Tag Archives: Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) – Patricia Briggs

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4 of 5 stars.

After “River Marked”, which definitely wasn’t one of my favourite books, “Frost Burned” returns to the already known recipe: Mercy + imminent danger + most of her friends = great read. And it works perfectly.

This time Ben and – especially – Kyle get a bigger part, and if I hadn’t loved them to pieces already, I would have from this book on. Unfortunately, we also lose one of Adam’s pack, and though he wasn’t one of the “major players” and had never been around all that much it’s quite a tragedy, because he was a nice, gentle character, whom I really liked a lot.

To keep the balance – at least for a little while – we get introduced to a new character, which Patricia Briggs transferred temporarily from her “Alpha & Omega” series: Asil. He makes for a really interesting addition, even if I couldn’t tell which side he was actually on. Or better, what his agenda actually was. Yes, Bran sent him to help, but that wouldn’t have mattered much had Asil decided to go against Mercy & Co., would it? Anyway. Interesting character.

As is Wulfe, btw, who also makes a brief appearance again.

Mercy finally has a chance to clear things up a bit with… Gabriel’s mother (Sorry, I keep forgetting her name. Sylvia?) and Tad gets to help with some things, too. Zee can’t help all that much (at least not officially, but he does his best), because apparently one of the Gray Lords killed a senator’s son off-screen (Or maybe in one of P.B.’s other books?), and the Fae are now cut off from the rest of the world and forced to live in their reservation(s).

And I still hate Marsilia and think she deserves to die. Yes, a bird in the hand and all that, but she’s absolutely odious nevertheless.

So. Why four stars and not five? Because, once again, in the final fight, Mercy saves not only the day but pretty much everybody else, too. Okay, Wulfe and Marsilia get to help a little, but mostly it all depends on Mercy, her new-found ability to redeem ghosts via her infamous lamb necklace and an incredibly dangerous Fae sword that could turn on its owner at any given time – and behaves just as docile as it’s supposed to do. Plus, there’s once more a lot of “I-can-do-that-because-I’m-a-coyote” magical hand waving. It just rubs me the completely wrong way.

But well… Other than that it’s a very good read and never gets boring. Slight deductions in the E-grade, but nothing too serious.

And last but not least: this book may have 308 pages, the story, however, does not. No, that’s not an euphemism for “totally boring”; I mean that quite literally. The story itself is 292 pages long. The rest is a reading excerpt from Patricia Briggs’ next book “Night Broken”.

River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) – Patricia Briggs

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2 of 5 stars

Well, I guess when you’ve written five very good books, you’re probably bound to cock things up at one point. In the Mercy Thompson series this was (for me) River Marked.

I’m not entirely sure whether it’s because I’m not a very religious person or if I misunderstood something, but I couldn’t find any kind of access to that book. At all.

It started well enough, actually.

There was Adam and Mercy’s “reverse shot-gun wedding” I really, really liked (and kudos to Jesse & Co. for actually pulling that one off), they finally mentioned the aftermath of the whole Marsilia mess-up and how Stefan dealt with it (or not) at least briefly, and then it was off to the honeymoon.

Which I had really hoped would be kind of summarized in one or two pages or thereabouts.

No such luck.

So… Adam and Mercy drove away for their honeymoon.

I’m pretty sure I would have survived that one, but somewhere on the way to the campground in the Columbia Gorge, they must have taken a very, very wrong turn, because I was suddenly somewhere in the Native American Spirit World where everybody is a jerk.

Add a monstrously huge river-dragon-snake-thingy and that the Coyote Spirit is Mercy’s father aaaaand… I’m out. No, seriously.

This was way too esoteric for my liking.

There was no real mystery like in the other books, because it was pretty clear from the get-go what caused all the “mysterious” deaths in the area Adam and Mercy were camping. You didn’t have any of the usual characters around (yeah, okay, a little bit in the beginning and then they PHONE, like, twice in the whole book; great), instead you get a bunch of new ones which are – apart from maybe one or two – unlikeable or just shallow.

