Source: owned by the reviewer
Release Date: January 2, 2008
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Blurb from goodreads:
I could smell her fear, and it satisfied something deep inside me that had been writhing under her cool, superior gaze. I curled my upper lip so she could get a good look at my sharp teeth. I might only weigh thirty or so pounds in my coyote shape, but I was a predator...
Mechanic Mercy Thompson can shift her shape - but not her loyalty. When her former boss and mentor is arrested for murder and left to rot behind bars by his own kind, it's up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.
Mercy's loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can't decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her.
Oh, I love this book. It's not only my favorite Mercy Thompson book but one of my favorite books period. How much do I love it? Well, own 3 paperback copies (1 of which is signed, squeee! The others are well-loved and will need replacing soon) and a Kindle copy, and I gave it 5 stars on goodreads.
A quick note. While you could read this as a stand-alone, I don't recommend it. You'll appreciate the story more if you have read the first two books in the series. I can hardly believe that book nine, "Fire Touched" is releasing next week. It feels like I just read the first book, "Moon Called". I didn't love that book but I did enjoy and the series has become one of my favorites. I was excited to be chosen to participate in this tour of rereads.
So, what do I love about this book? Honestly, everything. It's a perfect blend of story and characterization, of action and romance, of humor and tension. Briggs delivers on all counts.
There's the scene near the beginning of the book where Mercy is watching a movie with her friend, Warren, a werewolf, and Warren's boyfriend Kyle. In a few pages, we see the relationships between the three of them, get a brief recap of book two, and the set-up for the book's story. The scene draws me in, engaging my interest and making me feel like I'm right there, every time I read it.
One of the highlights of this story is Mercy's loyalty. When her friend and mentor Zee, a fae, is being railroaded for murder, nothing, absolutely nothing stops Mercy from trying to clear his name and keep him alive. We see her loyalty again when it comes to choosing between two men. She doesn't want to hurt either one and looks for a way handle the situation with the least amount of pain. Her loyalty is one of the things I love about her. When she's your friend, she sticks by you no matter what.
There's also action and tension. Mercy's trying to free Zee, find two killers, fend off the fae, and keep herself in one piece. While lacking in powers other than changing into a coyote, a regular coyote-sized coyote, and seeing ghosts, she's smart, clever, sneaky, and willing to play dirty. But she also has ethics and a code of honor.
There's a heartbreaking scene near the end involving Mercy, Adam the local pack Alpha, and Ben, a member of the pack. It's emotional and gripping and so sensitively done. Briggs took a highly sensitive topic and handled it with dignity and grace. It's an emotional turning point for all three characters and reveals a whole new side of Ben who has mostly been unlikable up to now.
Really, you need to read this for yourself. It's not just engaging and gripping but thoughtful and thought-provoking while being a damn good story.
Warning! The book does deal with sexual assault in addition to several murders. It's not graphic but it does happen.