You NEED to read the first book in this series, Written in Red, in order to not only understand the relationships and world that Bishop has created, but the first book is fantastic, so you should just go and pick it up, as in right now :)
Anne Bishop is back with the second book in her Others series, where tensions between the human and the Others are at an all-time high:
It starts with a video game that allows the humans to kill crows at will, to myths about how to capture and kill some of the Others, to the eventual murder of Others. These murders are helped with the creation of two new drugs that affect Humans and Others in very different ways. This is just another step causing Human and Others communication to break down and the all-out exile of humans from certain lands. Even the Courtyard has come under attack and as Meg gets the urge to cut and speak prophecies more frequently everyone knows there is danger in the air. As murder and mayhem are occurring all around the courtyard, it is up to the Others' and the few trusted human that work there to work together to not only stop the direct threat on them, but also the creation of these two new drugs before the world enters into an all-out war.
Murder of Crows is an excellent follow up book to the first novel Written in Red. This novel essential picks up a few weeks after the first book finished as Meg is out of the hospital and back at work. However, everyone is treating her with kid gloves as she is still seen as not 100% well from her close to death experience. I liked that Bishop chose to not have too much time pass between books as so much of the story is centered around Meg's relationship with Simon and the other Others that to have too much time pass would mean that we as the reader would miss too much of this relationship development.
If you did not like the first book (which really I don't understand how that could happen, but to each their own) with its lack of action you will probably not like this one as well as there is even less. This book is much more political based that the first book as the tension between Humans and The Others is fast moving towards out of control, which leave the Courtyard in a unique position not only because of Meg but also the other Human employees they have and their developing relationship with the police. I liked that the "trusted" humans in the book were given not only a more active role in this book, but were also trusted enough to actually help the Others out. I will say that there were meetings upon meetings in this book (maybe even meetings about meetings) and I think that took away at times the overall sense of urgency and suspense as it never seemed like there was going to be a time for action, until the very end. However, to me this was just a minor point in the whole scheme of the world, characters and plot.
I cannot put my finger on it as to why I am so drawn to this series as I normally like more mystery and action within the books I read, but there is just something about Meg and the world that Bishop has created that draws me in. I think there is no question that Bishop took the time and efforts to not only create a world that is very believable but also to create interesting main and secondary characters. Additionally, I was surprised that Bishop decided to add a darker elements to the story, mainly how the new drugs were being created. I thought this brought more depth to the plot and a sense of urgency of what is to come. I was also surprised that Bishop decided to take on a major antagonist within this book and it makes me wonder what is to come in the next book, and where she is going to take the overall plot/story.
I honestly think this series will appeal to all readers in the UF and Paranormal genres, as there is really something for everyone in this series, especially with the introduction of dark elements in this book. The third book in this series comes out in early 2015 and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. Bishop's Other series has become a must read for me, as her character driven plot, world and story keep drawing me further and further in. I cannot wait to continue on in this series, I truly hope that Bishop can continue to impress me with this series, as I have no problem coming back for more and more.