Night Broken (Mercy Thompson Series)
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124 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. It really sets the standard in terms of werewolf mythos and world-building, series development, and a compelling heroine. When the opportunity to read and review NIGHT BROKEN arose, I jumped at the chance. Given the synopsis, I knew this was going to be a good one. And of course, I wasn’t disappointed.

Central to NIGHT BROKEN, book eight in the series, is Mercy and Adam’s marriage. What Briggs does so well is show the depth of their commitment and their complete and utter belief and confidence in each other. It was nice to see, after all these two have been through, a book that centers on the strength of their relationship, particularly when it’s being tested by a manipulative ex-wife, which I’ll get to later. Mercy proves herself, once again, to be completely loyal and dedicated to those she cares about which is of course why she’s such an endearing character. But Briggs also takes some time to humanize this wonder woman with moments of childish retribution against Adam’s ex (blue dye in the shampoo anyone?). Mercy may be an almost-saint but she, too, can be “human,” and it was nice to see.

Another fantastic addition to Mercy’s world is the introduction of Gary Laughingdog. He’s the only other coyote shifter, born of Coyote himself, that Mercy knows and he’s a fantastic character — hilarious, completely not dependable, and wiley. He has the gift of sight and is a huge flirt which proves difficult for Honey given what she went through in FROST BURNED. I hope Briggs keeps him around because he’s a nice counterpoint to Mercy and he adds a bit of excitement and humor to almost any scene he’s in.

Other strong elements of the book include the continued difficulties Mercy has with her pack relationships. The pack is made up of a bunch of jerks and NIGHT BROKEN really highlights the uphill battle Mercy faces. While there may be some hope it will get better, it angers me how they treat her depsite nice moments of support from characters like Warren, Ben, and Honey. Briggs also does a great job of introducing a new mythology that I’ve never heard of and which feels very original. I love the expansion of the supernatural world beyond the fae, vampires, and wolves that normally take center stage in the series. Finally, there’s Stefan. There’s a bit of a revelation in NIGHT BROKEN that will impact his relationship with Mercy and I’m curious to see how it will play out.

If I had to add some minor quibbles there would be two — Christy, Adam’s ex wife, and how the pack supports her, and NIGHT BROKEN’s ending. I find it a bit unbelievable that the pack would continue to buy Christy’s manipulative B.S. It really goes beyond reason. Her manipulations are obvious and her past abandonment of Adam and their daughter would, in my mind, create a sense of resentment from a pack loyal to its alpha, not continued support. I also wanted Adam to stand up a little more to her; he needed a swift kick to the gonads to get them in gear. And the ending…it felt abrupt. It opened the door to future fae shenanigans (read: troubles) but I admit to turning the page to see if I was missing something.

Regardless, NIGHT BROKEN is packed full of strong writing – great moments of humor, horror, and suspense; emotion and drama; romance and redemption. It’s another wonderful story in a series that sets the bar. NIGHT BROKEN is highly recommended for fans of the series and for those readers who appreciate really thoughtfully written urban fantasy. 4.5 Stars!
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95 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
Mercy Thompson is one of the best Urban Fantasy series around. Maybe the best of its kind. While other series start out good and promising they then fall and buckle under the weight of extended contracts, and trying to stretch a story that was originally a trilogy into five or more books. Not so Mercy Thompson. Patricia Briggs has consistently released installments that are engrossing and maintain a level of stable entertainment that few can boast of. NIGHT BROKEN is another action packed, fantasy driven installment in what is without a doubt my favorite series barring Harry Potter.

Mercy Thompson has gotten her man. The good looking and loyal pack Alpha Adam Hauptman is her husband and their bond is as stable as ever. So, when his ex-wife needs a place to hide out from a stalker ex-boyfriend, Mercy magnanimously offers the woman a place to stay. This opens a can of worms, because while she left him Christy still believes she has full rights and ownership to Mercy's husband.

