In this New York Times bestselling powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the 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.
Following the first-person experiment of 2018's Lake Silence, the first book in the World of the Others continuation of the paranormal Others series, Bishop reverts to form, using multiple third-person perspectives to tell an unsatisfying story that doesn't quite stand alone. Bennett, a Midwest town, was previously a secondary location in the series, which focused on Upstate New York. Tolya Sanguinati, a vampiric Other, becomes mayor of Bennett after the human population is nearly wiped out by the Elders, an unimaginably powerful form of Other. The handful who survive are Intuits, a marginal group of precognitives. If Bennett is to endure as more than a train stop, it needs more people. Can Tolya and his Intuit partner, Jesse Walker, organize the immigration of enough desirable residents before grifters like the Blackstone Clan slip in and subvert the new order? Bishop overtly frames this as a wild west showdown, complete with a gun battle in the town square, but such trappings do little to spruce up the now-tired premise of greedy, foolish humans underestimating the Others and getting spectacularly demolished. With no character innovation and a stronger-than-usual whiff of eugenics, this installment suggests the series has lost its visionary spark.
Ann Bishop brings the stories of the Others to life in the most believable way. The characters become amazingly real and each one is special. Each side, good and bad, are not just black and white but shades of gray. There is humor but also tragedy so I felt laughter and tears. I am hoping there will be more stories about the Others.
The story itself was entertaining but was pretty much singular focused around the Blackstone. There was one side event involving Meg Corbin. Most of the characters are likable and believable.