Feb 26 2013 2:00pm

First Look: Patricia Briggs’s Frost Burned (March 5, 2013)

Frost Burned by Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs
Frost Burned
Ace / March 5, 2013 / $26.95 print, $12.99 digital

Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more…

After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.

Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.

Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series has been one of my longtime favorite urban fantasy series because of its vibrant multi-dimensional characters and a continuous evolving world that keep the series fresh and interesting. Set in an alternate Oregon, supernaturals intermingle with humans, though most humans aren’t conscious of this. The series centers on Mercy (Mercedes) Thompson, a Native American coyote shapeshifting mechanic.

Referred  to as a “walker,” Mercy is not dependant on the moon to shift, has some immunity to magic, and can see and control ghosts. Raised by the Marrok himself (think King of all the North American werewolves), Mercy has always had to be a little stronger, faster, and  more clever than her foster pack. The series follows her through her life, her trials and tribulations as she finds herself unintentionally tossed into supernatural affairs that really shouldn’t concern her.  Mercy has a strong loyal and moral compass. She will fight to her last breath to keep her friends and the world safe from evil.  

“...evil and good are real-you know better than anyone. I have to do the right thing. If not, then I am no better than that...”

We also have watched as Mercy falls slowly but irrevocably in love with Adam Hauptman, Alpha of the Tri Cities pack. When Adam chose to announce his intentions towards Mercy, it was originally done as a way to protect her. It has been a long hard battle for these two stubborn people who have had to not only fight against outsiders, but also some inside Adam’s pack who did not and still don’t like the fact that Mercy is a coyote.

What I love about  this series is that Briggs has taken their relationship slowly, and chooses to allow Adam and Mercy to decide if and when they will have a relationship. We see them deal with their feelings, with reservations on both sides. We get both their points of view and we see their battles, concerns, and arguments. We learn about their backgrounds, their lives, and expectations and it allows us and them to better understand the other person. We see them adapt, concede, and compromise. What started out as unavoidable turns to true love and we get to experience it with them every step of the way.

In Frost Burned, Adam and Mercy are now married and Mercy has fully recovered from her  battle injuries she received in River Marked. The injuries Mercy received has left Adam even more edgy and protective than normal but he soon learns that no one can stop Mercy from doing what she feels is right. Mercy finds herself once again being pitted against bigger, badder, unknown forces when the entire pack is kidnapped when she is out Christmas shopping.

Unable to find Adam or help the pack, Mercy gets a taste of what Adam goes through whenever she has rushed in where angels fear to tread. Mercy and Adam's bond produces some amazing results and brings them even closer. Death is a strong presence in this installment as we learn that while most supernaturals live incredibly long lives, they are not immortal.

“It’s alright, Mercy. You didn’t think I was going to die of old age, did you?”

As Mercy fights her way to Adam and the pack, unusual and unwanted allies come to her aid, leaving Mercy wondering what the payment will be. Rules are  rewritten when the enemy and their end game behind the kidnapping is revealed.

“Coyote never loses [...] Because I change the rules of the  games my enemies play."

Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series is great for readers who love an action-packed, suspenseful urban fantasy paired with a realistic relationship between two incredibly charismatic and intriguing protagonists. I also recommend you read her spin-off series, Alpha Omega, which focuses on the Marrok and his pack.


Tori Benson can be found at Smexybooks and at Twitter.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Kareni
I'm looking forward to reading this. I have to admit to being a big fan of the Alpha and Omega books as well.
2. Rose In RoseBear
I read the Alpha & Omega books first. Never thought I would enjoy shifter stories so much!

Now that the fae have upended the game table, I can't wait to see what has glommed onto the wolfpack ...!
Carmen Pinzon
3. bungluna
I have this one pre-ordered and can't wait to get my hands on it. I too wanna know what the effects of the Fae situation are going to be with respect to the werewolves. As well as the action, I enjoy the various relationships that Mercy has developed over the series.
4. Aidan
Yeah for another in this series I love! But I think she's in an alternate Washington not Oregon.
Lege Artis
5. LegeArtis
Can't wait.... I want to see how Briggs handled those chapters from Adam's POV. Did you heard she finished two stories also: one about Ben(yay!) andd one about Sam? If I understood corectly, she's going to collect and publish all her short stories set in Mercy Thompson world....
7. Melody P
I am a big fan! I can never get enough of Mercy and Adam!
8. Rose In RoseBear
Got it Tuesday afternoone, finished it Tuesday night. In many respects, this novel is as much a game-changer as last year's Fair Game, the most recent Alpha & Omega novel, except the game that's changed is the one internal to Mercy, Adam, the pack, and the humans around them.

Great novel on the first read ... will read it again this weekend to savor and process ...
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