Adding insult to injury, the pack who are not big fans of Mercy as Adam's mate...love his ex.
Besides a manipulative ex and her stalker, Mercy is pulled into an investigation of brutal murders that the authorities believe are the crimes of werewolves. It's pretty amazing how innocently Mercy stumbles into trouble. Trouble finds her. In eight books, I cannot think of a single mishap that she purposely brought on. People are just drawn to the mischievous coyote in her veins.

NIGHT BROKEN is pure unadulterated entertainment. It encompasses everything I love in Urban Fantasy. Sassy heroine, super hot hero, action, drama, interesting villain, great side characters and of course fantasy. The fantasy in NIGHT BROKEN takes an interesting turn. After eight books, Ms. Briggs evolves her mythology. We're getting more than the usual vamps, werewolves, Fae and occasional coyote lore. It's brand new and it is big.

At moments in this book it is really difficult to decide who Mercy can and cannot trust. She's surrounded by haters at every turn. There's the manipulative Christy, who is a lot more interesting than I thought she would be. Honestly, any woman who can manipulate people who know they are being manipulated, is a well written antagonist. Then there is the pack. For several books it has been clear that the pack is not 100% on board with letting a coyote into a world of wolves. They have been against Mercy at every turn and with the added memory of the human and domesticated, Christy, Mercy really has to watch her back to make sure she is not stabbed in it.

Add to that the ever present Fae threats. For quite sometime Mercy has been in possession of an ancient Fae artifact and now that the Fae have locked themselves away in their mound, they want it back. Mercy is all too willing to return it, but the pesky walking stick has a mind of its own and always returns to Mercy. Its connection to Mercy is forever saving her life and putting her in danger.

Now to the murder investigation, it is gruesome. It's the kind of thing that you can just see in your mind and know that if you were standing next to Mercy your stomach would roil. The hunt for the killer is really fascinating and it's interesting to see all these different story lines connect, because while this story is broad, it is a small world, after-all.

This book is a funny, smart, romantic and action packed thrill ride! I laughed, I cried, raged and rejoiced. The ending is wrapped up and yet opens the series to new possibilities and Mercy to new struggles. I am excited for book 9. Another great installment to the Mercy Thompson series. Oh, and Adam is still my FAVORITE guy! :0
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119 of 132 people found the following review helpful
When a book is quotable, I'm gonna quote!
"Adam snorted as he pulled on a faded green t-shirt that said "I Heart Coyotes." Yet another sign that folding my clean clothes wasn't too big a price to pay to make him happy. He didn't have any "I Heart Christy " shirts--or I would have burned them already."

"I thought we should apply that kind of thinking to the matter of Cristy's stalker." He gave me a skeptical look. "No, really," I said. "Now that we know that Flores is really this nasty, fiery, superpowerful nothing-can-kill-me demon from hell, maybe we should consider just giving Christy to him?" He laughed.
"I'm serious," I said.

"Seriously? Do you know how many guilty people are in jail? None." Gary's voice rose to imitate a woman's voice. "Honest. I didn't kill him. He fell on my knife. Fourteen times."

You would think that our favorite coyote, Mercy, would have enough to deal with in her life when it comes to adversaries of the supernatural and furry variety. But she may have to confront her biggest challenge yet in the form of the former Mrs. Adam Hauptman. That's right, the ex is in trouble and on the run from her psycho boyfriend. And Adam wouldn't be the Adam that Mercy knows and loves if it wasn't in his nature to help others, especially the mother of his child.

The ex, Christy, is only safest in Adam's house and with his pack even though several things aren't quite adding up. But one thing is as clear as day, Christy wants Adam back and isn't afraid to play dirty to get him. Mercy isn't going to take this lying down, but Christy's peculiar psycho boyfriend may have more going on than some crazy stalker tendencies and as more bodies pile up, it's up to Mercy to put a stop to it.

