Monday, May 11, 2015

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

 How often do you find yourself reading a book which is told from the "monsters" point of view so skillfully that you find yourself rooting against the humans. Or, in this case, the humans who want to drive the Others, the terra indigene from the continent.

The core plot in this book revolves around the sudden appearance of Monty's daughter, Lizzie, by herself on a train from the city where she has lived with her mother, Elayne, since Monty moved to Lakeside. Elayne has had a falling out with her boyfriend, one of the leaders of the Humans First and Last movement, after catching him sleeping around, but is killed when she tries to leave town with evidence of some of the bad things he has been up to. His partners in crime believe that Lizzie has or knows something that will implicate them,and so they try several times to take her back.

The cassandra sangues, having been forced out of the "homes" where they once were exploited, are having a difficult time surviving in the outside world. Some of them are simply giving up, others getting hit by cars, and even those who reach the few refuges which the Others have established are often overwhelmed by their new lives and end up killing themselves. Meg and her friends begin to try to put together an "Idiot's Guide" to caring for the prophetesses to distribute to the new caretakers.

There are, of course, some good veiled political and social issues in this book. The human media spouts the propaganda that Humans First spokespeople feed it without questioning, and it is relentlessly Other-phobic, while on the other hand Orwellian in its assumptions that only the human government can properly care for the poor, disadvantaged and mentally unstable cassandras, these "troubled children".

The battle lines are rapidly being drawn as Humans First - supporting businesses refuse to hire or to do business with the humans who do business with or associate with the Others. There are secret handshakes and special identifying pins that the HFL'ers wear. Simon Wolfgard begins to prepare living arrangements for some of "his" humans who are being ostracized and harassed.

The humans, for the most part, are still far too unaware, despite recent events, that the Others with whom they interact are merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the ancient powers that truly rule the Earth, and who can wipe out humanity in the blink of an eye, should they choose to end the experiment.

Another great book in Bishop's series. Looks like there's a fifth one in the works, too. This should be fun!

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