Author: Patricia Briggs

Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 10, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega, Mercy Thompson
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega, Hunting Ground, Night Broken, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Collections & Anthologies, Urban
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…
A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…
Includes the new stories…“Silver”“Roses in Winter”“Redemption”“Hollow”
…and reader favorites“Fairy Gifts”“Gray”“Alpha and Omega”“Seeing Eye”“The Star of David”“In Red, with Pearls”

This is a collection of short stories set in Briggs’ Alpha and Omega/Mercy Thompson world. There are four new, never-before-published stories and six reader favorites. Of the six previously published stories, I’d read one; Alpha and Omega, the companion novella to Cry Wolf, is a personal favorite. I skimmed over that one here, since I’ve read it numerous times.

I don’t recommend reading this collection if you haven’t read at least the first few books in the Mercy Thompson series. These stories aren’t meant to stand alone. Each one includes a forward by Briggs with little details about how or why she wrote each story, and where they fall in the series, which I thought was a nice touch.

Of the new stories, the two I enjoyed most were Silver and Roses in Winter.

Silver is written mostly from Sam’s point-of-view and tells the story of his first meeting with Ariana. It’s set during the time when Bran was still ensnared by his mother, the witch. It wasn’t a light read, but I loved it.

Roses in Winter is the story of the young girl whose father asked Mercy for help in Blood Bound (for those who don’t remember, he was the reporter whose daughter was turned when she was ten. For three years they kept her caged during the full moon, but she was becoming too strong. They sent her to Bran to help her learn to control her wolf). Interestingly, the story is told from Asil’s point-of-view. He unexpectedly befriends Kara, but he’s afraid he may lose her as she isn’t able to control her shift. Asil is a character I’ve been interested in since he was introduced in Cry Wolf, and I really enjoyed this story. I’m glad we got to see what happened to Kara.

This is an excellent collection and definitely worth reading. Having all the novellas in one place is great, and each story brings the characters to life. I’m going to grade the collection as a whole, rather than each individual story separately.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars


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Joint Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 29, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Joint Review: Night Broken by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly and Ames
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #8
Also in this series: Shifting Shadows, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 11th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Urban
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series has been hailed as “one of the best” (Library Journal). Now Mercy must deal with an unwanted guest—one that brings a danger unlike anything she’s ever known.

When her mate’s ex-wife storms back into their lives, Mercy knows something isn’t right. Christy has the furthest thing from good intentions—she wants Adam back, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get him, including turning the pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. As the bodies start piling up, she must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

Summary: Mercy is still trying to find acceptance in the pack when Adam’s ex-wife, Christy, calls and says she needs help. Her current boyfriend turned psycho and she needs to get away from him. Adam isn’t one to walk away from someone in need, especially someone he considers his responsibility, and agrees she can come stay with the pack until things settle down.

Mercy isn’t thrilled with the idea of her husband’s ex-wife living under her roof, but she’s willing to put aside her own feelings for the good of the pack. Especially once the pack makes it clear they want Christy there. More than they want Mercy.

Christy makes it clear right away she isn’t just there for protection. She wants her old life back…she wants Adam back. Too bad for her Mercy isn’t giving him up. But dealing with Adam’s jealous ex-wife becomes the least of her concerns when it turns out Christy’s ex isn’t human.

Holly: This is a hard one for me. I liked the story. I fell into it right away and was swept up in the world like I always am. But…I lost some respect for Adam along the way. I never thought that would happen, but it did.

Ames: I liked the story too.  There was a lot going on.  At first it didn’t seem like what was happening with the walking stick and Beauclaire was connected to what was happening to Christy and her stalker ex.  I was wondering why there were these two stories going on…but of course Coyote likes chaos.

Adam…I am torn.  I don’t want to give too much away but Christy is a master manipulator.  And Adam did give her shit but we didn’t get to see it.  I think we needed to see it.

Holly: There was a lot going on. It felt like Mercy was more on her own than usual, didn’t it? Maybe that’s why the correlation between Mercy’s walking stick and Christy’s ex wasn’t readily apparent?

