Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?
Fire Touched (Mercy Thompson #9) by Patricia Briggs
Patricia Briggs writes the best werewolves in fiction, but her two werewolf series are barely about them anymore! She has become obsessed with the fae, and we are treated to nonstop infodumps giving us lengthy backstories of increasingly ridiculous mythological creatures, at the expense of the characters who should star in the book.
The thing about Briggs’ books is that when she writes her wolves and her pack dynamics, and the power in the relationships between her main characters, her books are fantastic. I cannot get enough of them. The dynamic between Mercy and her husband (and mate and Alpha) Adam is so well-written.
But there was so little of pack dynamics in this book. So little, in fact, that Mercy – our shapeshifting narrator of the series – didn’t change even once in the whole book! She was human from start to finish while we were treated to lots of random side characters and all the cool stuff THEY could do.
The first, epic scene on the bridge was a page-turner. The wolves facing off with a huge troll. It was the only time in the book the wolves did anything other than hang out in human form, eating and playing video games!
I read the paranormal and fantasy genres only when I can feel a connection to the real world. This book took me to a place where I lost that connection, and I was so tired of reading about these crazy fantastical monsters with NO connection to reality whatsoever that I started skimming. A couple of nights in a row, I fell asleep after struggling through all the unnecessary descriptions and conversations.
It’s crazy, because whenever Briggs returns to the heart of the story and the core of her series, I am in love. A word here and a sentence there between Mercy and Adam and Mercy’s stepdaughter and the band of (not so) merry werewolves, and I’m in Heaven:
“She doesn’t need the pack. She doesn’t need me.”
I shot to my feet. “That’s not true,” I said hotly.
He tilted his head a little, his eyes meeting mine. His eyes softened. “I misspoke,” he said in a steady voice. “She doesn’t need me to make sure she has enough food or a place to live-that is my privilege, but she doesn’t need me to do that. She doesn’t need me to keep her safe or to make her a whole person. She doesn’t need me to do anything except love her. Which I do.”
And then suddenly we’re back waist-deep in random fae, and I ask myself what I’m forcing myself to pay attention.
Both of Briggs’ werewolf series have become obsessed with the fae recently. If that’s where the author’s interest is, then perhaps she should end her wolf books before they’re unrecognisable and spin off into fairy books. I won’t be reading them, but I’m sure there’s a big fanbase waiting for her!