Overall series rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
In February I finally finished the Others series by Anne Bishop (at least through Etched in Bone… I don’t think Lake Silence counts?). This is the closest series I have to a guilty pleasure because even though it has some seriously problematic elements, I still reread the first and second books fairly often. I had never read past those, but here we are. To be honest, I’ll probably keep reading the first two and go back to ignoring the rest, mostly because they’re already on my kindle and I didn’t like the last three enough to buy them and add them to my collection. Anyway, since I’m working harder at thinking critically while I read and sharing my bookish thoughts, I made up a pro/con list of some of the more surprising things this series has going for it and some of the things it does really really wrong. Most of these aren’t really fleshed out because I don’t actually want to write a full-fledged essay. Maybe one day I will? We’ll see (actually, though, let me know if that’s something you’d want to see ^_^). Until then, here are my thoughts on Anne Bishop’s The Others:
+Oddly good discussion about mental health (though it does sometimes romanticize cutting/self harm, ultimately they’re trying to find a way to avoid it happening because it is bad)
+Good talks about consent (Also lots of shitty talk about consent, but those are the bad guys and their position as bad guys is clear)
+Despite some really crappy elements to the depictions of indigeanous people (see below), they are also shown as the most powerful/sometimes godlike and colonialism is obviously seen as bad.
+Good messages of “you do you and fuck everyone else.” Whatever you need/want in relationships is okay as long as everyone involved is down.
+There’s almost sort of ace rep? If you squint?
-SO MUCH toxic masculinity
-Lots of metaphors regarding indigenous people as animals, nonhuman, primitive, other, etc. Also, some of the indigenous people are better? Maybe the noble indigenous person trope?
-The not like they girls trope
-The sacrificing woman trope
-Graphic. SO GRAPHIC. Like GoT levels of graphic
-Some victim blaming in fifth book