11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2013
Mercy is out shopping with Jesse when she crashes her car, trying to get a lift she realises that the whole pack are unreachable. She contacts Adam through their mate bond and discovers the entire pack were kidnapped and they kidnappers want Adam to do something that'll change life for werewolves everywhere. As always, people try to kill Mercy - they always underestimate the coyote!
I really enjoyed this book - in fact, it may be one of my favourites. I don't know what it was that made it stand out to me - Mercy having to be stand-in Alpha while Adam is missing? Finding out exactly how strong her and Adam's relationship is? Mercy getting more in touch with her coyote self? Or Ben?
Yes, Ben. I like Ben - gawd help me, but I do. There's something about Ben that always makes me think of Karl Marsten from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series - and there is something likeable about Karl, just as there's something likeable about Ben. We get to see more of him come out as the series goes on.
I'll admit, I was getting a bit unimpressed with this series. Don't get me wrong, I still pre-ordered this but I haven't been looking forward to the last couple of books as I used to. I'm very impressed with this book and am glad it's rekindled my feelings for the series. I'm looking forward to the next one and can only hope that Briggs keeps the series on the up.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
This is the seventh book in the Mercy Thompson series and a prime example of good series writing. Patricia Briggs has matured her characters and helped us to get to know them over the past stories so we understand who is who and why they behave the way that they do. She has also built her story on events in previous novels (and some in the parallel Anna/Charles books) so that we have a fully developed world where supernatural creatures and magic are real and where we already understand how it works. This means that the author can dispense with introducing characters and their backgrounds and explaining how the supernatural works in her world and just get on with the action - of which there is plenty.
I suspect that a reader new to this series may struggle with the book, although the author does provide some quick reminders of past events - they will certainly miss a lot of the passing allusions will be such a delight to regular readers of Mercy Thompson books. I suggest that they start at Moon Called: Mercy Thompson book 1 and can almost guarantee that by the time that they reach this one they will be as immersed in this world as those of us who have been with the series longer.
Regular readers will notice that events in virtually all the past books are included, referred to, or provide a building block for the plot. The pack has disappeared when Mercy and Jesse are shopping and she has to find them, find out what has happened to them and why, and protect the pack members who have not been included in the event. Mercy herself comes under attack and she has to find allies quickly but is not sure who to trust. The novel takes place at a time when the werewolves have revealed themselves, the fae have withdrawn from the world, and the vampires are still in hiding - all these things are relevant to the mult-species plot.
Lots of past characters are introduced again in a way which makes sense to the plot and some minor ones are fleshed out a bit. I was particularly pleased to see Tony the police officer, Coyote, Gabriel's mother and sisters, Tad, and Warren and Kyle play a larger part in the story. Some of the story is written from Adam's point of view which is a departure but one which enhances the book as we understand his need to protect Mercy as well as hers to protect him. There is very little together time for Mercy and Adam though - this is not a story which dwells on or develops their romance any further.
I was fortunate enough to have a long train journey to read this novel without interruption (although I was craving a delay of some sort as the journey wasn't quite as long as the book) - I found it completely enthralling. It is fast paced but with interludes of humour; it includes some quite complex moral issues about ethnicity, justice and loyalty; and it always remembers that people have complex reasons for their actions and make mistakes.
This is urban fantasy writing at its best - a brilliant book.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2013
A few weeks ago, Patty Briggs and her husband Mike joined a chat room to discuss both Frost Burned and Patty's previous books. The idea was to discuss each Mercy Thompson book separately, but that's not how it went in the end. I was able to join them just once because the timing didn't work for me, but the half hour I spent talking to Patty and her fans further convinced me that she is both a great author and a very pleasant person. When I shared with her my opinion that Fair Game, her third Charles and Anna book, is the best one she's ever written, she assured me that Frost Burned is even better. At the time, I took that statement with a healthy dose of skepticism, but now that I've finally read it, I both agree and disagree with Patty.
Frost Burned is neither better nor worse than Fair Game - both are as good as urban fantasy can get. From the first Mercy Thompson book (so far there are ten books in this universe), Patty has been getting better and better. In pacing, characterization and plot development, she has reached perfection. Big words, you say? Well, yeah, but so is this series.
After all that fear of her mate bond and of losing herself to the pack, it was nice to see Mercy so comfortable in her role as mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack. She and Adam have such a beautiful, healthy relationship. In River Marked, Mercy was feeling more comfortable as part of the pack, but she was still adjusting and she still had her doubts. In Frost Burned, she is truly the Alpha's mate - she thinks as one, acts as one, and protects as one.
