Desert Isle Keeper
Consider yourself duly warned: Patricia Briggs’ books build on each other, so everything I say from here on out will contain spoilers from books one through four of the Mercy Thompson series. Because the books are very mildly linked, it might also contain information from the Alpha and Omega series.
It’s a good thing mechanic Mercy Thompson is a multi-tasker. Not only is she juggling running her own repair shop, negotiating a new and vulnerable mating to Alpha werewolf Adam Hauptman, and coming off a difficult situation with the local vampires – but she inherits a whole host of new problems in this book about the werewolves of Seattle and the supernatural community that surrounds them.
The phone can sometimes be the worst enemy you’ve ever had. Or so Mercy learns when she receives two calls that totally shake up her world. The first is simple enough: She borrowed a book about the fae and it is long overdue. The only issue? The owner is missing. As Mercy begins to gently probe at the edges of this mystery she receives her second call. Something is wrong with Samuel, her roommate and the Marrok’s (head of all werewolves in America) son. And on her way out the door to deal with that, she has to advise her guard that someone is using her new Pack bond to mess with her head.
The action in this one picks up right where she left off in the last book. It is clear from the start that unlike in some books, the mating of Adam and Mercy does not solve all problems overnight. Many members of Adam’s pack are less than pleased that he chose a coyote to bond with. It is also clear that some are far from thrilled with Mercy herself – they feel she is a trouble magnet and that the trouble always winds up involving the wolves as well. It is great to see Mercy and Adam weave their way through both their personal relationship and their relationships within the pack. This was never an easy union, and Brigg’s doesn’t attempt to cut corners and sweep problems away. We get to see a richer relationship develop as a result, and I am loving every minute of it. For me, it is just adds cement to their HEA – these two pull together through difficulty, they try to protect each other from danger, and they are so fiercely loving and loyal that you just know they are going to make it.
Mercy’s bonding with Adam has left lone wolf Samuel in some ways even more solitary than before. That problem comes to the forefront as he watches her begin to make a place for herself in Adam’s life, and I enjoyed watching the solution. While a third party helps in some ways, what is really good to see here is how Samuel and Mercy work out their role as family members and friends. Sam has long wanted more, but I think it is clear that they work together best as more brother and sister than anything else. And we get a wonderful look into Samuel’s wolf here. That is something I have loved about Briggs’s two werewolf series – her werewolves are clearly two natured, the human and wolf often having distinct personalities. Knowing who both are really helps us to see where that particular character falls in the spectrum of things and gives us a strong look at the wolves’ particular brand of magic.
It would have been easy for the mystery regarding the fae book to be lost in all that was happening, but it flowed seamlessly into the whole. The book Mercy borrowed clearly contains some powerful secrets, and it is her bad luck that the fae who wants it knows she has it. Never one to back away from a friend in need (or in this case a friend of a friend), Mercy stops at nothing to get to the mystery of who has Phinn and why the heck they want the book so desperately. ASs usual, those around her come to her assistance when needed.
If I had any qualm with this book, and it was a small one, it was in the third party who comes to Samuel’s rescue. That portion felt a bit too convenient for my taste. But it was a tiny minus in another wise really fantastic read.
I follow several supernatural/paranormal series, but this one is easily one of my favorites. Brigg’s does a fabulous, fabulous job of being consistent with her characters while helping them to grow and change. I am ceaselessly impressed with how she juggles all her supernatural aspects. So far she has kept everything on an even keel and has given us the information we needed without doing a chapter of info dump or disrupting the action. And the way she writes relationships is fantastic – not just the romance between Mercy and Adam, but Mercy’s other relationships as well. So many heroines are solitary, relying primarily on the hero to form who they are, but Mercy is her own person. She is complete without Adam and better with him. She has friends who care about her and friends she cares about. In other words, like a real woman, she has a lot of aspects that she juggles to make her life work. And make it work she does.
I just finished and all I can think is, when do I get my next book?