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review 2017-05-23 18:53
Silence Fallen / Patricia Briggs
Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs

Attacked and abducted in her home territory, Mercy finds herself in the clutches of the most powerful vampire in the world, taken as a weapon to use against alpha werewolf Adam and the ruler of the Tri-Cities vampires. In coyote form, Mercy escapes only to find herself without money, without clothing, and alone in the heart of Europe...

Unable to contact Adam and the rest of the pack, Mercy has allies to find and enemies to fight, and she needs to figure out which is which. Ancient powers stir, and Mercy must be her agile best to avoid causing a war between vampires and werewolves, and between werewolves and werewolves. And in the heart of the ancient city of Prague, old ghosts rise...

 

A very satisfying installment in the Mercy Thompson series—in fact, it may be my favourite of the entire run.

I always love the books where the vampire seethe figures prominently, and this book is all vampires all the time! My only disappointment is that Stefan doesn’t get quite as much page time as I would like, while the Master of Milan (Jacob Bonarata) gets lots, but isn’t nearly scary enough. After all of the foreshadowing in previous books, I thought he was remarkably easy to get along with!

Also refreshing was the setting—Europe. Quite a change from the Pacific Northwest and very enjoyable. Grumpy European werewolves and plentiful European ghosts aid Mercy along the way. Also interesting in that we get to know a bit more about Adam’s friendly witch, Elizeveta. Not to mention some insight into submissive wolf, Zack.

Mercy, as usual, is underestimated by the people who don’t know her and she uses that lack of expectation to her advantage. Like the old Timex watch ads, she takes a licking & keeps on ticking! And thinking and planning. She’s smart, strong, and skilled. What a nice way to see a woman portrayed in fiction.

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review 2017-05-08 20:57
First Book in Mercy Thompson Series Shows Growth When You Read Latest
Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

I own all of the Mercy Thompson books and decided that I would try to re-read some of them since I just finished the latest book and really wanted some Mercy to read.

 

I guess I am shocked how I even continued with the series when I see a lot of problems here and there with the story-line. I did give it four stars, but that's because I know what's coming and how good the series gets. But I can see why some people read book #1 and said I am out. 

 

Set in the Tri-Cities in Washington state, we have a world where the fae, werewolves, and vampires walk alongside humans. And we even have a young woman (Mercy Thompson) who has the ability to shape-shift into a coyote.

 

I liked Mercy from the first. A half Indian and white woman, she is a mechanic working alongside a fae called Zee. We find out right away that Mercy has issues. And who wouldn't. When her mother realized that Mercy wasn't a typical baby, she went and sought help from someone (Bran "The Marrok" Cornick). Mercy ends up being raised by werewolves, but is quickly sent away again when she falls in love with The Marrok's son, Samuel. Eventually Mercy makes her way to the Tri-Cities and even though she know she's displeased The Marrok and her mother, she does what she wants and even lives next door to an alpha werewolf (Adam).

 

When Adam's teenage daughter Jesse is kidnapped, and then Adam is injured, Mercy goes investigating and even goes back to The Marrok in order to get answers about who is behind what is going on in the Tri-Cities and what they have planned for Adam and his Pack.

 

The writing in this first book is a little rough. And there is some info-dumping here and there. I think that in this first book, Briggs was trying to do too much. We get so many introductions to people, places, and things it was hard to keep things straight at first. Even I who have read this entire series went wait a minute what a couple of times. This is also kind of short (it's only 298 pages, electronic) and leaves a lot of questions that do get answered later on in the series. But I have to say that besides Mercy, I didn't get a good sense of anyone.

 

Also there were so many plot holes that bugged me. I also didn't get why Mercy didn't confront her mother, The Marrok, heck even Samuel more about how they played a game of hot potato regarding her. And even though Mercy doesn't act like it, I definitely in the first couple of books got a sense of her hurt that her foster father committed suicide after his wife died leaving her all alone again.

 

And people, there is a love triangle in this one. Thank goodness Briggs doesn't drag that out beyond book # 2 though the decision is finally made in book #3.

 

The ending I thought was clever when you find out the who and why. And I thought that the book that should be read after this is "Cry Wolf" which shows you the immediate aftermath of what goes does in this book. It gives a much nicer resolution to some things. And let's you see a different side to the werewolves that Mercy can only guess at. 

 

Bank:
April 15: $20
April 17: $23. I read "The Wangs Vs the World", electronic pages 368.
April 24: $28. I read "Dream Wedding", electronic pages 512.
April 25: $28. Landed on BL and had to post a vacation photo or tell a story about a vacation.
April 29: $31. Read "Whitethorn Woods", 354 pages Kindle edition, $3.00
April 29: $34. Read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep", 256 pages;$3.00.
May 4: $37. Read "The Ghost Brigades" Paperback, 346 pages; $3.00

May 8: $42. Read "American Gods" Hardcover, 465 pages; $5.00. 

May 8: $45. Read "Moon Called" 298 pages Kindle edition; $3.00.

