I started the Mercy Thompson series when Moon Called was selected for the VF book club in 2015. I enjoyed the first book but got caught up with other urban fantasy series from Ilona Andrews and Kim Harrison. Over the summer, I was reminded of the series during a virtual Mocha Girls Read meeting. I decided to dive back in with the audio narration and ended up reading three in a row.
Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson isn’t looking for trouble in the tri-cities area of Washington. The coyote shapeshifter had been living an uneventful life until her werewolf neighbor Adam needed help in the first book. As the Morrock (aka the king of all werewolves) raised her, she is no stranger to werewolves. She is toying with the idea of dating Adam, but they have some power dynamic issues. For starters, he’s the Alpha and a lot older than her. Also, her childhood lover Samuel decides to move in with her. Hello, love triangle! The romance burns in the background as the dangerous trouble continue to find Mercy.
Blood Bound sees her tangle with the local vampires. Magic works differently on her since she’s a coyote. This comes in handy when a wizard turned vamp goes on a rampage. She owes her vampire friend Stefan a favor. He cashes in by asking her to back him up when he confronts the crazy vamp. But things go south when the vamp’s magic flares Stefan’s blood lust. The wizard-vamp gets away leaving bodies in his wake. To help Stefan, Mercy is forced to give testimony with the area vampire queen. That’s when things get really complicated. The queen hires her to catch the vampire wizard. It’s kind of out of her wheelhouse as a mechanic. The cops can’t really help and humans are dying. She ends up pulling in the wolves who agree to help since a spike in murders is never good. In this universe, the wolves are out of the closet to humans. They rather get in front of the crisis so they don’t catch the blame. Mercy must use her coyote senses and friendships to survive this big bad.
Iron Kissed is all about the Fae. Mercy uncovers some of their secrets, which proves to be quite dangerous. Mercy learned everything she knows about cars from her fae best friend, Zee. So when he asks to borrow her nose for a fae murder investigation, she’s more than happy to help. It’ll also help get her mind off the mess she made with the vamps in the previous book. Mercy sniffs out the killer who was stealing fae artifacts. Unfortunately, the murderer himself turns up dead and Zee is arrested for the crime. The fae beings are also out of the supernatural closet, but only reveal a fraction of who they truly are to the humans. They live on reservations allegedly for their protection, but really so no one knows what they do inside them. In this spirit, the fae elders prefer Zee take the fall to keep a lid on their business. As one can imagine, that doesn’t sit well with Mercy. She decides to get Zee a lawyer and solve the case on her own. Once again, Mercy bites off more than she can chew. Adam and Samuel object to her getting involved many times, but Mercy is very stubborn. Their love triangle is also causing issues for the werewolf pack. The climax of this book was a DOOZY with emotional ramifications into the next book.
Bone Crossed has Mercy hunting ghosts for a college friend in Spokane. We learn in the previous books that her coyote magic allows her to see and interact with spirits. However, she’s never tried to become a ghostbuster until now. Her friend is worried about her son. He’s either seeing things or it’s a proper poltergeist scenario. With things in her personal life heating up, a new case is a welcome distraction from her anxious mind. Her bad blood with the vamps has come to roost as well. They have cursed her and anyone she cares about. This kicks up the tensions between the werewolves and the vampires to 11. Adam attempts to negotiate while Mercy gets out of dodge for a while. Stefan goes with Mercy as a backup ghost hunter. What they find is a lot more sinister and dangerous. On a positive note, Mercy’s love life hasn’t been better!
Mercy is such an interesting protagonist because she doesn’t have it all figured out. She isn’t a detective or a superhero. Nevertheless, she doesn’t hesitate to try and solve these supernatural cases. Even when told to back down by extremely powerful beings. With each book, the big bad may be defeated, but things are hardly resolved for Mercy. There’s always something with her love life and issues simmering between the supernatural groups. Somehow her coyote nature pulls her into the center of it. She understands the wolves, blends in with humans, and has friends with the fae and vampires (well not all of them). She knows too much but proves too hard to kill (so far anyway). Of the series so far, I think Iron Kissed is my favorite despite the devastating events at the end. About half-way through it, I realized that I was utterly hooked. I’m both impatient and excited for the recent books in the series. I actually had to stop myself from diving into book four. Otherwise, I wouldn’t get any of my book club reading done!
I wouldn’t recommend reading any of these books out of order. There’s quite a bit of history to track between the races and characters. This is a great series if you enjoy novels with equal parts of romance and urban fantasy. Mercy’s love life is as important to the story as unraveling the supernatural conflict. Television fans of True Blood, Bitten, and Lost Girl should definitely consider this series.
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