Author: Patricia Briggs
Plot Type: Urban Fantasy (UF)
Frost Burned (2013)
Night Broken (2014)
“The Star of David” in Wolfsbane & Mistletoe anthology, 2010)
As this book opens, the human world is still coming to grips with the fact that werewolves and the Fae actually exist. After the catastrophic events that followed a Fae's killing of a U.S. Senator's son (he really deserved it!), most of the Fae have gone into hiding in their own realm. That leaves the werewolves to take the brunt of the sometimes violent actions of human bigots, many of whom have found a home in the Combined Nonhuman and Transhuman Relations Provisors (aka CANTRIP), which is a government organization that is supposed to be working towards better relations between supernaturals and humans. Unfortunately, CANTRIP has become a refuge for humans who hate supernaturals with a passion.
As this story begins, it's the night after Thanksgiving, and Mercy and her step-daughter, Jesse, are out hitting the Black Friday sales when they have a minor traffic accident. When Mercy tries to contact Adam to pick them up, no one answers at the pack's house. In fact, she even gets a mysterious coded message from Bran that she interprets to mean that the wolves' phones are being tapped. Soon it is evident that Adam and the rest of the pack have been silver-drugged and kidnapped—taken down by mercenaries claiming to be government agents. The rest of the plot involves Mercy's attempts to find and rescue her man and her pack while trying to keep the few uncaptured pack members safe, including Jesse.
This is a terrific story, as usual. Briggs spins out a compelling, action-filled plot with effortless ease. Each time you think that a resolution is near, though, something else comes up to complicate the situation. Most of the story is told from Mercy's point of view, but we do have a few scattered scenes from Adam's viewpoint as he does what he has to do to escape, but worries about his soul as he is forced to take some horrific actions. This series gets better and better as the supernaturals deal with human bigotry while trying to keep peace within their own world. Mercy is a topnotch UF heroine: brave, intelligent, and independent; fully in love with her man and completely devoted to her pack. For me, this book is even stronger than the last one, which concentrated solely on Adam and Mercy and did not include much interaction with the always fascinating pack members. Along for the action-filled ride in this book are Tad, Zee, Kyle, Warren, Ben, Honey, Stefan, and Marsilia—always a treat to have the whole gang involved in the plot.
Living in the Pacific Northwest, Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a Native American “walker” who can shift at will into coyote form. In a feminist twist, she owns her own garage where she repairs mostly German cars. In this world, paranormal beings are gradually making themselves known to the public, beginning with the lesser creatures (e.g., brownies, gremlins, elves, garden sprites) and gradually moving to the greater beings (e.g., werewolves). Vampires are still hidden from public knowledge.
Briggs' web site has a number of pages devoted to this series. Click HERE to go to "Mercy's World," a canon area for the MERCY THOMPSON and ALPHA & OMEGA series. That page includes a link to a character list.
This book tells the story of Adam and Mercy's honeymoon. As you would expect, nothing goes as planned. Instead of enjoying a blissful vacation, the couple is confronted by faerie manipulation, ghosts, river monster attacks, bullet wounds, broken bones, and lots of stitches—just call it business as usual in Mercy's world.
Brief scenes at the beginning and the end of the book bring us up to date on Stefan's story as he tries to recover from his vampire queen's treachery in the previous book, but the bulk of the story takes place at an idyllic campground on the scenic Columbia River—no vampires, no pack members, just Adam and Mercy trying (unsuccessfully) to have some peaceful, romantic moments.
Mercy's adventures in River Marked bring her in contact with her Native American heritage as she finds answers to her questions about her mysterious biological father. She also gets to meet some fellow "walkers." Unfortunately, she also sustains some serious battle injuries as well.