Cover Image: Crowbones

Crowbones

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The Others series is one of my all-time favs. I've found the spin-off to be a bit hit and miss for me, but quite enjoyed the third book. I feel like these new characters are finding their own rhythm and gelling together much like the original Courtyard denizens. I'll definitely be continuing with the series to see where it goes.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review this title.
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"Crowbones" was honestly a bit of a disappointment for me. Like its predecessors in The Others series, readers go in knowing that the bad guys will get their due; however, the comeuppance was drawn out. With a weak plot, an overly childlike protagonist (I don't get the appeal of Vicky) and a mostly weak cast of supporting characters, 'Crowbones' is a disappointing entry in The Others series.
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Crowbones is the latest novel in Anne Bishop's The Others series. If you haven't heard of this series, let me tell you! You're in for quite the treat. Currently, The Others is spending a bit of time near The Jumble, a rustic resort VERY near the creatures that go bump in the night.

Vicki DeVine owns and runs The Jumble, a resort on the lake's edge – and the woods. She's on the border of Others' territory, and she's happier that way. Recently though, she made the mistake of telling Crowgard and the rest about Trickster Night, so now that's happening.

On a night that should have been full of treats and harmless pranks, somebody arrived dressed as Crowbones, terrifying the few Crowgard around and sending everyone into a panic. It all goes downhill from there, with fatal consequences.

“Crowbones will gitcha if you don't watch out!”

If you haven't read The Others series by Anne Bishop, may I strongly suggest that you set aside some time to do so? This fantasy series is sublime, with lots of entertaining (and sometimes violent) characters, sharp personalities, and an expansive world to dive into.

Crowbones is the latest addition to this series, and it looks like we're sticking around Vicky and her Jumble (bed and breakfast of sorts) for a while. Given how much I love her and this particular area of the Wild, I'm thrilled with this news.

Vicky's story started in Lake Silence before taking a break in Wild Country (where we got to see a different Other-run town). Honestly, I was surprised by how happy I was to see her again – and I went into this book delighted with the news. She's a spunky and quirky character that just feels so real.

“You can’t fall if you’re already on the floor when you faint. Words to live by.”

The whole Crowbones concept made for a brilliant foundation in this book. I love the idea of Others having folklore for obvious reasons. But I feel like this is the first time we're getting to really delve into that. Unless you count talk of Elders, which I suppose we should. It would be fatal to get that one wrong.

This was a complex story, with multiple perspectives, surprises, and twists. There were times when I thought I had the whole story pieced together in my mind - only for me to be surprised by the next chapter and revelation.

I wonder where the next Others novel will be based? While I have a few theories, I can sincerely say that I'll be happy, no matter where Anne Bishop chooses to take us next.
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I have adored The Others series since it came out. Recently Bishop has gone back to her Black Jewels series but after a two year break has brought us back to The Jumble, Vicki and Lake Silence. I didn't remember Lake Silence very well. I just had the impression that it wasn't my favorite book in the Others series. So I reread it which was helpful to me and I liked it better than I remembered.

Crowbones is the bogeyman of the Crowgard. If you are a bad crow, Crowbones will hunt you down. When Vicki introduces Trickster night (aka Halloween) activities at The Jumble for her human and Other friends, she does not expect to find a dead body and half a crow, especially since the body was a fake Crowbones. With the elders wanting answers Vicki, Julian, Grimshaw and Ilya must figure out what is going on, especially when the stakes are raised because the real Crowbones is here and hunting.

I actually really enjoyed this book. The mystery was interesting. I wanted to know more about what was going on with Crowbones. Grimshaw is an excellent character to follow with his interactions between human and Other. I did enjoy the cameos (yay Lakeside!) I did miss the Sproingers, who were not in this book that much.

