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REVIEW: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.inddDear Patricia Briggs,

I’ve long been a fan of both your Mercy Thompson series and your Alpha & Omega series (which is set in the same world but follows different people in it).  I’ve read them all in print and listened to them all on audio as well.  Which series I like best most often depends on which book I read most recently. Right now it is the Mercy series.

This is the 8th book but readers would be mostly lost to start here.  All of the books have been B+ or higher for me, so I don’t feel bad saying that to potential readers.  (For those who haven’t read the series before, start with Moon Called and be aware there are spoilers for this and the Alpha & Omega series to follow.) I read the first five books in a marathon of about three-four days, so I’m kind of jealous of those people who could start at book one and read all eight in a row.

I admit I’m finding it difficult to summarise the plot without giving away spoilers.  It almost seems to me that to say anything much is kind of spoilery but I’ve gone with the rule of thumb that anything in the first third of the book is pretty much okay.

For readers who don’t want to be spoiled, here is the short version:  it is really good, the ending is rather abrupt and I am already salivating for the next book in the series.  Also I still adore Adam Hauptman – he is one of my favourite heroes and Mercy Thompson Hauptman (she insists on the additional surname these days) is awesome and kicks ass once again.

Now for the long version:

When Night Broken begins, two important things happen: Mercy is visited by Alistair Beauclaire (the fae Gray Lord who, in Fair Game (A&O 3) all but declared war on the US after the justice system failed his family).   The walking stick, the fae artifact which has been following Mercy about since early in the series and which has come in very handy from time to time, was made by Beauclaire’s father.  He wants it back. Now. The problem for Mercy is that, after the events of River Marked, she “gave” the walking stick to Coyote – and she doesn’t know where he is or how to get in touch with him quickly.

The other thing is that Christy, Adam’s ex-wife calls, terrified and traumatised by a man who is stalking her.  She asks Adam for sanctuary and because she is the mother of Adam’s child (Jesse) and because Adam is who he is – a protective, care-taking Alpha – he says yes.  This puts a strain on Mercy’s relationship with Adam to some degree, but more so with her relationship with the Pack.  Mercy has to balance her own jealousy and her desire to smack Christy down fast and furious and her (most of the time) stronger desire to put the well-being of both Jesse and the Pack first.  The stalker, Juan Flores, is a Very. Bad. Man.  Actually, he’s not a man.  I think I won’t say what/who he is.  Finding out is part of the fun of the book.  Essentially, the rest of the story is Mercy and her compadres trying to identify, locate and defeat Flores – the walking stick and Coyote play a part in the whole thing.  And then there’s Christy.

I’m not usually a fan of the “evil ex-wife” trope.  I don’t like one-note characters who are only there to make the heroine look good.  Christy certainly fit the stereotype but I found her well developed enough that it made her more than a caricature.  She has been a consistent though bit player throughout the series.  She’s not a bad person per se, but she’s very selfish and takes care of herself first (and possibly second), and others after.  Series readers know that she hurt Adam deeply by rejecting him, his wolf and his Pack (she left him – whyyy? *flails*) and that she is unreliable when it comes to visits with Jesse. I felt there was some attempt to make her more than just a thorn in Mercy’s side, while still keeping her character consistent and I don’t think she was demonised (although I also think there might be robust debate on this issue).  It was completely understandable that Mercy would not be Christy’s biggest fan – and the book is told from Mercy’s first person POV so that was always going to be the flavour of things. That said, Mercy is not an unkind person and she tried hard not to hate Christy and to see good in her. I don’t think many women would cope so well with her husband’s ex-wife coming into her house – the house said ex-wife decorated and used to live in no less – and basically taking over.

Mercy is worried about what it will do to Jesse if she and Christy are openly at odds as well as the effect it would have on the Pack.  The Pack was damaged by the death of their only submissive wolf, Peter, and things haven’t yet settled.  Mercy does her best to keep the peace under great pressure from Christy.   Christy is just about everything Mercy is not.  Christy is a girly-girl with beautiful nails and wonderful cooking skills and she “needs” someone to take care of her.  She also “threw Adam away.”  Mercy is none of those things and she would never, ever, throw Adam away.  Christy brings out insecurities Mercy was aware of and some she didn’t previously know about.

