Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Fire Touched Fire Touched

by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson, #9

Hardcover, 342 pg.
Ace, 2016

Read: March 23 – 24, 2016

How is this only the 2nd Mercy Thompson book to appear on the blog?!?! Seriously, what is my problem? (other than reading all but the last two before I started this thing, I guess)

If Chapter 1 doesn’t include the funniest scene that Briggs has ever written, I’ll eat my hat. Naturally, after cracking me up, I figured she’d be taking us to a pretty dark place. And while there was a good deal of darkness — and potential for big, dark happenings down the road (but I’ve thought that before, like with Fair Game) — it didn’t get as bad as I feared.

There’s a scene fairly early on here that reminded me of the big ” …it is defended!” speech from Doctor Who‘s “The Christmas Invasion” — the moment that the new Doctor defined himself. Mercy does something a lot like that not realizing just how far her message will go (thanks to the Internet, smartphones, and 25-hour news cycles), and just how much trouble she’s created for Adam and the rest of their pack — as well as Bran and pretty much every werewolf in the U.S.

Part of the immediate fallout of this moment is that a human child who has been abducted by the Fae at some point that no one (including him) remembers comes to Mercy for help. He doesn’t quite fit in to this world any more, but he doesn’t want to be with the Fae, either. With a big emphasis on the latter. So, with she gives him sanctuary of a sort — at least temporarily. This brings attacks, threats, and destruction — with more to come if she doesn’t hand the boy over.

You can imagine how that goes over with everyone’s favorite shape-shifting mechanic.

There’s a lot more going on, but the fate of the boy is the centerpiece.

There’s a major loss in this novel that moved me more than I could’ve expected. On the one hand, I think it’ll be good for the long-term health of the series. But man, it’s going to be strange opening the next Mercy book without seeing ____.

I’ve seen some people disappointed with this book, but I’m not sure why. There was plenty of action — but it wasn’t as epic (for lack of a better word) as Night Broken or River Marked, maybe that’s it. You’ve got some really solid scenes — in the comedic and the action veins, Mercy makes a strange new friend, plenty of Fae politics, internal pack politics and Mercy as David Tennant. Not the best in the series (but they can’t all be), but a very satisfying installment in a really good series. That’s more than I can ask for.

Again, Mercy as David Tennant. Need I say more?

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4 Stars

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

Night Broken (Mercy Thompson, #8)Night Broken

by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson, #8


Hardcover, 341 pg.
Ace Hardcover, 2014
Read: March 19 – 20, 2014

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.

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4 1/2 Stars