Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: Human laws do not apply in the territory controlled by the Others–vampires, shape-shifters, and even deadlier paranormal beings. And this is a fact that humans should never, ever forget….
Vicki DeVine has decided to reopen a rustic resort on Lake Silence, having been awarded it in her divorce from her abusive husband. Vicki is ill-prepared when one of her lodgers, Aggie Crowe, discovers a dead body on the property and the detective in charge of the case seems determined to pin the murder on Vicki. As Vicki attempts to stay out of jail while getting her resort ready for guests, the primal forces in the area begin to respond to the disturbances. When the rules set in place between the humans and the Elders centuries ago are broken one by one, the Elders set out to remind everyone what happens in the wild country when the rules are broken.
Lake Silence is the first installment of her Others World-a spin-off of her well known and much-beloved Others series. Set in the same world, Bishops introduces us to a new community and heroine in need of saving while bringing in some familiar faces to help ease the transition. Set in the terra indigene controlled community of Sproinger in upstate New York, we meet a seemingly meek and mild woman who found the courage to leave her abusive husband and strike out on her own. Now, with the help of some powerful and scary allies, she must fight to keep what she has built.
I’m a huge fan of Anne Bishop and her awe inspiring talent. From the first story of hers I ever picked up, I have been in enthralled with Bishop’s flowing narrative, epic characters, and painstaking world building. Her ability to effortlessly create spellbinding stories that are imprinted with the realism from such long-standing social issues of racism, abuse and cultural appropriation continues to entertain. The strong plotlines are heavily flavored with intrigue, suspense, and humor with multiple subplots branching off, promising us there is much more to come in the future.
Victoria ‘Vicki’ Devine is your typical Bishop heroine. Somewhat plain looking with a violent laced past and a vulnerability that invokes everyone’s- human and not so human-protective instincts. Looking to escape her past, she is now the new owner of The Jumble and is bringing it back to working order. Formerly owned by her husband’s family, the original builder signed a pact with the others when it was built, promising certain nonnegotiable concessions in exchange for the right to operate the resort. Vicki’s permission to continue running the resort has been approved because the others want to use it to study and learn from the humans.
While I enjoyed meeting this new crowd and reacquainting myself with some familiar faces, I couldn’t help but notice just how familiar this story sounded. A majority of Bishop’s stories tend to all follow a familiar path. Someone has what someone else wants and it takes someone(stronger and more deadly to help hold it. There is usually violence involved and a moral or two tossed in for good measure. As Bishop introduces the conflict, it’s pretty easy to figure what is going to happen. It works though because Bishop is a consummate storyteller whose heroes and heroines are cheer-worthy and easy to relate to while the villains are so deliciously awful and deserving of whatever Bishops deems their punishment.
As I got to know Vicki, I found my appreciation of her increased. Smart and hardworking, she has an extremely dry wit that comes out at the most inopportune moments, making it even more humorous. Her interactions with various others and some of the town’s human residents shows remarkable insight and it shows Vicki will eventually grow into her own and sooner then we think. I was surprised by the emergence of three heroes rather than the usual one. And the fact that none really seem to be a romantic interest. All are well-formed individuals whose very different personalities and motives that blend together once the main objective is made clear.
Ilya Sanginati is a vampire whom we met in the previous books. Cousin to Vlad (Lakeside Courtyard) and a lawyer, he opted to help oversee the small human town after the battle and purging of the Human First group and their followers. His potential mate, Natasha, is a CPA, (which I find ridiculously amusing) whom we’ve also met. Julian Farrow is a former police officer and Intuit. A horrific attack by his own brothers in blue led him to quit the force. He now resides in Sproinger and runs the local bookstore-Lettuce Read. Wayne Grimshaw is a police officer who went to the academy with Julian and whose inability to play nice with anyone makes him perfect for a town with no law enforcement presence.
Various others make their presence known throughout the story, coming in when needed. We meet more shapeshifters, vampires, elementals, and even some fiercer terra indigene. Once again, we see integration attempts with the humans though, after the events of the last book, these terra indigene are more likely to strike first and ask questions later. Vicki is all that stands between the humans and death. Something that she comes to eventually realize. Bishop strives hard to individualize all her characters with informative dialogue, rich emotions, and expressive description, trying to make sure they don’t fall into the trap of becoming rote. And she succeeds to a certain extent though some similarities are unavoidable.
Those looking for a viable romance are going to be disappointed. Bishop is the queen of slow, VERY SLOW, burning romances and I’m sure that will be the case here. While Vicki certainly waxes poetic about Ilya’s yummy chocolate brown eyes, Wayne’s commanding alpha-ness, and the lack of fear she feels around Julian, she just got out of an abusive marriage that damaged her emotionally and mentally. She has a long way to go before she truly trusts a man well enough to pursue a physical relationship with him.
The ending is a drama laced series of events that handle the villains with aplomb and leaves readers secure in Vicki’s triumph though honestly, the only real surprise was how it all went down. Regardless of the feelings of repetition, I still enjoyed Bishop’s latest others adventure and am looking forward to what she has in store for us next.