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Genre: Urban Fantasy | Shifters | Paranormal
Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Read Count: 3 times :)
My Rating: 4.3 stars
Description: By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.
Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she’s out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won’t be Mercy’s blood Marsilia is after.
It’ll be her friends’.
*light spoilers in regards to the romance development*
There was a distinct lack of action in this one, compared to the other Mercy Thompson books. But, I think Briggs did us (and Mercy) a favor in that. After the events in Iron Kissed and the cliffhanger that it left us on. After what happened in that book, not only did Mercy need a break, but we needed it, and we got to see Mercy grow in this one.
One of things that I love so much about this series is Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson herself, the coyote shifter, known as a “walker.” She’s sensible, strong, together and a great heroine to read, because she, like us, still has to get up in the morning to go to work and pay bills. Mercy lives in the real world – even for urban fantasy – and has her feet firmly on the ground, which is part of what makes her such a great character. She’s sassy and spunky, but subtly so, since she’s lives in the world of vampires, and I love her attitude and personality! But in Iron Kissed, book three of the series, we saw Mercy b r e a k and my heart shattered with her.
This was a book of growth, and I loved that Briggs took the time to do that and let us all breathe. I was worried that the events would get brushed off and Mercy and the other characters would just *move on,* but I should have known better. I loved how Briggs handled the romance, gently, and the growth and healing we saw in this one was heart-warming. Her mom comes and visits, Bran stops in, Adam is there for her every step of the way and Samuel, too. Mercy isn’t alone, and everyone came out of the woodwork to show her that and be there for her, but it wasn’t over-dramatized, which I appreciated.
“My soul was a lot more battered than my body, but I couldn’t see it in the mirror. Hopefully no one else could either.”
Another thing that showed a lot of growth was Adam and Mercy’s relationship. One of things that I love so much about this series is how light the romance is. Its urban fantasy first, paranormal/supernatural second, and the relationships occur primarily between the cracks and in the background of the main plot. But Mercy and Adam knew each other and had history from before the first book, Moon Called, started, and there were things missing from their relationship. Iron Kissed started to cleverly fill in those blanks, and now we’re seeing a relationship that grows with the characters and evolves as they do. Mercy is healing, and Adam is right there with her, and it was beautiful to witness.
BUT I don’t want you to think this was a day-in-the-life book for Mercy and the Tri-Cities crew. We actually have two vampire baddies in this one, and Mercy goes to Spokane in order to help a friend with a ghost problem, and manages to attract the attention of the only vampire and the only paranormal creature in the city. Thus, things occur. Mercy learns more about her walker heritage, some new powers unveiled, and though it’s more low-key than the previous books, it’s just as devious, chilling and intense as you’d expect from Patricia Briggs. Just less… action-packed, if that makes sense.
I also loved that we got more Stefan in this book! He clearly as more feelings for her than he wants to admit to, but I love him as a friend (as Mercy does) and seeing more of him made this book pretty special. This may be the strongest book yet in the series, even though I still think that Iron Kissed is my favorite. The politics was super interesting, as we saw the wolves, vampires and fae tip-toe around each other and how the worlds collide when war is on the horizon. There’s a lot at stake in this one, but I love Mercy’s love life, relationships and friendships are effortlessly weaved around the plot. (Read my review of book one)
Series Reading Order
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What are you currently reading right now? Do you have any paranormal / urban fantasy recommendations? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!