Audiobook Review: Crowbones by Anne Bishop
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4.5 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The World of the Others
Publisher: Penguin Audio (March 8, 2022)
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
Author Information: Website
Narrator: Alexandra Harris
The long awaited Crowbones brings us back to the village of Sproing and I could barely contain my excitement to be reading The Others again! Plus, we’re just in time for Trickster Night, this world’s version of Halloween…what could possibly go wrong?
This year, innkeeper Vicki DiVine is hosting a gathering at The Jumble, and everyone is having a great time until one of the human guests thought it would be a great trick to show up dressed up as Crowbones, the bogeyman of the Crowgard. Unfortunately, no one is amused, and that much is clear the next day when the prankster turns up dead. Still, in a world where humans often live at the mercy of the much stronger Others, something like that isn’t typically an unusual occurrence—except a second body was also found, this time that of a young Crowgard member.
Surely, the deaths couldn’t be a coincidence, and soon the village is abuzz with word that a killer is on the loose. This affront displeases the Elders, who manipulate the elements to block off all roads in and out of Sproing, trapping all those within. The Jumble thus becomes a temporary home to all those stranded as police chief Grimshaw hunkers down to try and solve the case with the help of Vicki and Ilya Sanguinati, the town’s resident vampire lawyer. Time is quickly running out, however, as the elementals become increasingly agitated, and rumors abound that the real Crowbones has come a-calling to wreak havoc and teach wayward Crowgard a lesson.
What follows is a delectable mystery, a nice change of pace from the previous books! I do enjoy how this spinoff series allows Bishop some flexibility to explore other stories in the world of The Others, and even do some skipping around if she so chooses. Crowbones is more of a follow-up to Lake Silence, with Wild Country being seen as a kind of mini detour in between. As a result, it took a bit of resettling to familiarize myself with Sproing and its residents again, but the author thankfully provides plenty of references and reminders to make the task easier. That said, I still believe it would be helpful, if not a must, to have read Lake Silence first before tackling this one.
Needless to say, I had fun catching up with the characters. The alternating POVs gave us a deeper look into their lives as well as their relationships with each other, showing us how all these different dynamics have evolved and grown. I feel Anne Bishop has outdone herself again, with Crowbones being one of the stronger, more entertaining books of the Others. At times, the story reads like a compulsive whodunit, yet also features all the world-building elements that makes this series so irresistible.
There was also never a dull moment in the plot, with things really ramping up when the Elders closed off the town, plunging our characters into uncertainty and isolation. Not to mention, the Elders could be brutal in their retribution. With the volatility of the Others, you never had a clue what might happen next, and while you could be confident some of the characters were safe, there were others who weren’t so lucky. With so many visitors in town for the recent holiday, there was certainly no shortage of potential suspects—or victims. Detective Grimshaw really stole the show in this one, calling the shots on the investigation and gathering all the clues to put the pieces together.
Bottom line, fans of the series will not be disappointed with Crowbones. It feels at once familiar and fresh, combining older elements from the earlier books (like the human vs. Others conflict) with newer ones like different themes or styles of storytelling. Anne Bishop has proven that there’s a lot more to the world of The Others to explore, and I can’t wait to discover all of it.
More on The BiblioSanctum:
Review of Written in Red (Book 1)
Review of Murder of Crows (Book 2)
Review of Vision in Silver (Book 3)
Review of Marked in Flesh (Book 4)
Review of Etched in Bone (Book 5)
Review of Lake Silence (Book 6)
Review of Wild Country (Book 7)