After reviewing Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series last year, I have come back for more with CBR13. I can’t seem to get enough! Mercy is a coyote shifter who lives in Washington working as a mechanic. She was raised by werewolves and attempted to strike out on her own. She keeps to herself mostly until she ends up tangled in werewolf business. Her neighbor happens to be the local were pack Alpha, Adam. With the first four books in the series, Mercy gets into trouble with various supernatural baddies but also awful humans. Adam and his pack, her vampire BFF Stefan, ex-boyfriend/roommate wolf Samuel, and fae mechanic mentor Zee all help her survive against all odds. Eventually, Mercy gives in to her attraction to Adam and they start dating properly in book three. Silver Borne (#5) and River Marked (#6) see Mercy get into even more trouble with the Fae.
In this world, the Fae community does not like their secrets out in the open. With each novel, Mercy learns more than she should. In the fourth book, she was lent a book of fae history and mythology. When she goes to return it in Silver Borne, the fae has gone missing. Said fae is a friend of Zee’s, so Mercy decides to investigate who may have taken him. Soon she enters a dangerous game with an evil fairy queen. Said queen wants to reclaim her power and needs that book. But Mercy won’t give it up. Her relationship with Adam has progressed. Some of his wolves are not happy with a coyote making herself home in the pack. A good chunk of the story centers around pack politics and scheming. As if Mercy needs more problems, Samuel is struggling with his wolf. He is a lone wolf and very old, but not much to live for these days. If the pack knew the truth, the wolf council might have to kill Samuel to prevent a rampage. Mercy refuses to let that happen. She won’t abandon Samuel even to the detriment of her other relationships.
In River Marked, things start light and romantic with Adam and Mercy on a vacation. They go on a road trip in an RV to a river campsite outside Portland. They earned some much-needed alone time to properly get it on. 🙂 Sadly, their romantic interlude is interrupted by a river demon who likes to eat people. There are also some evil fairy otter shifters lurking. Talk about a mood killer. We learn a lot about Mercy’s Native American and magical heritage in this one. Despite the inconvenient monsters, Mercy and Adam grow even closer by the end of the novel.
I read both Silver Borne and River Marked via audiobook from my library. I burned through each in two back-to-back weekends. I was in a small reading slump, which was cured right away by returning to this series. There’s action and romance in equal measure making for quite the page-turner novels. In the fifth book, I liked how more of the fae world is revealed. Even if it makes life more precarious for Mercy! Her coyote nature makes her clever and very good at finding some loopholes to survive. Mercy doesn’t think twice about protecting her friends, which I admired in this book. Adam does wish she’d stop putting herself on the line repeatedly. In the sixth book, Briggs takes us to the Portland river area in the Pacific Northwest. I like that I get to travel vicariously in these books. A map of the park area and river is included for the reader. I especially liked the focus on Native American mythology. Mercy uncovers new things about her past, which helps her come to terms with her Indigenous roots. I’m curious to know what an Indigenous reader thinks of these novels. For me, I read these as mostly fiction but think Briggs has done some research to remain respectful. I really love that Mercy has a knack for pissing off monsters. She pissed that River demon right off after one encounter. Although, it’s never good when you hear an ancient demon in one’s head. I was simultaneously excited and scared for her throughout the novel. I appreciated the focus on Mercy and Adam as they find their groove together.
This is a great series for urban fantasy lovers who’ve read The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I would also recommend it if you liked the following tv shows: True Blood, Supernatural, Bitten, or Lost Girl.
Read my previous reviews from this series on my blog.