Well. I have been reading about Mercy Thompson for a really long time. The series has its highs and its lows. It felt like the last few books were really in the lows. I couldn’t even take comfort in the Alpha & Omega books anymore because it just felt we were reading the same plot repeatedly. But this one finally allows Mercy and Adam to just be. To just be happy. To just be in love. To just be a team. To just have the Pack supporting them no matter what. It was a long time coming but it feels like Briggs has started to right the ship. I hope she takes some time before the next Alpha & Omega because the rewrite to history with some major characters in that series is still making long-time readers salty. The good was that we once again get Mercy and Adam’s points of view (it looks like a thing that is fully here to stay…maybe it should just be called Mercy and Adam Hauptman novels going forward?). We have callbacks to things that have not even been mentioned in so many books (the lingering effects Mercy still has over the events in “Iron Kissed”). How much Zee absolutely loves Mercy. How strong and terrible our grouchy Zee really is. And just Jessie, Ben, Warren, etc. It felt like a welcome homecoming. There was really no bad for me to point to. I think some parts of the story moved a bit slow, but it wasn’t enough for me to reduce my rating. And of course there’s that whole secret that Samuel is dealing with and I don’t want to even deal with.
“Soul Taken” has Mercy and the Pack at a local pumpkin patch when Mercy gets walloped with a small squash which instantly kicks the urge to kill in Adam. Mercy refuses to let the incident ruin her attempts to get the Pack more in harmony after the incidents in the last book. However, something bigger is going on that may lead Adam to not be the Alpha of the Pack anymore (no spoilers) which gets postponed after Marsilla appears and tells Adam and Mercy they must find Wulfe for her or face consequences. From there, Adam, Mercy, and Zee start to investigate some random killings that may be linked and lead back to a special weapon called the Soul Taker. Mercy has no idea who is wielding the weapon, but she is starting to wonder how the vampires are linked.
We get more into Mercy’s special abilities and how she has managed to transform the Pack in this one. And we get more details about how after Mercy declared that the Pack would keep the Tri-Cities safe, more magical users are flocking there hoping to really be protected. It seems that the petty issues going on with the Pack had Adam and Mercy lose their eye on that ball, but they definitely pick it back up.
I just was happy to visit with everyone. We get enough depth on Mercy and Adam to make me happy along with the big reveal about Sherwood which….I don’t even want to deal with right now. Coyote and his self stays messy. I do love the insights we get into the vampires on this one. I was happy for once there was not a Black witch running around behind the scenes, I feel like Briggs has beaten that whole thing into the ground.
The writing was strong in this one I thought and we get even more details to make the overarching worldbuilding still interesting.
As I said above, the flow was a little slow here and there, but not enough to ruin my enjoyment of the book.
The setting of the Tri-Cities always gives me pause. I don’t know if I would run to Mercy or Adam or get the heck out of the state or what. Something wicked this way always seems to be walking towards them.
I think in the end though that the book leaves open what is going to happen next and whether it is something that Mercy and Adam can walk away from.