Just finished reading Bone Crossed, book No.4 in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy stories.
I thought Iron Kissed was an excellent addition to the series and was really looking forward to reading Bone Crossed. And I’m so glad I did. It’s so good. I don’t know where I’m going to go with my ratings after this because they’ve reached the top of the ceiling now! So basically no disappointment here. I guess there’s going to be a book somewhere along the line in this series that I won’t enjoy as much but so far I really enjoy reading about Mercy.
This story basically comes to life from the very start. At the beginning Mercy is clearly still suffering from the events in book No.3 (no surprise) and I thought this was so realistic, no wand waving magic and a few cuddles and all’s okay – no we have panic attacks, feelings of inadequacy, flashbacks, nightmares, etc. I thought it was all dealt with sensitively and realistically – so, if you just want Mercy to shrug it off you can expect to be disappointed. That being said, Mercy has her usual adventures which she deals with in her usual style.
The Queen of the vampire seethe has unfortunately found out Mercy’s (and Stefan’s) little secrets and is deeply vexed! Recriminations come thick and fast although not necessarily as you would at first suspect but the Queen has been around a long time and she knows how to play people like puppets on strings. The secret being out, and in an attempt to shield her friends and pack from harm, Mercy takes a little trip to help out an old friend. Again, this came very out of the blue for Mercy and seemed uncharacteristic for the friend in question, but, needs must when the devil vomits into your kettle, and so off Mercy set on her little trip to Spokane – with Stefan in toe. Of course, as soon as Mercy lands in Spokane she immediately lands smack bang in the middle of trouble and attracts the attention of one who is known as ‘the Monster’ – even the Vampire Queen stays out of his sights.
Mercy and Stefan find themselves immediately turning tail and running for the hills – or Adam’s house. Anyway, not to give anything more away we quickly have negotiations, strange ghosts, new fey – not to mention the return of the fey walking stick – which is actually becoming almost a favourite character of mine in the series – how is that possible?? This is an inanimate object but I feel strangely sentimental towards it. Get a grip woman! We also learn more about Seethe politics and pack bonding and lets face it Stefan plays a large part in this book – and I’m finding I really like Stefan. The Scooby thing and van alone is pretty cool but he’s cold, calm, collected, fierce and yet loyal and caring (if that is even possible for a vampire).
I really love the way that Patricia Briggs keeps finding new and interesting elements to add to her themes of paranormals, little things such as the Oakman. Not to mention the strange what The Monster was actually up to. We also see a little more of Mercy’s elements come to light in this book as she realises a little bit of her own potential in relation to ghosts. And, I also liked the way that there wasn’t a great deal of recapping from the previous novel – there were lots of mentions but they didn’t go into great detail but are simply related with confidence – because clearly you will have read the other novels! Which I have (so gloats happily).
The other thing I like about this series is it’s described as a romance but it’s not all about the romance. Mercy spends a good deal of time on her own and she’s not some slim version of herself when she doesn’t have a man around – she gets on with it, quite often taking herself into very dangerous situations in order to protect people who she likes and are more vulnerable. And, she’s a good character. She works hard, has a sense of humour and quite often takes a severe beating but still keeps on going.
In terms of criticisms – I don’t really have any – I could have used a little bit of explanation about what had actually occured with Mercy and Adam with the letting down of the barriers scene! Perplexed. But I’m sure this will become clearer in due course.
Overall, definitely recommend.