The Others looked at humans and did not see conquerors. They saw a new kind of meat. (p. 6)
Vision in Silver is Bishop’s third installment in The Others series and it continues to impress. I’ve been hooked on this series since book one, Written in Red and Vision in Silver continues to delve into the complex world of the Lakeside Complex and shows how the new way of life that they have adopted has repercussions for both those within the complex and those observing it.
In the third book the focus is mainly on the development of larger story arc of the humans trying to create bad press for the terra indigene, which only serves to anger the very powerful beings. Due to the plot-heavy nature of this installment, I didn’t find the character development to be as strong as it was in the previous books. In particular, Meg and Simon seem to have stagnated a bit as characters. The development of the larger conflict is essential and the fact that the terra indigene have to make some decisions was compelling, but I can’t help but miss my favourite characters just a bit.
Vision in Silver picks up directly after Murder of Crows. There has been a lot of change in the relations between the humans and the terra indigene and it’s clear that the humans in direct contact with the Courtyard are intent on smearing the image of the terra indigene. The attacks that are directed at the terra indigene throw the Courtyard into turmoil. Simon and the other leaders of the Courtyard really only trusted Meg; however, as the only human in the Courtyard, Meg has slowly brought in other humans – her own “pack”. The interaction between the terra indigene and the select humans are having significant repercussions. The humans that consort with the terra indigene are being denied jobs and kicked out of their homes, and their loyalty is forcing Simon to make a decision. Should he and the Courtyard stand by their human employees? And if they do support the humans how does this impact the terra indigene‘s identity? It’s a question that really troubles Simon:
“If the terra indigene who work in the Courtyards become to human, do we become the enemy?” (p.262)
The internal conflict in the terra indigene is what I found most compelling in Vision in Silver. There are strong reasons for why the terra indigene should not stand by their humans and the terra indigene are certainly capable of wiping humans off the map. But what’s interesting is that Simon wants to find a different path that allows the humans and the terra indigene to co-exist. Readers are show the possibility of this lifestyle, but whether its sustainable will only unfold as the series progresses.
For me, the biggest disappointment was the lack of development in the relationship between Meg and Simon. I’ve always enjoyed their awkward and endearing interactions, but they were minimal in Vision in Silver and I was hoping for more from them. That said, I think the development of the human/terra indigene conflict was extremely important since it ultimately sets the stage for any kind of relationship between Simon and Meg. So while I want certain things to happen, I certainly don’t want it to be at the expense of good storytelling, which is not the case in Vision in Silver.
While Vision in Silver is no doubt an important installment in The Others series, I cannot say that it was my favourite. I appreciate it for the fact that it propels the larger conflict in the series, but it was a plot heavy read and I was missing my characters. The suspense was ramped up by the end and I can’t wait for the next book, I only wish this didn’t mean a year-long wait ahead.
*Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.
For similar reads, check out Stacey and I’s joint review of Murder of Crows.