I've only read one of Anne Bishop's books before, and I did enjoy it very much - it was nothing stellar, but it was good, you know? And sometimes it's nice to just find something good, without it being something you'll wear yourself out fangirling over.
And I did enjoy Written in Red, too. Anne Bishop is a good writer - sometimes I have issues with little phrases she uses, or certain similies that stretch the imagination, but overall I love her writing style. And I love her characters - she has a subtle touch with them, doesn't always whack you over the head with their traits. Sometimes she does *cough Simon cough*, but not always.
This book had an excellent character cast, in my opinion. It's not that they were phenomenal or even unique - with the possible exception of Tess, I've seen these same character formulas used over and over and over again. They're basic but effective. Meg was pathetic, but in a good way - she naive and innocent and clueless and weak, but she wasn't a pushover, she had opinions and ideals and she stuck to them. I liked her. Simon was less interesting to me, he reminded me a lot of Adam from Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson books - but I liked Simon better. He was a little more playful and canine than Adam ever was. My main problem with him is the pack nonsense; I'm just so sick and tired of dominance stuff, belonging or not belonging to pack stuff, control freak stuff, human characters pretending to be aggressive all the time because it's supposedly "wolflike".
It just annoys me, okay?
Oh, and I loved Winter. She was amazing. A little bit of a drama queen and a little lacking in motivation, maybe, but she was creepy and wicked and I loved her. And Tess was, well, my favorite. She was incredible. I can't talk more about why without giving away spoilers, but she was the most unique character in the book.
Other characters I liked were Sam, Blair, Erebus (he's a vampire and I hate vampires, but I liked his character), Vlad (poor dude, an actual vampire named Vladimir Sanguinati), Nathan, Jake, Jenni, Henry, and probably some others I'm missing. They were all great, and they worked well together, and I was pleasantly surprised to find so many good characters in the bunch.
Characters I hated were Asia, Darrell, Elliot, and the messenger guy. They're all bad guys except for Elliot, but I hated him. He was such a domineering, stupid, selfish hypocrite. Ugh.
I didn't like the twenty or so POV's that were used in this book - it was always easy to tell who was who and I liked some of them, but I got so tired of being in Asia's head that it made me put the book down on multiple occasions. (If I had to hear one more time about Asia Crane, SI, doing this or doing that, I would have thrown my e-reader at the wall.) So if you don't like a lot of POV's, I suggest you stay away from this one, because practically every character with a name had at least one scene from his or her perspective.
There were a lot of little plot-holes, too. Little things, like me wondering why all the elementals seem to live in Lakeside together. I never heard anything about separate incarnations of things like Winter or Spring living in other parts of the world.
Overall, though, I did really like this book. If you like Mercy Thompson or urban fantasy and not too much romance, this book's probably a good pick. I'm going to be waiting for the sequel.