Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs and Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs

Today I’m posting a double whammy, a twofer if you will.  Reviews for Fire Touched and Silence Fallen, numbers 9 and 10 in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs.

This double review will take a slightly different format than my usual reviews.  I’m going to give the synopsis from Goodreads followed by a short overall write up of my own feelings of each one.

In terms of both books – these were bought on audible and I really enjoyed listening to both – it’s almost like the narrator listened to the voice of Mercy in my head and plucked it straight out of there – painless thankfully and great to listen to.

Be aware that there may be spoilers for earlier books within the series contained below.

So, Fire Touched:

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

As mentioned above I’m not going to go into the plot.  The book starts off very dramatically indeed with an explosive situation involving a troll killing humans on a bridge spanning the Columbia River.  The regular police are struggling to contain the situation and the pack and Mercy rush to the scene to offer assistance.  The end result is that Mercy makes an offer of protection on behalf of the pack and this offer is going to have repercussions.

A good deal of Fire Touched is about politics, particularly surrounding the fae.  I enjoyed learning more about the whys and wherefores to be honest but I have to confess that the middle of the book felt a little slower than I’m used to compared with the other Mercy books.  In fact, having read No.10 I can now see that some of this was setting up the premise for future plots.  Don’t get me wrong though, this wasn’t a bad read and I did enjoy it for a number of other reasons that had been on my mind in relation to Mercy.

Firstly, Mercy and Adam have such a strong relationship.  They don’t always agree but they can agree to disagree and it never gets boring watching the way the two of them interact with each other – particularly when they’re scared witless that the other one will be hurt.

Secondly, Adam really takes the initiative in this instalment and finally puts his paw down firmly in terms of Mercy and where she stands within the pack.  Not gonna lie – I wanted to give the air a quick punch and say thanks to the Lord – this has felt a long time coming and I can’t deny that I was starting to get a bit disillusioned with Mercy’s standing within the pack.  Adam’s announcement puts paid to all the backbiting (sorry, no pun intended).

Overall this was a good read.  Not my favourite of the series but it certainly sets out the stall for future storylines.

3.5 of 5 stars.

Silence Fallen:

Mercy Thompson has found her voice in the werewolf pack. But when Mercy’s bond with the pack—and her mate—is broken, she’ll learn what it truly means to be alone…

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes—only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe… 
Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise…

So, if number 9 had something of a set up feel to the storyline then I can say that No.10 picks up the ball and runs rampantly all over the field.  I really enjoyed this instalment.

This was such a refreshing addition to the series.  Basically, Mercy is abducted and finds herself not only in great danger but out of the pack ‘wifi’ zone.  With no connection to speak of she really must rely on her own wits and coyote abilities, particularly as not only has she been taken prisoner by one of the strongest vampires known but she’s also been taken out of the country – into Europe no less.  Vampires and Europe?  Oh yes please.

There is a much greater feeling of threat in this instalment and what made the action even more tense yet easy to keep up with is that Adam takes a bigger role in terms of viewpoint.  I loved getting these extra insights.  You really felt for him, his frustration at having to be diplomatic when he was terrified about what was happening to Mercy and the very real struggle he had keeping his wolf under control when all it wanted to do was break out and cause chaos.  Not to mention something else that I really can’t mention – which I know is very provocative but it was such a jaw dropping moment that I didn’t see coming and so I don’t want to spoil it.

I loved the fear that the vampires create, particularly when some secrets start to be uncovered.  That’s another thing that springs to mind with this series – the layers.  We’re only now really starting to see the myriad layers involved with this supernatural world, much of which has remained hidden to humans but is slowly starting to come into focus.

I loved the shift in place and the addition of Adam’s viewpoint and stronger focus.  This is a series that continues to go from strength to strength with constant revelations and additions to the pack and the supernatural world.

4.5 of 5 stars

And now, I get to read Storm Cursed.  Update soon.




Throwback Thursday : The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs


(May is the month of Wyrd and Wonder – details here, Twitter: @wyrdandwonder)

ThrowbackThursday.pngThrowback Thursday, is a new feature created by Tenacious Reader with the aim of  highlighting books from your reading past. This can be virtually anything, a book that you previously read and loved, a book that you want to highlight again, maybe it’s a book in a series and the next book is due out shortly so you want to focus some attention on the series.   Anything goes – so long as your book isn’t a current release as there are already plenty of ways to highlight the latest books.  

