Locus: The need for understanding between humans and Others remains the crux of this first volume in a new arc in Bishop’s world of the Others.
There are definite similarities with the previous volumes, such as the focus on bemused Others learning from a human female needing protection from bad men, but new characters and the small-town setting offer intriguing differences. Vicki DeVine got the run-down lakeside resort called The Tumble as part of her divorce settlement, and though she knows the land itself is controlled by the Others, she doesn’t come face-to-face with the fact until she catches her only lodger, Aggie Crowe, microwaving a human eyeball. Aggie’s one of the shapeshifting Others, a crow, who stumbled across a human body.
Misunderstandings continually crop up, often with amusing results, but also with an edge of fear, since some of the Others have great power, no tolerance for human stupidity, and no compunction about killing.
The tone edges towards horror at points, though it’s frequently defused as things go amusingly over-the-top. The bad guys are loathsome, some of the locals are delightful, and new types of Others help keep things fun.