Patricia Briggs has been writing for a long time and this most recent novel shows how masterful her writing is. I’ve been reading the Mercy Thompson series from the beginning and am familiar with the characters and the various events of all the books but the one element from this novel that I love the most is that if this were your first book in the series, you would still understand the characters and the events of the novel as though you were a long time reader. The best compliment I can give is that Patricia Briggs ensures that the story is compelling and easily read no matter how long you’ve been reading the books.
My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word.
We will die to keep it.
Mercy is dealing with a different type of enemy in this book, not the Fae or vampires but witches. The book cover, the synopsis, and the introduction quickly illustrate and hint at the contents of the story. The novel has many elements that just make it phenomenally easy to read and incredibly engaging. The first attribute is the action. The story is fast paced, the action beginning immediately, and the antagonists introduced within the first few chapters.
One of the best features of Patricia Briggs writing is her characters. They are interesting, full of depth and details, and despite a large cast, she inserts the necessary characters into the current story organically. The backstory for the characters is equally masterful, details introduced as necessary, realistically as part of the narrative and never slowing down the pace of the action or dialogue. I especially love the sizzling romance between Mercy and her husband Adam. Even though the pair have been married for several years in the novels, they still have a dynamic and compelling relationship.
Dialogue is another area that excels. The characters are true to their backgrounds and the dialogue reflects the realism of the characters. Each character speaks in a manner fitting the character but the dialogue is witty and moves the story along while feeling natural and maintaining the flow of the storytelling. I love how Mercy Thompson ‘speaks’ and I love how the other characters don’t sound anything alike in my mind as I’m reading the story.
The plot is engaging. I really was bespelled by the story. I read fast but even so, I found it difficult to put down the book and read it much faster than normal. Without giving away the plot, I can say it was fun, intense, and was compelling.
If you like Patricia Briggs and you like urban fantasy, I highly recommend the Mercy Thompson series. You don’t need to start with this book. You can and will enjoy it, with Patricia Briggs masterful way of introducing both characters and previous information organically and without missing a beat, you can begin with this novel. But I also recommend the entire series. If you haven’t begun, pick it up and check it out. I promise you will be happy.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.