I am hoping for more Others books.
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I have read everything written by Anne Bishop and Each book has been great!  Crowbones continues her series about the Others and I’m ready for more!
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This one was truly something different than I ever read. I had no idea it was the continuation of the Lake Silence storyline. I really wish I wouldve read that one first, however, I loved the elements in the story. The flow was perfect and the magical traits of the characters were truly intriguing. I have to read the first book now for sure!
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Crowbones is the latest book in Anne Bishops world of the Others. On Trickster Night Vickie DeVine’s celebration at her B&B is interrupted by a visit from Crowbones, the Crowguard boogyman. Vickie’s Crowguard staff are terrified and soon visitors start dying and it’s obvious Vickie is in danger. Powerful Others barricade the town in while the police chief and Vickie’s vampire lawyer are forced to solve the crimes while navigating the dangers posed by both the humans who are intent on challenging to Others control and the powerful Others who could eliminate all humanity. This isn’t a standalone and Written in Red or Lake Silence places to start.
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I have read my fair share of urban fantasy, romantic, tragic, or otherwise. As a reader and reviewer, it has become a challenge for me to seek out series in that elusive “other” category, ones that straddle a line of horror and urban fantasy such as Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and American Gods or A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. These books are different. They excel in bringing something fresh to the reader. The Others series by Anne Bishop has brought life to the tired genre of the supernatural urban fantasy genre with her brilliant take on the relationships between humans and the Terre Indigene in Crowbones.  

“Don’t matter if you caw, Don’t matter if you shout. Crowbones will gitcha If you don’t watch out! —Crowgard rhyme”

Every culture, human or other, has a boogeyman. A creature that will come to getcha if you aren’t a good kid. Bishop explores that idea in Crowbones. Vicki Devine, whom we met in book 6 of The Others series, Lake Silence, is back again as the central figure of Crowbones. Vicki, the owner of the Jumble, a resort that does some light tourism around folks wanting to interact with The Others, is hosting a gathering to celebrate Trickster Night, The Others form of Halloween. There are some funny antics and miscommunication between the humans and the terre indigene. What kind of costume is scary but not too frightening to become other. 

We first meet Vickie in a previous novel, Lake Silence. In that novel, she is a woman recovering from a traumatic relationship and divorce and attempting to start a new life in a new town. I find her a compelling character, that while she is broken and worn down from hardship, Vickie manages to have inner strength. Enough that the Others understand that she is special and a cut above other humans. 

“He wasn’t sure what disturbed him more—that the Others were able to excavate that much dirt from either side of the road and pile it into a hill that quickly . . . or the smiley face made out of boulders that was pressed into this side of the mound.”

Each of the stories in this series of books revolves around a mystery. This one isn’t an exception. Something rotten is affecting the terre indigene, and individuals who act as judges have come to bring sentences on human and terre indigene alike. Office Wayne Grimshaw, Julian Farrow, and Ilya Sanguinati have to work together before judgment is cast on all of them. 

The plotting and pacing are tight; it keeps you going. You know from the first few pages that this will be a mystery story. But it lacks the tropey feel of a “who done it” type story. Vickie is someone trying to keep the crows safe, and the three individuals, Wayne, Julian, and Ilya, are trying to do the same. There are certainly some bloody and violent scenes. Bishop has never shied away from the darker side of things, which works for me as a lover of horror and grimdark. Crows are picking at eyeballs, basically doing what crows do. 

Crowbones is another exciting addition to the world of The Others that continues to be interesting. We learn that even the strongest and wildest predators of the terre indigene have boogeymen that go bump in the night. Check it out.
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Unforgettable Characters

Crowbones will gitcha if you don’t watch out!

Deep in the territory controlled by the Others - shape-shifters, vampires, and even deadlier paranormal beings - Vicki DeVine has made a new life for herself running The Jumble, a rustic resort. When she decides to host a gathering of friends and guests for Trickster Night, at first everything is going well between the humans and the Others.

But then someone arrives dressed as Crowbones, the Crowgard bogeyman. When the impostor is killed along with a shape-shifting Crow, and the deaths are clearly connected, everyone fears that the real Crowbones may have come to The Jumble - and that could mean serious trouble.

To “encourage” humans to help them find some answers, the Elders and Elementals close all the roads, locking in suspects and victims alike. Now Vicki, human police chief Grimshaw, vampire lawyer Ilya Sanguinati, and the rest of their friends have to figure out who is manipulating events designed to pit humans against Others - and who may have put Vicki DeVine in the crosshairs of a powerful hunter.




In Anne Bishop’s newest in the World of the Others, it is the characters that kept me reading. The story is engrossing, the plot connecting to the rest of the world in interesting ways but ultimately, it is her characters that kept me engaged in the novel. 