And what is it that they have to make Mercy always even more super-duper-extra-special than she was before? She IS special already! She’s a coyote Walker who was raised by werewolves and even married one, she has some Fae, a Fae walking stick and a Vampire as friends, she’s not influenced by any magic at all or at least not as she SHOULD be, she can see and talk to ghosts. So why does she have to be the child of The Native American Coyote Spirit on top of all that, too?

Yeah, no, she IS, because that really confusing explanation wasn’t any explanation at all. Plus, cut away all the spiritual rigmarole, the one thing that remains is: Mercy could never have been born as a Walker if her mother AND FATHER had been completely human, period. Especially if one of them had been a white, Anglo-American, in this case Mercy’s mother Marji. So, the tale of Coyote having only worn a Joe-Old-Coyote-meat-suit is nice, but evidently Coyote himself was the one who’s gotten Marji pregnant, because otherwise Mercy would’ve been just an ordinary human.

And the “endgame” was just… silly. Usually I’m not bothered by Mercy Superwoman, but that was too much.

Nope. Sorry. No book for me.

On to book seven, which is – hopefully – just like the first five.

Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson #5) – Patricia Briggs

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5 of 5 stars.

As much as I was off to a rocky start with Mercy and – especially – the werewolves, I couldn’t find any fault with “Silver Borne”.

Nope.

Not kidding.

“Silver Borne” was captivating, interesting, at the right points annoying (clearly a first) and all in all a perfect read.

It was nice to see Phin again and I loved how they finally addressed and – ultimately – dealt with Sam’s problem. Sure, they had a kind of “surprise-help” from a very unexpected source, but it was still very well handled. I hope it stays that way.

Most of all because, apparently, the fighting days are over. Between Adam, Mercy and Sam, at least, which is so. Incredibly. Relaxing. From here on out it’s Mercy (and friends) against the world and to hell with everyone who stands in their way. And good riddance.

It’s also wonderful to read how characters that begin as villains (or at least very dislikeable persons) can kind of redeem themselves throughout the book and end up as something else entirely.

It’s sad, on the other hand, that some characters, which have been in the books right from the start – people I would never have suspected – turn out to be mega assholes.

But if anything that makes the whole story feel more “real”.

Okay, yes, I could have done without the Adam/Mercy lovey-dovey-thingy at the end, but I am well aware that I’m not exactly “mainstream” in that particular regard, so I guess 99 % of all readers will just love it.

Just as _I_ would really love it to – at some point, at least – get an explanation as to why Mary Jo wasn’t skinned alive for her stupid and abominable behaviour towards Mercy, Adam and generally all around, because as far as I could see there have been no serious consequences for her so far. I mean, this “fighting-instead-of-Adam” stuff was nice, but in my eyes this isn’t going to cut it, and for all the fuss the werewolves make about pack hierarchy and retribution and such, she’s been let off way too easy. Or, to quote my cousin, “Forgive and forget? I’m neither Jesus nor do I have Alzheimer’s.” I really hope there’s more about that in the next book, because the way things were left here is absolutely unsatisfactory (imo).

Anyway.

Great read. 🙂

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson #4) – Patricia Briggs

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4,5 of 5 stars.

Vampires again, yay!

Vampire politics – which I found surprisingly interesting – and a “foreign” vampire as the “threat of the day”. Oh, and a ghost.

This and the – often mentioned – great way Patricia Briggs lets Mercy deal with the aftermath of what happened in “Iron Kissed” made for a near perfect read.