Night Broken is certainly one of the more memorable entries in the world of Mercy Thompson. She's got bad guys...and girls all around and it's hard to know who she can truly trust! Christy's character is the one you love to hate. We'd been lucky for a while with her out of the picture, but since the character never died we knew she'd have to crop up sooner or later. And even death isn't always a guarantee that we'll be done with a character in the paranormal world, so it's always in our best interests to just wait and see. I did thoroughly enjoy this part of the book, even if Christy made me want to shoot myself (...or maybe her for that matter). Mercy is a better woman than I am, that's all I can say about that.

Mercy's snark was of the highest order this time around and I found it refreshing. I loved this that novel tested the depth of Mercy and Adam's feelings for one another as well. They define what it is to be a unit. I think Adam fans in general will find him pretty swoon-worthy.

The villain was pretty interesting. I wasn't always sure what direction Briggs was going to take with his character so that helped keep the read very engaging. I did find myself annoyed more than once with Adam's pack though. It really disappointed me how they treated Mercy despite her dedication to them and the fact that she sticks her neck out there for their sakes time and time again. I really wish they would get over themselves. One saving grace is the fact that if they can't do it at once, they might be able to do it one by one. I thought the developments with Honey were well done and are a closer step in the direction of where things need to go.

My biggest gripe for the book would be the length. The latest Mercy books have felt too short to me. I mean, 350 pages might seem like enough but I feel like I whiz through it so fast. I could use another meaty 50-75 pages per entry. Additional pages would perhaps allow for more inclusion of side characters whose presence I found myself missing, namely Stefan. I know it's probably not very easy to figure out how to incorporate him now that Mercy's married to Adam, but I really like his character and his devotion to Mercy. Though he plays an important role, he is featured so little here and that makes me miss the old times. I am not very invested in the vampires as a whole in this world, just him. Briggs does a wonderful job at making me care more about pack matters in general, but I could still use a Stefan spin-off!

But all in all it's a good read and I think the fans will enjoy it immensely. The series still has a lot to offer and I look forward to what's next.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 10, 2014
First let me talk about the stuff I liked:
- Interesting developments regarding Stefan and Tad.
- Intro of Gary who has a surprising connection to Mercy. I liked him and his fatalistic, cynical, darkly humorous take on everything.
- Mercy getting stuff done. Basically, Mercy being Mercy.
- Good use of continuity. The scenes in Mercy's garage as she fights off an attacker harken back to Iron Kissed. Mercy and Adam have that firmly in the front of their minds as they react.
- Honey. I am liking the progression of her relationship with Mercy. Finally.

Ok, now the part that makes me WTF:
The premise of the book is that Adam's ex-wife Christy is being stalked by a really nasty customer and seeks protection from the pack. Ok, fine. This has good dramatic possibilities. A storyline that hasn't been mined yet in this series. And it helps that her stalker really is a bad piece of work. We know Christy was a flake for taking off, leaving her husband and abandoning her kid, but maybe -- just maybe, this could have fleshed out her character a bit.

Nope.

She was a cliche. A manipulative nasty ex who acted sweet as pie and helpless while trying to undermine Mercy in insidious ways. It was like Briggs wanted to have it both ways. Christy's plans worked up to a point without exactly succeeding 100%. Adam sees through all of Christy's machinations and it is clear that his love and commitment to Mercy is strong and thriving. And yet, he doesn't stop Christy or shut down her efforts and his inaction not only makes Mercy react in a way counter to her nature, it plays into some members of the pack's continuing dislike of Mercy and acts somehow as a validation of their continuing disrespect of her.

I was floored by how easily these people (especially the women) dismissed Mercy -- who has fought for and bled for and effing rescued them -- to pet, hug and protect Christy. What was worse they all knew what she was doing and yet sat back and let it happen. There was an unfortunate message conveyed here: Mercy is strong and can take care of herself she can handle it, her feelings will be fine. Christy is weak and helpless and human, her feelings need to be protected. This did not sit well with me because how is it better to protect the feelings of a person who abandoned you than the one who is constantly fighting tooth and nail for you? Strong people need support to. And Weak people should not always be cosseted.