Christy uses tactics I’ve unfortunately seen in real life (used by women and men) which makes one appear petty and small to argue with them.  One inevitably feels drawn down to their level to engage at all and they are very frustrating to deal with.  Because I know people like that, I was prepared to give Christy’s characterisation a pass here.  Not everyone will.

There were some things in the plot which didn’t seem to go anywhere and where I felt the story lost momentum. Perhaps they are part of the setup for a future book in the series, but here, the Cantrip agents felt out of place and Zack didn’t seem to have much to do.

I love the romance between Mercy and Adam and I think there is a lot of it for romance readers in Night Broken. While, Adam and Mercy aren’t seriously threatened by Christy’s machinations, there is some minor damage to be cleared up from time to time and they take the time to attend to those small wounds throughout the book so that they don’t fester.  Adam knows who and what Christy is, even though he can be manipulated by her along with everyone else it seems.  Maybe that’s a bit odd given who and what Adam is, but I put it down to the long history he had with Christy and the thousands of little wounds that left weak spots when it came to her. Plus, I think it has been consistent in the series that one of the surefire ways to get to Adam is to suggest he is a poor caretaker/protector.

I had heard that the book has an abrupt end.  It does. There is no reason to be scared by this *shifty eyes* (My lips are sealed).  There are a couple of things which aren’t tidily cleaned up, a new spanner in the works which could be pretty interesting (or not) and Coyote is his usual cryptic self – there’s more about he and Mercy to be learned in future books I feel – but the story doesn’t have a relaxing epilogue to allow readers to catch their breath.  Because of that, there is a sense of ending on a gasp but I can’t really complain about it.  I’m always happy to read more Mercy (and Adam) so I would have liked more but I’m not sure the book needed it.

There was a part, near the end, which had me teary – it was one of those “darkest before the dawn” moments and everything was looking pretty dire.  Mercy and Adam just about broke my heart and I was seriously wondering if – well, perhaps I shouldn’t say anything more about it because: spoiler.

Mercy and Adam work together in this book (I feel like it was more so than in previous books which seemed fitting given the progress of their relationship), but Mercy is her usualy resourceful, clever self and she remains front and centre in the story.  She doesn’t foolishly put herself in danger; she realises her strengths and weaknesses but she fights when she has to and she fights hard and well.  Her actions in this book did a lot to garner her more support/respect within the Pack.

I love this series and I devoured this book in one day – I plan on getting the audiobook too (the narrator, Lorelei King is wonderful) and it will be one of those few books/series I will re-visit.  Night Broken gets an A- from me.

[Kyle Warren] frowned at me. “Before Christy came, I never thought about how much you manipulate the people around you—it doesn’t feel like manipulation when you do it.”

“The difference is,” I told him, “that I love you and want everyone to be happy. And”—I lifted a finger—“I know what’s best for you.”

“And,” said Adam, “Mercy’s not subtle. When she manipulates you, she wants you to know you’ve been manipulated.”

I’d already crossed the living room toward the wing with the bedrooms, but I turned around to stick my tongue out at Adam.

“Don’t point that at me unless you are going to use it,” he said.

I smiled until I was safely out of sight.

Regards,
Kaetrin

 

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Kaetrin started reading romance as a teen and then took a long break, detouring into fantasy and thrillers. She returned to romance in 2008 and has been blogging since 2010. She reads contemporary, historical, a little paranormal, urban fantasy and romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance and more recently, new adult. She loves angsty books, funny books, long books and short books. The only thing mandatory is the HEA. Favourite authors include Mary Balogh, Susanna Kearsley, Joanna Bourne, Tammara Webber, Kristen Ashley, Shannon Stacey, Sarah Mayberry, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, KA Mitchell, Marie Sexton, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, just to name a few. You can find her on Twitter: @kaetrin67.

63 Comments

  1. Angie
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 11:51:18

    Cannot. Wait. Mercy & Adam are one of my favorite couples. Period. It will be mine by end of day.

