Thursday, March 26, 2020

Patricia Briggs - Storm Cursed

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter.
And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word.
We will die to keep it.

Comment: This is the 11th installment in the Mercy Thompson series by author Patricia Briggs, a series I'd say is one of the best fantasy/UF out there. This book was released last year and the 12th very recently but that I haven't got yet.

In this story, Mercy has to deal with black witches coming to the Tri-Cities now that the territory has become very interesting since Mercy and the pack have taken charge if it.
As the weird problems amount and conversations between humans and the fae are being planned, Mercy asks the help of her friend Zee and even that of vampire Wulfe to win over the battle against the witches, who have also created zombies.
Although it seems the problem might be easily solved, there are too many lives at rick but Mercy did promise she would help anyone who needed it..

As usual, I had a good time reading a story by this author. I'm a fan of the world this author created, both for this series and for the Alpha/Omega one, which concur.
I think the author has a good imagination but more than that, she is extremely talented in putting things together. It also keeps on fascinating me how every scene, every sentence seems to be important for what is happening. This means all parts of her stories have meaning and are great to read. It's the same feeling I get when I read things by Ilona Andrews, for instance, another favorite.

The problem for me, in relation to these books by Briggs in general, is precisely that: since they are so complex and well thought and where every single detail matters, it's really easy to forget stuff, to not pay enough attention to the point of remembering all those scenes. I have an overall idea about things, I keep remembering things from book to book if the characters mention them and some come to mind while reading. But I think the time between read sort of dilutes the meaning of some things and this means that while I like the story immensely, I sort of feel distanced from it anyway.

I'd say, now, that each story in this series is like a little chapter in the characters' lives. There's still an on going thread regarding the character's place in time, meaning they do evolve from book to book, but the passage of time feels minimal. It's just another day/week/adventure for them.
I liked this one enough because the physical impact of everything on Mercy was minimal (as opposed to books where she really got quite a kick for her efforts) and there were several scenes between her and Adam to make me glad they are a happy couple.

The plot is, as I expected, intricate and all the little dots connecting make for a very intriguing read. I kept thinking how was it possible some things happened like that but, of course, the author kept adding explanations that, within that world, made all sense. 
Zee and Tad, Wulfe, Sherwood and the witch Elizaveta are the characters that most help Mercy and Adam in this new adventure. Of course one could not expect happy endings for just everyone but I'm glad to say no good guys with key roles were affected. OK, perhaps one if we consider all the installments so far, but none I'd feel terribly sad about.

After some build up on the problem at hand, I sort of expected the resolution to be a little more... explosive but in reality Mercy and her team solved things rather easily. Don't be worried, there was a lot to think about following that and I'm certain some things will be addressed somewhere in the future books but in relation to this one, I'm just glad it was possible to fix the problem with minimal impact. As often happens, there are also some lighter scenes/dialogues to keep the anticipation leveled.

I don't feel like going into much detail, it's difficult to think what might be considered spoiler or not. One thing, though, is for certain. Explaining too much would be no help for new readers. This is definitely a series which has reached the point of being frustrating or even uninspiring if one starts so late in the series. There is a lot that is understandable but a whole lot which I believe would not be so if someone reading this has not read the others, the first book is the (addictive) way to begin.

All in all, for a fan, this was a good, steady novel in the series.
Grade: 8/10

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