Can’t Wait Wednesday : Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson #13) by Patricia Briggs

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson #13) by Patricia Briggs.  I can’t believe this is up to No.13 – wow.  Anyway, here’s the description of what to expect next:


Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking Mercy, some may see it as no great loss. But when he disappears, the Tri-Cities pack is blamed. The mistress of the vampire seethe informs Mercy that the pack must produce Wulfe to prove their innocence, or the loose alliance between the local vampires and werewolves is over.

So Mercy goes out to find her stalker—and discovers more than just Wulfe have disappeared. Someone is taking people from locked rooms, from the aisles of stores, and even from crowded parties. And these are not just ordinary people but supernatural beings. Until Wulfe vanished, all of them were powerless loners, many of whom quietly moved to the Tri-Cities in the hope that the safety promised by Mercy and Adam’s pack would extend to them as well.

Who is taking them? As Mercy investigates, she learns of the legend of the Harvester, who travels by less-trodden paths and reaps the souls that are ripe with a great black scythe. . . .

Expected publication : March 2022


Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs

SMokebittenMercy Thompson, let me count the ways in which I love you!  Seriously, this series is so good.  I admit I had a slight blip with No.11, well, that is, I didn’t love it as much as some of the other instalments and it had a little bit of a bridging feel to it – but that’s inevitable in some ways with a series this long – or at least that’s what I thought until I picked up No.12.  Smoke Bitten pulls out quite a few stops to ramp up the tension and stir up unease and also to shake readers out of their comfort zone.

Usual disclaimer – if you haven’t read any of the previous books then this review may very well contain spoilers for earlier editions, although I do try to avoid spoilers as a rule it’s more difficult given the nature of a series especially one with a lot of ongoing problems.

So, we kick off straight away with tension.  Mercy is in bother with both Adam and the pack – unjustifiably so as it happens, and concerning issues with Adam’s ex-wife, (I cannot even bring myself to utter her name because I am a bit sick and tired of her and the emotional trauma/blackmail she inflicts on everyone).  Anyhow, this is the least of the problems, it seems that Underhill has casually installed herself a doorway into Mercy’s backyard, releasing ‘something’ in the process.  A spate of unusual deaths quickly follows and on top of that Adam is not himself – very much so.

I confess that when I first started reading I wondered if this was going to have a more pedestrian feel to it – even though the action kicked off straight away it felt at first as though there were going to be lots of issues whirling around that maybe didn’t feed into the main plot or were simply distractions.  How very wrong could I be.  Let’s take this bit by bit.

Firstly, the doorway to Underhill.  You just know this isn’t going to be good news.  I won’t elaborate too much on this point but Underhill is very tricksy, scheming and self centred and what makes her worse is she’s a little unhinged (imho).  Unfortunately it seems that Mercy has now drawn her attention and that’s something that you can do without.  I’m not going to elaborate on this plot point other than to say it brings fairytales into play and I loved this aspect to the story.

Secondly, if you’ve been reading the series and keeping uptodate you’ll be well aware of the unwelcome attention that the pack is receiving as a result of recent instalments.  Adam’s pack are no longer under the protection of the Marrok and having stated themselves as protectors of their area it seems to have opened them up to all kinds of threat and very little in the way of allies.  It’s a bit like being the quickest draw in the old wild west – everyone wants to pitch themselves against you.  Plus, being without allies is a serious downfall, it leaves the pack open to potential takeover threats and puts all the wolves and their families at risk.  Don’t get me wrong, they have friends, sort of, but they all usually back off when the proverbial hits the fan.

Thirdly, Adam.  He’s also suffering fallout from previous books which leaves him not quite himself.  He’s very withdrawn in this book and seems to be pushing Mercy away.  Now, this may feel like a minor point by way of plot but you have to stay with it.  I was really intrigued by him and actually thought this was a great way for the author to upset the apple cart a little.  It made me realise how very strong the relationship between the two was in previous instalments and how very much you take it for granted.  Not only was Adam a little absent but he was also losing control.  I loved, and at the same time felt sad, by the way Adam’s wolf talked to Mercy to try and protect her.  Plus, the scene in the garage – my giddy aunt!  That is all.  You’ll simply have to read this to find out. Teasers be teasing!

Finally, Mercy.  She undoubtedly makes this series for me.  She’s grown such a lot during the course of the series but she still recognises that in terms of her own abilities she’s not the strongest supe out there.  And, in fact, this is one of her key assets because everyone continues to underestimate her. She’s not the toughest cookie, by no means the largest, her magic is fairly weak comparatively speaking, but added all together, with the friends she has made along the way, her crafty coyote heritage, her shapeshifting and her quick wits she’s becoming a real force to be reckoned with.  Plus, I love the way she’s coming to terms with certain things herself, like her other space (which feels a little like a dreamscape) and the way she is becoming stronger there.  Her abilities with spirits and her attachment to Stefan who I had strong fears for in this instalment.

The only thing I haven’t mentioned is the new found obsession for Mercy that a rather unusually powerful vampire called Wulfe seems to have developed.  It comes across as a little crazy and harmless but clearly this is another character who shouldn’t be underestimated and I can’t wait to find out how this development plays out.

