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review 2017-10-13 11:49
"Iron Kissed - Mercy Thompson #3" by Patricia Briggs
Iron Kissed - Patricia Briggs

"Iron Kissed" stepped this series up from good urban fantasy with a likeable, strong heroine and a satisfyingly complex supernatural world, to something that really gets face to face with abusive power and what it does.

 

In less than three hundred pages, Patricia Briggs managed to move from a fairly conventional (by Urban Fantasy standards) who dunnit, with Mercy trying to prove that her mentor did not murder seven fae on the local reservation, into a book that is really about what men and women do with power.

 

Mercy is brave and loyal and smart but she's not powerful and she doesn't have any magical healing ability. If Mercy gets hurt, she stays hurt.

 

Mercy grew up surrounded by male werewolves with an impulse for violence and the physical power to tear her apart. She survived by learning not to draw attention to herself. That's not an option for her any more. The two earlier books gained her the attention of the local werewolf pack and the local nest of vampires. In this book she is dragged into the affairs of the fae.

 

It is Mercy's vulnerability that makes her courage remarkable. When she stands up to those more powerful than her, with no ability to protect herself from the consequences, it means something.

 

The first part of the book expands our understanding of the fae, a not at all human set of people who will always put their security above the lives of the humans around them. Mercy negotiates a route through their threats where she can and initially this seems like another urban fantasy book where clever humans can outwit the monsters. Then Mercy is cornered by something powerful that wants to kill her and that she cannot fight or outrun.  Her only option is to seek protection. What I liked about this was her reaction: fear, not wise-cracking arrogance; guilt for putting others in danger, not a "hah, trapped you" joy; an understanding that, if things continue as they are, one of the many monsters she is surrounded by WILL kill her.

 

In the second part of the book, things get darker. Much darker. Mercy comes to understand that not all monsters are supernatural. She falls prey to one of them who hurts her, diminishes her and takes her to the brink of self-abnegation.

 

This was not easy reading. We'd left fantasy far behind and become entangle in the worst things we do to each other.

 

Mercy's reaction and the reaction of the people around her, made me cry.  I wanted to cheer but crying got the better of me.

 

The novel avoids a soft, pain free, happy ever after ending. Damage is not so easily undone but, it turns out, hope is not so easily extinguished.

 

I'm hooked now. If this standard of writing continues, I'll be with this series until the end.

 

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-10-09 15:30
When Mercy Thompson Blew Me Away
Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, Book 3) (Mercedes Thompson) - Patricia Briggs

Trigger warning: Rape

 

This is the Mercy Thompson book that left me feeling raw for hours. I am glad that I got a chance to re-read it for Halloween Bingo 2017 though. I recall this book had me in tears a few times and that I loved how Briggs wrote this story and the continuation of Mercy's fallout from a brutal attack.

 

In "Iron Kissed" Mercy's boss and friend Zee is arrested for a crime that she knows he could not have committed. Though Mercy is warned off by Zee and a bunch of other people, she keeps investigating. While dealing with that, she finally has to face who she wants to be with in the future, Adam, Alpha of the local Pack or Samuel the son of the leader of the Werewolves in North America. 

 

Mercy is a fighter and when one of her friends or loved ones is in trouble, she goes all in, however, this time there are repercussions to Mercy forging ahead. Mercy is already starting to see that her feelings for Adam are stronger than her feelings for Samuel in this one, but she still feels hesitant to make a choice even though she finds out later that Adam has made a choice that will cause problems with his Pack if it's not resolved soon.

 

I know others have mentioned that it's a shame that Mercy doesn't have more real life girlfriends in this series, and I have to agree. Especially considering what happens to Mercy in this one, I am surprised that Mercy didn't reach out to her mother and her one time best friend that was mentioned three books ago. 

 

I will say that the series doesn't get better with regards to Mercy having a close female friendship. Considering how close Honey is to Mercy (or at least she is to my mind) I hope that gets resolved in the series. Or heck, have Mercy actually talk to Anna once in a while (Charles wife and mate). 

