Notes: I bought this one.
"Adam," Christy said. "Oh, Adam." She sobbed, a small, hopeless sound. "I'm in trouble, I need to come home. I've been so stupid. He won't leave me alone. He hurt me, he killed a friend of mine, and he follows me everywhere I go. Can I come home, please?"
"Call the police," Adam said. "That's what they're there for."
"He'll kill me," she whispered. "Adam, he'll kill me. I don't have anywhere else to run. Please."
Werewolves can tell when people are lying. So can some of the other supernatural critters running around like me, for instance. Over the phone is a lot trickier because a lot of the telltale signs involve heartbeat and smell--neither of which is possible to detect over a phone line. But I could hear the truth in her voice.
Adam looked at me.
"Tell her to come." I said.
Christy, Adam's ex-wife, is once again her annoying manipulative self. While she doesn't lie about being stalked, she uses the situation to try to worm her way back into the fold and does her best to drive a wedge between Mercy and the pack. Gone for years, she seems to think the world revolves around her, and she can pick up where she left off. She even takes over the kitchen leaving Mercy with no method of baking all those chocolate goodies which help her to relieve stress in a peaceful manner. Mercy, of course, bites her tongue and takes it all gracefully, not because she's a pushover, but because she loves Jesse and would never attempt to drive a wedge between her and her mother. Christy, after all, does a fine enough job doing that all on her own.
Meanwhile, if Christy isn't bad enough, Alistair Beauclaire, the Gray Lord who declared the Fae independent from the US and all human dominion, makes a surprise appearance. He's demanding Mercy give back the Walking Stick, the Fae relic that used to follow her around before she gave it to Coyote. He's not disguising the implied threat he's making if it's not returned within a week. Don't get your hopes up too high for Beauclaire's appearance, it was disappointingly short and little more than a cameo, but we did glean some interesting information about Zee from him.
Additionally, a supernatural serial hunter has reared its bloody head in the Tri-Cities area. Apparently, the gruesome predator is thumbing its nose at Adam and his pack by hunting in their territory. The scent is like none that Mercy has encountered before. If you have a queasy stomach, be forewarned this is by far one of the gruesomest crime scenes I've had the displeasure of reading, but fits perfectly with a supernatural predator attempting to make a statement in a big way. If listening to the audio, you may wish to make sure you are not in the midst of eating or about to sit down to dinner when listening to the second half of chapter 5 and the beginning of 6. Yeah, it's that bad.
We get to see the appearance of two new characters whom, I think, or rather hope, will play more active roles in future books--Laughing Dog and Zack. Laughing Dog, another coyote walker, is Mercy's half brother. While at first I found Laughing Dog's personality rather abrasive, by the end of the book, I grew rather fond of him. Zack, the other character I hope to see more of, is a new submissive wolf who enters Adam's territory. A back story on this wolf is hinted at, but nothing definitive is revealed. All I'll say is his behavior reminds me of Anna's in the first of the Alpha Omega series. Could there be a link? Only time will tell. Additionally, there is a third character which I'll say nothing about because I'd enter into the realm of spoilers, but let's just say I'm looking to see how they also assimilate into series because I did not see what happened coming.
Alas, my theory that perhaps the dead rabbit was a sign that Mercy was pregnant, did not pan out. Can I help it if I'm curious if she and Adam can have live furry offspring? I thought things could get interesting with the pitter patter of little paws.Would it change the dynamics of the pack's feelings for her? Would they be shifter or a walker? Who knows. Perhaps Mercy never plans to have cubs. We'll have to wait and see.
Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. IT contained lots of action, a touch of mystery and a sprinkling of awesomeness. There were friends of old, something blue, and a story about a shoe that was anything but new. *grin* (Read the book and you'll get it) Plus, we were given plenty to wonder about. Like what will happen to Zee's son, Tad? What are the Fae planning? And what is so special about that walking stick?
I'll leave you with one last thought--Why doesn't Mercy have an Native American name? I hope at some point in the future, Briggs considers giving her one. Perhaps add a touch more native American Indian influence to the series? I would so love that.
Notes to keep you in the know:
Guayota shares features similar to other malignant deities inhabitants of volcanoes, as in the case of the goddess Pele in Hawaiian mythology, who lived in the Kīlauea volcano and was regarded by the native Hawaiians as responsible for the eruptions of the volcano." ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guayota )
Order of the Alpha & Omega series: