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Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Mercy gets the pack wrapped up in more Fae politics, but with a little luck, the end result will help better the relationships between the fae, the wolves, and the humans.

Fire TouchedTitle:  Fire Touched
Author:  Patricia Briggs
SeriesMercy Thompson Book 09
Publish Date:  March 8, 2016
Genre:  Urban Fantasy

Publisher’s DescriptionTensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

The ninth Mercy Thompson book deals, again, with Fae politics and the impact it has on both the humans and the wolves. When the Fae set a rampaging bridge troll loose in the Tri-Cities, Mercy–with the help of her trusty Fae walking stick–publicly place the Cities under the protection of the Columbia Basin Pack, essentially claiming the role of supernatural government for the area. Both the vampires and the Fae test the pack’s resolve as the pack works to decide exactly what this proclamation means.

It apparently involves the ability to grant sanctuary to other supernaturals, because Zee, his son Tad, and an ancient human child with Fae-like abilities, are on the run from the Gray Lords. Mercy and the pack swear to protect them from their pursuers.

Once again, the pack isn’t happy with Mercy. Not only is she a coyote in a werewolf pack; not only has she brought a second non-wolf into the pack as well; but, now she’s pitting the pack against the most powerful Fae and driving away the support of the Marrok. Against Mercy’s wishes, Adam finally steps in as Alpha of the pack and commands members of the pack to show respect for her or leave. Oddly enough, even the contentious members of the pack seem happy with Adam’s declaration. This is one of those times where werewolf psychology really baffles me.

badge4v4In the end, the “battle” between the pack and the Fae is fought politically rather than physically, and the Tri-Cities is declared neutral territory for all supernatural entities. While neutral territory would be a great benefit to the Fae, wolves, and humans trying to negotiate co-habitation on the planet, I have a feeling the pack will have a hard fight to keep things “neutral;” but that creates a great platform for creating more stories in the Mercy Thompson world.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

…you might try the companion series, Alpha and Omega.  You might also like the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn or the Jane Yellowrock series by Faith Hunter.


Hopcross Jilly by Patricia Briggs

Welcome to Saturday Shorts where we feature short stories and novellas.  This Mercy Thompson adventure lets us see more of Mercy’s step-daughter, Jesse. Jesse’s a pretty cool kid; it’s fun to see a little more of her story.

Hopcross JillyTitle:  Hopcross Jilly
Author:  Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson Book 7.5
Publish Date:  July 2, 2015
Genre:  Urban Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Publisher’s Description: Mercy is a shapeshifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When the pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, she shapeshifts into a mystery of the legendary fae – a mystery that draws Mercy’s stepdaughter Jesse into the fray! The supernatural romance series Mercy Thompson continues in this all-new, original story by New York Times bestselling author, Patricia Briggs, exclusively created for the comic book medium!

This 168 page hardcover collects the six-issue Mercy Thompson comic book series by PATRICIA BRIGGS, RIK HOSKIN, and TOM GARCIA and features the original script and line art to issue #1, along with character designs and sketches by Tom Garcia.

Possible spoilers beyond this point.

Invested_Ivana_100Invested Ivana says…

Hopcross Jilly is the second original graphic novel in the Mercy Thompson series — the first being a prequel, Homecoming. Jilly is set between Frost Burn and Night Broken, and takes place just after the events of Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega Book 4).

There are two things I like about this short story. First, I really like seeing more of Jesse’s perspective. Jesse is always written as a great kid.  She deals maturely (mostly) with her mom, her dad’s werewolf pack, and with Mercy as a new step-mom. But rarely do we see things from her perspective. In Hopcross Jilly, part of the story is told by Jesse, so we get some real insight into her mindset and how the world is for her now that her dad is openly known as a werewolf. As one might expect, high school is not kind to her, but she deals with it as best she can.

badge4v4The second thing I like about this story is the way it continues the storyline about the Fae. You don’t have to know anything about any of the Mercy Thompson or Alpha & Omega stories to enjoy Hopcross Jilly; but, if you are reading the series, then this story’s placement in both is important. In Dead Heat, we saw a Fae — who are all supposed to be on the reservations and controlled by the Grey Lords — out in the world and preying on mortal children. But, at the end of the story, we are left without an answer as to why this Fae is out in the world. Hopcross Jilly shows us another “escaped” Fae preying on mortal children, but this time we learn why — and that reason will, I suspect, have big implications in upcoming books.

