Mar 11, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #8)

night broken_front mech.indd4 star

Urban Fantasy
March 11 2014
Hardcover
352 pages
Ace
Received from publisher

Kick Ass Chick – Mercy Thompson
Yummy Man – Adam Hauptman

From Goodreads –
An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right.

Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy.

Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s ex is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.

———-

I know that when I write this form of review, the ‘what I liked’ and ‘what I didn’t like’ review, it’s usually because I didn’t like a book all that much and I’m trying to not write a review where I will pretty much vent for 3 or so minutes of your time.  But do not fret, that is not the case at all this time around.  While trying to write this review, I noticed that I very clearly loved some aspects of the book and very much didn’t appreciate others.  So writing a review in this ‘style’ seemed adequate.

So here we go.

Night Broken is the eighth book in Patricia Briggs’ incredible Mercy Thompson series.  This is what urban fantasy series should aspire to.  Patricia has written one of the best shifter-based worlds out there, with the details being so precise you swear she knows all of it thanks to witnessing it for real, and the characters, especially Mercy herself, are hard to match.

As the story goes…I’ll talk about that in a short while.  And a heads up, I included mild spoilers.  Meaning, I talk about specifics but nothing that you will look at and think ‘well dang, now I don’t have to read the book!’.  So no worries about that 😉

What I liked about Night Broken

Mercy.  She continues to grow and learn Pack politics.  I just love her as a character.  She is not perfect, far from it, yet she tries her hardest.  She is loyal and lovely and incredibly smart.  And in this book, she showed restraint I don’t think I would have found in her situation.

Adam and Mercy.  They are one of my favorite couples because they have an adult relationship without the teenaged-type drama.  Although I didn’t agree with everything Adam did (or didn’t do) in this installment (see ‘what I didn’t like’), I can’t help but love how Adam is with Mercy.  They are fantastic together.

Tad.  OMG Tad!  I loved his role in this book.  We learn so much about him in a relatively short time in this installment.  I really hope we continue to hear more about him in future books because, where Tad is concerned, there is much we still need to know.

Honey is another character that impressed me in this book.  She is still in mourning but it’s nice to see her have a bit of bite.  I liked how she sided with Mercy when the going got tough.  Go Honey!

Gary Laughingdog.  No, you won’t know who this guy is because he is indeed a new character.  I won’t say much about him because I think the surprises are one of the things that makes him so interesting, but he is awesome.  He will make you laugh even when he’s not trying to be funny.  I hope we see more of him in later books.

The walking stick!  I don’t know why but I love that thing.

I always enjoy the use of mythology in this series.  Whether it’s Native American or, as is in this case, volcano gods, Patricia always makes it relevant and interesting.  I like the spin she put in this book and the villain is pretty intense.  He was very challenging and, as usual, I really enjoyed watching Mercy and cohorts trying to crack the mystery of how to take him down.

Relationship-based plotlines.  That is not something you usually see in this series but I liked the timing of it.  I find it helped continue to build on relationships that we have witnessed in this series for some time.  It’s also nice to see just how strong these friendships and relationships are in this world.

What I didn’t like about Night Broken

Christy and everyone’s reaction to her.  Christy is Adam’s ex-wife.  Yes, she is ‘back’ in this book and boy, did I NOT like her.  At all.  But I believe that is the point of her.  She was created to make us hate her.  And we do.  A lot.  But as much as I didn’t like Christy, I disliked the way everyone reacted towards her even more.   I never felt that she was a threat to Adam and Mercy’s relationship.  I feel Patricia built a very strong bond there and would not cheapen her series by making Adam re-fall for the self-centered ex.  He is better than that and so it this author.  But everyone kissed Christy’s feet!  No one noticed how manipulative she was and no one respected Mercy’s authority while Christy was there, which surprised me because Mercy is Pack and she’s Alpha!  That didn’t make sense to me.  But Christy did bring the ultimate bad guy to town so for that, I suppose I should be grateful because I really did like how that whole plot went down.

