Meg is fleeing a horrible captivity that is revealed in suspenseful measured steps. Her riveting story starts in the midst of a storm when she goes to the Lakeside Courtyard, a place where humans interact with the "Others," the native beings of the planet. Each courtyard has a human liaison and this one needs to hire one. The liaison's job is to be the intermediary between humans and Others, to accept mail and deliveries and distribute it to the intended recipients and to preserve the uneasy alliance between humans and Others.. The job does have its drawbacks, particularly that Others consider humans to be meat. There are several different kinds of Others including those who are analogous to werewolves, werebears, vampires, as well as elemental creatures. Howling Good Reads, a bookstore plays a big role in the goings on in Lakeside. As Meg worms her way into the hearts of the residents with her kindness and practical nature she befriends Sam, a traumatized wolf pup, stuck in his wolf form which is causing huge problems. Meg is on the run because she has a secret that makes her capture extremely profitable to whom ever finds her and turns her in. The world building is exquisite from the conflict between humans and the myriad different forms of individuals who make up the Others, to politics, sticky relationships, mythology, and blood profits.
The powerful enthralling story telling and the intense relationships shoot this to the top of my list of best books of the year.