Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#Wednesday Review - Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs (Urban Fantasy)

Series: Mercy Thompson # 9
Format: Hardcover, 342 pages
Release Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: ACE
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer...
Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.
Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

Fire Touched is the ninth installment in the Mercy Thompson series by author Patricia Briggs. Mercedes Thompson-Hauptman is Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State. Her Native American heritage has gifted her with the ability to take the form of a coyote at will. She's surrounded by far more powerful supernatural beings, including werewolves, vampires and an assortment of fey who have declared their independence from the human world, and taken refuge in the Walla Walla reservation.

Mercy is the mate/wife of the Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the Columbus Basin Werewolf Pack. She has a fae artifact, a walking stick, that suddenly shows up whenever it senses danger. The story swings into full action after something big starts eating things on one of the more famous bridges in the Tri-Cities area. Mercy, and some of the pack members including Adam and new mate Joel, rush to try to take on the beast before it causes more chaos. In the process, a strange boy by the name of Aiden shows up along with Tad, who has been missing for 7 weeks, and Zee, Mercy's mechanic mentor finally returns to where he belongs.

So, let's talk a bit about Aiden. Aiden is a human who was left stranded in the Underhill for years. While there, he was tortured, and given Fire Touched abilities that make him rather dangerous to fool around with. Aiden is a key element in the Fae's games and the Grey Lords won't go quietly into that goodnight without gaining access to him. This is where Mercy proves herself to readers everywhere. By taking a stand, and saying to the world that Aiden is under her and the packs protection, she pretty much puts a finger in the eye to the fae, the vampires, and even a certain Bran Cormac who doesn't like the idea at all which forces the pack to accept rogue status.

Mercy doesn't get enough credit at times for sticking to her choices she makes to save those she fights for and loves. She's faced adversary at each and every turn. From being the only coyote in a werewolf pack, to fighting and nearly dying at the hands of a Volcano God named Gwayota, to taking in Joel after he was possessed by fire and turned into a Tibicena. The pack, especially those like Mary Jo, have made Mercy's life a living hell since she and Adam became a couple. At every turn, they question her decisions, comment on her status, continue to play off Adam's ex in order to rile her up. They are just plain awful. 

This is the novel we've all been waiting for on that subject. I have had it with the packs antics, and Mercy trying and trying to remain a park of something that obviously isn't working right. While others not as strong as Mercy would have walked away by now, Mercy has tried to work within the system. While Adam and Mercy's love is on rock solid ground, and there are those like Warren and Ben who support her, the rest of the pack is just another enemy to Mercy's happiness. Thankfully, Adam has a thing or two to say which had me standing up and clapping. Thank God I live alone!

I dare say that Fire Touched spends an inordinate time with Fae shenanigans and politics. We even get to meet a very interesting character called Baba Yaga who I haven't decided is an ally, or just another schemer that Mercy will eventually need to face off against. Mercy and Adam have to face the Grey Lords who are a bunch of scheming nimrods, and save Aiden from being taken away and used like another pawn in a war that is on the brink of breaking out. I was actually surprised at how much I hated the fae, but was glad to see Tad and Zee return from their extended absence. 

Briggs once again mixes action, suspense, romance and adventure into her story and keeps the reader intrigued right till the final page. We do have guest appearances by Bran and Charles, but I would love to see them cross over and do an entire story together. I can honestly say that readers will absolutely love Adam in this book. He had me smiling, laughing, and jumping for joy with nearly everything he does. He, unlike others, know that Mercy is an intricate part of the pack, and has issues with being abandoned by others. Adam knows that they wouldn't have survived without her around and the pack needs to hear it once and for-all.

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