Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Review: Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7)

Outmatched and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Frost Burned, by Patricia Briggs, is the seventh novel in the Mercy Thompson series. Mercy, the Native American shapeshifter mechanic, has become the mate of Adam Hauptman, the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack in the Tri-Cities area, and stepmother to his human daughter, Jesse. Like their fae colleagues, the werewolves have also announced their existence in the media, with Adam leading the fight to gain acceptance from politicians and the general public. These major changes in her life bring her closer to normalcy. However, even the most minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn out to be so much more.

After a car accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic during the holiday season, Mercy and Jesse cannot reach Adam or anyone else in the pack. She later learns from Ben that Adam and the rest of his pack have been abducted by xenophobic rogue covert ops officials. Through their mating bond, Mercy can only sense that Adam is angry and in pain. He has no idea where the kidnappers led them. Mercy fears that his disappearance is related to the werewolves' public announcement in the media. Some people are uncomfortable with the realization that the supernatural is real. Others want to use this opportunity to use the beings as a scapegoat to take over the country. Ultimately, Mercy is forced to seek assistance from any ally to save her pack and defeat the evil magic lurking around her.

I loved how River Marked ended, and was looking forward to this new edition to the Mercy Thompson series. Overall, this book was not what I anticipated. It was a good story, but it lacked the creative mystery and suspense that builds up over time in previous novels. The plot also felt more like a novella since it was slightly over 300 pages. Briggs did not smoothly connect how both enemy groups were working together. The real enemy is mentioned in the last 50 pages of the book and suffered a quick death with little to no back story. Essentially, the second half of the book felt too rushed and unoriginal. Furthermore, I don't see how much Mercy is maturing as a person. Her personality has become stagnant even if she has become Adam's mate. The pacing of the book is also bad when important intelligence is sloppily revealed near the end. Briggs does not explain how the werewolves failed to notice trends in vampire politics. Thus, Mercy learns the truth minutes before her involvement in a battle of life and death. I thought this was a poor choice on Briggs' part.

I do not recommend buying this book; save your money and borrow it from your local library branch. I hope that the next novel exceeds my expectations. I hope that Briggs learn from her mistakes in this novel. I have usually always enjoed all the novels in this series, but Frost Burned truly disappointed me because the plot and pacing were poorly written. Stay tuned for the eighth novel in the Mercy Thompson series, Night Broken. It will be published in 2014.

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