 

 

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review 2017-05-02 19:46
The Urban Fantasy Anthology / edited by Peter S. Beagle & Joe R. Lansdale
The Urban Fantasy Anthology - Holly Black,Peter S. Beagle,Patricia Briggs,Kelley Armstrong,Norman Partridge,Neil Gaiman,Al Sarrantonio,Steven R. Boyett,Emma Bull,Jeffrey Ford,Bruce McAllister,Suzy McKee Charnas,Thomas M. Disch,Joe R. Lansdale,Susan Palwick,Tim Powers,Francesca Lia Blo

Star-studded and comprehensive, this imaginative anthology brings a myriad of modern fantasy voices under one roof. Previously difficult for readers to discover in its new modes, urban fantasy is represented here in all three of its distinct styles—playful new mythologies, sexy paranormal romances, and gritty urban noir. Whether they feature tattooed demon-hunters, angst-ridden vampires, supernatural gumshoes, or pixelated pixies, these authors—including Patricia Briggs, Neil Gaiman, and Charles de Lint—mash-up traditional fare with pop culture, creating iconic characters, conflicted moralities, and complex settings. The result is starkly original fiction that has broad-based appeal and is immensely entertaining.

 

An interesting collection of short fiction. For those who think that urban fantasy consists only of paranormal romance, this volume will surprise you. The Mythic fiction and Noir Fantasy sections may be just what you’ve been wanting. At least one of the stories reminded me strongly in atmosphere of Stephen King’s novel The Stand.

I was particularly enamoured of the Patricia Briggs story, Seeing Eye, which fills in some backstory in the Alpha & Omega series, namely the story of the blind witch Moira and her werewolf companion. The volume was a worthwhile read for me with just this one story.

I also found Susan Palwick’s “Gestella” to be a haunting story, well worth the read.

A nice selection of stories to read “in the cracks” between other books.

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review 2017-04-23 18:33
Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs

Mercy and her adventures. She certainly continues to grow as a character and gathers an expanding arsenal of powerful allies. Monsters? Maybe. Still, powerful.

This particular adventure, has some fun surprises that solidify just how important Mercy is in the scheme of all things supernatural. Basically, she is a badass of epic proportions.

My only complaint is how long I'm going to have to wait for her next adventure! 

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review 2017-04-16 21:31
"Blood Bound - Mercy Thompson #2" by Patricia Briggs
Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson is becoming on of my favourite Urban Fantasy series, partly because Mercy herself is exceptionally likeable without being in the least bit saccharin and partly because the books can be read as entertaining adventure or as an extending insight into the complexity of dealing with abusive power from a position of weakness without becoming abusive yourself.

 

"Blood Bound" is the second Mercy Thompson book and follows straight on from "Moon Called".

 

This time I read the ebook version as, for some obscure copyright reason, audible won't sell me the audiobook version in Switzerland. To my surprise, I enjoyed getting back to text, which gave me more control over how I read and engaged my imagination less passively.

 

In "Blood Bound", Mercy becomes more deeply involved with the local vampires and werewolves as they join forces to hunt down something truly evil that is preying on people in the area.

 

The plot is satisfyingly complex and generates lots of intriguing and original world-building material. The dialogue always work and there is enough humour to lift me out of the dark and keep me hopeful.

 

Those things would already make this an above average Urban Fantasy but what I enjoyed most was being in Mercy Thompson's company and seeing her reaction to the, often violent and abusive, power structures she encounters amongst the vampires and the wolves.

 

What is it that makes Mercy good company? Well, she's compassionate, generous and brave. She's a motor mechanic with a degree in history and has the hardened hands and extended vocabulary to match.  Most of all, she accepts that she is responsible for her own choices. She makes no excuses for herself. She lives with the consequences and takes for granted that, if your choices make you who you are, then who you are should determined your choices. She is capable of great loyalty and yet strongly values her independence.

 

In this book, Mercy continues to navigate her way through the archaically male-dominated wolf pack power structure, which is based on dominance and submission, with a constant, involuntary, edge of violence, which the female werewolves often get the worst of. Mercy grew up with werewolves and deeply understand this structure. She has no expectation that it will change. She chooses not give herself up to these mores. She choose to prioritise personal power and responsibility over positional power and pack rules.but rather manipulates them whenever she can, to make things closer to how she thinks they should be.

 

The only place where she remains unclear on what to do is when she puzzles over whether giving in to a latent desire for sexual submission would be a surrender of independence.

 

Mercy also get more involved with the vampires, this time getting to meet with some of the people in their "menageries". These are human members of the vampire household who are bound to them by blood and who serve as a kind of living larder.

 

I thought one of the most powerful sections in "Blood Bound" was when Mercy meets the people in Stephan's menagerie, Mercy likes Stephan but she is not blind to his predatory nature. When she visits his household, I was impressed by her ability to see beyond the "human cattle" tag and see individual people making choices. Stephan, like all vampires, lives off his people but the choices he has made and the choices that the people in his menagerie make, go a long towards turning horrible abuse into a voluntary power exchange.

 

I'm hooked now. I've prescribed myself a diet of one Mercy Thompson book a month for the rest of this year.

 

 

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