Marked in Flesh is probably one of the top five books I most eagerly waited this year. I discovered the series at the end of last year. I was so mesmerized with the world that Bishop had written alongside the eclectic characters that I pretty much consumed the previous three books in matter of days! I was happy that I didn't have to wait as long as the rest of the fans...
After the humans who were either members or supporters of the HFL showed their stupidity by declaring war against the terra indigene, which resulted in one of the most heartbreaking demises yet (I swear, I CRIED over those chapters!), this book finally gave readers the taste of the Elders -- the Namid's teeth and claws -- and how their wrath was like. The moment before the strike, that calmness before the storm, was so intense I felt like holding my breath throughout.
That was basically what the book was all about -- us waiting to see how the Elders were going to retaliate against humans. So yes, it did feel a little stagnant in several parts. BUT, we were also given small progress regarding alternative for Meg to produce her prophecy. I thought this was very interesting, and I think it will play a significant role to help the cassandra sangue to keep giving prophecies without the danger and addiction of cutting their skin.
I still couldn't give this more than four stars -- mainly because I still thought there were too many POVs that took away the focus from the Lakeside residents especially our Simon and Meg. Yes, maybe having those chapters from Joe Wolfgard's perspective helped me to feel 'more' for his fate but still, the multiple POVs seemed to limit characters in-depth exploration. I didn't feel like the new characters of Stavros or Tolya or Jesse were as endearing to my heart as Simon, Meg, Vlad, Captain Burke, Lt. Montgomery, and the rest of the 'original' gang.
The ending of Marked in Flesh didn't feel as 'hanging-by-a-thread' as the third book. Vision of Silver basically ended with the Elders giving Simon the warning: "to decide how much human the terra indigene will keep." Here, knew for a fact what happened next: Cel-Romano was practically no more, the enemies were gone, millions of people died, cities disappeared ... basically it is a new world and new rules. I wonder if book #5 (will that be the last?) will finally deal with the progress of Simon and Meg relationship and how the new alliance of terra indigene and humans is going to work together.
Whatever book #5 will be about, I will be in for the ride.