But Mercy being Mercy still got stuff done. She kept her eyes on the prize and she pretty much did all the legwork on finding out about the crazy stalker. In the end, Christy owed her safety more to Mercy than the pack, when all was said and done.

Frankly, Adam's shine was tarnished in this one for me.

A smack down of Christy would have gone a long way to restoring some of it. But no such luck.

Oh well. I have to shake that off. Minus the stupid Christy business -- which admittedly is quite a bit of the book -- there was a lot of good Mercy action and a nice showdown with some Cantrip agents that gives me an idea of the direction some future plots are going to go.

I still love Mercy and the world. And even though Adam and most of the pack (Mary Jo --- just ugh!) let me down, at least Ben, Warren, Jessie(!!!) and Honey had Mercy's back.

The ending was abrupt and kind of jarred me a bit. It had the effect of making this book feel kinda...incomplete. It wasn't a cliffhanger or anything, but you are left with a vague feeling of stuff not quite finished..of something on the horizon. When all was said and done this book had a Monster-of-the-week feel with some set up for future installment.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2014
NIGHT BROKEN feels like a big reunion. From Mercy and Adam, to the Pack, Stefan and the vamps, Coyote, and Tad/Zee and the Fae, everyone is one big happy family. Or well unhappy family depending on how you look at it, but Mercy is at the center of it all, all the same, which of course is her coyote nature, and probably what makes this series so interesting. There isn't really a faction that Mercy doesn't somewhat have her hand in. And I have to admit that it's more than a little entertaining to sit back and watch the sparks fly. Even though the focus of NIGHT BROKEN was on other things, there still were hints at the troubles with the Fae and the troubles the Weres have with Cantrip. As I said, sparks are flying, and you won't want to miss it.

I have to admit that I was more than a little caught off guard with the path this book took as far as the pack politics. For some reason, I had though that after everything that had happened in the past couple of books that the pack had finally accepted Mercy. Yet, as soon as Adam's ex, Christy, walks back into their lives, all of a sudden Mercy is back to being the outsider and mistrusted. I honestly did not care for it at all. There's nothing Mercy wouldn't do for any of them, so it just left a foul taste in my mouth at how little it took for them to turn their back on her. Don't get me wrong, it in no way lessened the book, it just elicited a strong anger from me, which just proved how far I was sucked into the story. Speaking of anger, man do I loathe Christy. There were times where I thought I was almost about to feel sorry for her as her situation was truly terrible, but then she would do yet another underhanded vindictive thing that on the surface looked guileless but underneath were rather malicious. That being said, it did provide for some pretty hilarious moments as remember the antics Mercy committed against Bran growing up. Christy didn't stand a chance.

It's very telling that no matter how long between installments, I have no trouble picking up one of these books and diving right in. In so many series there is at least a small "re-learning" curve as you get back into the world and try and remember what happened previously, but that's not the case here. I eagerly look forward to these books as it feels like coming home each time, and NIGHT BROKEN was no exception. From politics, to romance, to heartbreak, to danger, and suspense, this book has it all and then some. Fans of the series will be more than pleased with this fantastic installment.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs continues the story of Mercy Thompson, the coyote-shifter, in a crazy world where Fae and werewolves have come out to the public, but much scarier monsters remain hidden away. If you haven’t read this far in the series, there will be some spoilers for the romantic plots and who is still alive, but each book stands on its own fairly well. The Mercy Thompson series is one of my top favorite series, so I highly recommend any urban fantasy fans to start it asap if you haven’t already. Night Broken continues with all the things we love about this series, including an awesome new monster myth and more building up towards what promises to be an epic series-long plot.
Note: I received Night Broken from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #8)
Published by Ace on March 11, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Length: 352 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher

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.

