Rated: 5 stars I recommend this to: pretty much everyone, esp. UF fans.
Originally read: October 8th, 2011
This is the second time I’ve read this and my oh my was it an eye opener. In the previous review I think I stated that I felt like everything seemed stuffy, which loosely translates that I didn’t really have an idea what the dickens was going on in the most crucial scenes. Heh, I wonder how it is, or why for that matter, that I continued to the second book in the series. Now with a fresher pair of eyes and a broader frame of mind I actually got in on the action.
Mercedes Thompson isn’t your average VW mechanic. Does yours regularly service a Mystery Machine replica owned by a Scooby Doo fanatic who happens to be a hot vampire, works with an iron mage and lives over the fence to the local alpha’s house? I didn’t think so. Oh, and she turns into a coyote. I really like her, I mean she could be a badass but she knows where to draw the line.She may be physically inferior(which might be too strong a word) but she makes up for it in mouthing off to authority and those above her ,but hey I can’t blame her with all of those overbearing werewolves around, she had to stand up for herself.
Mercy’s an okay gal, she’s tough, funny, caring and doesn’t like to be out of the line of fire when she knows that she could be helping.She doesn’t have tons of magic (or any of it so to speak)so that she could just wriggle her pinkie and WAM leveling the street with vampires, nope,that’s what makes me like her even more, she relies on her instincts and quick thinking rather than power.
Another thing I like about Mercy is her faith in God, she didn’t like the crucifix because it was an instrument of pain that had led to our saviour’s death so instead she carries a lamb around her neck because Jesus’s other name was “The Lamb of God”. I admit that’s also clever I mean which vampire would have thought that they’d be knocked out by a wee little lamb?
When someone breaks into Adam Hauptman’s house (the said alpha) and leaves behind his half dead body, along with a few goners and kidnapped his fifteen year old daughter, Jesse, Mercy comes to the rescue. Thus begins the hunt for a rogue wolf who appears to want Bran, the Marrok (the big good wolf in charge of all the others in North America), gone when he was months away from revealing their existence to the world, following the lead of the fey lords.
In the process she returns to Bran’s pack in Montana where she was raised with his wolves, not ever being one of them, but the outcast. She faces Samuel, one of Bran’s son, with whom she had a past, an interesting and sad one. So with the help of Samuel, Zee (the iron mage) Stephan (the aforementioned vampire), Warren (Adam’s third, one cool dude) and a few lone wolves they set out to get to the bottom of this nasty business and rescue Jesse and the now captured Adam. Let me just say it was totally unexpected, nothing in the book so far gave away the ending, and it was at the ending where I had the most problem with the first time around.
Of course what would this have been without a little oh la la la romance? Nah, it’s not anything mushy at all considering there a two territorial wolves who happen to be rather possessive of Mercy, things sure play out in the following books. I think the characters are fleshed out very well, we have little insights on their past giving us an idea on their relationship with the others, so it’s really real. All in all it rocked to me, take my advice and please give books that didn’t work for you initially a second chance and see how it goes, it is a terrible waste to let a treasure rot on a shelf, virtual or physical, for lack of attention.
The nitty-gritty details
I’ve warmed up to the werewolf concept Briggs has drawn up; wolves are not born but made, dominancy is a major thing, and apparently as far as women’s rights go they’re stuck in the Victorian era, but there are a few instances where the female is more dominant than her mate. Once every month werewolves far an wide pay homage to the pearly orb of the full moon, an impulse they cannot deny, her call was that of a siren.
The change to the wolf form is often painful, and I suppose especially during full moons so as a result female wolves are unable to carry a child to full term because the transition is too violent for the fetus to survive. If a male wolf were to mate with a human only the the children with full human DNA will live. This is one of the reasons why Mercy Thompson is the bane of these women’s existence, aside to being their natural enemy.
Mercy’s a coyote, a Walker thought not in the strictest sense, she isn’t moon called, she shifts as easily as breathing and being neither human or wolf it is believed that she could mother a wolf’s child. Not her fault, but who ever said life is fair? I am not going to reveal her and Samuel’s relationship but I will repeat that is is sad and hurts my heart more than a little. The vampires are interesting too, they have their own set of quirks which I think are original to Briggs’ alternate world. Each seethe is run by a Mistress or a Master, not unlike a pack only that guys hold the rein there. Both are lethal, none sparkle and even though the other might seem to be fluffy there’s a massive pair of jaws to be seen. There is danger in everything and everywhere, definitely including the fae, so if you play your cards right and aren’t too stupid you’ll live.
There are more supernatural things that, to recycle a common phrase, go bump in the wicked night. I highly recommend this series to urban fantasy fans, and you might find it surprising that there are really no serious cussing in here and I just realized this, the older wolves insist on etiquette around ladies, bless ‘em. So, yeah, I will be re-reading the other books up to where I stopped, as I haven’t finished the entire series before. Thinking of trying this out, go for it!