by Patricia Briggs
Published by Ace Hardcover (3/5/13)
My Own Copy
Mercy Thompson takes her stepdaughter shopping on the eve of Black Friday. Much complaining and a sizable fender bender lead to a terrifying discovery; the mate bond between Mercy and Adam has gone quiet. Our favorite heroine switches to stealth mode to find out what's wrong because she's poked the supernatural beast enough to know something really bad has decided to bite back. With Bran busy negotiating with the Fae and almost every pack member unreachable, Mercy teams up with unlikely helpers and like always takes on more than she can chew.
The moment I cracked open Frost Burned, I happily fell into Briggs' easy style of storytelling. I love Mercy's snark, especially when she's cranky. And she's cranky about shopping when she should be rubbing her full belly after a big Thanksgiving Day dinner. She's always had this air of maturity, but she seemed extra grown up in this installment. She's a step mom now. She has an entire pack to worry about, as well as her mate who is in some kind of danger that has him in pain and raging pretty hard. She mentions several times she would like to hand over the decision making to someone better equipped, yet the fate of the world and her loved ones reside right there on her shoulders. I remember in Moon Called she wore the same cocoa stained shirt forever. I wanted to personally escort her to a hot shower. This time she's battered by one event after another with no sleep, no food, no medical care. I wanted to bandage up her many scrapes, feed her some soup, and tuck her in bed.
Along with the action starting up right away, we're treated to Adam's POV. It's a switch up to her previous Mercy books. And it's awesome! I would have liked a little more man-type thoughts. Most of them revolve around his monster-ness. Doesn't he know Mercy loves all of him? To counter the warm fuzzies inspired by insight into one of our favorite characters, Briggs kills us a little bit by revealing a less cool Stephan. What is happening to our favorite vampire? He's so dark. I want to slap him out of his funk, but then he'd just kill me for it. And I'm not entirely sure I want a friendly Stephan again. Maybe I like a potentially evil former Scooby fan lurking about.
The mystery part of the story is great in that I had no idea what/who was the big bad. I had my guesses, oh and my author judgements. "Patty, come on. That is so obvious." Ha! I was wrong with every dang guess. Some of that had to do with too much misdirection. The action was riveting. Briggs added new elements, new ways to fight, and new types of things to fight.
I loved Frost Burned. I couldn't read it fast enough, yet I tried to take my time. I haven't started stalking Briggs' website (which has had a complete makeover!), but I'm sure any day now I'll start hunting down the next big release date.
Talking points for those who have read Frost Burned.
The romance part in some ways was wonderful. Mercy loves Adam. We love Adam. It's all good. But come on, Briggs. They did it in Silver Borne. You can't reclaim your Urban Fantasy genre status because we've been rooting for this romance too long and you already gave it to us and we sat through a wedding ceremony. So give us the dang sex. Grrh. Anyone else feel this way, that Briggs was holding on to keeping this series light on romance when that ship has already sailed?
After reading the third book in the Alpha and Omega series, Fair Game, I wondered how Briggs' was going to address the fact that she just remapped the world. Briggs does a good job of filling in the blanks for those who need a refresher. For those who opted out of reading the Alpha and Omega series, they'd have the basics, but not the justifiable anger the Fae feel toward the human justice system. Was there too much backstory in this installment? Not enough? I personally do not like backstory. I want the most minimal possible to keep the read fresh and exciting and still fluid with the series.
I know Mercy is smart, but there were a few showy moments in this book where I felt like the stupid one at a cocktail party. Sheesh, even Tony said, "I and the police department..." or some such. Mercy had just used the same sentence structure pages earlier. It didn't feel like the way you'd expect conversation to naturally flow. I guess this one's more of a gripe than a talking point.