In terms of criticisms.  Like Mercy, I’m coming to the end of my tether with Christy.  In a way she’s starting to feel very much like a device to wheel out everytime trouble is needed between Mercy and the pack.  I understand that she’s part of Adam’s life and always will be given they have a child together, but, I’m beginning to feel a little weary of the way she manipulates everyone and they fall for her same b/s over and over again.  come on people, try using the old grey matter every now and again.  Plus, if I was Mercy I’d be pretty sick and tired of being part of a pack who seem to overlook all the good things she does for the pack whilst siding with someone who seems to bring them nothing but bad times.  Take off the rose tinted glasses already.  Still, wolves and their protective nature I suppose. Plus, I guess Mercy can be a bit unpredictable and impulsive which has also brought some bad attention to their doorstep.  I guess Mercy is a much, much nicer person than me because I would definitely be in a sulk or a strop by now.

All being said, I thought Smoke Bitten was a very good read.  It was quick paced, entertaining and intriguing.  I liked that this episode demonstrates that Mercy isn’t yet firmly established as part of the pack and it also shakes things up with the Adam/Mercy comfort zone.  On top of that it gives a feel for something ominous looming on the horizon.  I wouldn’t say this is a bridging book but it definitely sets out the stall for something bad in the offing.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 out of 5*



Can’t Wait Wednesday : Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs. I’ve finally caught up with this series and so I’ll be anxiously awaiting the next instalment.

SMokebitten.jpgMercy 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.

Expected publication March 2020


Storm Cursed (Mercy Thompson #11) by Patricia Briggs

Ahh Mercy, I wonder how much you’re wishing you could turn back time and maybe not announce that everyone in your territory falls under the protection of the pack!  Hindsight.  Yes, things are spiralling for Mercy and her pack.  Instead of the region feeling safe Mercy’s declaration seems to have brought nothing but bad attention and this instalment is another fine example of just how much the stakes are being raised.  Although miniature goat zombies – they were kind of cute.  Sorry, but they were.

I’d had a bit of a break in the Mercy series and fell behind but have had a recent burst of  reading and have now caught up with the latest release.  I’ve really enjoyed the return to the world and to the people and this instalment is no exception, although I confess I loved No.10 which saw Mercy completely out of her comfort zone and also gave Adam some page time.

If you haven’t read the rest of the series and intend to start then take this as fair warning that spoilers may be contained in this review.

This series definitely feels like it’s going to take a turn on the dark side.  This instalment involves lots of bloodshed when powerful witches try to gain the attention of the pack.  There are surprises in store for Adam and the key to everything seems to revolve around the proposed meeting between those humans in authority who want to meet with the powerful fae grey lords.

I have to say, in fact, that things get pretty serious in this one.  There are zombies running amok and some of them are not cute goats.  These witches mean business and they’re not at all related to Glenda the Good.  These witches are bad.  Black magic practitioners, they’ve turned to the dark side in search of power and they’ve crossed the line so many times that the line is now a dot in the distance which they can never return to.  There is a serious takeover challenge on Elizaveta’s turf – I’m talking about really serious.  These witches are not taking prisoners and in fact have a bigger goal in mind.  I won’t say more.

I really enjoyed this instalment, maybe not as much as Silence Fallen, but still fast paced and fraught with danger and I really enjoyed returning to this, I think my short holiday from the storyline gave me a new love for the characters.  And to be honest, the characters are what really make this series.  I’m attached to them and I care what happens and in this story I was genuinely worried.

That’s not to say I didn’t have a couple of issues.  Nothing major but, for example, this does feel a little like a bridging book.  Mercy has unwittingly brought down trouble – although to an extent you can’t help feeling that it was inevitably going to come out anyway with or without Mercy’s intervention, but, at the moment, there is a real sense of things building, and even with all the drama and excitement you can feel that it’s all leading to something else – a big showdown that will make everything that came before look like child’s play perhaps.  Also, I think there were too many diversions in this one – it felt a little like I was being pulled in too many directions.  That being said, I loved the involvement of some of my firm favourites.

Overall, I’m loving this series, of course not every book is going to be equal, this is book No.11 after all so some are going to stand out more than others.  But, taking this series as a whole, looking at the sum of its parts, the growth in terms of character arcs and world development – then this is not just an entertaining and fast paced series that keeps pulling out the stops but it’s also impressive in its vision.  I’m filled with equal measures of anticipation and dread to see what PB puts these characters through next.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

4 out of 5 stars



WeeklyWrap Up : 18th August 2019

My week has been very positive.  Lots of keeping in touch with everyone and actually a very good reading week too.  I have a few reviews lined up although it actually never looks or feels as though I’m really catching up.  Two steps forward, three steps back.  LOL.  But, I’m not stressed – I’ve got so many good books coming up on my schedule that I’m positively delirious with joy.  So, this is what I’ve been reading this week (as well as making some progress with my SPFBO books):

My books:

  1. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
  2. Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
  3. Missing Person by Sarah Lotz

Next scheduled reads:

  1. The House of Sacrifice by Anna Smith Spark
  2. Brightfall Jaime Lee Moyer
  3. The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang

Upcoming reviews

  1. King of the Road by RS Belcher
  2. Queenslayer by Sebastien DeCastell
  3. A Little Hatred by Joe Abercrombie
  4. Cry Havoc by Mike Morris
  5. Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
  6. Turning Darkness Into Light by Marie Brennan
  7. Missing Person by Sarah Lotz

I’d love to know what you’re reading this week.

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