Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Release Date: Ace
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only “superpowers” are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens.
But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back.
It looks like I’m going to need them.
Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill—until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.
Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything—even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.
It won’t, can’t, remain.
Not if I have anything to say about it.
Smoke Bitten is the 12th installment in author Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson series. Shape-shifting mechanic Mercy Thompson has painted a target on the pack by claiming that the Tri-Cities was the Columbia Basin Packs territory to protect whether they are human or not. With Bran no longer protecting the pack, it has become that much harder for the pack to keep track of all the troubles that continue to pop up no matter how small or large. The previous story proved that there are groups of paranormals that will go to great lengths to go up against he pack.
This story opens with several storylines. Because of the dangers facing the pack and the fact that she's human, Jesse has had to make a choice that she will attend a local university rather than attend one in Oregon where her mother lives so that she can be protected by those like Tad and the Pack. Of course, there are still certain members of the pack who still prefer Christy over Mercy. When Mercy goes into her yard to give everyone, including herself, a chance to cool down, she makes an unfortunate discovery.
The ancient power that is Underhill, the underground world of the fae, which manifests as a creepy young girl in order to spend time with Aiden, has opened a door from Underhill into Mercy’s back yard. What's worse, a dangerous entity has escaped. This creature can take over a body by biting with ‘smoke’ and at the same time kill anyone nearby, putting everyone’s lives in danger. One of its first targets just happens to be our favorite Coyote shifters neighbors as well as Mercy who ends up being saved the ridiculously dangerous vampire/witch Wulfe who seems to be stalking Mercy relentlessly.
With this primordial being on the loose, everyone wonders what other dangerous creatures are being kept in Underhill and whether they will eventually escape as well. The second part of this story is Adam's disconnection from Mercy. Wouldn't be a big issue except that Adam has been keeping the mating bond between himself and Mercy on lock down for reasons she doesn't know as he won't talk to her about what's going on. Mercy has to make a choice. Does she walk away, or does she stick around and slap Adam upside his head until he tells her what the hell is wrong with him?
If you've read the previous installment, you will understand why Adam has pretty much kept his feelings and thoughts under lock and key. I don't agree it was the right thing to do, but he literally went through hell. If that weren't enough! A group of rogue werewolves attempt to move in on Adam's pack with the help of a assassin Witch which escalates the danger facing Mercy and the Pack. And for the first time in awhile, Bran actually seems to be willing to offer some guidance without making it seem that he supports the packs recent choices.
I think it is fair to say that the Pack has its hands full. After all, 8 have left the pack either by their own choice, or have been killed by the monsters that the pack has had to face since Mercy entered the picture. I will also say this. You really should have read the entire saga in order to understand the dynamics and the characters and what has happened to this point. There have been too many character and a lot of world building that has already taken place. This has also become a problem with characters that haven't been seen in awhile. They are more like tertiary or guest characters than party of the Mercyverse. Oh, by the way, just when you think the story has been wrapped up, don't let down your guard. You'll be sorry you did!