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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-03-28 03:09
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs

This is the Mercy Thompson book that I've been putting off. All things considered, having tackled it finally, it was about as bad as I thought it would be in the drama department with enough upside with the progression of the series to keep me sane.

Has there ever been a book in history where the ex-wife is a welcome character problem? I can not think of one. Having no desire to venture down the path of Mercy's suppressed annoyance (and perhaps jealousy) and the hurtful overtones of Adam's inability to create boundaries, I could not bring myself to get excited about reading this Mercy installment.

Christy Hauptman, Adam's ex-wife who left him for a more 'normal', i.e. non-werewolf laden type of life, calls in the middle of the night needing help and protection from a crazed and violent boyfriend... in short, she wants to come home.

On one hand, Adam, Mercy and pack have their hands full once Christy arrives, finding that this is more than a little relationship drama - Christy is badly hurt, her friend was killed and in short order, her home is burned to the ground. It's the unfortunate consequence of getting yourself involved with a vengeful and jealous volcano god.

On the other hand, what the hell is wrong with not writing a book with crazy ex-wife drama? Between Christy's multiple attempts to undermine Mercy, her clinic on manipulation and Adam's looks and placating tone, I could barely focus on Canary Island tribal legend, the return of Coyote and the walking stick and, surprise, the introduction of Mercy's half-brother. Not to mention the angry Fae who would like nothing better than to annihilate the Tri-Cities if he doesn't get his way.

Clearly, I could have done without a lot of the spectacle of domestic discourse and been happy to have explored any other story line more. The thing I commend Briggs on in her writing is her handling of her female leads... in a genre inundated with bad ass female heroines, Mercy (and more so, Anna) have a sense of stillness, a somewhat introverted nature, and the desire to make sound, contemplative decisions. There's a maturity to her heroines that I greatly admire. Sure, they can do some damage, but they're not the most powerful in the lot and they generally need a fair amount of wit and heart to win in the end. In this case though, I very much needed Mercy to stand up for herself in some of those stereotypical ways, even if it rocked pack politics.

In a nutshell, I'm glad this book is over. The urge to punch a fictional character in the face is not one I find enjoyable or healthy, and I was very much glad to get Christy as a central problem out of the way and out of this series, finally. Hopefully.

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review 2017-02-10 00:00
Night Broken
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs If you are dyed blue are you at risk of being abducted by Smurfs?

Mercy and Adam have an unwelcome house guest, Christy, Adam's ex-wife. She is fleeing a stalker who has killed at least one person and burned down a condo. Oh, and he might be a volcano god. Even more reason for Christy to try and manipulate her way back into Adam and the pack's life.

This instalment of the Mercy Thompson series is filled with tension. The injection of Christy back into the werewolf pack politics, the new enemy, the need to protect people who are trying to hurt you, and the suspicion of the werewolves being responsible for a rash of murders, could induce reader anxiety. Patricia Briggs has certainly left no obstacle out of Mercy's way in Night Broken.

Needless to say, the review of the next instalment, Fire Touched, will be coming soon.
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review 2016-10-13 12:45
Night Broken - Good Stuff!
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs Not as painful as I had excepted based on everyone's reviews. 4 stars.
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text 2016-10-01 08:02
Books read (or not!) in September
Rivers of London: Body Work - Ben Aaronovitch,Luis Lobo-Guerrero,Lee Sullivan Hill,Andrew Cartmel
Those Above - Daniel Polansky
An Accident of Stars - Foz Meadows
The Kraken Sea - E. Catherine Tobler
The Obelisk Gate - N.K. Jemisin
Goblin Moon: Mask and Dagger 1 - Teresa Edgerton
Of Sorrow and Such - Angela Slatter
A Case of Possession - K.J. Charles
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs
Dark Horse - Michelle Diener

Books started: 13 (including the 2 I'm currently reading)

Books finished: 11

Books not finished: 1

 

Genre: Pretty much SFF, with one foray into historical m/m where there's magic so that probably still counts as SFF too. 

 

What progress on Mount TBR?: Got a few finished off, added a few... 

 

Book of the month: As you would probably guess, the stand-out book this month for me is The Obelisk Gate. Like its predecessor, one of the best things I've read all year. 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-09-24 14:08
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs
Night Broken - Patricia Briggs

Night Broken is book 8 in one of the few urban fantasy series I've stuck with - it features Mercy Thompson, auto mechanic and coyote shapeshifter, and her relationships with the local werewolf pack and other non-humans. 

 

In Night Broken, Mercy is now living with the werewolves and has become the mate of the pack's Alpha, Adam. This particular book starts with a frantic phonecall from Adam's ex-wife Christy, who has a stalker and is looking for somewhere to hide. What Christy doesn't tell Adam at this point he offers her sanctuary is that said stalker is not exactly human, being in fact a minor fire deity, complete with larger-than-life guard dogs. Christy is also a grade A manipulator and plays on the existing tensions within the pack, not all of whom have accepted Mercy anyway, to try and engineer a reconciliation with Adam. 

 

Alongside this, Mercy is also dealing with an ultimatum from one of the fae. In one of the previous books, Mercy had given a particular artefact (a walking stick with something of a mind of its own) to Coyote and now the fae want it back. So not only is Mercy dealing with Christy's attempts to sow dissent in the pack, she's also trying to track Coyote down so she can get the walking stick back because the fae aren't really folks you want having an issue with you.

 

There is both human and animal death in this book, which might be a deal-breaker for some, but it's set in an overall storyline that hangs together quite well. While some issues are resolved, others come to light during the overall plot and seem likely to be matters to which Mercy and her friends will have to return - the nature of her relationship with the vampire Stefan being one of them, as things are not quite as initially thought. The series continues in Fire Touched, which I look forward to reading, with another book due out next year to continue the series...

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