Bone Crossed is the fourth book in Briggs’ excellent Mercy Thompson series, and her first novel to be published in hardcover. While that’s a big “yay!” for Briggs that she’s been moved to hardcover, it did make my bank balance squirm when I hit the “order” button. Ah well, hardcovers might take up more space, but they do look nice on my bookshelf.
Mercy faces up to the consequences of her actions as the local vampire Mistress comes after her – and her friends – after discovering that Mercy has killed two of her vampires. Not only that, but a college friend (or more accurately friend of a friend) comes asking for Mercy’s help with a ghost that is haunting her house. On top of all that, Mercy – and Adam – have to deal with the aftermath of what Tim did to Mercy at the end of Iron Kissed.
This is a book in which past actions came back to haunt current characters.
Firstly, Mercy is still dealing with what happened to her in the previous novel, Iron Kissed and this book picks up right where the last one left off – in fact, they overlap by a few minutes – meaning we find out exactly what happened next after Mercy made her commitment to Adam. Nothing annoys me more than characters who miraculously recover from trauma – usually through the love of (ie sex with) a good man or woman. Briggs is too good a writer to fall into this trap and Mercy makes slow progress towards healing. She isn’t “magically” healed by any means, but she has made progress through the course of the book that helps her with living her life every day. It also helps that as she lets Adam closer and closer to her she gets help and assistance, not only from him but from the whole pack, to deal with her demons. (Even if acceptance from the pack isn’t an immediate or easy thing, but again, thank you Ms Briggs, a realistic one.)
But the main plot in Bone Crossed is vampires this time, not werewolves. Back in the second book, Blood Bound, Mercy was “convinced” to stop a vampire that was making demon-ridden vampires. Mercy not only did that but killed another vampire that was involved, and her vampire friend Stefan helped cover it up. Marsilia, Mistress of the Tri-Cities seethe, has not been happy to discover the truth of the latter. Now, Marsilia is out for revenge and her plan is to take it out not directly on Mercy, but on her friends.
Mercy is slowly accepting Adam’s claim on her as his mate and this has her considering whether she should back out to protect Adam and the pack. She also finds herself getting further connected to Stefan, which Adam is not exactly happy about. While there is nothing romantic in this case, Adam is not happy to have a vampire closely involved with his mate. But it turns out Stefan may be the lesser evil.
A trip to Spokane to help her friend Amber out with her ghost, leads Mercy to cross paths with the single vampire in Spokane, one called “the Monster” by other vampires. As Mercy tries to juggle all the disasters just waiting to happen to her, she learns more about herself, about Adam and the pack, about vampires and even the fae. The magical walking stick makes another appearance (yay for me, I figured out what it was going to do, if not exactly how) and in the end Mercy learns that there is nothing wrong with accepting help when it is honestly offered and makes another connection with the fae.
There are neat little cameos by the Baba Yaga (whose actions may well resonate through more books) and Ymir (who goes around identifying himself as a snow elf) and we see Zee and Uncle Mike again, if only briefly. Mercy’s world, most specifically the supernatural parts of it, just keeps on expanding and it will be interesting to see what other supernatural creatures come out of the woodwork as Briggs keeps writing.
There’s also an interesting throwaway line to about a werewolf character that Mercy was part of getting to safety with Bran in Montana. The was it was made makes me wonder if this will become one of Anna and Charles’ stories, as their timeline is currently still behind that of the Mercy books.
This was another excellent entry in Brigg’s Mercy series and I really enjoyed my time in her world yet again. While not part of the main plot of the book (which was excellent and interesting) I think my greatest delight in the book was the slow and realistic progression in Mercy, and in her relationship with Adam, as she deals with what happened to her in Iron Kissed. Thank you, Ms Briggs, for not taking the easy way out. But I think I already knew that you’re too good an author to do that. I’m looking forward to Silver Born, which Briggs teases us will focus a lot on Samuel. While I was very happy Mercy chose Adam, I do like Samuel and I’m glad he’s getting a book about him.
Mercy Thompson, Book 4
Qualifies for: 100+ Reading Challenge