Yay! Mercy’s back! She’s back and she’s facing off with her most potentially destructive foe . . . Adam’s ex. Oh, sure, there’s some sort of Gray Lord threatening her, a supernatural super-baddie that Mercy and her pals have never heard of, and an escaped felon who has powers a lot like Mercy . But the big danger comes from Christy.
This wasn’t a “big” novel in any real sense — seeds were planted/characters were introduced tha will be important, and I wouldn’t want to say that nothing significant happens. But, no epochal shifts, no game changers here — just straightforward case of bad guy comes to town, and Mercy et al. stop it. And along the way the final confrontation with the bad guy, we get to spend sometime with the Tri-Cities pack, as well as see some of the fallout from the last couple of books in this or the Alpha-Omega series. And that’s fine. Not every book needs to be an even, some just need to have a fun story, and maybe even move the chess pieces around a bit.
Initially, the villain of the piece looks fairly disappointing, just some stalker jerk making life difficult of Christy. But it soon becomes clear that there’s more to this guy, and it doesn’t take long to see that he’s one bad customer — creepy, dangerous, and powerful in a way I don’t think I’ve seen before. All in all, a worthy competitor for Mercy and the pack.
As always, the interplay between Mercy and the various members of the pack — or just between the pack without regard to Mercy — is fascinating. At once familial, yet competitive, not necessarily all that affectionate, yet more loyal than a troop of Marines.
The more the Jesse/Mercy relationship develops, the more I like to see it — particularly here, where much of the book can be seen as mother v. step-mother, watching Jesse maturely navigating those treacherous waters was quite satisfying.
My main (only?) quibble with the book was the way that Adam was depicted. He was continually utterly clueless about the way that Christy’s actions would/did affect Mercy. A lot of that, to be fair to the guy, can be attributed to how much he’s moved on from Christy and how devoted he is to Mercy — he doesn’t even see his ex as a potential threat. But, 1. Adam’s smarter than that and 2. given how territorial werewolves are in Briggs’ universe (and as seen in this book), it’s almost impossible to believe that he wouldn’t pick up on the territorial incursions Christy’s making.
Not the best thing that Briggs has written in this series, but not the worst. It had a good story, it was good to spend time with these characters, and I enjoyed the introduction of the new forces at play. A fun way to spend a few hours. Just about everything you could ask for.