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review 2017-12-20 16:18
"Bone Crossed - Mercy Thompson #4" by Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

The fourth Mercy Thompson books starts right after the trauma of "Iron Kissed" and then kicks it up a notch by literally dropping a tortured, ravenous vampire into Mercy's arms.

What follows is clever, dual plot novel, focused on vampires and ghosts, that moves the whole series forward.

 

I was impressed at Patricia Briggs' ability to continue to be inventive in how she shapes the supernatural world. "Bone Crossed" gives me a kind of vampire I've never encountered before. It also succeeds at mixing werewolves, fae, vampires and ghosts in a way that feels credible and doesn't leave me feeling I need a field guide to supernatural beings to understand what's going on.

 

The main strength of the series is the strong focus on character-driven narrative, not just Mercy's character but for the secondary characters as well. Even the rather unpleasant leader of the local vampires gains some depth in this book. Everyone is granted some complexity that helps make them real.

 

I also admire the way humour, especially banter, is used to leaven the dark themes of the book without undermining or denying them.

 

What keeps things fantasy fretwork grounded is the willingness to take a realistic approach to the emotional impact of events. Patricia Briggs acknowledges that, even when you're a kiss-ass heroine coyote mechanic raised by wolves, the aftermath of rape is months of panic attacks that leave you vomiting and curling up into a ball.

 

She also allowed Mercy to make a choice between the two men who want her. I'm glad we avoided the Stephani Plumb Purgatory of never being allowed to choose one man because unresolved sexual tension sells. I also think she chose the right guy, so I'm smiling (who knew I'd care?).

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review 2017-04-06 03:46
Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed (Audio) - Lorelei King,Patricia Briggs

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I enjoyed this book even more during this re-read. This is definitely one of my all time favorite series and I honestly believe that everyone who hasn't read these books yet should run to the bookstore right away and buy them up. This is the fourth book in the Mercy Thompson series and it picks up right after the events of the previous book. It is really important that this series be read in order since some of the events are carried over from the previous book. I really had a lot of fun with this audiobook.

On major focus of this Adam and Mercy's relationship. They both really do care for each other and want to make things work. I like how carefully they are with each other. Mercy is a mess after the horrible events of the previous book and Adam is there for her. He really wants to help with her pain and if he could I am sure he would take it away.

The mystery in the story is centered around vampires. I like the vampires in this world so that works out well for me. The local vampires have painted crossed bones on the door at her garage and she decides it would be a good idea to get out of town for a bit. Her friend from college has a little problem with a ghost so Mercy goes to help...and runs into more than she bargained for. Stefan plays a large role in this book and really proved how much he cares for Mercy as well.

I love Lorelei King's narration of this series. I am amazed by how well she voices all of these characters and keeps things consistent from book to book. The emotional aspects of the story really come through during her narration. I was able to listen to this book for hours at a time largely due to her wonderful delivery of this story. Lorelei King is quickly becoming one of my favorite narrators.

I would highly recommend this series to other. This was my second time experiencing this book and I hope to read it again in the future. It is really that good.

Initial Thoughts
Lots of vampires in this one. Mercy was awesome as always!

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review 2016-12-19 00:00
Bone Crossed
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs Vampire ghosts: the undead undead?

A few weeks earlier, Mercy killed one vampire too many, and now Marsilia and her vampire seethe have found out. Out of the blue pops her old out-of-state college friend with a ghost problem that she hopes Mercy can help with. What convenient timing.

It is refreshing to read a fantasy series that doesn't get bogged down in world building waffle. Aside from being written as though they are standalone novels - whilst being a continuing adventure - there isn't any fat on this lean series. And as the series has progressed it hasn't fallen into a rut, nor become formulaic. I'm already halfway through the next in the series and enjoying each Mercy Thompson outing as much as the first.
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review 2016-04-24 20:10
Bone Crossed / Patricia Briggs
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

Finally, Stefan is back on the scene, still mysterious in motive, but protective to our heroine, Mercy. And that is despite his treatment by the local vampire seethe.  (Isn’t that a great collective noun for vampires?) 

 

This is also the book that sees Mercy make her choice between werewolves Adam and Samuel. I’m somewhat disappointed that she had to choose, rather than remaining independent.  So often, once a choice is made, the sexual tension drains out of a series and it becomes less interesting.  I will be interested to see how Briggs maintains the forward momentum.

 

Also of interest, Mercy continues to discover the special powers of a skinwalker that make her anathema to the mainstream vamps. She is extremely fortunate to have Stefan as a friend & protector and I hope this means that he will continue to appear in future volumes.