  2. Susan
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 13:07:36

    I started Night Broken this morning before work. This is definitely one of those days when I wish I were a lady of leisure. The day seems so long already. :-)

  3. JJPP
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 13:18:25

    I love this series! I found it when I was looking for something kick-ass and fun after reading all of the Kate Daniels books and going into major withdrawal. (Then of course, I read all of these and was equally bereft after I finished them too quickly, too. :)) But it’s been a while. I think I am behind a couple of books now… Gotta get caught up!

  4. Bamaclm
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 13:23:52

    I stayed up all night reading this, I couldn’t put it down. I’ll have to go back and reread, because I was gulping it down. Totally agree with your grade.

    Christy was someone I loved to hate; when she put her stuff in Mercy’s and Adam’s bathroom … I was figuratively breathing fire!! And frankly, I sort of hated that Adam was so alpha; Christy rolled over him too and HE KNEW IT! Had a bit of trouble with that but he redeemed himself each time.

    Mercy is more diplomatic than I would have been. For me it was a frustrating but really, really good read, well worth the wait.

  5. Lisa (Fic Talk)
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 13:26:17

    Great review, Kaetrin!

    I find it so hard to review these books myself and I’ve read them all – including the Alpha and Omega books…which I did manage to review strangely enough.

    You’re not the first reviewer to talk about the ending! But I’m not worried… or should I be? TELL ME. (Joke)

    Can’t wait to dive into this as soon as possible, but this work week is kicking my behind. Hopefully by weekend but I MAY start a bit sooner.

  6. Jane
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 14:29:48

    This was actually one of my least favorite Briggs books. I felt that Adam came off really poorly here by allowing himself to be emotionally manipulated which placed Mercy in difficult situations. Adam’s lack of consideration of Mercy’s feelings, failing to put her above his ex-wife, was super disappointing.

    Mercy’s response to Adam’s emotional neglect was also a little unbelievable. Her unfailing understanding at how he could simply be so easily maneuvered by a few words frustrated me.

    Finally, I’m super tired of the pack hates Mercy as a conflict. She’s fought and almost died for them multiple times. In amongst magical creatures that prize strength, cunning, and winning, their ongoing lack of acceptance seems contrived.

    The book was a weak one. I agreed with Mandi from Smexybooks that the story seemed like filler. More importantly, though, Adam’s character fell quite a few notches in my estimation.

  7. Lada
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 14:40:15

    @Jane: “…I’m super tired of the pack hates Mercy as a conflict. This. I was already having issues with this in the last book. She’s proven herself as a better packmate than many of them and the pack politics are starting to bug.

    I’ll read it but not looking forward to everyone beating up on Mercy yet again. It’ll be doubly disappointing for Adam not to have her back.

  8. Isobel Carr
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 14:42:41

    @Jane:

    Finally, I’m super tired of the pack hates Mercy as a conflict. She’s fought and almost died for them multiple times. In amongst magical creatures that prize strength, cunning, and winning, their ongoing lack of acceptance seems contrived.

    THANK YOU! Not only all of that, but she has Bran’s backing, too. I thought the honeymoon book was the worst to date (NOTHING happened for the entire first half of the book!), but you’re scaring me that this might just edge that one out.

  9. Lozza
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 15:03:47

    Ugh, I’m so disappointed by all the reviews I’ve been reading of this. I’ve loved this series, but I have a major issue with heroes or heroines who don’t have each others’ backs. I can get over it if the guilty party realizes how much his/her behavior (or lack thereof) has hurt the other partner and works hard to make amends, but it sounds like I’d probably need an Adam-grovel scene and a Christy-smackdown scene to make me feel ok with this book, and I don’t get the impression that either of those are included.

  10. Amanda
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 15:15:02

    I planned to wait and read this when my company leaves so I would have time to truly savor it but now the reviews have me wondering if its worth waiting until then. I am just not liking what reviews are saying about Adam’s behavior.

  11. Jennifer
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 15:44:44

    Well I spent the whole day reading it. I regret nothing. Best day I’ve had at work in a long time!

  12. Brie
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 15:56:29

    I disliked how Christy, and most of the women, were used and portrayed. I’m not a fan of the “evil ex” trope, and this book pretty much embodies everything I dislike about it. Christy was manipulative and bitchy. That was it. Her character had no depth whatsoever, so more than a character she’s a plot device whose only purpose is to create conflict. There are also a couple of elements that I found to be perilously close to slut-shaming: Christy’s more feminine traits seem to be constantly used against her character, and at one point Adam and Mercy almost blame her for having sex with the (other) villain. They backpedal a bit there, but the damage was done, IMO.