Adam.  Yes, I love him, but in this book I feel he needed to grow a set.  Christy was in his home, thanks to an invite from Mercy, and she was doing her best to make Mercy look bad or put her on the spot.  Yet Adam just let her!  What the heck?!  I don’t think it would have undermined him as Alpha or done anything else Pack related if he told her where to go instead of letting Christy do what she did to Mercy.  I didn’t get it while reading the book and I still don’t.

The random plot lines.  I have to say that by page 100 I still was not sure exactly where the story was going.  We had volcano god and Coyote and evil Fae and the ex-wife and…  It was not clear what was going on.  Eventually, of course, everything worked out but I felt there were many little details that were not necessarily needed in order to weave the plot and that instead they just added to the sense of ‘what?!’.

So there you have it.  Lots of things I enjoyed and three that I did not.  But I’m still giving Night Broken 4 stars.  Why?  Well, it was a solid and very imaginative story (even if a little confusing at times) and the character growth where Mercy was concerned was awesome.  I also love the world, the voice, the pace and the new characters.  And even though this was not my favorite installment in the series, it always feels nice and homey when I pick up a Mercy Thompson book.  There is just something about these books that always manages to put me in a state of awe.  And if you are a fan of urban fantasy books, let this one awe you too.

4 stars

Books in the Mercy Thompson series –
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked
Frost Burned
Night Broken
Book #9 – tba

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  1. I’m afraid of reading this book and not liking it.

  2. Great review Julie! I know how much you and so many others really enjoy this series and I’m excited to finally give book 1 a chance…sometime this year, that is on my todo list. I’m sorry that you had a few things you didn’t completely like about this book, but I’m glad that overall you enjoyed the read and getting back into the world that is Mercy Thompson.

  3. I’m with the BookaholicCat above. I am afraid of reading it and not liking it. I’ve seen a few reviews out there so far and they don’t seem favourable or shall I say instead that they don’t seem very energetic about the book.

  4. I also enjoyed Tad’s role in this book. I’m wondering if he will have an even bigger role in the next.

    We totally agree on Adam. Grrr.

  5. Deanna – I started reading this series because of Julie’s reviews – so worth it! I’ve always been more a fan of vampires than shapeshifters, but I absolutely love this series! And I think it’s mostly due to Mercy and Adam’s relationship.

    I think that when a series goes on this long, dedicated readers are bound to see the energy or momentum wane a bit. Not every book is going to be “killer”, but if there is still character growth and I still actually like the characters, I can get past a confusing plot line or a not so energetic installment.

  6. I’m so impatient to read this one but I really need to read book 7 before, so little time…

  7. Bookaholic Cat – You’ll have to let me know what you think when you read it 🙂

    Deanna – Can’t wait to hear what you think of book one…when you get to it 😉

    Michelle – Not very energetic is a very good way of putting it 😉

    Jennifer – I hope Tad does have a bigger role. 🙂

    Lizzie – I agree, not every book will be killer but as long as the characters stay important to long time readers, it’s all going to be good 🙂

    melliane – I know…so little time for us bookaholics…

  8. OMG, I am so with you on Adam and the Pack’s response to Christi. I even tweeted at some point that I had already had 5 slap that Trick moments while cursing at the top of my lungs inside the car on the way to work and I hadn’t even been listening more than an hour! I had a very hard time with her character and felt that Adam should have done more to put her in her place.

  9. Leider funktioniert der obige Code bei mir nicht richtig.Ich bekomme immer ein: “401 Uncszhorited”.Tokenu/Sahlüssel sind richtig eingegeben und auch die Zugriffsrechte stimmen. Hat sich vielleicht schon wieder etwas an der twitter-API geändert?Wäre dankbar für eine Antwort.

  10. Don't be silly. No apology necessary. I know you do it because you love me and our little peanut has taken your cue to let me know he loves me too! xoxox! You guys are the best. 🙂

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