Thursday, May 9, 2013

Frost Burned (Mercedes Thompson, #7) by Patricia Briggs


Title: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, Book 7)
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover; 352 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover; First Edition edition (March 5, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0441020011
ISBN-13: 978-0441020010
Author's Website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/



"When are you and Dad going to have a baby?"

A seemingly innocent question, yet it may have saved both Mercy and Jesse. Adam and his pack have been kidnapped. Had it not been for an inconvenient fender bender brought on by that oh so innocent of a question, Mercy and Jesse most likely would have met a similar fate. Now the race is on to try to keep from becoming prey to some group who originally claimed to have government ties, but in the loosest sense.Using her pack bond to Adam, Mercy discovers the pack's kidnappers are blackmailing Adam into assassinating a US Senator.

With tensions running high after the recent retreat of the fae, the recently outed werewolves seem to have become the target of those who are against the integration of supernaturals into modern society. An assassination attempt by the most visible werewolf/human liaison representative could spell disaster for werewolves all over the world. Will Mercy be able to stop things from escalating to the point of no return? Maybe...with a little help from her friends.

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This is the seventh book of the Mercedes Thompson series and if you haven't read the previous books in the series, I won't lie, you'll probably get lost. In fact, I'd recommend not only reading the previous books in this series, but also all the books (or at least the last one) in the Alpha Omega series. Something big goes down in the fae world and I have to say the ending of  Fair Game was one of Ms. Briggs' finest. You truly won't want to miss it.

One of the things I love about Ms. Briggs is her ability to use smoke and mirror within her books. She has this uncanny ability to make you look in one direction all the while keeping something hidden up her masterful storyteller's sleeve. Something that you swear wasn't there until you go back and find the breadcrumb trail she left which, when pieced together, means so much. You got to love an author who can do this. It's one of the reasons she's on my top four favorite paranormal author's list. Her, Kelley Armstrong, Jeanine Frost and Nalini Singh each alternately take turns at the top spot as my ultimate favorite when their latest book comes out. Just call me fickle, but they know what I like.:)

Mercedes 'Mercy' Thompson, is a walker. She can change form into a coyote. She was born with the ability, but it doesn't have the same perks that being a shapeshifter would have. She doesn't heal super fast and she wasn't blessed with super strength. She does maintain her humanity, however, when she changes to animal form. She is also resistant to most magic including the standard magic used by vampires. She's brave, would help anyone who needs help, and is tougher than she looks. She's Coyote's daughter--yes, the Coyote from legend who is usually referred to as the trickster, but that is not a quality she inherited from him. She's fiercely loyal and inspires the same in her friends. She even makes friends that most would consider unfriendable such as a vampire name Stephen and a fae named Zee. Mercy is straight forward and doesn't play games. She'll tell you straight up how things stand and expects the same in return. She was raised by werewolves and is presently married to Adam, the Tri-Cites' area's pack's alpha.  She wears a lamb necklace which, being that it is an item of faith, works the same as a cross against vampires. At times it seems like she has more lives than a cat, but perhaps luck and good friends explain that better.

In Frost Burned, Mercy has to use her mating bond to Adam in a way she never has before. She's finally learning what it means to be Coyote's daughter and the ability that comes with it is pretty amazing. I think we're just beginning to see what she's capable of, and I'm looking forward to seeing her use her abilities to their fullest potential in the future.

Asil (aka the Moor) from the Alpha & Omega spin-off, as well as many of Mercy's old allies like Tad, Stefan, Zee, Ariana who we haven't seen in a while, make an appearance in this book. Items and events from previous books come into play with this one cementing both the Alpha Omega series and the Mercedes Thomas together more so than in her previous books.  Rumor has it that Briggs has ended the Alpha & Omega series which I'm hoping isn't true, but I can see how it would be hard to keep the two timelines in sync.

Asil is sent by Bran to protect Mercy and try to deal with the situation of the kidnapped pack. The big questions on everyone's mind is who is financing the endeavor and who is this attack personally aimed at? Is it aimed at all werewolves in general, or could someone have a personal vendetta against Adam or Mercy or is someone attempting to eliminate the Marrok? While the Marrok's identity is kept secret from outsiders, there is concern that perhaps someone is trying to coax him into revealing himself so they can eliminate him.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved the story, and the drama and suspense created as Mercy tries to save the pack while attempting to protect those left behind. The mystery of who is behind it all was excellently done. I was completely taken by surprise. Also I have to wonder if the rabbit dying might not be some sort of foreshadowing of what is to come? Before the drug store pregnancy test were created there was a method in which a rabbit could detect if a woman was pregnant. The term "the rabbit died" indicated that the woman was pregnant.* Somehow I doubt the foreshadowing, but dang this would be a clever way for Briggs to ease us into the idea, and if there is one thing I know about Patty, the woman is brilliant. I'm foregoing the Romance Rating Scale because this book isn't about the romance. 


Notes to keep you in the know:
* According to About.com, "Around 1927 it was discovered that if you injected the urine of a pregnant woman into a rabbit, there would be corpora hemorrhagica in the ovaries of the rabbit. These bulging masses on the ovaries could not be seen with out killing the rabbit to inspect the ovaries, so invariably, every rabbit died, even if the woman wasn't pregnant. The phrase, "The rabbit died," came to be a euphemism for a positive pregnancy test after the late 1920 and early 1930s." (http://pregnancy.about.com/od/amipregnant/a/Origin-Of-The-Pregnancy-Test-Rabbit-Test.htm)


Timeline posted on the Hurog forum website (Patricia's forum for questions about her books). - I always tell you there is gold on author's websites, blogs, etc  and this is a prime example: (http://www.hurog.com/forum/index.php?topic=646.0):



Order of the Mercedes Thompson series:
 

Order of the Alpha & Omega series:


 Graphic Novel Prequel to the Mercedes Thompson series (I read it in a books store):
  

 Novellas in Anthologies for the Mercedes Thomson Series:
 
- "Gray" from 'Home Improvement: Undead Edition' anthology
- "Fairy Gifts" from 'Naked City: Tales of Urban Fantasy' anthology
- "Star of David" in 'Wolfsbane and Mistletoe' anthology
- "In Red, With Pearls" from the 'Down These Strange Streets' anthology
- 'Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson' by Patricia Briggs. It contains the following Novellas: #0.1, "Gray", "Fairy Gifts", "Star of David", #4.5, "In Red With Pearl", #7.4)

Novellas in Anthologies for the Alpha & Omega Series:
- "Seeing Eye" in the 'Strange Brew anthology'
- "Alpha and Omega" in the 'On the Prowl anthology' ***HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read before reading Cry Wolf, the first book in the Alpha & Omega series.***

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