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Wild Country

by Anne Bishop

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Others (7)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18614106,591 (4.05)12
"In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of 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 outlaw Blackstone Clan will either unite Others and humans...or bury them all"--… (more)

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Be warned

Dangerous things live in the wild places.

Okay, I really love this world. The characters have depth and grow within their roles. The Elders are undescribed, making them more horrible in ignorance than they ever could be in description.

There is one major problem: huge world building holes.

It got more noticeable in this novel than previous ones. The descriptions of a ‘frontier town’ and how challenges were settled in those towns spoke of the “Wild West”. The saloon with gambling and dancing girls, and special costumes for the workers there...it all spoke of the American West that couldn’t exist in their reality. And that pushed me out of the narrative enough to see other things that really shouldn’t exist in a world where the terre indigene ruled the wild places.

I only mention this as a warning to new readers. The western theme that underpins this novel is not indicative of the series as a whole. Try to ignore moments when our world seems to influence theirs and simply enjoy the story of the people in it.

I will eagerly pre-order the next book (please let there be another). That’s a recommendation you can count on. ( )
  wildwily | May 28, 2020 |
To read more reviews in this series and others, check out keikii eats books!

79 points (4 stars)

The people of Bennett and Prairie Gold are trying to survive. After the Great Predation wiped out entire towns across the world, what is left is trying to make do with what they have. The Others leading Bennett are reluctant to even be around humans, let alone allow more to come into the area. However, that is exactly what they have to do. Bennett is short on skilled people, and there aren't enough of anyone left to protect what they have. Human and Other both have to work together to live.

Wild Country was so much better than Lake Silence, I almost can't believe it. I nearly decided that I wasn't going to read this after what I got in the previous book. I knew that if I got more of the same, I was going to be done with the series, no matter how much I absolutely adored the first five books of The Others. I'm so damn happy with Wild Country. It was everything I wanted out of the previous book.

I really enjoy the frontier setup. All of my problems with Lake Silence boiled down to the fact that it tried to copy the first five books and not expand what Anne Bishop already gave us. Wild Country does exactly what I wanted: took the bones of the world and explored more of it. Bennett is completely different from the Courtyard in Lakeside, while also being similar down in its core. And in some ways, a lot of ways even, it was even better than the Courtyard. It is a different setup for a different place with different difficulties.

And the whole point of the book is that it is growing to support the infrastructure already in place in Bennett, as well as the humans who are there already. Other and Human, whether normal or Intuit, are learning to work together. They're learning to trust each other. We had so many new perspectives, as well as some old ones. While the first five books were clearly about Meg and Simon, and the last book was about two people I've completely forgotten, this one doesn't feel like it was about any people in specific. It was about the town.

The events of Wild Country take place during the last Meg and Simon book, which in my opinion really help the events in this book. It helps the book feel like it isn't a small part of the world that is lost in itself. It has the same feel as the first five where everyone in Thaisia is interconnected. It also gives me glimpses of Meg and Simon which I really appreciated (now if only I could have gotten more).

The most improved thing between Wild Country and Lake Silence was the villain of the book. I've read every single Anne Bishop book that I know of, now. All of her villains are pretty dumb overall, I'm used to it. But damn does this set look like absolute geniuses compared to the idiots in Lake Silence. They actually felt almost realistic. I'm certain there are people dumb enough out there to match these villains, while still being lucky enough to have survived the culling.

I still have some major problems with the series, though. The Others are all "our way or death". Which, fine. Whatever. They're the major predator. However, they're still willing to work with humans, as long as the humans follow their rules. Yet they're entirely unwilling to teach anyone how to even behave as Others want them to. They're expected to just know it because they're adults. Only, these adults didn't grow up with the same expectations as Others did, didn't learn the same cues the Others did. It is just completely frustrating for me, and I kept wanting to growl at the Others for being assholes. (Also I still dislike the strict gender ideas that pervades all of Bishop's writing.)

I'm so glad I decided to read Wild Country. I really enjoyed myself, and I'm looking forward to what may come. ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
If you haven’t read Etched in Bone then some of the stuff that happens in that book will get spoiled in this one. The time line is also before the Lake Silence, but you don’t have to have read that at all to read this one. The action takes place in a town that was hit hard in the war and lots of humans were killed by the elders. The town is being resettled but it will be under the control of the terra indigene. Of course not everyone traveling to resettle there is ready to work with the Others, some still have ideas that they can do what they want and ignore the rules the Others have laid down. Not everything works out and there is loss of life, but it will be interesting to see more of this town as people grown into the roles they have taken on there.

