Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs: Riveting

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I’m going to need them.
Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill—until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.
Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything—even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.
It won’t, can’t, remain.
Not if I have anything to say about it.

The most amazing part of Patricia Briggs’ writing is how she so effortlessly balances the action and current mess in Mercy Thompson’s life with the relationships and growing evolution of those characters. In the current novel, those relationships are challenged and shaken up but Mercy as a character is strong, compassionate, and most of all, grown-up in her dealings with others. One of my favorite pieces as a woman is reading how Mercy talks to others when she has a problem. She communicates as an adult, taking care to deal with the issues and not tear down the people in her life. In addition, while she is still somewhat separate from the pack, that tie begins to draw closer and allows her to draw strength as needed to battle the newest foe. Instead of Mercy’s relationships making her weaker, they make her stronger.

The story is immersive, the action and dialogue pulling you into the narrative. The balance between the relationships, the power dynamics, and the solution makes for a riveting, seat of your pants read. Honestly, I eagerly await every new Patricia Briggs novel and this is why, I’m always wrapped up in the story, the action and pacing is brilliant and the world building is fantastic with characters that grow and change.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

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