Strengths:
The big bad monster in Night Broken is not one that you are likely to see coming and is pulled from a very different mythos than all the vampires and werewolves. I really love that this series is starting to incorporate other cultures’ myths and monsters along with quite good explanations for why we haven’t seen them before.
Coyote plays a decent role in Night Broken and we get to find out a lot more about what his influence in Mercy and others’ lives really means. There are a number of other cool characters that we’ve either met briefly before or are meeting for the first time, yey new friends!
Fair Game (Alpha and Omega companion series #3) started hinting at just how epic these series’ plots are going to be, and Night Broken continues to develop that arc. I have no idea what the consequences are going to be in the end, but omg I can’t wait to find out! I’m anticipating this series being solidly at the top of my favorites list even once it is complete.
As you can expect from a Mercedes Thompson book, Night Broken is addictively readable. I had a really hard time putting Night Broken down when I needed to sleep >.>. I only managed because I absolutely had to get up in the morning, haha. If you can manage to carve an entire afternoon free, do it!

Weaknesses:
As you can imagine from the description that includes Christy, there is a lot of relationship angst in Night Broken. At first I was happy to see how Mercy and Adam hold up, but Christy soon had me gnashing my teeth and wishing I could skip ahead to the action.
Night Broken has about three separate plot lines that do get interwoven, but it ended up feeling a little too scattered for me. It was fairly obvious that Night Broken was trying hard to have its own standalone plot in addition to building the series arc and the two didn’t mix all that well.

Summary:
If you’ve read this far in the Mercy Thompson series, you probably were already planning to read Night Broken, therefore get excited! If you skipped to the bottom because you haven’t read the series, go grab book one :D. I absolutely love the world that Briggs is building with this series and the Alpha and Omega series and can’t recommend these books enough!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2014
I could not put this book down save for going to work. Loved it, everything about it. Mercy, Adam, the pack, Stefan, wanted to throttle Adams ex. Well done. Can't wait for another- they just keep getting better and better.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review.I am late to the Patricia Briggs fan club. I started with the Alpha and Omega series and picked up the Mercy Thompson series at book 7 Frost Burned (yes, I have a lot of catching up to do!). A reader can pick pick up any book in the series and slip right into the Mercy Thompson universe and feel right at home. One of the things I love about her books is the comfortable feel to her prose.

Night Broken brings an age old threat to Mercy's home--the ex-wife. This was my first meeting with Christy and boy did Briggs make me sympathetic to Mercy's situation. I wanted to rip the woman's eyes out in the first few pages! But to be fair, Christy did have a serious problem stalking her, even if it was her own stupid fault. Yeah, I'm judging.

Kudos to Briggs for creating such a unique antagonist. He is brutal and broken, and you do feel sympathy for his situation, but he is a force that must be put down. You don't throw a finger at Mercy and not expect repercussions.

I was so glad to see the Fae Lord Alistair Beauclaire from Fair Game (Alpha and Omega #3) make an appearance. He wants to reclaim the walking stick Mercy obtained in Frost Burned. The only problem is she must find Coyote and get it back from him. We learn more about Coyote and it turns out Mercy isn't his only child. A new werewolf submissive, Zack, has showed up in town and I am hoping we will get more of his possibly heartbreaking story in the next book.

Once again a great read from start to finish from Briggs. You don't have to start from the beginning of the series to appreciate Night Broken, but why rob yourself of all the thrills and chills (I'm talking about the kind you get from reading about alpha werewolves, hubba hubba) you get by starting with book one Moon Called.

5 "rainbow farting" Sheep
[...]
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2014
Another great story. Mercy has to deal with fae, gods, dogs, relatives and even with steps taken to keep her safe
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 2014
If I could step into the pages of an Urban fantasy world, I would choose this one. I would find Mercy and attach myself to her and be her BFF. I love this series as if it were family. Patricia Briggs has created a world of magic, fae, and monsters, werewolves, vampires and Others that seems as real as our world. If I drive to the tri cities it wouldn't surprise me one bit to run into Zee, Tad, Stephen, Ben, Honey or any of the others. I would expect to run into Coyote if I went for a walk in the desert. I would be a happy camper if Ms. Briggs would stop writing all the other stories and just write this one. MERCY THOMPSON ROCKS!
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