Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched.
This is book 9 in the Mercy Thompson series, a series which features coyote shifter Mercedes (the Volkswagen mechanic) and her adventures being the lone coyote in werewolf territory. There is also a side series, Alpha & Omega, which has 4.5 books. There is some argument as to whether or not you really need to read Alpha & Omega to get the series as a whole (I say that you do), but whichever side of that argument you fall on, one thing is certain, you just can’t start here. Seriously, go and read them all, this blog will still be here when you get back.
Of course my bias for A&O may be because I came to that series first through an anthology I had picked up for some other author. It captivated me, and once I finished that it made me go back and take a look at Brigg’s other works. I had completely passed over the Mercy series for the very shallow reason that I found the covers rather offputting. I looked at those covers, and with a sneer…I put them back.
Yep, I thought, really? That is a serious mechanic? And I dropped it before starting. I don’t know who they were trying to market to, but I find the covers weird, and not representative of Mercy at all. Not that there is anything wrong with those outfits in and of themselves, it just had to do with the description of the series paired with those images. Like, she was luring us with a description of a kick@ss mechanic and then was going to give us a helpless damsel instead. I couldn’t have been more wrong. But the series, it is actually amazingly good. And Mercy is one of my favorite heroines. She is a tough, no nonsense mechanic who stays true to herself. And honestly, I can’t really imagine her wearing any of those outfits, particularly to work in.
As for this book, it is completely awesome. I can’t promise to to make this spoiler free, because there is a lot going on, but I will try.
Basically, the war between the world as we know it and the fae has been heating up off page. And eventually, chaotic coyote that Mercy is, she has to draw her own line in the sand. This leads to Adam FINALLY tying off the nebulous thread to the plot arc of the pack’s animosity toward Mercy (which was welcome), but also leads to what I consider a surprise move from the Marrok.
But it is exciting. There is fighting, and mystery about the boy Aiden, and favorite characters like Zee and Tad are back. And if you read the short stories, two very interesting characters make quite the appearance, it is absolutely FANTASTIC. (Here’s to hoping the get some more page time in the next book, I think it will be good for all involved …including a conspicuously missing character. And it will be fun to watch too.) I hadn’t made the connection when the one character previously appeared, but a ton of things made better sense from that.
As for the rest of the story arc, I’ve been wondering where things were going, but man-oh-man I did NOT see this coming. You wonder sometimes, at the disparate things that come about as a series develops. Is that some random deus ex machina? Does it have purpose? Does the author know where he or she is going with this? So it was delightful to see that Patricia Briggs knew EXACTLY where she was going, or at least is a good enough story teller to pull things off with great aplomb.
And damned if there wasn’t the absolute strangest thing to be sad about too. When you get to around 96%, come back and talk to me about it, surely I am not the only one who was almost unbearably moved. But don’t be saddened to much, Briggs finishes off on a really, really high note.
So, final thoughts, there was a much higher level of humor in this one than others, the relationship angst and overall angst are at almost negligible levels, and it gives us readers some breathing space after the trauma and drama of past books and also resettles the story in ways that are hard to explain. It was an excellent installment and makes me that much more antsy to see what Charles and Anna, the titular Alpha & Omega, are up to now, since I think one of their stories will be next (see what I mean by needing to read both series to get the full picture?). Unfortunately I guess that will be happening in 2017, which is a long ways to wait, but made slightly bearable by the fact that we leave them in such a good place.