Review: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: March 5, 2013
Publisher: Ace
Length: 352 pages
Series: Mercy Thompson, Book 7
FTC: Purchased myself

I've been quite vocal about my feelings regarding the last Mercy Thompson book.  It just wasn't anywhere near as good as the previous books for a variety of reasons ranging from plot problems, atmosphere, character isolation... It's a misstep that's only so noticeable because Patricia Briggs is such a solidly good writer. Despite my lackluster feelings about River Marked, I picked up Frost Burned the day it came out.  I did enjoy Fair Game, the Alpha and Omega book set between River Marked and Frost Burned, so I was hopeful I hadn't just thrown away the price of a hardcover book.

I can say with great relief that Patricia Briggs is back in top form! I read this book in a single day after suffering through a months-long reading slump. It was the first book in a long time for me that was addictive, compelling, and just plain good. The biggest issue from River Marked that is "fixed" in this book is that the whole gang is here. RM suffered from the artificial isolation that Mercy and Adam had for most of the book. This book has the familiar cast of characters back with a vengeance. The interplay, the dialogue, the relationships are one of the reasons I read this series, and this book did not disappoint on that front.

Following an auto-accident which leaves Mercy and her step-daughter Jesse bruised, she discovers that the entire pack (except for Ben) has been kidnapped. Not sure who is responsible, Mercy attempts to keep Jesse and herself safe while also trying to discover who is behind the attack and where Adam and the pack is being held. It's a daunting task, and Mercy being the level-headed person she is quickly realizes she can't do that alone.  Enter: her remaining posse.

I loved that we get to spend more time with Zee's son, Tad. And I really, really loved how we see Asil ("The Moor") outside the Alpha and Omega series. We also get to see Stefan in action once more, although the relationship between Mercy and Stefan is anything but smooth.

The author broke some rules with this book.  The series is told in the first person, but in this one, we get a few scenes in Adam's POV. The first occurs through the mate-bond, so it's understandable and meshes fairly well with Mercy's storytelling. But later installments are strictly Adam, with no device to bring it into the story. It's a bit odd, but I went with it. I'm not a stickler for rules, either.

My only quibble was with the ending. It felt...abrupt in its attachment. Kind of a let down, after the intricately woven story lines of the rest of the book. 

**This is one series that should be read in order. Although each book has a self-contained mystery, the overall relationships evolve over time. There are also some interesting developments in Fair Game, from the other series,  that are continued in this book.

My Grade: A-

The Blurb:

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.

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