You aren’t going to believe this, because I can just barely, but suddenly I started enjoying Mercy Thompson again. My last reviews for books 4 through 6 were less then stellar. Reading so many so close together highlighted the narrative re-explanations, the device of kidnapping, Mercy’s lack of agency, the general lack of females and the general antipathy of the females that were included. Surprisingly, much of that changes here, sometimes obviously so. Let’s hope it sticks, and that Briggs doesn’t fall back into old habits in book ten.
Opening with a typical pack morning in Adam’s house, Mercy is waylaid by a
Scentsy pusher “midlevel marketer,” much to everyone’s eventual amusement. Not long after most of the pack has left, Mercy gets a call from her police department friend Tony who knows something is throwing cars off a major bridge. Mercy, Adam and Joel head down to the bridge and through luck, ingenuity and the timely assistance of returned friends are able to save the day, declaring the area under Pack province in the process. The pack is in an uproar while Bran, leader of the werewolves disowns them for political reasons. Adam and Mercy need to unify the Pack, protect the boy they claimed and manipulate the Fae to the bargaining table before the Fae declare war on humans.
Given my recent binge read, and antipathy towards the ex-wife storyline in book 8, I actually liked it. Of course, we’ll have to see about re-read. There’s still not enough friendly females, but the female wolf antipathy has been taken down a couple of notches, Baba Yaga makes an entertaining reappearance, and there’s another Fae woman who sidelines Mercy for some girl-talk (sadly, thus failing the Bechdel test of still including men by the conversation being about men). If the villains remain female, well, at least they are there, right? It’s nice to have much of the emotional drama of the pack finally dealt with and laid to rest, because there have been versions of it in every book to date. I liked the sullen human boy with Fae skills, and the return of Mercy’s friends.
Overall, it might just be the book that rekindles my interest in the series–and major thanks to Naomi for being willing to read it–but I don’t think it’s ready to join my personal library.