cover image Murder of Crows

Murder of Crows

Anne Bishop. Roc, $26.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-451-46526-9

Bishop’s solid but unspectacular sequel to Written in Red has all the strengths and weaknesses of its predecessor. Meg Corbyn, a prophet who has visions when she bleeds, sees danger approaching the compound where she’s protected by the supernatural creatures of this alternate present-day America. Humans on the outside have gotten hold of a pair of drugs—“feel-good” and “gone over wolf”—that are wreaking havoc on both populations. The plot is adequate, but the worldbuilding that underpins Bishop’s story remains both illogical and premised on the blithe erasure of Native Americans; the continent is instead populated by brutal paranormals who reluctantly allow human incursion but maintain ruthless control. This only draws attention to the ludicrous development of contemporary technologies and social concepts. Readers willing to overlook the flaws of the opener will likely have no problem doing so again, while anyone who put down the first installment has no reason to pick up the sequel. (Mar.)