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Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson) Hardcover – March 30, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Coyote-shifting garage mechanic Mercedes Thompson, now mated to Adam, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, embarks on her exciting fifth dark fantasy adventure (after 2009's bestselling Bone Crossed). Three subplots—Mercy's attempt to return a magical book to a fae friend-of-a-friend, her difficulties integrating into Adam's pack, and her roommate Samuel's misery over being a lone Alpha—come together seamlessly, and excitement builds as Mercy and her loved ones go through ever more intense experiences, including a house fire, a suicide attempt, a death sentence, and a reunion between long-ago loves. Briggs creates both well-rounded characters and a complex mythology, resulting in a rich read that's far more than a series of action adventures strung together. Fans of the series will be thrilled; new readers should start at the beginning or risk drowning in the immersive world-building. 6-city author tour. (Apr.)
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The fifth Mercy Thompson yarn has the garage mechanic-to-coyote shape-shifter, who could use a little relaxation after whacking all those vampires in Bone Crossed (2009), up to her armpits in romantic and supernatural trouble. Her housemate Sam, a lone werewolf, has developed suicidal depression from the conflict of his two natures. Mercy herself is still working out the relationship with Adam, her bonded mate and the leader of a werewolf pack, which has been put in the danger posed by a jealous female werewolf. Then Mercy gets a call asking her to check on a comrade who may have gone missing. The Fae may be involved. Ai-yi-yi. There’s a lot going on in Silver Borne, but its pacing is practically perfect as it shifts between introspection and sudden action. Mercy is back in the West after the New Orleans setting of Bone Crossed, so most of the characters will be familiar to readers of the first three of Mercy’s now eagerly awaited adventures as well as their graphic-novel prequel, Homecoming (2009). A must for anyone following the series, one that should also be popular among fans of paranormal romance. --Frieda Murray
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Mercy has a lot to deal with in this installment. She needs to find the owner of the bookstore where she borrowed a very special book in a previous installment. It seems that he might be in some kind of trouble and someone wants to get his hands on the book. Samuel is in crisis and his wolf is in control. Mercy knows that if he doesn't come around quickly then it will be the end for Samuel so she wants to give him some time to sort things out.
There are also a few issues concerning the pack and Mercy's relationship with Adam. Not everyone in the pack is happy to have Mercy as a member. Being a part of a pack is new to Mercy and she isn't used to how easily they can get in her head. Adam and Mercy do love each other and take some steps to get things worked out.
My favorite parts of this book were the sections that dealt with the pack and Adam. It is kind of fun after reading the whole series to see how much things have changed over the course of the series. I think that both Mercy and Adam took some major steps in this book to strengthen their relationship and Mercy's place in the pack. The issues with Samuel were also very well done. I really do enjoy his character and he is really in a bad place for much of this book.
Lorelei King is the voice of Mercy Thompson. She does such a wonderful job narrating this series that I usually want to move to the next book just as soon as I finish a book. The character's emotions really come across perfectly with her narration and she is able to voice a large number of characters very well. I look forward to listening to this narrator many more times in the future.
I would highly recommend this book to others. This is a series that really needs to be read in order since the character relationships are a large part of the story. I look forward to continuing with my re-read of this series very soon.
This is book 5 in a series of books and I've not read any of the others so I'm not coming from the position of being a fan and some people might even wonder why I'm even bothering to try to pick up in the middle or even far end of something. The good news is that this stands well alone and there is plenty of information to bring a reader up to speed enough to understand this novel. I've no idea yet whether there's enough to understand the series, but it was a pretty fair read and since my usual genre reading doesn't touch much on Fae, Faries; and Shape-shifters; and werewolves; and witches. I don't come in with a whole bunch of baggage and expectations of what it means to be great urban fantasy.
I have read some of the samples of the first books and was already interested in this shape-shifting mechanic with an odd assortment of friends. While I was putting together a packet of paper books to have delivered to me, I was touched by a note that indicated I could get this bound edition for much less than an e-book or trade paper edition so I decided to give it a try before realizing that it was number 5 in the series. It sat with several others on my desk in a neat stack waiting patiently always trying to push itself to the top of the stack.
When I started reading it; it was much the same as the samples; with a sort of smooth story telling style that sucked me into the world of Mercedes Thompson. It didn't take long to find that she was owner of a specialty repair shop for imports and had a helper, Gabriel, who seemed quite normal and a few other helpers that seemed a bit more than what they appear. She also has access to Zee, the former repair shop owner, who stops by now and then to help bring wrecks back from the brink of death; sometimes he does this by way of his Fae Magic. Mercy has a bit of magic of her own; or at least she has a cane that follows her around and appears and disappears at the most opportune of moments. She has other magic friends and one of those has lent her an old book of Fae written by a Fae and this is what starts the story as she gets a call from a relative of the book owner, who gives her a strange message from Phineas Brewster about the book. When she attempts to return the book she finds that Phin might be missing and that begins a small mystery.
A more important aspect of this story is that Mercy is a coyote shape-shifter and her boyfriend Adam is a Werewolf and that relationship makes her a part of the pack: because Adam is the Alpha. There are pack members who are not happy with this and it creates a tension and subplot in the story that eventually converges with the main plot. Mercy lives in a motor home with a Werewolf roommate who has no pack and seems to be a long acquaintance; and though there are none apparent in this novel she has a few vampire connections, which show up as part of the contention between her and the Pack. Samuel the Werewolf roommate has his own subplot that also will converge with the main plot.
When someone mistakes Samuel's wolf for Adam’s and tries to collect an inexplicable bounty, someone has deadly intent, and Mercy eventually comes to the conclusion that the real target was her; and then begins the search for the reason that someone is trying to kill her.
To say that this has everything that a fan of Urban Fantasy could want would be a bit high handed of me since it's not my usual genre. But it has plenty enough for me with some tight writing and interesting plotting. The action and pace were good, though not the usual high octane stuff I see in today’s fiction; it was balanced well and kept the tension at the right amount in the right moment so it passes my test; but I'm not a great fan of the usual blood and gut carnage that seems to follow some of this genre.
Great urban fantasy in my limited opinion and well told story that might keep a few SFF fans happy.
At the culmination of one of this book's twin plot lines, (the plot-line for which this book was named,) ONCE AGAIN Briggs relies far too heavily on the cheap motif of Mind Control, AND Mercy's lost time due to her having her mind controlled.
The first time, in book 3, it was new for Briggs and she wrote it with horrific beauty that fit with the far deeper message/issue of date-rape. (For which I've praised Briggs in the highest possible terms for having the courage to raise such a challenging and important topic in the public awareness.)
With it also being used in the previous book in the series in the very same manner as in this book, (to save time and pages,) the continuing use of mind control and memory subsequent time-loss of such a such a beautifully strong female lead has long begun to feel LAME, TIRED, and like so much Deus ex Machina crutch to help Briggs write herself out of a corner or otherwise TAKE THE EASY WAY OUT.
The saving grace for this book is the plot-line That deals with the Pack and Mercy's relationship with Adam. That plot-line feels like Briggs at her best.
The Pack plot-line feels fresh, alive, immediate, and like we're dealing with real, living people making real, living choices -- people who just happen to also be the most respectfully imagines werewolves I've ever read.
If you can slog through a lame, filler plot-line to enjoy the good stuff in the other, concurrent plot-line, you'll enjoy this book.
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Mercy and Adam are the absolute pinnacle of what people strive toward.Read more