Patricia Briggs can write the most down to earth, loveable and yet fascinating characters and put them into stories that begin with the most innocuous scenes, but then bam!!! It leaps into a ferocious do or die story where the heroines and heroes are so tested in action and emotion.
Frost Burned is the seventh book in an Urban Fantasy series that must be read in order. My review does contain some series spoilers for those who haven’t read the first six so keep that in mind if you choose to continue reading.
Ever since the very first time I met Mercy Thompson in ‘Moon Called’, I was hooked. A female VW mechanic who consorts with werewolves, fae and vampires, but is herself a lightweight supernatural in the paranormal community. She’s a coyote shifter and the only one of her kind. Mercy doesn’t let her lack stop her from charging in and doing what she thinks is right even when the big baddies outnumber, outclass her and can kill her every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Battered and left for dead, she picks herself up, dusts off and tenaciously fights on. She is also kind, loyal and loving to her friends, her family that includes her new husband Adam and his daughter Jesse. Yes, I adore Mercy!
Now, in this latest installment of Mercy’s story, it opens just on midnight Black Friday with Mercy and Jesse out hitting the sales. Just when they are heading to yet another store, Mercy experiences what feels like a panic attack and gets in a wreck. By the time they deal with the wreck, Mercy and Jesse discover that the werewolf pack including Adam have been kidnapped by men who claimed to be federal agents. Only Ben escaped to tell the tale and he’s fighting the silver poisoning he received from the darts that were shot into him when he got away. Mercy is scared when she uses her mate bond with Adam and discovers he and the others are being held helpless and in pain from silver poisoning. The captors want Adam to do something for them with his pack and the threat to his family as leverage.
The unknown enemy is targeting all who are connected to the wolves so Mercy has to hide Jesse and Gabriel, free Warren’s Kyle from the men holding him, stay one step ahead of those who want to kidnap her too all the while trying to find Adam and the pack and take down whoever or whatever is big and bad enough to capture a werewolf pack. Mercy’s list of allies is thin now that the fae have retreated back into their sanctuaries. But thin doesn’t mean non-existent so Mercy sets out with Ben, Stefan the vampire and a disgruntled Tad her half-fae friend.
Oh and naturally, much more is going on than it seems when Mercy discovers that her enemies number more than she thought as do their motives. Mercy needs a ton of luck, wily Coyote reminding of what strengths a coyote possesses and a few moments of timely help to get her people and herself through this mess.
I am pleased to report that Mercy is back from her honeymoon, healed up from her last tangle with a monster and ready to go. The plot was action driven and mostly from Mercy’s perspective. However, big news here- Adam gets a few scenes to tell the story. Loved it! Hope we get more of his perspective in the future, but I would never give up Mercy’s narrative voice because it is her voice that sets the tone of these stories making them the wonderful things they are.
I was glad that Stefan the vampire was back though it saddens me that he’s still not the same after Marsilia did her number on him.
Oh and just a piece of advice, have a tissue handy because this adventure does have a casualty that will just break your heart.
For those who enjoy the Alpha & Omega series, there is one character crossover and references to what is going on in the other series.
On a side note, I personally don’t really think of these as two separate series just installments in the same series with two separate sets of main characters. I find it more enjoyable to read them that way.
Sometimes when the main character and love interest in the series finally get together, it can get a bit problematic because the tension is gone in the romance plot line. That is not the case in this one. Yes, Adam and Mercy were married for most of the last story, but it was told in isolation and with a different backdrop. This was the first story where they’re back on their home turf amidst their people. Much of the story Adam and Mercy are physically separated due to his kidnapping, but it didn’t interrupt their story line because of the mate bond they share. Adam’s still the strong protective alpha who will do anything to keep his wife, child and pack safe and Mercy is still the determined woman who will deal with matters and get her husband back even if it means ignoring his orders and making him mad because she’s putting herself in danger. I was thrilled to see that marriage hadn’t changed much of anything for these two.
That grand finale just before the ending left me with the whole ‘wow,didn’t see that coming’ that I usually get from these stories. I’m coming to almost expect such awesomeness from this series each book that I pick up which is why I try not to grow impatient for the next book to come out. Good stuff just can’t be rushed.
I recommend this series and this latest installment to all Urban Fantasy fans who love an underdog -er undercoyote heroine who grits her teeth and makes her own luck.
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