Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bone Crossed

Bone Crossed
Written by: Patricia Briggs
Hardcover: 309 pages
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Language: English
February 2009, $24.95
Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy

Welcome to Patricia Briggs's world, a place where "witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people" (Booklist). It takes a very unusual woman to call it home—and there's no one quite like Mercy Thompson.

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.


I will begin this review by stating, I can’t really review Bone Crossed without giving away the previous three books. So beware there will be spoilers as much as I will try not to give the entire plot away. You have been warned. And if you haven’t read the first three books, why the hell not?

Bone Crossed begins where Iron Kissed left off. Mercy is still reeling over the events from the last book, events that have left her vulnerable and just a little bit broken. But our Mercy is a survivor. Determined not to become a victim she tries to get on with her life, despite everyone hovering around her expecting her to break at any moment. She finally accepts Adam as her mate, though not everyone is ecstatic with this idea because Mercy is not a werewolf, but a walker. Of course Mercy doesn’t have a whole lot of time to tell the lot to stuff it when Stefan, Mercy’s Scooby Doo loving vampire friend, crashes into her living room half dead. It seems that Marsilia, the vampire queen knows that Mercy killed Andre, a member of her seethe and she is really not happy about it.

With crossed bones on the door of her garage, it is clear that Marsilia wants to send a message. Mercy is a traitor to the vampires and fair game to any sort of nasty. Though Adam’s Pack is sworn to protect her, Mercy isn’t willing to put them in the crosshairs. So she heads to Spokane, when an all too convenient college friend named Amber turns up with a haunted house problem. Of course it is far more complicated than that. Once again Mercy finds herself at the center of trouble and is forced to rely on herself, friends and a fellow prisoner if she wants to make it out alive.

Things I loved: We begin book four of the Mercy Thompson series with Mercy still reeling over the events from Iron Kissed. It’s hard to put things past you when everyone asks you how you are doing, but no one really wants to hear the truth of ‘No, I’m not okay’. Just because she is a walker doesn’t mean that Mercy is immune to those events. It is going to take a very long time to get over and deal with what was done to her. She still has panic attacks, is squeamish, has flashbacks when she least expects or wants them. This is where Briggs could have magically made it all disappear, but she didn’t. And while there are some rough spots where I think Patricia stumbled with Mercy’s rape (like when you are feeling extremely vulnerable and scared and scarred you go to a city that isn’t home, to deal with a ghost problem of someone you not only haven’t seen for years, but whom you don’t really trust especially when it leads her to be tied up, beaten, and thrown into a cage…cause that’s not going to be a trigger at all. But I digress, minor gripe), she dealt with it well. It didn’t go away. It wasn’t forgotten and for that I like Briggs just a little bit more.

*Yeah Vampires. I love how varied the menu is with these books. Sometimes we have werewolves, sometimes vampires and sometimes the fey. While they are all intertwined one species or the other tends to take center stage. I was ready to have werewolves again because I really do adore Stefan. More than that, the appearance of Marsilia and Stefan means continuity. Yeah! Finally we see that actions in previous books, most notably Blood Bound do have consequences.

* One thing I absolutely love about this series is the characters. Mercy is one of my favorite characters. She is strong, but yet knows she has vulnerabilities. There is no boring angst, no whining, no moping. She makes her decisions based on what will keep her or those she cares about safe. But she makes mistakes. Sometimes she doesn’t always see the glaring neon sign that says bad idea, or maybe she does and thinks it will somehow work out. And she is vulnerable. She doesn’t always accept those vulnerabilities or even like to admit that there are some things that she cannot take on by herself. Either way I can relate to her. I like her and we have seen her grow into a fascinating and truly likable character.

* Whoo hoo on the return of the enigmatic little staff/walking stick. And kudos to the Oakman who was just plain cool.

* I enjoyed the foreshadowing and revelations we were treated with in this installment which of course makes me giddy for the next book. The plot itself wasn’t too shabby. While I would adore a clever thriller/mystery instead of another big bad making Mercy his/her play thing, I was pleased with the story overall.

Things I didn't love so much: Recognizing her own vulnerability as well as that of those she cares for she decides to finally accept Adam as her mate. It is not a light decision and I think it something that I hope Briggs will deal with as the series continues. While she is obviously attracted to Adam and in her own way loves the man, she feels pressured and no one should feel pressured to spend the rest of their lives with someone. Mercy has always been her own woman, the lone coyote, the woman who doesn’t enjoy being a damsel in distress. But what happened with Tim shook her to the core. For the first time I feel like Mercy became the damsel in distress. And yet she is loyal to the Pack, loyal to those she cares for and she knows the longer she doesn’t make a decision the more vulnerable the Pack is as a whole. While I was happy with the decision (I do have my soft spot for Samuel. I would take him any day) overall, I cannot help but be a little troubled. I want Mercy to choose Adam because she loves him, because despite all her worries she knows that he is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with, that for once two loners can find comfort in each other’s arms. Both characters don’t trust easily, not do they like to lean on anyone for support because in doing so that makes them vulnerable and that is a scary place to be. I guess I just want my happily ever after for them because yes I am a big mushy romantic at heart.

*Speaking of Mercy and Adam, after all of that buildup and exquisitely crafted teaser scenes of sexual innuendo, all we get is Adam “getting down to business”. Where is the passion between the two characters, or the feeling. It seemed more of a ‘let’s get this over with’ instead of something that fans have been looking forward to for four books. And while yes I realize that Mercy is vulnerable, that she wants to push past things and probably moving faster than she should, there should have been more. The scenes between Mercy and Stefan had more passion. And yes I was disappointed. I didn’t expect some Laurell K Hamilton smut fest because Briggs has never strayed that way in my opinion, but I did want there to be something. When Mercy and Adam had their would they or wont they moment after some clever sparring a couple of books ago that held more oompf than what we got. We got all sort of tease and then a cop out. For once they fell flat.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. While admittedly the hard cover is all pretty, me and that lil OCD bibliophile is just a shade annoyed because she likes having either all paperbacks or all hardcovers because they look purty on my shelves. But despite my quirk it is worth the read and the buy if you are a Mercy fan.

Part of: Mercy Thompson series.
Moon Called: Book One
Blood Bound: Book Two
Iron Kissed: Book Three

Also Recommended: The rest of the series if you haven’t read them. The Alpha and Omega series also by Patricia Briggs. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

Have your own review? Let me know and I will post it.

1 comment:

ParaJunkee said...

I absolutely love your blog... BRAVA. Great review, been putting off reading, since I powered through the series...and sometimes you just need a break. I will hopefully find myself rounding back to it though. ParaJunkee