Mercy knew Black Friday shopping at midnight was a bad idea. But she did it anyway, to take her new step-daughter Jesse–daughter of her mate and Alpha of the local werewolf pack Adan Hauptman–shopping. Mercy doesn’t expect shopping to be fun, but she certainly doesn’t expect it to be dangerous, which is exactly what it becomes when Mercy has a panic attack and gets into a car accident. But that’s not the dangerous part. The dangerous part is that afterwards, she can’t reach Adam or any of the pack members through her mate-bond. The entire werewolf pack has been abducted, and it’s up to Mercy and her small group of remaining allies to find them and rescue them, before it’s too late.
If I could switch bodies with one heroine in literature–any literature, not just fantasy–it would be Mercy Thompson. She can painlessly shift into a coyote. She is mated to the extremely sexy and formidable Alpha of one of the most powerful werewolf packs on the West Coast. She has an awesome step-daughter. She has fae and vampire friends. She can fix cars, and is not girly in any way. She thinks for herself, but isn’t afraid to depend on people when she needs to. She may not always make the smartest decisions, but who does? Frankly, she’s just awesome.
Additionally, Mercy lives in the best world. I love the dynamics between all the different supernatural creatures in Briggs’s Mercy Thompson world. The best part is, no one group is 100% “good” or “evil” which I think happens sometimes in other fantasy worlds. Werewolves are generally good, but some do occasionally go crazy and eat people. There are good witches and bad witches. Vampires are generally evil, but a few (like Mercy’s friend Stefan) aren’t so bad. The fae are in a league of their own, some being good and wanting to help humans (like Mercy’s friend Zee and his half-fae son Tad) and others are lunatics and hate humans. There’s balance, and yet drama. It’s great.
This was one of my most-excited-about-books-of-2013, and boy it didn’t disappoint! In this particular novel, we get to see Mercy solving problems while her werewolf friends are mostly absent. Instead of Adam and the wolves coming to her rescue, Mercy must work to rescue them. She enlists the help of Kyle, lawyer mate of a Mercy’s werewolf Warren (as mate to the Alpha, all the werewolves belong to Mercy as well as Adam, whether they like it or not), her friend Zee’s half-fae son Tad, and her vampire ally Stefan (he can’t really be called “friend” at this stage in the series, though he has been in the past). I really like Kyle, and I really enjoyed his presence in this book. He doesn’t always react to things the way you would expect a regular human to react (although Kyle would probably be offended if he heard me call him a “regular” human) and it makes things more interesting. Actually, Briggs managed to bring almost every character we ever knew from the series into this novel, which was cool. I did miss Sam and Bran, but after the last few books I wasn’t expecting to see much of Sam, and we get to see more of Bran in the Alpha and Omega series (same world, different main characters) so I didn’t mind his absence in this book so much either. Heck, I like all these characters so much I would read a book describing them eating breakfast, that’s how interesting and emotionally invested in them I am. I want them all as friends, even Ben the werewolf (well, I would like Ben as a friend now, not two books ago, haha).
Another really cool thing about this novel: We got to hear part of the story from Adam’s perspective! Being inside Adam’s head was not what I expected, but it really made sense, and really gave the reader an insight into Adam’s character. We learned more about his past, his struggles in dealing with his wolf, and how strong his feelings toward his pack and toward Mercy really are. I am almost certain (I can’t quite remember the previous book, I read it awhile ago) Briggs has never let us in Adam’s head before. It was a nice touch.
Briggs simply can’t write these Mercy Thompson books fast enough for me. I want the next one to be published, like, yesterday. If you haven’t started this series yet, start now!