will say that I’m not too sure how I feel about a potential romance between Simon and Meg. Its clear to me that they love each other, and want to “be together” but I’m not sure to what extent. I’m both glad and nervous that Simon doesn’t see that adding a sexual component to their relationship as as big deal as Meg does.
I’ll keep reading these books and am curious to see what’s going to happen between the humans and the Others. But I hope that the next book has a little less “detail” and a little more action.