Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2007
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, General
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Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...
Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.
But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.
At the end of the last novel, Mercy’s vampire friend Stefan does her a favor. So when he shows up out of nowhere in the middle of the night and asks her to accompany him to meet a new vampire in their territory, she reluctantly agrees. Stefan doesn’t really expect to need Mercy’s help, but he wants an impartial witness and vampire magic rarely works on her. It turns out the vampire is also a sorcerer (a man who is possessed by a demon) and he enthralls Stefan, making him believe he succumbed to bloodlust, something forbidden in their seethe, for fear they’ll be discovered by the humans.
Mercy is forced to meet with Marsilia, head of the seethe, to share her memories of the encounter – which are different from Stefan’s – and ends up involved in a deadly game of vampire politics. When Warren, one of the wolves in the local werewolf pack, turns up severely injured and Adam, the local alpha, Samuel, the Marrok’s son, and Stefan coming up missing, Marsilia asks Mercy to hunt down the rogue vamp.
When I was asked to choose a novel for this re-read blog tour, I had a difficult time choosing. Though this Blood Bound isn’t my favorite of the series, it’s where the series picks up steam and the full breadth of main characters take shape.
This second installment of the series continued on in the vein of the first, building on the world and exploring the characters in depth. I enjoyed the plot more, I think, because it involved all the important people in Mercy’s life. Mercy is, at heart, a practical, down-to-earth woman who happens to be able to turn into a coyote and was raised by werewolves. She doesn’t want to draw attention to herself or get wrapped up in the affairs of the “others” who surround her (werewolves, Fae, Vampires, etc), but she can’t turn her back when they need her most.
She’s doing a dance with Adam, who has claimed her as his mate so his pack will leave her alone (something she hasn’t accepted, nor did she want), and with Samuel, whom she used to love but broke her heart when she was younger. Add into it the frustration she feels when dealing with members of the pack and the anger and frustration she feels when she’s left behind, and she has her hands full.
I thought, before I started the series, that Mercy was a super kickass heroine, along the lines of Eve Dallas. Someone who kicked ass and took names, then asked questions later. That really isn’t the case. Oh, sure, she’s tough in her own way, and she’s certainly capable, but she’s mostly just an average person trying to eke out an existence, just like the rest of us. Yet she makes it seem perfectly normal that these things are happening to her, and that she’ll work through them despite her fears.
I generally shy away from love-triangles, but this one doesn’t bother me. Probably because I know it doesn’t last long, and the romance in the early books is slow anyway. Both Samuel and Adam are interesting characters, and I like seeing how they interact with each other and Mercy.
What really stands out is the world-building. I was fully immersed. The pack, Adam’s daughter, Samuel, The Marrok, the Vampires, the Fae and even the bad guy only served to enhance the story and draw me in further.
Although twists and turns abound, the simple elegance of Briggs’ writing makes the story flow flawlessly. I can’t wait to dig into the next book.
4.25 out of 5
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