1. This book should have had a Wolf puppy in a harness on the cover- there is absolutely no reason to not have a wolf puppy on the cover, as I would have bought this book when it was first published, had it had an adorable Wolf puppy in a harness on the cover. Like so:
2. The subtitle should include that it does, in fact, feature a harnessed Wolf puppy- just in case the harnessed wolf puppy on the cover was mistaken for a miniature schipperke kelpie cross spotting a mouse while on her walk or mini direwolf à la A Song of Ice and Fire series.
3. Cutesy pawprints are entirely optional- but strongly suggested. Just in case someone took this book cover mockup too seriously.
I don't always reassign published books cover art, but when I do, it means I liked the book enough to take time to make my fan art. And in the case of this book, I really liked it.
The Plot: (As Seen on Goodreads)
'As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.
'Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow.'
What the author knocked out of the park: the worldbuilding, the characters, and the quotability. It isn't often you start a book where there is a section to tell you the name of certain days of the week (instead of Monday, Tuesday, etc.), along with a brief history of the world itself. The characters made you want to hunt down real life people to match with their personalities, so you could have your own mini-Courtyard/fantasy world. The quotability? Well, I highlighted the hell out of my ereader. My touchscreen is still recovering from me spouting curses as I tried to nab those difficult, between-two-page-flips quotes.
Believe it or not, I've had similar conversations before:
""Your first dog?" The clerk sounded delighted. "What breed is it?"
~Written in Red by Anne Bishop, page 206 Kindle version.
""He's a Wolf.""
Although Meg breaks the urban fantasy heroine mold by being not-so-brave (she squeaks and whines under pressure), she grew on me, to the point she satisfied the requirements of being a heroine I love. I was very worried about this book because it features the heroine cutting (due to her being a blood prophet)- a self-harm behavior I'd hate to see encouraged, even in a fantasy book. But the other characters don't approve of Meg's cutting, and she only cuts on purpose maybe twice in the course of the book, which the Others chew her out for (or should I say Simon?).
Written in Red is
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars for a urban fantasy that surprised me with its humor.
Content: Ages 16+ for cutting, violence, and angry Wolves.
Page Count: 433 pages
But really, which one would you pick: adorable harnessed Wolf puppy or Meg and menacing wolf?
Don't tell me- I don't want the cover artist to feel bad. :P