If you are a fan of urban fantasy and haven’t read Mercy Thompson, I am disappoint.
The 8th installment of Mrs. Brigg’s Mercy Thompson was released on March 11th and has quickly taken its place as one of my favorites in this series. Despite the fact that I frequently had to fight from tearing it in half or throwing it across the room. But more on that later.
There are spoilers, ahead. If you have not read the novel, you better run out and get it. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Alright, we are all set now? Good.
This installment starts with a normal Sunday morning at the Hauptman house, so of course there are werewolves everywhere. The phone rings and we are about to be introduced to the toughest enemy that Mercy and Adam have had to face so far: Christy, Adam’s ex-wife. And she needs their help. And to stay in their home.
Needless to say, I knew this was going to be a rough one.
Christy has encountered a man who started as an interesting fling and ended up being a crazy stalker. And she is so afraid that she has run to the one person she knows can handle anything: Adam. Her ex-husband. Mercy’s new husband. Mercy is still walking on eggshells around the pack because of the whole “being a coyote shapeshifter” thing. And maybe some of the trouble that seems to follow her around. But… really. That’s hardly her fault.
As the story progresses, we begin to see how adept Christy is at managing (read:manipulating) people to where she subtly makes Mercy the “bad guy” while making most everyone in the pack bend over backwards to make her feel better. Every dinner is a chess match. And really, we know Mercy is much better with a blunt instrument. Like maybe a walking stick with a thirst for blood. Mercy comes out the loser in these engagements. Hence the aforementioned book throwing.
The real “big bad” of the story is a volcano god from the Canary Islands. (There’s a sentence you don’t hear often.) The legend goes that he was so enamored by the sun that he stole her and kept her as his lover until she was freed and he has been searching for her ever since. And somehow he thinks she is Christy. Well, volcano god, there are a lot of things I would call Christy and “sun goddess” DEFINITELY does not make the top ten. But, I digress…
VOLCANO GOD. Right. Well, this is a nasty one. He is so far from home that he must take something with him as a power source: namely two giant beast dogs from hell. Which they have to defeat to take him out, of course.
One of the most interesting components of this story, in my opinion, was that we met Mercy’s half-brother, Gary Laughingdog. Who seems to have a slightly different reaction to Coyote than Mercy does. Namely, he hates him.
I should probably be less amused by this. But I love Coyote. His sly, somewhat dark, sense of humor is fantastic. And his disregard for rules and playing by them. Except when it keeps the ones he loves safe.
Anyway, yada yada yada, the good guys win. But it comes with a price this time. Mercy dies. And even with a broken neck and being gnawed on by a giant demon dog from hell, Mercy saves the day.
Source: replygif.net and also those amazing blue eyes.
YOU GO, GIRL.
She turns the tide of the battle and manages to let Adam and the pack kill the other demon dog, sending Volcano God back to the Canary Islands. But we get to hear a little bit of the conversation as Mercy lapses in and out of consciousness and it does not sound good.
But Mercy’s father is NOT Coyote. So he pays her a little visit and VOILA! no more broken neck. Man, it would be nice to have Coyote as my not-father.
So, we end with a not-dead Mercy, a banished big-bad and Christy is blue. Da-ba-di-da-ba-dye.
All’s well that ends well… with a walking stick.
Overall: I really enjoy that Briggs doesn’t shy away from tough emotions. And there are several times that I was so angry that she would bring Christy into Mercy’s & Adam’s lives, but it was done reasonably and realistically. It never crossed that line into sitcom-y and to that end I was very impressed. I occasionally think that the mythology gets away from Briggs- we are constantly introducing and updating the mythos- but it never completely contradicts itself or gets boring (though a little difficult to follow). Mercy was definitely true to character this entire novel (but possibly a little more mature) and was everything I have come to love about the character. Her selflessness and need to protect those she loves are still her main traits. I can’t wait to see what she does next.