Other reviews…

If you like this book…

You might try Homecoming, the Mercy Thompson prequel graphic novel, Blood Work and Blood Crime — two original graphic novels in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison, or Welcome To The Jungle, Ghoul Goblin, and War Cry — original graphic novels in the Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.

Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Dead HeatTitleDead Heat
AuthorPatricia Briggs
SeriesAlpha & Omega Book 4
Publish Date:  March 3, 2015
PublisherAce Books
Perspective: Third-person alternating

Publisher’s DescriptionFor once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way… 

Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

ivana 100

From the reviews I’ve read, a lot of readers have a definite preference of either the Alpha & Omega books or the Mercy Thompson books, even when they like them both. You’ve read both series, Nell. Do you have a preference?

Nell 100I like both series. Mercy’s world is different than Anna and Charles’s world. The Cornick world is more harsh, I think. I don’t know why I feel that way, because Mercy was raised in the Cornick world so she should be very similar, but Charles seems so aloof and severe. I would like to start over from the beginning of the Alpha & Omega series as long as I could skip the abuse Anna receives in the first book. It’s been quite a while since I visited the Alpha & Omega world, but Briggs is an awesome writer. She brings it all to life.

ivana 100Tell me what you mean by “Mercy’s world is different than Anna and Charles’ world.” Both series take place in the same world, but at slightly different points in time.

Nell 100Mercy’s world feels a little softer – to me anyway…..

You mean Adam, Mercy’s mate, is more relatable than Charles, don’t you? Warmer, more personable? Less scary?

Yes! That’s exactly it. My words failed me, but your mind-meld assured that I got my thoughts understood!

ivana 100It’s true Adam and Charles are very different characters; they’ve played very different roles in their life and have very different backgrounds. They are both fiercely loyal and capable of being scary; but, Charles is more introverted, keeps thoughts and feelings close. Also, Charles doesn’t have to be very “human” – he lives with the Pack all the time and usually wants to be seen as scary to do his job. Adam, on the other hand, is not only surrounded by humans all the time, but is the poster child for Bran’s “werewolves among us” campaign. Adam is more extroverted — you rarely have to guess at what he’s thinking and feeling. He probably feels safer to you.

Nell 100Are you sure you aren’t a psychologist?

ivana 100No I’m not, but I play one on TV.

Nell and I are still trying to sync up our reading, so it’s just me again today.

Main Characters: ♥♥♥♥ I am already emotionally invested in many of Patricia Brigg’s characters, including Anna and Charles Cornick, from the previous Alpha & Omega and Mercy Thompson books. Though this book involved Anna and Charles, the main characters of this adventure seem to be the family of Charles’ friend, Joseph. I am tempted to call them the main characters here.

Joseph’s werewolf father, human wife, son, and son’s family feel like real people – they have good and bad traits both, they have strengths and weaknesses, they have desires and secrets and fears, and they love. I think part of Brigg’s success is in the richness of her characters; they are “human” and easy to identify with. I particularly like the grandchild, Mackie, and wonder if she and her family will become recurring characters.

Other Characters: ♥♥♥♥ We meet some familiar characters in this book – Bran, Charles’ father; FBI Agent Leslie Fisher, the witch Moira just briefly – and we meet some new characters. I enjoyed Cantrip Agents Leeds and Marsden and hope they appear in future books. In the main part of the story, we don’t learn too much about the villain, which is usually a nitpick of mine. However, there is a hint in the beginning of the book that the villain is set in place by other powers – powers whose agenda might not be discovered until future books.

World: ♥♥♥♥ Again, I’m already heavily invested in Briggs’ world. While this book can certainly be read as a stand-alone, I think the writing does assume the reader is familiar with the world and keeps explanations brief. Time not spent on world building is spent describing another world: that of horse shows and competition. If you love horses, this is the book for you.

Story: ♥♥♥♥ The main story is a mystery involving missing children. It’s a good adventure, but in itself doesn’t contribute greatly to the overall mythology of the world, except maybe in a way we aren’t meant to know yet. We do get to see a side of Charles that is usually hidden, and we see Anna and Charles work through the issues of having children. Both of these contribute to the progress of their relationship.

Overall: ♥♥♥♥ Overall, I enjoyed this installment of the Alpha & Omega series. While it wasn’t a world-changing episode, it is a nice adventure, a good visit with old friends, and a fun time with new ones.

More Reviews:

 If You Like This Book …

Aside from the other Alpha & Omega books, and the companion Mercy Thompson books, you might try the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong and the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent.  You’ll have to find a few more to keep you company after that since the next Mercy Thompson book won’t be out until next year!

No promotional consideration was granted for this review.  

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