I had read Wild Country, the previous novel and found the characters powerful and engaging. So I was curious about the next in the series. One of the more interesting factors is that while the world is all connected, the characters have been different in each novel. In Crowbones, Anne Bishop returns to the character of Vicki Devine and The Jumble. I willingly admit I’m late to the party and hadn’t read the previous novel featuring Vicki, which is something I need to rectify because the character is oddly strong in the most unlikely way. In fact, all of the characters are unique and not what you quite expect, including the supernatural predators. Vicki has not had an easy life, isn’t perfect in how she handles the chaos and death around her and that spark of realism is what makes the character so incredible. Surrounded by others trying to solve the problem of Crowbones, Chief Grimshaw, Ilya Sanguinati, and the rest of their friends, Vicki also doesn’t give up. Part mystery, part exploration of human nature under pressure, and more on the side of the monsters than the humans, the World of the Others explores what it would be like if humans aren’t in charge of the world and I loved every minute. 

If you like a unique perspective on the supernatural, a different world where things aren’t so friendly for humans and humans who have strength despite the odds, I truly recommend Crowbones. It continues the world without requiring you to have read the other novels. Anne Bishop catches you up quickly and the events in the previous books, while tied loosely to this one, still allow each book to stand alone. The book is powerful, the characters unforgettable, and the plot riveting. 

Rating: 5 out of 5 

If you're interested in the book, please consider ordering from Duncan's Book's and More
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We’re back with Vicky at The Jumble in Sproing after the last book centered around the people and events in the town of Bennett. Vicky’s inn is up and running with guests and she has some of the Crowguard working/staying with her to assist. As usual there are a few humans making trouble, tainting minds and capturing the attention of The Others, and not in a good way.  Some people just never learn. Vicky and her friends must tread carefully so they don’t get between a deadly Hunter looking to weed out the bad. 

I’ve loved The Others series from the beginning and so I was excited to get another glimpse into life in Sproing and catch up with Vicky, Wayne Grimshaw, Julian, Ilya and the rest of the Lake Silence crowd.  Vicky seems to hold a similar position in the stories as the books that centered on Meg. A human that captured the attention and hearts of the The Others, meriting their protection. I will say that Meg and Simon’s books continue to be my favorites of the series. Vicky is likable, but I feel the newer stories don’t hold that same special place in my heart.  I think part of that has to do with the fact that there’s no clear romance here. I think Julian is meant to be the love interest for Vicky, but I honestly think she has more chemistry with Chief Grimshaw. Don’t get me wrong, these newer stories are exciting and captivating, as well, and I eagerly look forward to every new installment!  The story wrapped up nicely, but there’s definitely room for more!
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Crowbones fits into this series perfectly. I'm glad that this continued the Lake Silence storyline and told more of Vicki's story. The Elders and the Crows and the Sproingers are some of my favorites in this entry in this world. I do wonder however, if the love story between Vicki and Julian is going to move as slow as Meg and SImon? We need one couple to get together eventually!
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In this third book in the World of The Others series – after Lake Silence and Wild Country, the remote, mostly human town of Bennett seems to be putting down roots. The Sanguinati – the vampires of this particular not-quite-our-history-alternate-Earth have learned to work with the human somewhat-authority and the humans who are staying for good in Bennett have generally figured out the boundaries of what they can and can’t do in a town that is surrounded by the Elders.

That whole paragraph has so many caveats and so much explanation because this series has established a version of Earth that may physically resemble this one BUT has had a totally different evolution and history.

This is a version of our world where humans are not and have never been the apex predators. A fact that is well-established and periodically reinforced. But a fact that short-lived humans with even shorter memories keep forgetting – with catastrophic results.

For the humans, that is.

In this World of the Others, which began in the Courtyards of The Others in Written in Red, humans are very much as we are now – which is one of those things that honestly makes no sense in a world where we did not evolve as the apex predators. But it does make the shenanigans of the humans in this “Otherworld” a whole lot more relatable.

What makes this particular story even more relatable is that it is set around this world’s version of Halloween, which they call Trickster Night.

Because Bennett is an experiment for the Elders, part of that experiment is seeing if humans other than those who have self-selected for life in Bennett can manage to obey the unwritten rules, provide some much-needed income for the town and give the local “Other” residents more opportunities to interact with more, different humans.

