Wednesday, July 8

Bone Crossed - Patricia Briggs

A week after the events of Iron Kissed, mechanic Mercy Thompson is trying to recover from being raped, almost killed, a hairs' breadth from murder charges and the unwitting cause of werewolves being known to the population at large. No longer the centre of a love triangle she's nonetheless far from conflicted about Adam - though the werewolf Alpha has been considerate and patient, Mercy's having panic attacks that embarrass and frighten her, and she's waiting not Adam to give up waiting.
When an old school friend comes to her for help the timing seems auspicious. Though Mercy is suspicious, events at home including the unwelcome attentions of Marsilia, Queen of the local vampire seethe, convince her that a trip is just the thing. Spokane is about 150 miles from Mercy's home in the tri-cities, and is home to James Blackwood, a powerful and reclusive vampire who keeps his territory free of his kin. Mercy is right to be distrusting of coincidence, though she has no idea how concerned she should be.
Bone Crossed is a welcome addition to a still strong series. Briggs keeps the pack dynamics unfolding, as Mercy's relationship with Adam both simplifies and complicated matters. Other supernatural creatures, and their uneasy relationships with the mortal world and with the more knows races, are revealed, and the way they're named is particularly interesting - I'm hoping to learn more about the creatures known as Jack Be Nimble for a start. As is so often the case, the vampires are far more Machiavellian than the werewolves, and the aftereffects of some truly Byzantine plotting thread through the novel, along with a renewed emphasis on Mercy's gift for seeing ghosts.
The relationships and characters are the heart of this series, and while the plots are detailed and compelling this is not at their expense. I mentioned in my review of Iron Kissed how compellingly, chillingly and resonantly Briggs write about assault, and I was impressed that she so accurately documented its lasting affects on Mercy. I'm really interested to see where she takes Mercy next. - Alex

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