 

Adam is the best. Seriously you guys. He is the perfect book boyfriend. I loved him from beginning to end in this one. He loves and gets Mercy and nothing is ever going to change things for him at all with regards to who he wants to be with. 

 

We get appearances by many characters we know and that I love (Jessie, Warren, Ben, and Honey) and I loved each and every one of them. 

 

We get some interesting insight into the werewolf Ben in this one. I maybe cried a bit when something in his past is revealed. We get to see that though Mercy doesn't realize it, that Ben really does care about her. I did get annoyed about how Mercy treats Ben in one of the later books (River Marked #6) especially based on this scene, but at least Briggs hasn't done that again since that time. 

 

The first part of the book moves a little slow though. When we have Mercy investigating what Fae could be behind some deaths I was not invested. When all is revealed though it took my breath away. And when Mercy is raped I had to put the book down for a bit. It's a lot. Briggs spares nothing and you are wholly in Mercy's head as she deals with the fallout from being raped. I applaud how thoughtful Briggs was to write this story and how we get to see Mercy dealing with the fallout from the events in this book for the rest of the series. 

 

I have to say that I loved how things ended in this book. We have Mercy choosing to go on from what happens to her and choosing to love the man that she wants to be with in the future. 

 

 

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review 2017-10-09 14:13
The Beginning of Charles and Anna (Alpha & Omega 0.5)
Alpha & Omega - Patricia Briggs

I ended up not reading all of the stories in "On the Prowl". I did back in the day, but since I wanted to read this for the "Werewolves" square for my second bingo card for Halloween Bingo 2017, I didn't feel the need to read all of the stories. From what I recall the first time, I was not that impressed with all of the stories, but ended up falling in love with the characters of Anna and Charles.

If you read the "Alpha & Omega" series, make sure you start with this one first otherwise you may be confused about Anna's background.

This story has Charles (the Marrok's son) coming to Chicago to investigate what is going on with a local wolf pack. A werewolf named Anna calls him and right away when Charles meets her, he feels a pull towards her. Charles's wolf decides that it will have Anna as his mate (in like five seconds by the way) and Charles's tells Anna how special she is among werewolves. We find out that Anna is an omega werewolf. When Charles meets with the local leaders, a few things come out about the local pack and Anna is left to decide to stay with them or follow Charles.

I really loved this book. There is some info-dump since in none of the Mercy Thompson books was anything ever spoken about omega werewolves to this point. We get to find out that Anna being an omega means she does not have to obey the alpha werewolf in her Pack. She also has an effect on other werewolves and can calm them down and push away any lingering mental sickness they may have.

I remember feeling awful for Anna when you read about how she was changed, what was done to her by members of her Pack after the change and it just left a bad taste in my mouth about werewolves in general. To this point I was more familiar with Adam and his Pack in the Mercy Thompson series.

Charles was a great hero to root for though I wanted to know more about his upbringing. We know that he is Bran's enforcer, but it seemed to me that he was a little lost until he met Anna. In later books we get to see how being Bran's enforcer affects Charles though so I was glad that Patricia Briggs brings that up in the later series.

The writing was typical Briggs though I will say that there was some repetitiveness in some places that I think show up again in the later story, "Cry Wolf." I was never so happy in my life when Briggs stopped writing about how Omega did not mean weak and she didn't have to listen to others. We got it. Please stop saying it in every story.

The flow was good though I thought the book ended on a weird note. I know when I read "Cry Wolf" after this though, that the action picks up right after the ending of this book though.

A great little story that you should read before reading the full length novels.

 

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review 2017-10-08 21:16
Cry Wolf
Cry Wolf - Patricia Briggs
There was something unsettling about this graphic novel as I began to read it. I felt as if the characters were telling me the story instead of living it and I wasn’t too excited about continuing it. It was the illustrations that motivated me to continue reading while I hoped things would turn around and I would see the characters in action. This was a fast-paced graphic novel that in my opinion, got better towards the end. The characters began to live out the story instead of telling me what had occurred and the illustrations brought the story to life. I really enjoyed the illustrations as they weren’t overly busy but using vivid colors, each panel concentrated on what was important.
 