Given the Wyrd & Wonder event and the spotlight on fantasy this week I’m highlighting another urban fantasy series that I love (last week’s TT was the October Daye series): the Mercy Thompson series of books by Patricia Briggs.  This is another long standing series that has a new book released today and with that new release the total number of books in the series now stands at 11 titles.  This is a series that is well worth picking up, particularly if you like a strong female lead.  Mercy is a no-nonsense car mechanic with a Native American heritage that has given her the ability to shape shift.   Again, this might seem like a daunting backlog of books but it’s the sort of series that pulls you in so successfully that you will probably end up binge reading a lot of them (at least that’s what I would probably do!).  I  highly recommend this series, it builds on a strong foundation and adds more and more depth with each successive book.  Feast your eyes on these lovelies:

And, released today, the latest in series:


Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Just finished reading Night Broken, the 8th book in Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes series which I really enjoyed.  As with any series like this there can be peaks and troughs.  I didn’t particularly enjoy River Marked for example, for me, it felt like it went a little bit off track – or maybe it was simply because the majority of the story was based on Mercedes and Adam.  However, the last book Frost Burned turned me around again and this book feels like a really solid edition in the series.  In fact, taken as a whole I now like River Marked a lot more than I originally gave it credit for – Briggs is slowly turning this into something else.  It’s not just a series of books with a bunch of random adventures each time.  Everything is connected and the characters and world are adapted further and grow in intensity, likability and depth with each new edition.

At the start of the book life seems to be ticking along relatively smoothly for Mercedes until Adam’s ex wife, Christy, rings.  She’s running away from her boyfriend who appears to have become possessive and physically abusive and she’s called on Adam and his pack for protection. Of course Adam can’t really turn her away in her hour of need, apart from the fact that she’s the mother of his child he is, lets face it, a bit of a pushover for a damsel in distress.  So Christy moves right back in – literally picking up with the pack and the house as though she’d never been away.  I confess I didn’t like Christy very much and struggled in my mind to see what attraction she would ever have had for Adam.  Okay, she’s an attractive woman, soft and feminine and quite the opposite of Mercedes in virtually every way but she’s also a scheming and manipulative mare whose only experience of the truth seems to be in finding ways in which to bend it!  You could say that she’s very careful with the truth, if you were feeling generous you could say that!  If not then you might call her a few expletives which I won’t put here.  Unfortunately her lack of forthright honesty is about to put everyone in great danger as the ‘boyfriend’ she is running from is much more than at first suspected.

Now, just in case this all sounds very pedestrian and not quite the rough and tumble, anxiety packed fight for life that we’ve almost come to expect from Mercedes, yes, there is a little bit more of a ’slowed down’ feel to this book but in spite of that it’s one of my favourites so far.  This book spent more time integrating Mercy into the pack and establishing her relationship with others.  I like Mercy, she’s a strong character and through the series she’s definitely changed.  She started off as a loner, working hard and having very little time for anything or anyone else.  Gradually though she’s adapted.  She has Adam now and is part of his pack and family.  She can’t always just think about herself but has to stop and consider her actions in terms of the impact they’ll have on others.  On top of that she is in no way the toughest of the bunch but that doesn’t make her into a shrinking violet, she stands her ground even when she’s actually shaking inside with fear.  I like that Mercy is a flawed character, she’s not perfect and like the rest of us she has her own insecurities and petty jealousies to deal with.

Alongside the domestics, never fear, Briggs has spiced up the story.  This isn’t all about who has the longest eyelashes and can bat them the most effectively whilst baking the perfect batch of cookies – Briggs has injected her usual helping of ‘nasty’ and also come up with a whole new deity! Well, probably not new exactly but certainly one that I haven’t read about before.  He may be wrapped up in a human package but he’s the furthest thing from human and very difficult to eliminate – particularly as he seems to be accompanied by two fearsome, huge black canines who seem to have stepped straight out of hell.  We also have the appearance of the fey as one of the Grey Lords makes himself known to Mercy – with a none too subtle request for her to return to him one of the fey artefacts that came in useful in a number of previous stories – and you don’t want to disappoint this particular Grey Lord – his idea of anger can lead to tsunamis and mass destruction on an apocalyptic level!  Of course retrieving this is going to be far from easy, particularly as it’s now in the hands of Coyote and we all know how tricksy he can be.

There’s appearances from a few other favourites.  Stefan briefly makes a show and we learn more of the bond (and the feelings) he has for Mercy.  Tad shows up at a very opportune moment and we make the acquaintance of one of Coyote’s other children, appropriately named Gary Laughingdog.  Half brother to Mercy who was quite useful to have around in a fix with his prophetic visions of the future.  I think he will probably make return appearances in future stories and I quite look forward to that.

In terms of criticisms, yes, I had a few, but they were really minor.  Just niggles really – like, other than a strange plot device to provoke jealousy, how come Adam never answered his own phone!  It’s a mobile phone – which means it goes with you – and who the hell answered his phone before Christy returned to the marital home?? See, small time niggles, nothing to get excited about.

I really enjoyed this and probably the biggest problem was it came to an end all too suddenly, I wanted more and it’s going to feel like a long wait now.  This is without doubt a strong contender to be one of my favourite urban fantasies, Briggs has managed to come up with not just a main protagonist who you can’t help liking, but a whole cast of characters that you will become equally attached to.  She’s also a bit tricksy herself, there are a few twists and turns along the way, plotlines that you just have to run with because they will ultimately twist together into a unified thread not to mention a complete curveball towards the end which for a few moments made me sit bolt upright with my mouth gaping open very attractively!