Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Penguin Random House Audio
Released on October 1, 2009
I’m on a role having just experienced Moon Called in audio format for the group series read hosted by Anne at Books Are My Heart blog. I kept going with Blood Bound and the ongoing adventures of coyote shifter, Mercy Thompson and her friends as told by the fabulous Lorelei King.
Blood Bound is book two in the Mercy Thompson series and is part of an urban fantasy series that holds a separate challenge for Mercy in each book, but there is a series arc and ongoing development in characters and relationships that make it best read in order.
One of Stefan’s ‘sheep’ is forcefully turned by a friend-rival who then sends Daniel out on a route check when a strange vampire enters the Seethe’s territory and it was nothing routine in the end. Something about the whole matter troubles Stefan so he calls in his favor from Mercy and trusts to her ‘Walker’ talent to see through any magical illusions or compulsions if this strange vampire ends up getting past his own formidable vampiric power. Mercy and Stefan don’t fare any better than Daniel and it takes the most powerful members of the tri-city supernatural community to stop a powerful evil who is slaughtering his way through anyone in his path.
Meanwhile, Mercy doesn’t know what to do with her attraction to two different men who both are sticking close and making their interest known. Samuel, who is brooding more than ever and struggling with issues that might break this old, strong werewolf including his conflicted love for her because he’s already had his chance in the past, and then, Adam, who makes her feel too much and too deeply so that she is convinced he is compelling her and neutralizing her free will- though, deep down, she knows he is too honorable for that. She shelves this when there is an evil to vanquish and the lives of many she loves are threatened. Time for her coyote to hunt.
This is not even my first time re-reading this book. It’s one of my favorites in the series, but it has been some time. I was struck by new details that I noticed before, but really caught my attention in this one. I think that is the mark of a fabulous book-series when one can keep mining out more to appreciate with multiple re-reads and also get lost in the moment so that it is almost like it is happening for the first time once again. The word craft, characters, dialogue, background, and plot build are spot on.
There is the deeper exploration of the vampire world which is always fascinating. The teasing out of Stefan’s life in his seethe and his friendship with Mercy which is forbidden for them both because of who they are. The author was not afraid to show the amazing side of vampires, but also the shadowy and edgier one that was not in the least glamorous. It makes them more real and engaging.
The love triangle is not a trope I have much toleration for, but its presence in this book was so background much of the time and the foreshadowing of what was to be was so strong that I could simply appreciate the way the emerging romance was developing at a slow rate that could be savored.
But, it was the relationships between Mercy and Adam’s pack and then Adam and his close friendship with Warren that really struck me this time. That pack antagonized Mercy, but when she exercised it, she dominated them even Adam’s second, Darrell. Even though she likes to think she was barely tolerated and despised and that she has no place in pack because she is coyote, it was obvious that she was wrong and she had a very definite place. When Warren was hurt and it was mentioned that he was Adam’s best friend and that was how he came to be and stay in the pack even when many were hostile to him, it was the first time I’d really noticed this pack relationship. Warren was always his go-to guy and I thought it was because he recognized Warren’s place of power in the pack and his steady nature, but it was more. I do love good bromances.
Lorelei King is lights out spectacular as the narrator for the series. She sets a high bar for others and makes a wonderful story even better.
As I re-listen to this series, I am delighted afresh. If you just so happen to have gotten late to the game on urban fantasy or this series, don’t hesitate to pick it up. It’s solid gold even years later.
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