I think my big struggle with the way the pack and Adam acted toward Christy is that she left him, and in the process really hurt him and her daughter. Master manipulator or not, neither the pack nor Adam should have been so quick to look past that. She already betrayed the pack. SHE LEFT. She BETRAYED THEIR ALPHA. And still the pack chose her. Even when Mercy called her out on it, the pack still chose to side with Christy. No. Just no.

I did like that the pack was forced to see how Mercy put them before herself. I think she gained some respect from them in this book. I don’t think they accept her, but they can’t dismiss her as they did before.

Ames: Mercy is always very aware of the politics of a werewolf pack.  And she knew that she’d have to fight off the stalker guy as the Alpha’s mate.  That definitely went a long way to gaining respect from the pack.  They also saw her as not quite as vulnerable as they thought she would be.  Not so much a liability. I like how one of the wolves talked about how they don’t like change and Mercy is a big change.

Holly: I also hated that Mercy called Christy out on her crap in front of the pack and they still sided with Christy. Every single one of them knew Mercy was right, but Auriele rushed to Christy so the rest did too.

Ames: Auriele is a bitch.  I saw her inability to see Christy’s true nature and the way she treated Christy as a big part of why Christy got away with how she acted.  As Darryl’s mate, a lot of the pack would take their cues from her.  I freaking wanted to punch Adam though when he let Christy keep playing that little game with the phones.  Like would it have freaking hurt him to keep his cell phone in his pocket?  ARGH

Holly: That’s one of the many things that made me so angry with Adam. That and Christy moving her things into the master bathroom. I don’t care what Christy said to him, he should have told her no. For himself. Not because Mercy would be upset but because HE was. Had he said “no, I don’t want your things in the bathroom I share with Mercy” the pack would have accepted that and not put it on Mercy. Ugh. Adam. He needed a swift kick to the ass for that.

Ames: I agree about Adam.  He was too forgiving of his ex. He should have thought about how Mercy would have felt about everything.  I mean, they have the bond, so he would probably feel how some of the stunts Christy was pulling would hurt her. But couple that with how he did reassure her and they did seem as close as ever.  Christy was pulling small stunts but Adam did stand up and speak his piece when it came to Mercy’s safety.  I would have like to have seen that on-page.

Holly: We definitely needed to see that on page. I understand that Adam has a lot of hang-ups about himself as a werewolf. He thinks of himself as a monster and Christy plays right into that. Remembering that did help me to forgive him – just a little – for not standing up for Mercy.

Ames: I think Christy will lick her wounds a bit after Mercy’s latest stunt.  And there’s definitely more coming down the line in regards to the pack.  Mercy changes things, especially when it comes to Honey’s place in the hierarchy.  And I like the pack politics, so I’m looking forward to more developing there.

 I expect to see Adam having to face his feelings about himself in the near future. I also thing things will come to a head with Christy, the pack and Mercy.

Holly: I didn’t like how abruptly the story ended. I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so unsettled about this book. Briggs usually cuts the story off before I’m ready, but things aren’t usually left unresolved. I felt like things were definitely unresolved.

Ames: I thought the book ended abruptly too.  The main mystery was solved, but there were a few plot points that were left open ended. So that made Night Broken feel very transitional.

Holly: Transitional is a good word for it.  I did like the return of Coyote. He makes me laugh.

Ames: I love Coyote.  Remember in River Marked when he threw Mercy into the river?  That’s so indicative of this chaos-driven character.  And he does make me laugh too.  I like that he was brought back into Mercy’s life.  I also like who else he brought into Mercy’s life. I can see more shenanigans there in Mercy’s future with this new character.

Holly: Ha. I do remember that. Coyote definitely likes chaos. I liked the new character Mercy connected with, too. I think he helped Mercy see Coyote in a different way. I look forward to more shenanigans from them both in the future.

Ames: Another thing I like is that the walking stick is back!  I love that stick.  Always where it needs to be.
Holly: I’m curious to see what happens next with the walking stick. Is it odd that I kind of think of it as Mercy’s friend? Or maybe a pet?
Ames: I don’t think it’s odd to think of the walking stick that way.  Look at how she talks to it.  “Behave.” She tells it.  LOL
Holly: What are you grading it? I think I’m going to give it a 3.5 out of 5. The business with Adam’s ex left a bad taste in my mouth and marred my enjoyment.