The addition of Adam's point of view was so very unexpected that I had to take a moment to think about it and decide whether I liked it or not. I certainly understand the need: Adam and Mercy spent most of this book apart and their mate bond can only be used so much. Besides, I feel that I now understand Adam just a bit better, and Patty did an excellent job writing from a male perspective. And yet, something bothered me about it, and it took me a while to figure it out. It wasn't the change in perspective, it was the switch from first-person view to third person view. I wish she'd done both Mercy and Adam in first person. I think that would have worked much better.
Although he was mostly absent from the second half of this book, one Mr. Kyle Brooks stole the first half all to himself. Yes, that's right - an ordinary human (though admittedly a lawyer) won me over by being a bigger hero than all those other heroes Briggs has created. Kyle has always been the brightest star in Mercy's universe, but I felt that he finally got due respect in Frost Burned.
All of the secondary characters appeared, at least for a little while, with the exception of Samuel and Bran. I didn't miss Samuel all that much (I never did warm up to him), but I missed Bran greatly. He was a constant comforting presence both in Mercy's mind and mine, but I missed his subtle sense of humor and everything else that makes him who he is.
Those of you who are still unfamiliar with my favorite coyote and her wolves should consider giving this series a chance. And I doubt I need to say anything to those of you who've read this series before... except: We waited two years for Frost Burned to be released and now it's finally here. Yaaaay!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 28 April 2013
I have loved the Mercy Thompson series, but when I read River Marked I feared the series had had its day (pretty much like the Anita Blake series). So it was with some trepidation that I began Frost Burned but I'm really pleased that Briggs has pulled it out of the bag again. Mercy saves the day again!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What can I say? It has certainly been a while since the last Mercy book graced the palms of my hands. Was the wait worth the final product? I believe so.
Briggs has given Mercy a little bit of her mojo back. The part that always gets her into trouble and makes her believe she is indestructible. I enjoyed the fact that it wasn't all about her relationship with Adam. This book was a lot more like the first ones, more about Mercy and how she balances her world of fae, vamp and shifter friends.
In this book she uses the Coyote or does Coyote use her, to help the pack whilst they are in dire need. That event seems to imply a whole new ballgame when it comes to her abilities. So much so that even the vamps have started to regard her in a completely different light.
It was nice to see Stefan back in her life and indeed this plot has her knee deep in trouble with the vamp Queen herself.
Briggs mentions in the afterword that she has two native German speakers helping her with the German. This was something that always niggled me in the previous books, but this one is spot on. Both in terms of language and the way Briggs uses it in the scenes.
I felt that some of the sub-plots were just left up in the air. What happened to the assassin on the Senators detail for instance. A lot of it seemed rushed through, which is it not at all Briggs usual style.
So where do we go from here? Is there a war brewing? Are the Grey Lords planning a takeover or is the greater threat still the militants that oppose the supernaturals.
This has left me with a lot of unanswered questions, but that also means many areas of development for another Mercy book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
To be honest with you I usually read a book in the space of a few hours and whilst it's a skill that allows me to get through so many great titles, it is one that I sometimes rue as I feel that it's a shame to read a work that has taken so many months to create in such a short time.
Knowing that I had a new Mercy Thompson (Hautman) book to read, I decided to take a different tack this time. I limited my reading to a chapter at a time so that I could think about what was occurring within as well as getting to enjoy the suspense (even though there were a few times it nearly killed me to put the book down) to the max.
I'm pleased that I did, Mercy is settling into her role quite well, the characters are all firm friends and when you add a great pace alongside an arc that leaves the reader with a lot of questions at the end you know that its going to be something special. Throw into the mix old foes and new as well as some amalgamations that could lead to future co-operation and all round it's a book that I loved. Great stuff all round.
Mercy should be settling into life as Adam's wife and Jesse's step-mother but when a Black Friday shopping spree ends in an accident and not only Adam but the entire pack aren't answering their phones she knows something has gone horribly wrong. Discovering that the whole pack has been abducted sets Mercy in full on rescue mode, especially when she can feel Adam's suffering through their mate bond. The only member of the pack not captured was Ben and along with him, Tad, Stephan and a few new allies Mercy sets out to rescue the others and bring them home safely.
I'm happy to admit that I'm a fan girl when it comes to this series and Frost Burned was another great instalment. Anyone who is also reading the Alpha & Omega series knew to expect big changes after the major events at the end of Fair Game but I definitely wasn't expecting an enemy powerful enough to take down the entire pack! I think one of the things I love so much about this series is that Patricia Briggs is always throwing curve balls at us and she consistently manages to surprise me with her plot twists. I was a bit disappointed when I realised that Mercy and Adam were going to be separated for at least part of the novel but getting a couple of chapters from Adam's point of view more than made up for that fact! It was so nice to get a chance to see inside his head and understand exactly what Mercy means to him.
