Feb 052016

Cover for Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop.Locus: The conflict between Humans First and Last and the Others heats up in this fourth novel, with humans thinking they can “reclaim” more land for themselves and get rid of restrictions on travel between human settlements. HFL steps up their sometimes deadly harrassment of humans and businesses who don’t join their movement (not unlike the early days of the Nazi party). A big part of the problem is the humans are unaware that the Others aren’t fighting back seriously yet ­ they have to decide “how much human” they want to keep. Shapeshifter Simon Wolfgard and others of the Lakeside Courtyard are too fond of the human Meg, the Cassandra sangue or blood prophet, who runs their mailroom. Since she arrived, other humans have been brought into the Courtyard, and some of the Others fear becoming too human. The elementals are angry, though, and the expression of their anger ­ superstorms, tidal waves, and tornadoes ­ will be deadly. Humans could be facing extinction, and the HFL has no clue. There’s a big buildup, but not a lot of specific details about the real attack on humanity when it finally comes. Still, there’s a lot of death and destruction, even if Lakeside Courtyard manages to escape the worst of it. It all comes down to the magic of friendship, but when it’s elemental ponies (Tornado, Hurricane, etc.) and their riders involved, humans, vampires, shapeshifter puppies, and fortune-telling females need to be extra cautious, making a nice blend of scary and charming.