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Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2)
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92 of 97 people found the following review helpful
Blood Bound picks up not too long after the first in the series, Moon Called. Introduced to mechanic and sometimes-coyote, Mercedes Thompson in book one we get to dive right back into her world. A walker raised by werewolves, trained in mechanics by a fae and friend to vampires and ghosts, Mercy's world is far from ordinary. Blood Bound finds her vampire friend Stefan calling on her for return of a favor from Moon Called (book one). There's a new vampire in town and he's brought a demon with him. From here the story takes off at a stop-start pace involving both the local wolf pack and the vampire seethe, even getting some of the fae involved. But it is Mercy's ability to speak to ghosts that is in high demand and eventually she saves the day.

With diverse characters carried over from the first book and a few new ones salted into this one there were no faces I missed. I look forward to more unique and enjoyable characters as the series continues. Her efforts to make Mercy a girl-next-door-who-just-happens-to-be-a-shapeshifter character who is a girl most readers can relate to are spot on. I won't compare her to other characters of books in this same genre because she tops them all in sheer likability.

As a native of the area Briggs' tale takes place in I was once again impressed with her knowledge of the region and pleased at how well she carried me back home through her accurate description of the simple things like the climate, local culture and real places within the area. The unique choice of location certainly adds to the story as cities like New York, New Orleans, Los Angeles and such, while all wonderful places, have been over-used in similar series. Using an area not widely known has given this series a refreshing change from the cliched and expected.

If you enjoy a good paranormal tale with vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts and the like that won't get lost in between pages of sex scenes this series is for you. While there's still a tantalizing love triangle element I appreciate that Mercy is a very real woman who doesn't sport a harem of Adonis-like fellows at her beck and call. Briggs never loses the story's plot in attempts to hook her heroine up with her heroes.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Ok, Mercy is a used car auto-mechanic who specializes in German manufactured cars. Mercy is also a coyote skin-walker. Her best customer is a vampire who drives around in an old VW mini-van with a Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine paint job, and her next door neighbor is the alpha-male of the local wolf pack, who she has gone out on a couple of dates with. Her room-mate is the son of the chief were-wolf in North America, who she almost eloped with when she was 16. Her ex-boss is a fey who calls himself a gremlin, and whose talent is working with metal and iron (normally poisonous to all fey.)

With her first book, Moon Called, we barely meet the vampires and fey in the Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington State. In this book, not only have the weaker fey creatures been outed, but the were-wolves have also outed themselves to humanity. Vampires are still unknown however; and the local vampire sidhe queen needs help stopping a rogue vampire who is a sorcerer, a human who has invited a demon into his body giving him powers over vampires, were-wolves, and fey. Can Mercy stop this sorcerer/vampire?

Part of what makes this book and series important is the look into the politics of the various supernatural groups in Briggs's modern world, and Mercy's struggles as a businesswoman and member of the paranormal community. She must also help protect her fellow humans, while struggling with her potential boyfriends, and helping all her friends whether human or paranormal. Briggs along with David Weber, Kim Harrison, and Charlaine Harris do an excellent job of this with differing levels of emphasis. By the way, I agree with Patricia Briggs that this 2nd novel is an improvement over the first novel, and I am avidly looking forward to book 3 which has been submitted to the publishers even as we speak.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon February 4, 2007
Patricia Brigg brings her coyote shape-shifter character Mercy back in this sequel to Moon Called. Mercy is a rare coyote shape shifter raised by a werewolf pack. By day she works as a mechanic in a world that has only recently become aware of the fae--who live on a reservation, and werewolves--who keep a very low profile. Vampires are still not part of the mainstream.

Yet Mercy seems to collect preternatural friends of all types, from her werewolf roommate, to her fae ex-boss and her vampire friend. When a demon possessed vampire goes on a killing spree, Mercy goes into action to stop him from outing the vampires in a very bad way. Her friendships and budding love-affairs with two werewolves are put to the test as Mercy resists efforts by the local vampires and werewolves to control her.

Briggs does a nice job of portraying a gutsy preternatural hero in a supernatural alternate universe. Her characters are appealing and lively. The writing in Blood Bound is tight and creates spine-tingling suspense. My only gripe is that I wish it were longer!
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
"Moon Called," author Patricia Briggs' introduction to the shapeshifting Mercy Thompson, was good. "Blood Bound," the sequel, is better.

Mercy lives among werewolves in a society that knows they -- as well as various fae populations -- exist. But Mercy isn't a werewolf; lycanthropy is a culture based in European roots, while Mercy's coyote shape is rooted in Native American lore. She is far less powerful in her coyote form, but has certain advantages, such as a natural resistance to vampiric mind games.

