Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs SF BRIGGS

Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is just your average ordinary mechanic of German cars, who just happens to turn into a coyote every once in while. Mercy is a "walker," and this ability to change into a coyote comes from her father, a cowboy from the Blackfoot tribe that her mother met at a rodeo, fell head over heels for, then lost to an accident long before Mercy was born. Not knowing what to do with a baby that could change into a baby coyote, Mercy's mother contacted Bran, the Marrock (leader of all American werewolves). Mercy was raised with Bran's pack in Montana, but left when her heart was broken by Bran's son, Samuel. The wolves never really let her feel like part of the pack, either. That worked for Mercy, though, because she is not so good at following orders (which is a given for werewolves). She did learn a lot about the other beings that exist in the human world that humans have no idea about during her time there.

Mercy lives in a small town in Washington, Kennewick, and her trailer just so happens to be next door to the local werewolf Alpha (leader), Adam Hauptman. Mercy is also close friends with Stefan, a vampire whose Volkswagon van she works on, and Zee, the metal-working gremlin (fae) from whom she bought her auto shop. Mercy likes to mind her own business, but she is constantly being dragged into werewolf, fae, and vampire politics (and many other kinds of problems).

In Moon Called, Mercy takes a new werewolf under her wing, trying her best to get him the help that he needs. Unfortunately, she doesn't understand the huge mess that Mac has found himself in, and it will take more than Mercy has to set it right (it might also take a few werewolves). In Blood Bound, Mercy's vampire friend, Stefan, needs to call in the favor that Mercy owes him, and so he asks her to help him with a rogue vampire that has come into his mistress's territory or "seethe." Neither of them consider the fact that the vampire may be more than they expected (and far more dangerous). In Iron Kissed, Mercy has to help her fae friend, Zee, who is framed for a murder she knows he did not commit. It will be harder than she thinks, though, and may have consequences that she could never see coming. In Bone Crossed, a choice that Mercy was forced to make in Blood Bound puts her in the cross-hairs of Marsilia, the queen of the local vampire seethe. However, as Mercy has close ties to the werewolf pack, Marsilia will have to attack Mercy through her friends. In Silver Borne, Mercy is now a member of the werewolf pack, but some members are less happy with that situation than others. At the same time, Samuel's wolf is starting to take control (over his human side), and Mercy wants to protect him from the consequences of this happening. There is also the issue of the "Silver Borne," a fae artifact that could wreak havoc in the supernatural community, if it ends up in a certain fae queen's hands. In River Marked, Mercy gets to learn a little more about her heritage as a walker from other walkers, and she also sees the spirit of her father, Joe Old Coyote. Mercy finds out that Joe was more than he appeared to be, and she will need the help of Coyote (the trickster god) to help her stop the evil thing that is lurking in the Columbia River. The latest book in the series is Frost Burned, which came out earlier this month. Adam and most of the pack are taken by people who need Adam to commit an act that will undermine all of the work that the Marrock has been doing to get the public used to the existence of werewolves. Mercy will need as much help as she can get to get them back (and halt the plans of this group), even from some surprising (and unlikely) sources.

I have really enjoyed this paranormal fiction series. Mercy is a strong protagonist, and I also really enjoy the other characters that surround her (even some that I never expected to like when they were first introduced in the series). I listened to most of the series, read by Lorelei King, and she does a wonderful job with the series. One warning I have, though, is that there is a violent thing that happens to Mercy at the end of Iron Kissed that is very hard to take, but you know that Mercy has a strength inside her that can get her through the hardest times. She also has a big support system of people that are ready and willing to help.

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