After all, the Elders don’t need us at all, for anything, but some of the “lesser” Others – the vampires and the shapeshifters in particular – have discovered that some of the things we make are useful. Being able to trade peacefully and live side by side is desirable if WE can manage to follow the rules.

But Trickster Night, just like Halloween, is a time when rules get bent if not outright broken. Strangers in masks can get up to all kinds of mischief once the sun goes down. But the myths and legends are real in the World of the Others, so when someone pretends to be the legendary “Crowbones” with the intent to stir up trouble, that same Crowbones might just see fit to come out to get them.

Escape Rating A-: Somehow, in spite of the fact that I read ebooks and not print, there’s reading crack embedded in the pages of this series and it’s still working on me in spite of the technological impossibility. I can’t resist this series AT ALL, I always start the book as soon as I get it, and can’t put it down until I’m done.

No matter how much that whole issue about humans behaving just as badly and in the same ways in the series as we do in real life, when the possibility of that happening in these circumstances is unlikely as hell. My “willing suspension of disbelief” seems to be operated remotely the minute I pick the book up, I’m all in while I’m reading it, and then the thing shuts off as soon as I’m done and I’m all WTF about the evolution of humanity thing again.

That being said, the setup of this version of our world is fascinating and complex and this is not the place to start. Start either at the very beginning with Written in Red, or pick the series up when it moves to Bennett in Lake Silence. We’re way too deep in Crowbones to start here.

But speaking of being in too deep, the story about this particular Trickster Night focuses on a bit of human rot that has burrowed deep into the fabric of this remote village. That rot is a manipulative beast that has plans to see just what it takes to make the Others who share Bennett with humans act out in ways that will get the attention of the Elders. Someone who has been entirely too successful “breaking” humans and wants to move on to bigger and more dangerous prey.

The leadership of the town, which has not yet completely gelled and isn’t fully vested in trusting each other yet, has a limited amount of time – because the Elders have an extremely limited amount of patience where humans are concerned – to figure out what’s gone wrong and FIX IT – before the Elders decide that the Bennett experiment was a failure.

A decision that will be fatal for both the humans and the lesser “Others” who want to call Bennett home.

The Elders may not have much patience, but I’ll be patiently waiting to see if there are more stories in this series. It may drive me bonkers – but I can’t resist this place or it’s people one little bit.
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The nitty-gritty: Another strong entry into Anne Bishop’s World of the Others series, Crowbones is full of mystery, terror, lovable characters and fascinating world-building.

Some authors just make you feel cozy, and Anne Bishop is one of those authors for me. I loved being back in her world of The Others, where humans live alongside a variety of very dangerous supernatural creatures. This is book #3 in her World of the Others series, but technically it’s book #8 in the overall series, which started with Written in Red. You should read them in order if possible, since each one references characters and events from previous books. That being said, I have not read the first five books, and I don’t feel lost at all, although I would like to catch up at some point.

In Crowbones, Bishop takes us back to the Jumble, the hotel/resort that Vicki DeVine took over in Lake Silence. Vicki is once again one of the main characters in the story, which opens on a holiday called Trickster Night, which readers will recognize as our Halloween. During the usual festivities of the night—handing out treats to humans and Others in costumes—the appearance of a human dressed as Crowbones sets off a terrifying chain of events. Crowbones is a creature of legend in Crowgard mythology, said to go after children who misbehave. This impersonator has spooked Aggie, Jozi and Eddie, the three Crowgard who work for Vicki at the Jumble, and they are convinced that someone has sent Crowbones to punish them. Soon after, a dead body is found nearby, and Police Chief Wayne Grimshaw decides to lock down the Jumble until the murderer can be found.

But bodies keep turning up and the mystery becomes more and more complicated. How does Crowbones fit into the deaths? And what about the four vampire fosterlings who have suddenly shown up on Vicki’s doorstep? Grimshaw knows these things can’t be a coincidence, but luckily he has the help of Ilya Sanguinati, a powerful vampire who is determined to help him stop the killer.