That will prove to be a useful trait in "Blood Bound," which pits Mercy, the local werewolf pack and the community of vampires -- who have not been revealed to the public at large -- against a rogue vampire with a demon in thrall and powerful sorcerous abilities at his command. As the body count rises and key characters are taken out of play, Mercy finds herself fighting an enemy she can't even find, much less defeat with any certainty. To add a delicious layer of tension to the story, her allies may prove as deadly as the sorceror she's hunting -- she definitely can't trust them to watch her back.

And all she really wants to do is keep her garage open for business and tinker in her spare time on her beloved VW Rabbit.

Refreshingly, the romance aspect of the story -- Mercy has two powerful werewolves and maybe a vampire vying for her affections -- is subdued, almost inconsequential to the plot. Some folks might be disappointed, but romance is making such a heavy push into contemporary paranormal fiction, it's almost a relief to see it de-emphasized for a change. Mercy is no heart of stone, but she certainly doesn't feel the need to have a man in her life, for love or protection against the greater dark.

"Blood Bound" is a compelling story with a strong, capable heroine who defies expectations in an increasingly crowded genre. Characters, action and suspense work together smoothly to drive the plot in interesting directions, and readers will hug the pages as Briggs takes unexpected turns.

by Tom Knapp, Rambles.(n e t) editor
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 30, 2007
It's difficult to find good urban fantasy these days, but Patricia Briggs has started a new series. The first book, "Moon Called" which came out last year, introduced us to Mercedes 'Mercy' Thompson, a girl who was raised by wolves--well, werewolves to be exact. It seems Mercy is a skinwalker. She appears to be human, but can change to a coyote form at will. In this society, the fae have come out and many are restricted to reservations. Weres and vamps are also in the process of coming out, but there's quite a bit of politics and public relations involved in this process.

Mercy isn't in your typical glam profession, either. She's a mechanic, a VW mechanic to be precise, named "Mercedes."

The second book, "Blood Bound" returns to Mercy's world. Stefan, a friend and not your typical vampire (he drives a VW bus decorated as the "Mystery Machine"), asks Mercy to come along as witness in her coyote form. He suspects a vampire-sorcerer is loose in the Tri-Cities area. He's right--Mercy witnesses a vicious murder.

Worse, as the heat increases, tempers everywhere are flaring and the body count is rising. Marsilia, the Master Vampire, comes to Mercy and tells her that she's the only one who can stop this sorcerer. Between the vamps and the fae, Mercy has the skills and the tools to do the job.

Just before she can, the vampire-sorcerer has taken the Alpha Werewolf and her close friend, Samuel. Mercy's pretty sure by nightfall that the two of them will be added to the death toll.

Mercedes is definitely a likeable heroine. I enjoy reading about a VW mechanic's life juxtaposed into a fantasy situation. The world she's created is interesting and mostly believable. Briggs definitely knows how to keep you turning pages. I certainly did til I was done with the book.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
Patricia Briggs has the unique gift of being able to make the reader believe, for the space of 300 some pages, of her truths. That vampires, fae, werewolves, and magic makers live in tentative harmony with humankind. Her world is just like ours, only a bit more dangerous and a bit more sexy.

Mercy Thompson is a walker. As a walker, she has very few powers. She can shift into coyote shape and is somewhat resistant to other magics such as vampire compulsion or werewolf pack control. Because of her resistance to, vampire friend Stefan calls upon her to deliver a message to a visiting vampire who has failed to pay the proper respects to Stefan's seethe. Stefan is fearful that the visiting vampire has some type of magic that can compel him to do things he wouldn't ordinarily do and that Mercy is hopefully immune and will be able to report back to his seethe should anything happen to him.

Of course, things go badly and soon Mercy is wrapped up in a hunt for a vampire/sorcerer who is causing the Tri Cities area to have an increased rise in violence, harming werewolf friends, and endangering lives of innocents. To complicate things, her feelings for Adam, the local Alpha, are scaring her and her feelings for Samuel, an old flame, appear unresolved. Throw in a bit of vampire, fae, werewolf politics and the story does not stop.

The strength of this story is in that the details of the world construct and the consistency of characters that create a believable alternate reality. Mercy has a keen sense of smell, consistent with the canis species, that she employs on an everyday basis. She uses it when she is in danger, when she is working and when she is full of desire. She uses her brain to solve problems but doesn't hesitate to ask for help when she needs it. Mercy is portrayed as unassuming but loyal. She is the kind of person that you want to befriend so that when she is in danger or hurt or angry or in lust, all those emotions are felt keenly by the reader.