The Mercy/Sam/Adam triangle is, indeed, resolved, and Adam is on his very best. He holds back. Not only because Mercy has still to deal with a LOT of issues (severe panic attacks among other things), but also because apparently he trusts Mercy to deal with her problems on her own. For example: He once visits Mercy when she’s at one of her Karate classes where she gets into a fight – a very REAL fight, because her opponent is a kind of women-hating psychopath – but doesn’t interrupt. He lets Mercy finish the fight and doesn’t even scold her for it, which, frankly, I would’ve thought completely impossible for dominant, male Alpha Werewolf leaders up until now.

And that’s how it’s like through the whole book. Adam might not always be enthusiastic about Mercy’s decisions, but he lets her MAKE them, which is the important part. He doesn’t dominate the hell out of Mercy and doesn’t make her submit, no matter what. And apparently he doesn’t plan on doing that, either.

Of course, this book wasn’t entirely flawless.

There was a huge “F-U-Mercy, I’ve-absolutely-had-it” moment somewhere in the beginning (around p. 59/60, I think), that had zero to do with the events in book three and everything to do with Mercy being stupid and unnecessarily-martyr-y, which resulted in the very probable possibility that my cousin would’ve gotten a spontaneous gift of seven Patricia Briggs novels, never to be spoken of ever again, but luckily Mercy didn’t go through with her plan and I could continue reading.

And then there was, the statement I’ve waited for since book one: “And Ben adores you.” (p. 226) MM-hm. Of course he does. Not to mention the (still present) faery walking stick: “It follows you because it owes you service, Mercy. (…) And because it likes you.” (p. 272) Sure.

Yeah, well. Still 4,5 stars because it’s the best book in this series so far (imo).

Oh, and… I really hope Marsilia dies a slow and horrible death, and soon. She would deserve every bit of pain, torture and misery that’s coming to her. What a bitch.

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson #3) – Patricia Briggs

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4 of 5 stars.

Four stars and not one vampire in sight.

No, really. This book deals with the Fae, mostly, and I liked it a lot.

I think what I like the most about the Mercy Thompson novels is that they’re written like murder mysteries. Well, usually they ARE murder mysteries, just with a supernatural touch. Which makes everything that little bit more interesting. I don’t think I’d like this series so much if it were only about werewolves, vampires and whatnot trying to deal with each other.

Which is also a part of the Mercy Thompson series, but not its main topic.

In “Moon Called” the reader was firmly in the “werewolf world”, in “Blood Bound” we had a vampire case, and not it’s the Fae’s turn.

When Mercy’s former boss and good friend Zee is arrested for a crime he most definitely didn’t do, and both the police and the Grey Lord’s want to just convict him for it – in case of the police because they actually DO think him guilty, and in case of the (incredibly arrogant and stupid) Grey Lord’s in order to keep Fae-business as quiet as possible and deal with the REAL criminal themselves – it’s clear that Mercy can’t just leave him hanging.

That, of course, gets her in all kinds of trouble, but I really love how she deals with it all, especially at the end.

Seriously. The last quarter of “Iron Kissed” is so extremely intense and well-written, it almost brought me to tears. Everything that happens to Mercy, Ben’s explanation (ESPECIALLY Ben’s explanation, God!), Austin and “The Talk” with Austin’s brother Jacob…

But I think what was the best thing EVER: Adam gets comprehensible! Likeable, even! Yeah, shocking, I know. If they had explained his reasons and – for want of a better word – feelings right from the start, I really don’t think he would have come across as that arrogant, controlling, ignorant, smug know-it-all I couldn’t have cared about any less.

Ending aside, I really liked that Kyle finally managed to get over the fact that he loved a werewolf and got together with Warren again. Also, Tony makes a slightly bigger appearance, as do Gabriel and Jesse. It was great to see Jesse getting in trouble at school for no other reason than being the daughter of a werewolf and how the pack, Mercy and especially Gabriel dealt with that.

Again, sadly, no Stefan whatsoever in this Mercy Thompson novel, but this book has other merits.