Digital review copy provided by the publisher through NetGalley
( )
  Glennis.LeBlanc | Jan 6, 2020 |
Anne Bishop has two related series that are set in a fantasy world called Namid, mostly divided into humans and the terra indigene, commonly known as the Others. The first series was "The Courtyards of the Others," and this is the second installment of the next series, called "The World of the Others."

These Others include shapeshifters (such as werewolves), vampires, “elementals,” and “harvesters,” inter alia. There is also a third sort of in-between category of beings who are mostly human but have extra-sensory perceptiveness. The two subsets of this group are the cassandra sangue or blood prophets - females who can see visions of the future after self-mutilation or reading cards; and Intuits, humans with enhanced instincts that enable them to sense danger.

In the first series, a political movement- Humans First and Last (HFL), tried to challenge the hegemony of the Others and “take back the land” (which of course was never theirs in the first place). This upset the harmony of the world and led to a great culling of humans by unhappy Elders, who are the primal, dangerous, and most powerful form of the terra indigene. The Elders, also known as “Namid’s teeth and claws,” wiped out entire populations of some human towns and brutally thinned out populations of others. Now they are “staying nearby, waiting for humans to make another mistake.”

You may wonder, why do they let any humans live? The answer in part is, the Others need prey. In addition, they have come to rely upon some of the technological inventions of humans. And finally, some have found friendship with humans who are not evil.

The first series took place in Lakeside, where humans and Others mixed in a unique situation facilitated by the endearing characters of the werewolf Simon Wolfgard and the cassandra sangue Meg Corbyn. Fans were upset when the author announced that Etched in Bone was the last book that would take place in the city of Lakeside, but not the last taking place in this particular world the author created. But happily, we need not have been worried.

In this book, Bishop places the story in the Midwest town of Bennett, an important crossroads for remaining humans. The town is led by the vampire Tolya Sanguinati with the help of Jesse Walker, a human Intuit from the nearby settlement of Prairie Gold. Although all Intuits have a heightened sensitivity to the world, each Intuit’s sensitivity is unique; for Jesse, her speciality is ascertaining whether people are safe or dangerous.

Tolya agrees with Jesse that Bennett needs more people, and they begin to recruit settlers from specific professions the town needs but is lacking. One of the first to arrive is Jana Paniccia, a new police woman, who is sent to work for the Sheriff, Virgil Wolfgard. Virgil lost almost his whole wolf pack in the HFL attack, and has little trust in, or regard for, humans. Predictably, their relationship evolves in a way reminiscent of Simon and Meg in Lakeside.

There are also a number of “bad guys” who come to this burgeoning “frontier town,” with the intent of doing harm. Like the bad guys in previous books, they seem not to have gotten the message that it is difficult to win any battle against the terra indigene. Yes, they can make some inroads using guns, but there is only so much they can do against the supernatural strength and powers of “Namid’s teeth and claws.” But in this case there is a difference: at least some of these bad guys have an advantage - they are Intuits - expert at manipulation of others.

As we get to know all the new residents of Bennett, it is easy to see many similarities to the stories from the previous series set in Lakeside, from details about setting up the town, to character “types,” to the inevitable arrival of destructive human villains. There are even a number of references to the Lakeside characters. And the denouement is similar: frontier town or not, there will be a “showdown,” with both humans and Others in danger. Working together, they might have a chance to vanquish the malefactors, but not all of them will survive.

Evaluation: While this is not a standalone, and the plot arc is virtually identical to previous books by Bishop set in this world, fans will be unlikely to complain about a formula they already love. Some of the characters are as endearing as those in Lakeside - a good basis for more stories centered on Bennett. ( )
  nbmars | Nov 18, 2019 |
An absorbing, enjoyable read with all the positive features of the series, attractive characters, fun and frightening interactions, and the conflict brought by the willful determination not to understand the precariousness of the humans in the Other's world. The central, though by no means only featured, character is Jena, who sex has kept her from placement in law enforcement of less damaged settlements, who is an ordinary human learning to interact with Others in an environment they control. I couldn't believe the rapid and allowed buildup of outlaws, the extent to which Yuri accepts Jena both before and after the climax, and the forewarned vulnerability of the Bennett Others. Also that Scythe was only good for one full meal. but understand those were all parts of the cost and feel goods, which in fact felt good. ( )
  quondame | Aug 20, 2019 |
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"In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of 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 outlaw Blackstone Clan will either unite Others and humans...or bury them all"--

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