Published 2013 340 pages
Summary (from the book jacket)
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.
Frost Burned is the seventh book in Patricia Briggs’ bestselling Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series. Whilst each book in the series is a single adventure there is a long-running story arc throughout the entire series so these books are best read in order. There is also the “Alpha and Omega” spin off series set in the same fantasy world but featuring different central characters which also loosely follows a similar story arc in places. Events in Frost Burned actually take place after, and are impacted by, the events in Fair Game the third Alpha and Omega book – so readers might want to consider reading that book before starting this one too. Whilst the back story and back catalogue may be confusing for readers new to the Mercy Thompson world, it’s certainly no hardship to catch up with all these past books – Patricia Briggs is one of the consistently best urban fantasy authors around and as far as I’m concerned she’s not written a duff book yet.
Frost Burned starts with a bang both figuratively and literally (Mercy is in a car accident and wrecks the Rabbit) the action is pretty much non-stop from that starting point. Mercy and Jesse aren’t hurt in the accident but they suspect something is wrong when they can’t raise Adam, or any other members of the local werewolf pack on the phone. Eventually it is discovered that Adam and the entire pack have been kidnapped by government agents, leaving Mercy pretty much on her own except for Gabriel, Mercy’s garage assistant, and British werewolf Ben who managed to escape the kidnappers. Cut off from her usual lines of support it’s up to Mercy to get Jesse to a safe place, check on the safety of the friends and associates of the pack and arrange a rescue for the werewolves. No pressure.
In Mercy’s world there is no shortage of supernatural beings. Vampires, trickster gods, witches and ghosts are all part of the mix, along with a wide variety of Fae beings (both of the attractive fairy and ugly monster variety) Mercy is acquainted with most of these beings and is occasionally friends with some of them. The fae have withdrawn from the human world, leaving her without the aid of Zee, the grumpy gremlin who Mercy has come to be good friends with. Zee’s character is a personal favourite of mine but there was little time to miss him in this story since his absence made more face time for Tad, Zee’s half-human son. Tad’s supernatural abilities have plenty of opportunities for exploration in the magical battles that he and Mercy encounter on their subsequent investigations. Tad makes a welcome addition to the plethora of exciting and interesting characters that this series already has and I hope he gets more outings in future books.
The pacing in Frost Burned is fast and furious whilst the plotline is satisfyingly twisty, just about guaranteeing an engrossing one- or two-sitting read. Even after the pack has been released from captivity there is still more action in store for Mercy and her friends – with the multi-stranded mystery finally unravelling to take the story to its exciting conclusion.
For vampire fans there is no shortage of vampire action in this story, with the author providing a well written and diverse range of vampire characters – from Stefan (Mercy’s Scooby Do loving friend) to the dangerous/sneaky Marsilia, to the downright scary and insane Wulfe… it’s a veritable vampire bonanza!
Frost Burned is another excellent addition to the Mercy Thompson series. Engrossing, entertaining and exciting – this book is highly recommended for urban fantasy fans.
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