Desert Isle Keeper
Fire Touched is the 9th book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, so if you have not read the previous books in this urban fantasy series, you need to just download the previous eight right now. They are that good.
I was in a historical romance reading slump when I happened upon Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels’ books. I kept noticing as I was buying these from Amazon that the name Patricia Briggs’ name kept coming up. So, when I was all caught up on Kate and Curran, I needed another urban fantasy/paranormal fix. I checked the first book, Moon Called out of my library and I was hooked. It did not take me long to buy the rest.
A vampire that loves Scooby Doo so much that he has recreated the VW Mystery Machine? A gay werewolf alpha with a shark attorney for a partner who host movie nights to cheer up a depressed vampire? A kickass heroine who makes her living as a mechanic when she is not shifting into a coyote? These books turn almost paranormal every trope on its head and make it work. If you are eagerly awaiting Book 9, then you already know what I am talking about. If not, then beware…spoilers ahead.
This latest Patricia Briggs installment opens as a continuation of the previous book with Mercy trying to accustom herself to “normal” life as Adam’s wife. Unfortunately, it does not seem that the Hauptmans do normal very well. Pretty soon, a call goes out that a troll is on a bridge in the Columbia Basin Pack territory and the local police need assistance. As Adam, Mercy and various pack members race to the rescue, they are unaware that their lives are about to change forever. But change is all around them. The fae are not happy with their confinement to the reservation, especially Zee Adelbertsmiter and his son Tad. They are not the only ones making a break from the fae and the Grey Lords. A human child that has been held in Underhill against his will seeks asylum with Mercy and the Pack. What is Mercy supposed to do? Protect the child, of course, and in the meantime, declare that the entire Tri-Cities are now under the protection of her husband Adam and the Columbia Basin Pack.
I absolutely love Mercy Thompson Hauptman as a heroine. She is mentally strong in a society where she is physically weaker than her packmates. Tenacious would be an understatement when describing her. She has proved for the last fifteen years that she can take care of herself. But, beneath that strong veneer is a vulnerability that makes it hard not to identify with this character. Abandoned by her mother, her foster parents and then the one man she thought would always be a constant in her life, it is a wonder she learns to trust anyone. But she does trust Adam and that is because Adam never tries to make her become something she is not. He absolutely accepts her just as she is even though it goes against his alpha nature to do so and his struggle to do right by her is very tangible.
As with most series, the secondary characters play a very important role in the story and the Mercy Thompson books are no different. Zee and Tad play prominent roles in this story as the story centers more around the fae than any of the other magical beings. Tad grows up a bit in Fire Touched and his character becomes more complex. Bran, the alpha of all alphas throws the Columbia Basin Pack for a loop that keeps the reader guessing most of the book. Uncle Mike is slowly revealing more of himself and I look for more in depth insight into his character in future books.
It is very difficult to sustain momentum for a series past a few books. To make it to nine books without a stinker in the bunch is a rare achievement. The biggest disappointment for me is having to wait a very long time for book 10 to come out. I highly recommend this one to Patricia Briggs fans.