Series: Mercy Thompson

Review (+ a Giveaway): Blood Bound by Patrica Briggs

Posted February 26, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 14 Comments

Review (+ a Giveaway): Blood Bound by Patrica BriggsReviewer: Holly
Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Also in this series: Night Broken, Shifting Shadows, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called, Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2)
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2007
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, General
Pages: 292
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Goodreads
four-stars

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.

MERCY THOMPSON Reread Blog Tour Banner

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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four-stars


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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
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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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