Synopsis and Details:
In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling 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 Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.
Series: The World of the Others #2 | Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal | Release Date: March 05, 2019 | Publisher: Ace Books | Pages: 496 | ISBN: 978-0399587276 | ASIN: B07DMZB97R | Format: ARC | Source: Penguin Random House
Review with Rating:
If you have not read previous books from The Others series and are looking to, be warned that there are some minor spoilers ahead. Some of the main characters from Wild Country were introduced in book four of The Others series, Marked in Flesh, as are the settings of the Intuit settlement, Prairie Gold, and the then human controlled town of Bennett. This story actually shares a timeline with Etched in Bone and takes place shortly after the war that had erupted between the humans and terra indigene in which many humans in Thaisia and Cel-Romano were annihilated. Now there are places throughout Thaisia that are being resettled but the rules have changed and resettlement for humans is a very controlled affair.
In this story, not everyone was thrilled about the idea of letting humans back into Bennett, which created a lot of friction between the characters. There were many terra indigenes who were still feeling quite raw from their losses at the hands of the humans from the Human First and Last movement. Despite the tension, Tolya Sanguinatti was trying to repopulate Bennett with the kind of humans the terra indigene desired but given that there were only so many places that people could go, there were going to be some undesirable people who would try to infiltrate the town. With all the new personalities trying to find their place in the booming town, the townsfolk and terra indigene alike were hard pressed to spot the true danger that a certain group presented until it was almost too late!
What I love about this series, and is completely illustrated in Wild Country, is the relationships between characters! They are slow building, filled with push-pull trust issues but oh so satisfying. I loved the interactions between Sheriff Virgil Wolfguard and his new deputy, Jana Paniccia, their work relationship was tense but over time it became something endearing and encouraging. I also liked that Bennett had an old-time feel to it because communication between humans was restricted to letters, the townspeople had to use horses because the cost to run a vehicle was very prohibitive, the only travel that was accessible to humans was by train, and there was a saloon with employees who dressed in old west period costumes. It gave the story a real wild west flavor and added interest. Overall, there was so much to enjoy in Wild Country, it is the kind of book that once you finish reading it you will want to just pick it back up again. I highly recommend you get a copy today!
*Thank you to Penguin Random House & NetGalley for this eARC of Wild Country*
This review is based on a complimentary book I received. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
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Interview with Author Anne Bishop:
Q. Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something not many people know?
I can barely boil water, but I love the Great British Baking Show.
Q. While the book Etched in Bone concluded the overall story arc to the Others series, what inspired you to dive back in this world and deliver the spinoff series World of the Others?
I didn’t dive back in because I never left that world. I just turned down a different road. I knew there would be a story in Bennett, but the pieces for Lake Silence fell into place first because it was a different voice (cozy village mystery thriller meets the Others) and Wild Country needed “time to prove,” as the bakers would say.
Q. In Wild Country, the town of Bennett feels like a throwback to the wild west, what was the inspiration behind that decision?
I wanted to give Bennett the flavor of all the Westerns I watched when I was young, and the stories of the Old West with gunslingers and outlaws and the sheriff standing against them to protect the town and the people.
Q. What sort of research did you do to write this book?
I watched a lot of Westerns. I read about gunslingers and outlaws. I watched nature shows about that part of the US. And when I was between drafts, I had the opportunity to visit Virginia City, Nevada. That helped shape how I saw Bennett in my head.
Q. Was it fun to write within that setting?
Blending in elements of the Westerns was a lot of fun. The setting was also challenging because I had to think about someone from the East (Jana) going to a frontier town in the West. Simple things that weren’t on the page, like needing to drink more water, were in the background of the story.
Q. There was a lot of tip-toeing of sensitive lines in this book between the humans and the terra indigene, who had all suffered great losses, did you find it challenging to write within such a delicate balance?
All of my stories, like the characters in them, challenge me, intrigue me, demand that I give them everything I can. I don’t think about balance as such. I tell the story through many points of view and let the characters find that balance—or not. I think it was Lawrence Block who said fiction was honestly reporting things that never happened to people who don’t exist. (And if I’ve attributed the thought to the wrong author, my apologies.) Reporting honestly is my goal in a story.
Q. What got left out in the final draft?
Nothing. I ended up adding chapters to the final draft to fill in parts that weren’t quite on the page until then.
Q. Do you have a favorite quote from Wild Country that you’d like to share with us?
[su_quote]”Cowboy Bob? Really? Is that what we’re doing now? Blaming the stuffie?”[/su_quote]
Q. Of all the terra indigene characters you have created, which is your favorite and why?
My favorite is whichever one I’m writing about at that moment. (Did you really think I would be silly enough to say I had a favorite?)
(😅 One can always try)
Q. How do you balance making demands on the reader with taking care of the reader?
I try to write the best story I can and hope that the balance comes from that.
Q. Something for fun: If you were a spy what would your alias be?
Hmm. Spy rhymes with pie, and pie gets eaten. I don’t think a spy is a good career choice, especially if there are any terra indigene around, so I will decline.
( 🤣 )
Q. What holiday would you invent to get a day off from work?
Bring your Wolf to work day.
Q. Describe what your ideal writing space looks like.
Big desk with built-in shelves for books, surrounded by other bookcases full of books, with dragons and unicorns on the top shelves.
Q. Any last words? Maybe some nuggets of wisdom for inspiring authors?
Everyone wants to be published, but what you really should want is to find the stories and characters that intrigue you enough to give them months of your time and energy and heart. If a story doesn’t intrigue you, it won’t intrigue anyone else.
Thank you Ms. Bishop for your time with this interview, it was a pleasure.
🖋 ❤️ ✒️
About the Author:
New York Times bestselling author Anne Bishop is a winner of the William L. Crawford Memorial Fantasy Award, presented by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts, for The Black Jewels Trilogy. She is the author of the Novels of the Others series and The World of the Others series.