Just who is Anna and what makes her so desirable? Unaware that werewolves existed, Anna is bitten by a werewolf when he comes to her rescue while she is being attacked. Anna doesn’t trust the male members of her pack and looking at the illustrations you can see her hesitation when they are around. When Charles arrives, he believes that Anna is his mate and that there is something special about her that no one else is aware of. He tries to persuade Anna to go with him as he hunts down a powerful wolf. Using both of their abilities, Charles believes they are the perfect individuals to bring this wolf to his knees.
 
I liked how the novel ended and I realize now that I will be picking up part #2 of this series to see how Anna is doing and if she truly is something special in the werewolf world.
 
I already read a novel for my Werewolf square for Halloween Bingo and I have my free space already read also. I guess this was just a fun horror read for me.  If only the holds I got from the library corresponded to the bingo calls, I would have a bingo but I am reading my stack of library books based on when they are due.  :(

 

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review 2017-09-18 19:37
Solid Second Book in Mercy Thompson Series
Blood Bound - Patricia Briggs

I was initially going to read this for the demons square for Halloween bingo, however, it includes werewolves and I decided, two birds, one stone.

 

Image result for two birds one stone gif

 

If you have been following my reviews you know that I devour the Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson books. I have all of the books either via ebook or one that I got in hardcover (never again, I realize I don't care for the feel of most hardcover books) and I tend to re-read my favorite parts of this series over and over again. One of these days I will get around to just posting a mega review or something. Until now, here is my review of book #2.

 

"Blood Bound" finds Mercy trying to get settled with the fact that she now is dealing with the fact that an old love has moved in with her (Samuel) and by the way, the alpha of the local werewolf pack is interested in her as well (Adam). If she didn't have to deal with vampires and a demon slaughtering people left and right she may actually get some time to repair some cars. 

 

This book actually deals more with the vampires in the Tri-Cities than the prior one did. We have Mercy agreeing to help out her vampire friend Stefan which has her getting involved with local vampire politics with the head of the seethe Marsilia.  I do like how Briggs in her series let's you know first and foremost vampires are predators. They are not sparkly and friendly (well except for Stefan, and only the friendly part). 

 

When the werewolves gang up to take out a new enemy everyone in Adam's pack has to deal with it too. 

 

I do love Mercy. She has become one of my favorite urban fantasy characters. I can read about her and Kate Daniels (see Ilona Andrews) all day. I will say though that this book includes my least favorite thing ever, a love triangle. Thank goodness that Briggs deposes of that triangle in book #3. I am not a fan of who should I be with in my long running series, see Janet Evanovich. Also, Briggs does a great job developing Mercy through this series. We are only provided so much information about her, but we find out about things real time for the most part just as she does. I rather have that instead of a info dump.

 

My favorite characters are in this one, Adam, Stefan, Zee, and Samuel. I do wish that we got more Samuel in the later books since he kind of disappears after Silver Borne, Mercy Thompson #5. 

 

I do love the writing in this series. I always think that Briggs can make dialogue really work. I also have to say the flow for this one works. We also get to see a new dimension to Mercy's powers besides shapeshifting. I will echo something another BL member has mentioned here before, Mercy has I think zero female friends, which is weird. I didn't realize that when I was reading the series the first time. But honestly, besides Honey (in the later books) most of Mercy's friends are male. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I will still keep wishing that Mercy becomes closer to Charles's wife (see Alpha and Omega series) or other females such as Honey. I can see why she doesn't reach out to women more though since she is a male profession (auto mechanic) and her hobbies include self defense courses along with ghost hunting. 

 

The setting of the Tri-Cities in Washington state is always a fun one to return to. 

 

I did like the ending of this, but if you want to be wowed by this series, check out Iron Kissed, Mercy Thompson #3. That one almost wrecked me. It was really good. 

 

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