Namely the solution to the (for me) very, VERY annoying Mercy-Adam-Sam love-and-possession-triangle. (Yay!) Effing finally! Alas, not before getting so infuriating at one point that I almost put the book down, fiercely determined to never pick it up again. (Hence only four stars.)

I like Mercy. I really do. Which is rare, because for some reason there are not too many female main characters I can relate to. At least not enough to really “invest” in them. Mercy is an exception.

Most of the time.

To be precise, every time she is NOT with Sam and/or Adam.

Whenever she is, I not only lose every bit of respect for her I’ve ever had, I also can’t take her seriously anymore. I don’t know why she’s always so surprised when everybody rides roughshod over her. She’s the least consistent person I know.

And she never gets angry.

Oh, she SAYS she does, but then she just gets sarcastic. And distracted by how “sexy” her opponents are. For example when she’s in a full-blown argument with Adam, who clearly tries to control every little aspect of her life and which – rightfully so – infuriates her, and the next sentence is, “His closeness shouldn’t have felt so good.”

No! It shouldn’t have! Especially not when he uses sexual attraction and his “Alpha-power” (or whatever) to intimidate you and make you do something that you don’t WANT to do! And he would know that, wouldn’t he? Being a werewolf and all, so he could smell whatever mood you’re in?

Still, nothing really happens. She gives in, he wins, as always.

Getting angry with werewolves could get you killed? Yeah, right. Because everybody is not completely in love with Mercy and lets her get away with all kinds of shit. But even if this were not the case: so what? Why not let push come to shove for once? Would Adam (or Sam, for that matter) really kill Mercy, because she’s pissed off with him for trying to take over her life? I don’t think he would. And no one can convince me that Mercy does. (Especially not after the whole she-bang with Jesse getting attacked and Gabriel (of all people!), standing up to him, and alpha werewolf, and survive without a scratch!)

But she never tries. For all her bitching and complaining, she never even TRIES to follow through. And that’s as frustrating to read as all get out.

I really hope that this is over and done with now.

Oh! Another thing! So, Ben! When are you going to admit that you’re also (yet) a(nother) member of the “We All Love Mercy” fan club, hm? Not to worry, it’s perfectly normal. After all, there are also glorified faery walking sticks, too, that follow her around.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson #2) – Patricia Briggs

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4 of 5 stars.

Four stars this time, because: vampires!

Not very surprising if you’ve known me for a while, but for those of you who don’t know me all that well (yet), I’ve always been more of a vampire-girl than anything else. (Just like I’m more of a crime-girl than anything else.)

But, of course, it’s not ONLY the vampires. I realize I’m probably not exactly a “normal” reviewer, but even I don’t give 4 stars just because of the… erm… creatures the author chose to highlight in a book. Even if I’m very tempted, since these are – for once – actual vampires: only active at night (unless they are very, VERY old, and even then in emergencies only), (mostly) dead during the day (or un-dead, but at least not just sleeping), need blood to survive, have difficulties with holy water, crucifixes and other symbols of beliefs in God. There, vampires. Not the ridiculous up-at-all-times-sparkling-in-sunlight-vegetarian vampires most people are so fond of nowadays.

And thank God (or whatever deity you choose to believe in) for that.

Still. Not only the vampires.

It’s also the case having to do with the vampires. Said case is extremely thrilling, and even though I knew who was the mastermind behind all of this about half-way through the book, it was still a very interesting and fascinating read. That could, of course, be due to the fact that Stefan (Mercy’s vampire friend) is my favourite character and it pretty much all revolved around him, but I doubt it.

The case of the demon-ridden-sorcerer-turned-vampire is very well thought out and the hunt, respectively the whole investigation is written so captivatingly that I really couldn’t be bothered to put the book down for longer than absolutely necessary (like, work or a shower).

At least as long as it was really this case that was the actual topic.

But since this is a book about a walker who can turn into a coyote and was raised by werewolves there are also, of course, werewolves.