Actually it was quite nice to see Mercy on her own without the pack for back up for a change, I've always loved the fact that even though she isn't as strong as the wolves physically she is able to stand up for herself. In this case she also has Jesse and Kyle to protect while she searches for Adam and the others so she really has her work cut out for her. I was pleased to see Stephan back on the scene and I also really enjoyed getting to know Tad a bit better but the best thing was a surprise appearance by Asil (who is a regular in the Alpha & Omega series). He is completely crazy and more than a little dangerous but I've been fascinated by his character since we first met him so it was nice to see him out and about causing trouble with Mercy.
I love these characters, I love this world, I love the fast paced stories full of plot twists and shocking surprises, I love how things are changing with the werewolves now they've come out to the public and I'm incredibly excited to see how the new situation with the fae effects things as the series continues. Patricia Briggs is an auto buy author and my only complaint is that she just doesn't write fast enough (surely a new book every month isn't too much to ask?).
on 7 December 2013
A new Mercy Thompson book is always an event to look forward to. Patricia Briggs writes this character so well and as this is book seven on an ongoing series. We've come to know Mercy pretty well over the course of the previous books, She's a VW mechanic and coyote shapeshifter, possibly even the daughter of Coyote himself, the trickster of legend. There's the usual assorted cast of werewolves, vampires and fae.
Mercy married Adam, the alpha of the Tri-cities werewolf pack, a couple of books ago which makes her second to the boss, despite the fact that she's not a werewolf herself. Protect the pack is always the imperative, so when the pack, Adam included, is mysteriously snatched, drugged and held captive by some government agency Mercy, along with one foul-mouthed, escaped, injured werewolf and Jesse, Adam's daughter, are the only ones who can do anything about it. But the pack has friends and Mercy sets about recruiting a few more people to help including recurring characters Steafan the vampire, Zee, the fae ironsmith, with his son, Tad, and Azil, the Moor, a very old, powerful, but somewhat unstable werewolf sent by Bran, Mercy's foster-father and the head of all the werewolves in North America. It was nice to see Azil again, as we've previously met him in the crossover 'Alpha and Omega' series and he's an intriguing character.
Patricia Briggs is one of my favourite authors. This urban fantasy series is well-grounded in the real world and you can almost taste the grease on the engine and smell the burnt rubber on the road. If characters make mistakes there are consequences and no one is infallible, even Adam, though he tries hard to be.
Highly recommended, but don't start here. You need to read the rest of the series.
on 16 March 2013
I picked up "Moon Called" at my local library, on a "looks interesting, why not give it a try?" basis, got hooked in short order, and rapidly devoured the entire Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series, all of which I now own. This is an absolutely typical Patricia Briggs book - at the core are strong, complex characters filled with humanity and humour, who are sympathetic and likable even though she never sugar-coats their monstrous side. As ever, there 's a solid, well-crafted plot that also shows us how Mercy's parallel world has developed since the conclusion of "Fair Game", though Briggs is a character writer first and foremost.
A new twist in this book are that we get to see things from Adam's point of view rather than getting the story solely from Mercy's first-person perspective. Although we know Adam quite well by now, through Mercy's eyes, we get a subtly different sense of him when he's not filtered through Mercy's perceptions.
I was very pleased to see Kyle, one of my favorite characters from the series, taking a more prominent role. He seems to have started to fit into the dynamics of the pack - it would be wonderful to see more of that in the future.
This isn't the book to start the series - it's very much a continuation of Mercy's story, so new readers should start with "Moon Called" and work their way through that and the Alpha and Omega series before reading this one. But for Briggs' confirmed fans, this is a large helping of what made them fans in the first place, and a fine addition to the series.
I still think Patricia Briggs is one of the most skilful writers of urban fantasy. She drew me in, as a fan of her straight fantasy work, despite this not being a genre that normally interests me much. The point is that she draws interesting and believable characters, and their interpersonal relationships form part of this characterisation, rather than being the raison d'etre of the book.
However, in the last two books in the Mercy Thompson series, I felt that the balance had shifted, and that the story was more about Mercy's relationship with her werewolf mate, with other supernatural events intervening inconveniently in their life. I kept reading, but had stopped waiting anxiously for the next instalment.
I am glad to say that "Frost Burned" marks a return to form. The peril is the prominent aspect of the story, with the relationship developments in the background (well, after this time, Mercy and Adam really should be functioning as a team). I think the political developments too, have a lot of potential for the future.
Perhaps there isn't the same sense of urgency as in the first books, though. I suspect that, with an ever widening army of friends and allies to call on, it becomes harder and harder to ever believe that Mercy might not save the day...