"Silence Fallen" is the tenth Mercy Thompson book, a point where some series start to creak, strain and repeat themselves. Patricia Briggs avoided this by filling "Silence Fallen" with firsts: the first time Mercy has been to Europe, the first time sections of the story are told from Adam's point of view and the first time that the Patricia Briggs has gone with a not-entirely-linear timeline.
It mostly worked.
The parts told from Adam's point of view did give me a different perspective and also rounded-out some of the secondary characters but Adam lacks Mercy's snarky optimism and, surprisingly, her ruthlessness, which made him less fun to be around. The politics was interesting but went on a little too long.
Mercy sparkles from the first line:
"I died first, so I had to make cookies."
What a way to start a book.
The move from this kind of silly domestic humour, with werewolves LARPing as Pirates to Mercy taking sudden violence in her stride, is central to the appeal these books hold for me.
Moving the story to Europe was a smart idea and opened up some interesting back stories but Mercy sometimes sounded too much like a guidebook to Prague without really giving a sense of the place. I didn't like the World War II stories being woven into the werewolf world. It felt a little exploitative and wasn't entirely necessary to the plot.
I enjoyed Mercy's resourcefulness and the way she thought her way out of difficult spots. There were some new developments on her relationship with ghosts that seem promising and I thought having her fight using a scythe was inspired.
This was fun but not more than that. I'm hoping the next book, "Storm Cursed", will go back to a more Mercy-centric way of telling the story.
Click on the SoundCloud link below to hear the start of the book. The audio version gets two narrators this time and manages the shifting timelines without too much fuss.
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