 

I still maintain that Mercy needs some women friends, and not like her friend Amber who shows up in this installment. She needs some strong, good women in her life to help her sort out all the demanding men in her world.

 

Once again, the cover art makes me shake my head. Who in the world are they trying to appeal to?  Take my word for it, Mercy looks nothing like the covers.

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review 2015-04-30 05:13
Among Predators
Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs continues to impress me with her oh-so expressive writing that conveys so much, so economically. I am truly in awe of her talent. Clearly I am very behind on this series. It's not due to a lack of appeal, but due to my reading style and my review reading taking up a lot of my reading time. But I do love knowing that I have a guaranteed read when I reach for one of her books.

Mercy is definitely near the top of my list of fictional characters I think I would love to have as a friend in real life. Probably number one, if I'm honest. And not just because she's an excellent and trustworthy mechanic (and I need one of those big time). Mercy is a mix of real-life traits: humble, down-to-earth, courageous (even in the face of fear, which is the true definition of courage), snarky, empathetic, observant, and very self-deprecating. While some readers don't like abuse storylines in their books, I don't mind them when they are done well. Mercy shows so much strength and fortitude of character. Her journey to recovery after her attack in Iron Kissed is realistic and inspiring. I truly love this woman.

Briggs writes the kind of fantasy that grabs hold of me and doesn't let go. She plants a garden of what seems like ordinary wildflowers, but exotic blooms that are far from ordinary grow in that garden, waiting to be plucked by a reader. Briggs mixes shapeshifters, werewolves, fae, and vampires in an appealing way that doesn't leave out the inherent menace of all the various supernatural creatures. With a coyote shifter narrator, the reader is fully along for the ride, as Mercy is the first to admit that being a coyote shifter doesn't always give her the advantage, but often puts her in a dangerous situation (while she is more immune to magic than most, she's not impervious.) Oh, and Briggs also throws in ghosts. I must say that I was happy as a clam, since I love fantasy like a house on fire, but I also have an appreciation for old school/classic horror and an old-fashioned ghost story.

Can I take the time to gush over the men in Mercy's life?

Adam, Adam, Adam! How I love you. He is perfect for Mercy. And I like that Mercy is starting to see past her emotional wounds and barriers to see him for who he is, her Mate. Also, I love that Adam is so patient and loving about it, even though that is an act of hard-won discipline. He's very possessive, but not in a controlling, irritating way. I love a possessive hero like a house on fire, but I find controlling, dominating men a turnoff. Adam is just right for me. I wish I had an Adam in real life! He's very demonstrative that Mercy is his, but he's not trying to dictate to her every step she takes. He's a true life partner.

If there was no Adam in the Mercy Thompson world, then I would definitely be all over Samuel. I still love Samuel, very much. I just don't love him for Mercy's mate. I love him all on his own, and I hope he gets the Mate he needs one day. He's a really cool character. Sweet as pie, but also full of danger that makes the hair stand up on one's neck. He seems serious, but has this mischievous sense of humor. His calm facade hides a wild wolf that might never be tamed.

Bran is the Man, or rather, the Alpha of the Alphas (Marrok). He steals a scene, no matter who else is in it. And that's saying something in this series! I know Briggs has said she probably won't write a book with Bran as a main character. I'm sad and understanding of that. He's such a mysterious and compelling figure, when he shows up, it's so satisfying but also tantalizing. I can't love him more. I'm always hungry for more of him.

Stefan has actually grown on me quite a bit. While I have become quite a vampire romance fan, I still prefer shifters/weres to vampires, and I like that they take center place in this series. But Stefan adds such a nice touch to this series. While he insists on telling Mercy that he is a 'very bad man', his actions say otherwise. I haven't decided who would play my Stefan, but it would have to be an actor with lots of presence. I liked how Briggs develops Mercy's friendship with Stefan much more in this book (it was more assumed at the beginning). I have to say the vampire storyline makes my heart beat fast and gives me shivers. They are truly menacing creatures.

The thing with Briggs is that no character is a throwaway. Each one is carefully developed, even for their short presence in this book. You feel everything even in a short scene that you should feel. And while the characters might throw you for a loop at first, their motivations are apparent as the layers peel away.

I think that for the short length of this book, it's really a full meal. Urban fantasy for the true lover of the genre. Also, I think a good gateway to those who are investigating this genre for the first time. Mercy by herself is enough to keep a reader hooked. But the secondary characters, the plotting and storyline will have the reader staying for seconds and dessert.

Highly recommended!

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