Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Book Review - Patricia Briggs's Frost Burned

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson Book 7) by Patricia Briggs
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: March 5th, 2013
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy

Of all the horrors that Mercy's faced, she may be coming up against the most dangerous yet... the mall on Black Friday! Her step-daughter Jesse has somehow convinced her that after a great Thanksgiving feast that they should hop in Mercy's Rabbit and go shopping. When they get in a car accident and the Rabbit meets it's true death, Mercy's reservations have been made crystal clear. The mall is not for her. Yet was the jolt of impact the pain she's feeling, or did the pain happen before and perhaps cause the impact? The fact that the two of them cannot get ahold of ANY of the pack does not bode well. It soon becomes apparent that something really bad has happened. The pack has been kidnapped. Finding pack member Ben and then being approached by Bran's friend Asil, means at least Mercy has two "people" on her side. Yet a very dominate wolf like Asil near an injured wolf like Ben isn't the best thing. She's in an explosive situation, and if she can't get her little team to work together, perhaps things could go from bad to worse. The most worrying aspect of all is that obviously someone knows a lot about Adam and Mercy's pack. If they can all survive, can they find out who is pulling the strings and why?

Of all the Urban Fantasy series currently out there, I think that I can easily say that the Mercy Thompson books by Patricia Briggs are my favorite. While I do love my Sookie Stackhouse, Charlaine Harris's series has it's flaws. I'm not saying that Mercy is by any means perfect, hardly, but I love that over time she has really developed and matured as a character. Forward progression can never be underestimated in a long running series. Because of this love I was beyond excited to see that Patricia Briggs was actually going to have an event near me (as in less then four hours in a car and only having to cross one state border). Of all my favorite authors she was the one I had yet to meet, so queue happy music and me driving off in my car to Illinois.

The event was lovely and it was interesting that someone who deals out a lot of death and destruction on their characters could be so giddy and bubbly. Not only did she put on a great presentation, but she took the time to talk to everyone in line (luckily I was in the first row, I can't imagine how long the others had to wait, but waiting in a bookstore is not a bad thing, except perhaps for your wallet). The thing I found very interesting was how into dissecting the cover art the fans are. Personally, I really like the cover art, it's what drew me to the books, but I didn't really sit for hours examining the tattoos and jewelry. Apparently I should have been, because the tattoos reflect which aspect of the supernatural world Mercy will connect with in the book, Fae, Vampire, Wolves... so that means they change! I basically came home from the talk and took out all the books and looked at each cover closely. It was such fun!

Now ever since her last book River Marked, which I know some people weren't too thrilled with, me being the exception, I've had more then a little obsession with the Otterkin. My friend Matt things I'm more then a little crazy on the Otterkin front, but, I got to talk to Patricia Briggs for five minutes all about Otters and Otterkin, so that was beyond awesome. Although, she did traumatize me more then a little with a story about a vicious Otter... so I guess Matt can gloat about that. The only thing that I didn't like about the talk was which section of the book she chose to read. Now, this would be more in the general gripes about that book, but I didn't really care for the sections from Adam's point of view... so when she read the first section from Adam's POV, well, I tuned out a little. I didn't like reading it the first time, so hearing it a second time was redundant.

So, I've dwelled enough on the talk, let's segue to the book itself. The beginning, well, it was a little cringe worthy. Yet another kidnapping. In fact... is there any book in this series that doesn't have a kidnapping? No, I'm not joking, I'm serious. Moon Called, yes, Blood Bound, yes, Iron Kissed, in a way, yes, Bone Crossed, yes, Silver Borne, yes... in fact, every one except River Marked... so I think it's time to lay off the kidnapping all together. I liked that they were able to get themselves out of a tight situation and therefore the kidnapping was quickly resolved. But still. No more kidnapping. Repeating this trope makes it look like lazy writing, and these books are anything but.

As I said earlier, I love that the characters grow and consequences stick. Mainly I like that the plot lines from the other related books, so far the Alpha and Omega series, but fingers crossed about that possible Ben spin off, feed into this book and the complex universe that Briggs has built. The fact that Mercy is living with the repercussions of the Fae basically declaring war on humans in Fair Game, by just vanishing off the face of the earth is interesting. Because the link to Zee is severed... but then again, Zee is a clever and old fae, so, rules that apply to others are more mailable to him, like iron in his hands. Also, the full extent of what exactly Mercy is and capable of is still shrouded. The encounter she has with a ghost brings a new level of scary... I can't wait to see what Briggs does with this further development. Obviously Mercy can do far more then turn into a coyote, and I can't wait to read it. Sigh, another book quickly devoured and at least another year to wait... perhaps it's time for a re-read? That should tide me over for awhile... right?


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