Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Book Review - Patricia Briggs's Night Broken

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
Published by: Ace
Publication Date: March 11th, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages
Rating: ★★★★
To Buy

Mercy might be facing the worst monster she has come up against, her husband Adam's ex-wife, Christy. Christy's having a little problem with an over amorous ex of her own and she decides that the only safe place for her is with her ex and his pack. In fact, thinking things through, she might just want to be by Adam's side on a more permanent basis again. This delusion of Christy's rankles Mercy, but she knows that her and Adam are one and Christy is no threat to their love. So the only thing to be done is grin and bare it while solving Christy's problem with as much haste as is seemly. Of course things get complicated when Christy's stalker isn't your run of the mill human... but that's not something unusual in Mercy's world.

The problem with long running series is you reach a point that if you don't go back and re-read the earlier volumes there's something missing when you pick up the new book. Whether it's a running joke that has started to fade in your memory or if it's just that you're starting to mix up the characters, there's a point when you need to go backwards to keep going forwards. And I really need to go backwards for a little while. I'm still enjoying the books and the characters, but there's just something missing. I feel like I'm losing my connection to Mercy and I don't want this to happen. Of course the opportunity to sit and re-read seven books is a luxury I haven't had the time for yet, but I think I really need to make the time.

The aspect I love of Briggs's writing is that she won't stick to tropes. If there's a convention, instead of going the party line, she'll subvert it. Sometimes this works perfectly, and sometimes if doesn't. If I seriously have to read about yet another kidnapping in this series I might just go crazy. I mean, quite literally, can one person or one group of persons be kidnapped this much? Because it is in almost every single book now and it's getting really old. Though all my worries were more on the ex-wife showing up. With Christy arriving in the Tri-Cities and ostensibly making a play to get Adam back I was worried that it would play out like every ex-wife trope in every book, movie, or television show ever. Thankfully I was wrong.

Instead of being a typical threat, as in making a rift develop between Mercy and Adam, she is a threat because of her stalker. I am so glad, firstly, that Briggs didn't try to put a wedge between Mercy and Adam and that there love is as strong as ever, but secondly, I loved that it was Christy bringing the threat. So not only was she unwelcome but she was also a danger. Yeah, she's a really bad ex-wife and it makes me smile. But in how the pack and Adam treats Christy it shows the strength of their characters. Instead of just fobbing her off and telling her to save herself they decided to help her. To rise above all the crap and still view someone as family and worthy of help, that just makes me love all these fictional people all the more. Though I will qualify that I don't want to be in their pack because seriously, I don't think I could survive the day.

As I've said before what is helping this series in it's longevity is that instead of like in the earlier books when the threat would alternate between the Fae and the Vampires Briggs is bringing "others" into the mix. We already have had the appearance of Coyote, a mythological figure that turns out to be very real in this and previous installments. But here we get a God! And not just a nameless faceless God without motive, we get a God we can understand and feel sorry for. To make evil somewhat sympathetic or at least understandable is a great feat, and Briggs does it flawlessly. But then again, this is a woman who was able to make a walking stick perhaps one of my most favorite characters in a book ever, so should I be surprised with what she can do with real "people"? No, I shouldn't.

But there's a part of me who now has to play devil's advocate. With all of the Mercy-verse, I'm including Charles and Anna's series too here, how long can it really last? Charles and Anna are able to switch it up with different locations and characters in each installment, but Mercy is at the mercy (haha) of being with her pack in the Tri-Cities. How much longer can this go on without becoming stale? Because truthfully, while I love the cast and the pack there's a threshold of how many kidnappings I can take, hint, we've already passed it; and there's only so much pack politics I can take before I get bored. The little switch ups she tried to add, like having Adam's POV, haven't really worked. So while we don't get a new Mercy next year, maybe that's a good thing and will give Briggs time to think about the long term and how to keep this series fresh and exciting. Long live Mercy (as long as the quality is maintained)!


Newer Post Older Post Home