It’s so easy to fall in love with Anne Bishop’s characters. Even the terra indigene, who are portrayed at times as the “evil overlords,” have their lovable moments. In Crowbones, my favorite characters were Vicki, Grimshaw, Julian and Aggie. I’m quite fond of the Crowgard, probably because they are shifters who can change into crows. Aggie is a sweet girl who is terrified of Crowbones, and I just wanted to give her a hug. Grimshaw has appeared in the other books as well, but I liked him even more in this book. He and Ilya must work together to solve the murders, and you can tell they’ve developed a nice respect for each other, even though they should be enemies.

I absolutely love Bishop’s world, it’s one of my favorite elements of the series. Briefly for those of you new to this world, this is a secondary fantasy world, familiar in some ways yet completely different. The Others, or terra indigene as they are called, are creatures like vampires, shape shifters, and Elemental creatures who set rules for the human inhabitants. Humans are free to live their lives, but they are closely watched by the Others to make sure they don’t get out of line. This creates an interesting dynamic, where the two races live side by side, but humans are always on edge, knowing that the Others could turn on them at any moment. Some humans, like Vicki and Grimshaw, have developed close relationships with various Others, and are therefore protected. Vicki in particular is almost beloved of the Others, as she is also known as the Reader, someone who is willing to tell stories to them. Vicki comes across as vulnerable in this story, yet she has an inner strength and power that keeps her (mostly) safe.

I also love the way the author balances humor and horror. There are some very dark moments in the book, especially when Bishop describes the gruesome state of the murder victims, yet this darkness is cut with a lighthearted sweetness, like the friendships among the characters and the protective way they help each other. There’s also quite a bit of humor, mostly in the day to day interactions between Vicki and her friends. Bishop adds fun elements, like the little rabbit-like creatures called sproings, after which the town of Sproing is named, and Lettuce Reed, Julian’s bookstore. I’ve always loved horror and humor when they work well together, and Bishop makes it work.

A couple of things stopped me from rating this higher, however. The action gets a little confusing near the end, probably due to the huge cast of characters that the reader has to keep track of. The story shifts among multiple points of view and is spread out over a wide area—a lot of the action is at the Jumble, but we also visit Lake Silence and Sproing—so keeping all the different events and characters straight is challenging at times. And as I mentioned, there are a lot of characters in this series. Not only does Bishop focus on a few main characters, but she brings in lots of side characters as well, some who only show up briefly and then disappear. Luckily, there is a “Cast of Characters” listed at the end of the book that came in very handy.

The final climax was thrilling as the pieces of the puzzle finally come together. I’m already thinking ahead to the next book in the series (which hasn’t been announced yet) and wondering which characters Bishop will be focusing on. There is so much more I need to know about this fascinating world and the characters who make it so special.

Big thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy.
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What could be spookier than the version of Halloween depicted in The Others universe when a real killer arrives among the group?  I was excited for this chilling latest installment in the series that returns us to the Lake Silence setting and cast of characters.  Anticipation was high and I was not disappointed.

 

Crowbones is the third of The World of the Others series that follows the original The Others stories.  It works best read in order as there are references back to characters and situations from the previous books, particularly Lake Silence.

 

Several months have gone by of relative peace since the momentous events of the summer and now it is time for a fun holiday, Trickster Night.  Crowbones had a fabulous blend of murder mystery, urban fantasy intrigue, and a cast of characters that were colorful and exciting.  There are several main characters getting their point of view including those who stirred up the trouble, but I confess to being extremely eager because familiar characters were back and telling the story.  I loved revisiting favorites and seeing how things have advanced in their lives and some of the more discreet characters had their backstories painted in better.  While, the setting is familiar from Lake Silence and the characters development is ongoing, this is something of a standalone plot as it doesn’t carry over the plot from before or after.

 

This felt like an old-style country house mystery the way the investigators and the perpetrators were all closed in together in an isolated, rustic setting until the case is solved.  It was atmospheric and gave some great thrills and chills vibes when even those that are scary to humans are scared to go out in the dark.  The mystery isn’t too twisty for the reader and the excitement and tension comes from keeping the good and innocent safe and seeing how they get at the truth and figure out what to do about the situation.  Not to say, there weren’t plenty of surprises along the way.  I loved the reveals about Ilya, Julian, and some others and was thrilled to be right back in this world.

