Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, Book 7)

(Description nicked from B&

“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.”

I was a little concerned for the direction of this series after the previous book, since the story seemed to be wandering away from the aspects of it that I really enjoyed.  However, my fears in that regard were unfounded.  Although one of the larger parts of this series is the romance between Mercy and Adam, it’s not what initially drew me to the novels.  It was the worldbuilding with the bigger picture of how supernatural beings fit into our world.

In Frost Burned, Briggs has returned to putting that in the forefront.  The author is setting the stage for future action with the involvement of government agencies and the prospect of alliances among some of the supernatural races.  There are plenty of novels out there that involve romance, or that involve the smaller scale struggles between things like wolf packs.  I tend to find the books that pull out and show the bigger picture to be more interesting.

Part of this is bringing in some characters that aren’t on stage too often, like the vampire queen Marsilia and the Fae smith Zee.  It brings to mind some of what has gone on in past books, and I thought that it tied together the various races and events in a way that I haven’t seen since the series was still fairly new.  But Briggs also continues her focus on the wolves by bringing in a new character: Asil, a wolf from the pack of the head of North America.  He’s an example of a wolf who isn’t necessarily stable, and yet remains in almost complete control of himself.  His inclusion allows for some interesting explorations into pack dynamics.

Briggs departs a bit from form to tell a section of the story from Adam’s point of view.  This not only allows readers to experience what the pack goes through instead of hearing about it secondhand, but it gives an insight into Adam’s thoughts and feelings.  If I remember correctly, this is the first time we’ve seen any point of view but Mercy’s, and I liked getting a look at things from their perspective.

On the whole, this book is much stronger and better paced than the last couple in the series.  The author upped the stakes for the major characters without making their eventual victory seem unrealistic, and at the same time she put them through plenty of action and peril.  Old characters return, and new ones fit seamlessly into the narrative.  Frost Burned is the best Mercy Thompson novel that I’ve seen in a few years.

Also by this author: Blood Bound, Bone Crossed, Iron Kissed, Moon Called, River Marked

This review appeared on Owlcat Mountain on March 30, 2013.

Series: Mercy Thompson
ISBN: 9780441020010
Publisher: Ace
Page Count: 352
Publication Date: March 5, 2013
Acquired: Borrowed from the Yolo County Public Library, Davis branch
Author Website
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