I always feel that I don’t really have the right to draw points for that, because I went into that series with my eyes open, but… What was actually fairly tolerable in “Moon Called” is bordering on unbearable in “Blood Bound”.

The whole “social structure” of a werewolf pack, the whole… mindset of a werewolf – at least as it is depicted in these books – is SO pissing me off. This whole dismissing humans, females, other creatures, feelings of people (even other werwolves’) close to you, no matter how useful and/or sensible their suggestions might be, this utter, all-encompassing arrogance is incredibly exhausting to read. It makes me aggressive, and a book shouldn’t have that effect on me. (Though I think it’s actually a compliment to the author that she can write her characters so well to evoke such a strong reaction in her readers – or at least in one of them.)

Not to mention the whole compulsory control thing Adam AND Samuel have going on when it comes to Mercy. They send details on her, never let her take a step without any kind of surveillance, either out of a fit of childish jealousy or the – apparently inbred – sense of “no one is allowed to damage what’s mine” and possessiveness, meaning, the love-triangle gets worse.

But then, I’m not even sure I have a problem with werewolves per sé. Again, yes, werewolves seem to have to be like that, but do they? Warren, for example, seems to do just fine without those stupid power-plays. That might be because he’s not the Alpha, but he’s a dominant wolf all the same and, after all, third in command. So…

I don’t even think Alphas play those games all the time, but Adam does. At least whenever Mercy is around. Or Mercy-and-Sam. And it’s annoying. So maybe my problem is just an Adam/Sam/Mercy problem.

I tried to read around it and/or just skim over the respective parts, but unfortunately it’s not that easy, because often there are things mentioned in between that are important for the rest of the case.

The whole situation is not really helped by Mercy, who bitches every few pages about how irritating it is to have werewolves (or better, Adam, Sam and occasionally Bran) order her around all the time and expecting her to just follow orders like a good doggy, swearing every oath not to submit to them ever again – and then turn around to do the exact opposite. Yet again.

Which reminds me a bit of myself, actually, sitting here and bitching about how annoying it is to read about that love-triangle and those stupid power-plays, while having “Iron Kissed” sitting on my living room table. (Only a bit, mind you, since I’m nothing if not consistent and this will definitely be the last book I’ll read from this series, if I can’t find a suitable way to avoid hating Adam and Sam whenever they turn up.)

Still, I won’t give less stars for that (this time), because yes, it pissed me off to no end, BUT only about three times in total during the whole book, so it’s still a pretty good average, all things considered.

But again I have to ask: why is everybody in love with Mercy Thompson? Et tu, Stefan? Really? She doesn’t have enough suitors already? I can’t wait for Warren to throw himself at her feet, even though he’s actually gay.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1) – Patricia Briggs

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3,5 out of 5 stars.

I came across that book because of a YouTube video.

Not kidding.

More precisely, because of a comment made in the “comments section” below the video I had watched.

Still not kidding.

There’s a channel on YouTube I watch semi-regularly. It’s made by a bunch of (mostly) men, doing (mostly) silly things, but I’m quite amused by it. One of them is gay, which is neither something they tried to hide nor something that interesting. He just is and everyone knows it.

After the last video one of the apparently new viewers made a derogatory comment about there being a “Schwuchtel” in their team, and, of course, said team took offense (and rightfully so). They said that narrow-minded assholes had no place on their channel, but that they were very interested to hear the opinion of the rest of their viewers on that particular topic.

Needless to say almost all of them agreed with the team, proving to be maybe a bit crazy to watch a channel like that but also open-minded and tolerant people. Well done, fandom! 😉

That said, in those comments someone said that hating gays is stupid and that they had always seen it like Adam Hauptmann from Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson novels, who said that he “didn’t care if a (were)wolf wanted to screw ducks, as long as he’d listen to orders”. Plus, the one who made that comment said that Adam was one of her favourite characters in the whole series.