 

All in all, it was a captivating read with tone, suspense, and development going strong.  It made me love the series even more and feel the loss when the book was over.  I can’t wait to see what comes next for this series.  Those who want an alternative earth history setting for an urban fantasy that has a rich and complex development of plot, characters, and world, this series is a must.
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I couldn’t wait to get into a new Anne Bishop novel. The world she has created is incredible and I was curious to discover another story.

We meet up with the characters from the previous volumes for a new adventure. Trickster Night is coming up, an equivalent of Halloween, the town is abuzz with excitement. But when someone arrives disguised as Crowbones, an Elder who terrorizes everyone, everything is turned upside down. And when dead bodies are discovered, the town tries to figure out what the hell happened.

We follow our heroes in a new adventure. They will try to figure out what is going on in town, but it won’t be that easy. It was a bit more difficult for me to hang on to the novel than for the previous ones, but I still had a good time with the characters.
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Originally reviewed at Leona Reads A Lot on TikTok and Instagram @leonareadsalot

Rating: ★★★★★
Published Date: March 8, 2022
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Ace
Series: The Others #8, The World of Others #3

Crowbones by Anne Bishop was provided by Ace Books a division of Berkley Publishing. I received this free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review and critique. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are unique to my experience with this title.

[Crowbones gonna get ya!]

The beginning of Crowbones started off amazing. The tension was there the overall conflict was established and then … the story sort of reached a plateau and didn’t travel away from it until about the 50% mark. 

I have to be honest and say that I’m very confused about my thoughts on Crowbones simply because I’m not sure that what I read was what I read. From my recollection, I can’t say that I’ve ever been disappointed in an Anne Bishop story, but Crowbones definitely took patience and understanding to continue reading. 

Was Crowbones very one brand for an Others story, definitely. Did the story fall into lulls because of the continual back and forth between the police procedures and grouchy Ilya and Grimshaw moments, yes again definitely. 

Vicki and other terra indigenes - besides Ilya, were the least annoying characters within Crowbones and I hate to say it because all the characters when they were introduced to me in Lake Silence were so easy to love.

Crowbones provided some much-needed cameos from our favorite characters from Lakeside (the OG Others series) and I have a feeling that we’ll probably (hopefully) get a book from them soon. 
I won’t say that I didn’t enjoy my time in Crowbones, but I would say that it wasn’t my favorite - or even on the list of favorites - from this spinoff series we’re getting from the Others series.
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This review was originally posted on <a href="https://booksofmyheart.net/2022/03/08/crowbones-by-anne-bishop/" target="_blank"> Books of My Heart</a>
&nbsp;

<i>Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.</i>

I completely love <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/series/99557-the-others" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em><strong>The Others</strong></em></a> series and the continuation in the World of the Others books, telling us about various outlying communities has the same setup. Vicki is an odd woman and doesn't handle things the way most people would but it seems to make her uniquely suited to dealing with humans and the Others. This is the second book about this community following <strong>Lake Silence.</strong>  In<strong> Crowbones</strong>, she has professors from local colleges staying at The Jumble and cabins.  One of them is interested in a legend Crowbones along with other legends in the Others' world.

Trickster Night becomes the kickoff to both Others and humans dying.  Vicki, along with the police, and some Intuits, and Ilya Sanguinati work hard to figure out who is causing the trouble and deaths.  Between learning about the legend and more about the Others and Intuits, plus the investigation and trying to keep people safe, there is much happening.

Evil comes in many forms in this series.  I enjoyed the complex case and learning more about the world. I do recommend reading this series in order.   There was also a nice moment with Meg.  I still want to learn much, much more about the blood prophets and hope it is a focus in a future story.
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I’ll admit that when Anne Bishop released Lake Silence, the spin-off novel from her fantabulous Others series, I had a hard time connecting with these characters. Since that initial first read, I’ve listened to Lake Silence as well, and didn’t have any trouble at all diving deep into the horror-fantasy of Crowbones. Vicki as a main character, has gained strength, or “sand” as she calls it. Choosing to believe that her previous blood transfusion from the sheriff garnered her some of his stoicism and calm regard. She draws on this strength to stay calm for her guests, knowing that her position in The Jumble lends her some importance because she has the most friendships and the Elders are fascinated with her. Don’t get me wrong, she doesn’t go all Nancy Drew, leaving the investigation to the professionals, but she did seem to have more of a back bone, not being led by her fear as much as she did in Lake Silence.