Ames: I would give it a 3.5 as well. It furthers the plot but some stuff left me disturbed. Mercy still continues to kick ass however.

Final Grade

Holly: 3.5 out of 5Ames: 3.5 out of 5This book is available from Ace. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

three-half-stars


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Lightning Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Posted November 5, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Lightning Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #1
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Hunting Ground
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2008
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Epic
Pages: 310
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Now Briggs begins an extraordinary new series set in Mercy Thompson's world--but with rules of its own.
INTRODUCING THE ALPHA AND OMEGA NOVELS...

Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack...and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member--and as his mate.

Though this is labeled as the first book in the series, I would recommend reading the companion novella, Alpha and Omega, before starting this as it sets up the story/characters. You can download it here or here.

Anna has been brutalized by her pack for 3 years. Though she gains some confidence in this novel, I like that Briggs didn’t make her well overnight. It takes time to overcome something so traumatic. Her relationship with Charles is one that moves slow. Normally that’s something that would bother me, but Briggs does a good job of balancing the outside plot with the internal story, so the story wasn’t bogged down or slow. Because of Anna’s past, it makes sense that they would take things slow and have a lot to learn about each other. That Charles is a closed off person doesn’t help. He’s used to being alone and doesn’t know how to open up to Anna, even when he wants to.

The witch storyline was interesting, but I felt the final resolution was almost anti-climatic. I expected more bang. The cast of characters is interesting and I really like the world Briggs has built.

I’m hooked. Thank goodness she has a large backlist…

4.25 out of 5

Alpha and Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

This book is available from ACE. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Lightning Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 28, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 5 Comments

Lightning Review: Fair Game by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #3
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Hunting Ground
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 6th 2012
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, General
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Patricia Briggs, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, "always enchants her readers." (Lynn Viehl, New York Times bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey...
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Can I just say, I did NOT see that twist at the end coming. Whoa. I’m so anxious for the next book to find out what happens next!

Anna and Charles are still learning each other. I like that the going is slow, but I’m a little surprised they aren’t doing better with each other since they’ve now been together two years. I guess it makes sense since Charles has been keeping himself cut off from Anna for the last year, but I guess I expected things to be less awkward between them.

I really like the world Briggs has created. We saw more of it in this novel, since the conflict is away from the pack. It did seem like the final conflict was…not anti-climatic, exactly, but a bit less exciting than I expected given the build up. The villains weren’t a surprise, so maybe that’s why I struggled with it? The very last twist is what got me. I didn’t see that coming at all.

Another strong entry in the series. I couldn’t put it down.

4 out of 5

The series:
Alpha and Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

This book is available from ACE. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars


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Lightning Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Posted May 22, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Lightning Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #2
Also in this series: Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Hunting Ground
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: August 25th 2009
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, General
Pages: 304
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

The first Alpha and Omega novel, Cry Wolf, unlocked the doors to a unique urban landscape in “a great…new werewolf series” (Darque Reviews). In Hunting Ground, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs invites readers to follow her even deeper into that seductive realm of the unknown… Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son—and enforcer—of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be, either… Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan—and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all—or risk losing everything…

I like how Anna is growing into herself. Part of the appeal of the series is watching her gain confidence in herself. At one point Charles thinks to himself something like “this is the Anna she would have been if she hadn’t been Changed”. It’s good that he appreciates both sides of Anna – the one she is because of her past, and the one who is overcoming it. I really like that Anna the human has a connection with Brother Wolf, instead of just her wolf connecting to his.

I did find myself becoming impatient with them a few times. I realize this is new for both of them, but if they would open up and talk a little things could go a lot more smoothly for them. On the other hand, I realize this is new territory for both and things aren’t going to be easily fixed.

The mystery angle was intriguing, though not hard to puzzle out. While the villains were easily identified, the story was told in such a way that I wasn’t bored or impatient with it.

I find myself impatient for the next book.

4.5 out of 5

The series:

Alpha and Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

This book is available from Ace. You can buy it here, here in e-format or here in audio.

four-half-stars


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