So… I’d never heard of Patricia Briggs, Adam Hauptmann or Mercy Thompson, googled it and promptly went over to Amazon to read the reviews. There weren’t all that many, but at least no 1-star-review, which I think it pretty rare, because there’s usually at least ONE person who hates a book that others love.

Anyway.

I skipped through the reviews – which were more or less all positive – and ordered the first book without actually thinking too much about it. It sounded interesting, and even though I fell off the Fantasy-wagon a long time ago, I like to read some now and then, as long as it is well-written. Which seemed to be the case here, according to the reviews.

It never once occurred to me to use the “look inside” option.

Or read the reviews more closely.

For once that was actually a good thing, because if I had, I would never have bought the book.

A) because of the first person narrator (YET AGAIN, GOD!) and b) because of the love triangle (ARGH!). Two things I just HATE. Usually.

I started reading anyway, and lo and behold, it wasn’t half bad!

Yes, there are “werewolves, vampires and witches, oh my”, but it actually IS well-written (imo) and the heroine of the book, Mercy Thompson, is not too Mary-Sue-ish but rather sensible and comprehensible (again, imo), so that first-person-narrator-thing didn’t bother me too much.

The love-triangle-thing didn’t bother me too much, either, which is a miracle in and of itself. Yes, it’s there, but it is actually pretty subtle. There are a few times when it threatens to get annoying, but so far the author has always managed to get everything back on a non-romantic (ha!) track before that happens, so… Points for that, really.

The storyline is also very interesting and the only one in the past two weeks that made me WANT to continue reading a book instead of feeling obligated to do so. Someone apparently turns humans into werewolves, experiments on them with drugs in order to find one that could knock a werewolf out (or even kill it), and then tries to pitch two of the biggest and oldest werewolf packs against each other, also involving the local vampire seethe. But why?

Okay, truth be told, I figured that out about halfway through the book, but I didn’t peek at the end to see if I was right and so a fraction of a doubt remained. I could’ve been wrong, after all. I wasn’t, but that didn’t lessen my reading pleasure.

What DID was the “usual problem” with the first books of any series: there is a huge load of exposition to tell the reader about the main characters’ past, and how they came to be where they are now. Kind of establishing a mind set. And while I accept that this is (mostly) necessary, it also always slows the story down, nevertheless.

But be that as it may, I really liked the main character and quite a lot of the supporting characters. They were very well thought out and described, there’s just the right amount (and kind) of humour without being silly, it’s an interesting storyline, and the world Patricia Briggs had created is still “normal” enough for me to feel real. It’s no Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, it’s just like our present but with a slight twist.

Of course, there were also things that bugged me, otherwise I would’ve given more than 3,5 stars.

If I were around a werewolf pack, which apparently has a very strict pack hierarchy, I would either be dead in under 60 seconds (for being disrespectful or some such nonsense) or yell a lot, because in a social structure where I would have to submit for no other reason that I’m FEMALE, heads would roll. Either mine or all of the other’s.
If I were around two werewolves who constantly fight about to whom of them I’d belong, without EVER having asked or even informed me first, and then think they could tell me what to do all the time, I. Would have. A cow. Seriously. Especially in the light of aforementioned pack hierarchy. Go, f*ck yourselves.
I get that this is obviously a werewolf-thing, but it was very annoying to read.
Why does everybody and their dog (or wolf) seem to be in love with Mercy Thompson? At least, all of the male everybodies, since there are almost none female characters that have a major role in this book. (And just mentioning that someone hates Mercy every once in a while or had done so in the past, doesn’t count.) I get that she has some very assorted friends, but why can’t they just be good friends? Does it always have to have something to do with sex and/or love? I mean, I like her, too, but she’s not THAT special. And the only thing that saves her from being too Mary-Sue-ish is that she thinks so herself. Still. Thin ice. If any more characters bend over backwards just for her, this will get very old very soon.

Let’s see what the next books will bring. So far 3,5 stars rounded up to 4.