The Crowbones story had many intricacies. As noted above, there is the relationship between the Others and their human townspeople, a town that has grown by 100 people since the last book. So there were many strangers to get to know. Our favorite characters were still around and it was nice to get to know them again and gel my feelings towards this ragtag group of hero’s be them Others or human.

Anne Bishop deftly wrote the mystery in this novel, but it really wasn’t that hard to figure out, with one small red herring. I didn’t mind though because the characterizations were so fun, albeit grisly. I really enjoyed how Sheriff Grimshaw and Ilya Sanguinati, one human the other vampire, now worked together as a team. They both need this outpost of intermingling folks to work, neither wanting another human culling.

I think despite this being titled #3 in the World of the Others that this novel could be read as a stand alone. You don’t need to have read Wild Country at all, but you may want to read Lake Silence because it will give you some background on the main characters that will make your reading experience more enjoyable. If you didn’t and don’t want to backtrack to the first book, feel free. My guess is that you’ll pick it up anyway because this one is so good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
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I had a great time with this book! I am a fan of this series and was excited to get the chance to revisit one of the communities I have enjoyed in previous books. This book takes to back to the characters we met in Lake Silence and they are facing another dilemma that is going to keep the town busy for a while. It was so easy to slip back into this world and the mystery kept me entertained until I turned the last page.

Vicki decides to hold an event at The Jumble for Trickster Night but when an uninvited guest shows up in an unusual costume shows up things go incredibly wrong. The Crows recognize him right away as Crowbones, the Crowguard boogeyman, and they are scared. Before long, bodies are being found and the local authorities have their work cut out for them. Not only do they need to figure out what is going on but they need to do so in a way that makes the Elders comfortable.

I really enjoyed getting the chance to see Vicki, Grimshaw, Julian, Ilya, and the rest of the gang working together again. The mystery was rather complex and kept me guessing until the very end. There were times that I was really worried about how things might work out for these characters that I have grown to care about. I liked that this book introduced us to a few new Terra Indigene and I really enjoyed getting the chance to see some favorite characters show up for a cameo appearance.

I would recommend this book to others. I would recommend reading this series in order if at all possible so you have some knowledge of the world the story is set in. I found this to be a very entertaining and exciting story and I hope to read more books set in this world in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
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I couldn’t help being somewhat uncertain about Crowbones after having some minor issues with Lake Silence, the first of the series dealing with the residents of Sproing. However, this story ended up dispelling every one of those doubts and I enjoyed reading it a great deal. With all the introductions and worldbuilding out of the way, Crowbones could simply shine as the well-written mystery/whodunit that it actually is.

As was the case in Lake Silence, every chapter in Crowbones— and there are a lot of them!—is told from the revolving POV of not one, but all the various characters, both known and unknown. If not done just right, I think this method of storytelling could easily get out hand, yet the author manages to use the momentum it generates to steer the narrative towards a satisfying crescendo at the very end. The result was a story that progressed quickly and was fun to read.

Having ever been unable to resist a good mystery, I liked Crowbones much more than I thought I would. A challenging and clever whodunit, especially since we see some of the happenings through the eyes of the villains, I was invested in the narrative from start to finish. Of course, I’ve always found it easy to cheer on the Others without remorse, so whatever retribution they meted out in Crowbones was satisfying, as well.

Though all of the surviving characters we were introduced to in Lake Silence are back, I felt much more invested in each of them than I previously did. The sense of community that can only be solidified through proximity and experience was certainly in evidence in Crowbones, allowing the characters’ personalities to obliterate any social uncertainty that kept most of them on their best behavior with one another before. The gloves have been gleefully cast aside for the residents of Sproing this time around, and I enjoyed watching the fireworks tremendously.

As has always been the case with The Others series, I strongly recommend starting at the beginning. There is simply too much that is specific to this universe to know what’s going on without that background. Though I did stumble over a couple of small things, I didn’t feel any of my previous frustration while reading Crowbones. The inclusion of some of my favorite characters from the earlier stories was likewise extremely pleasurable and welcome. Overall, this is a fun, sometimes dark, yet entertainingly morbid tale with a lot to offer readers familiar with the original series.
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