The complaints that I would have for the book is that, at times, Mercy monologues in a very educated manner. I felt that was more a reflection of the author's learnedness than Mercy's character (although she is described as being a history major in the previous book, Moon Called). Briggs has a small tendency toward repetitiveness. Certain details she deems important are inserted often. For example, Samuel is described as more dominant than the Alpha, Adam, about five times.

Additionally, there is another love interest developed for Mercy other than Adam and Samuel and while I am not philosophically opposed to this, I winced slightly upon reading it. I would loathe to see Mercy's unaffected charm be wiped away by having everyunattached male in the Tri Cities area falling for her.

Those are small quibbles and didn't really affect my appreciation for this book. The characters, the action, seem so alive. That's power of the pen - the ability to change a reader's perception. It's why we readers read fantasy.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2007
Blood Bound is the second title to explore the life of Mercy Thompson. Briggs does a wonderful job of adding to the world she first showed us in Moon Called. Blood Bound is a much more focused effort that is a one sitting read.

The Tri-Cities has a problem -- a big one -- in the form of a demon inhabiting a sorcerer who has been made a vampire. Mercy reluctantly sits back while Warren, Ben and Stefan take the lead on tracking down the monster. At least until Warren is hurt and Ben, Samuel, Adam and Stefan all go missing, then Mercy realizes she might be the only one who can catch the terrible creature.

I love this series because, slowly, Mercy is finding out who she is. She's exploring her options as far as the men in her life and she's learning more and more about the fae world around her. The dialogue is sharp, funny and real and the pace is strong, but not out of control. For all those out there that loved the earlier books in the Anita Blake series you should pick up Moon Called and Blood Bound right now. And for others that are looking for a solid "other world," great characters and a good mystery/chase look no farther than Patricia Briggs!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 2, 2007
I really enjoyed this book. I agree with a previous reviewer...my only complaint is that at 292 pages, the book was too short.

This book has Mercy pulled into vampire politics by Stefan who is calling in a favor. The storyline follows Mercy, the vamps and the weres, along with a little help from the fae, trying to stop a demon possessed sorcerer turned vampire. We learn a little more about the seethe, which is the vampire world, and a little more about were hierarchy and rank. The story is fast-paced and Briggs does a great job of bringing the characters to life. I love that Mercy has some practical and common sense and aknowleges that she's not indestructable. but at the same time, is a strong/smart heroine. I enjoy the slow steady build up of a relationship between Mercy and Adam, in what I hope will continue with future books.

I loved this book. I enjoyed revisiting Samuel, Bran, Warren, and company.

I know that most of Ms Briggs previous books are not long running series. I hope this storyline and characters will be the exception. I would love to see many many more books in this series.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
This is a follow on to Moon Called which I would recommend reading first because the characters will make more sense and because its a really good read. Mercedes (aka Mercy) is a walker (someone who can turn into a coyote easily) and a mechanic who works on German cars. Samuel her former teen sweet heart and a werewolf is staying with her and Adam the local Alpha has announced that she is his mate. She has a tender spot for both of them. The story gets underway when Stephen (vampire and friend of a sort) asks Mercy to accompany him to a meet with a trespassing vampire (as a walker she is immune or at least resistant to vampire magic). The plot is nicely done with some humor and good logic as well. The characters are engaging and well drawn.

BTW the cover is not nearly as good as Moon Called and I found it to be ugly and off putting.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2007
I truly loved this book, I read it none stop in one sitting because I couldn't bring my self to put it down. I am a lazy reader, I'll read a few pages, put it down and come back to it in a few days- but with Moon Called and Blood Bound I couldn't walk away for a second. Both of these books are the best books I've read!!

Moon Called I think was better because of the complexity of characters. Mercy was faced with struggle at every corner yet some how managed to survive. The characters were very complex. You start out with one opinion of them, and through discovery, by the end you had a completely opinion of them. I finished Moon Called because I was interested in the characters, not in the plot. Blood Bound was mostly interest in plot but there was some great character development as well. A few people had said there was too much sexual content. I disagree, the only brief moment there was anything sexual, it really symbolized how she was giving into the pack life but that she was still strong enough to walk away by resisting him. Seriously, how many guys can we ladies resist that are that good looking and have feelings for? So, Kudos to Mercy. Plus, she's an adult, we can't expect her to never chose a love interest and follow through. Grant it, I hope Briggs doesn't take it too far. Sex itself doesn't need to be in the book, although a little sexual involvement doesn't bother me ( I can do with or without), but it doesn't need to be all the book is about. I think she used the situation to show her loosing control, which Mercy did all through out the book. It also shows just how dangerous Adam is to Mercy's independence. If brief making out is too sexual for you, perhaps adult fantasy books shouldn't be your genre.
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