    Almost every woman in the pack hates Mercy. They acted as bitchy, manipulative and one-note as Christy, whereas the men stayed out of it.

    It was a very frustrating read, which doesn’t surprise me because the whole thing was designed to be frustrating. I didn’t hate the book, but it made me quite uncomfortable.

  13. Angela James
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 17:06:46

    We already discussed on Twitter but for the sake of the discussion here I’ll say that I could have absolutely written Jane’s comment, including wishing we could move on from the pack looking down on Mercy. I wonder how many broken bones or rapes she has to endure in the course of defending the pack and what they stand for before they think she’s good enough?

    But mostly I was so disappointed in Adam’s actions (or lack of) toward Mercy, with Christy manipulating both him and the pack, disappointed that he’d allow such hurtful behavior towards Mercy, that he wouldn’t “have her back” as someone upthread suggested and that he came across as such a poor partner to her. There is no grovel, there wasn’t even any great awareness that he let this emotional hurt come to her–and the biggest emotional hurt was the one HE caused to her, not the pack or Christy, but him, because he didn’t stand for her. Mercy might be tough, but she still needs a partner who looks out for her emotional health, and Adam didn’t do that.

  14. Kat
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 18:31:50

    I kind of read the Adam/Mercy dynamic differently than many of the commenters. To me they were super tight in this book, and believing that meant that nothing Christy did bother me that much. I mean, I love the way she messed with Mercy’s mind because I love Mercy best when things aren’t going her way and she has to outsmart everyone around her.

    I also don’t find it unbelievable that the pack still mistrusts her (although I find it less believable that they still don’t see through Christy), particularly when she’s often still the most vulnerable member when things go wrong. They value physical dominance and Mercy just doesn’t have that, and I accept that she’ll have to prove herself more than once.

    To me, Adam in this book is consistent with Adam throughout the series. He never presumes to fight Mercy’s battles for her, and Christy and the pack are her battles to win in this book. The toiletries are tiny things that niggle but don’t count in the bigger scheme, and I never doubted their relationship at all in this book–they intervene when Christy endangers people with her games, and she does on a few occasions. I’m more bothered by Samuel and Mercy in the earlier books, and later, Mercy and Stefan.

    This book is definitely better than the honeymoon book, although I still found the mythology in this one relatively boring. The pack dynamics feel like a real family to me–outsiders will always take time to be accepted–and Mercy and Adam are kind of my ideal of what an old married couple might be like. I also love that Mercy never gets in the way of Christy and Jesse’s relationship.

  15. Mandi
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 18:51:34

    I thought this book was filler. Didn’t like Christy. Didn’t like the villain. Didn’t like how Adam reacted to Christy.

    My question is – where is this world headed? I’m bored of one and done villains. Where are we going with this series?

  16. Holly
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 20:20:49

    I lost respect for Adam in this book too. He let Christy control too many things (the phone really bothered me) and the fact that Mercy was losing weight over the food and he was just like “eat elsewhere”, eugh. He didn’t have her back and the Pack saw it in this book, so no wonder they stay against her. At the same time though Christy is weak so they’re all about protecting her because she’s emotionally manipulative? I don’t get it.

    I want to know where this series is going, too. I can see some possibilities but I’m not really interested in any of them.

  17. Kaetrin
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 20:25:32

    @Angie: I just bought the audiobook and I think I’ll listen to it next. Lol – hopeless!! :D

    @Lisa (Fic Talk): I don’t think you need to worry about the ending Lisa :)

  18. Kaetrin
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 20:40:29

    @Isobel Carr: weeeelll, I’ve liked all the books in the series so far, including River Marked so maybe I’m an outlier. I did like that one the least, mainly because it didn’t have the secondary characters I’ve come to love in it very much.

    As to the the Pack hating on Mercy that Jane, yourself and others have mentioned, I think I have a greater tolerance for it. That said, my feeling was that she’d won over most of them in this book and I expect if it is the same in the next book I will be complaining about it too. I think it’s more a matter of degree for me. Here, I cut the Pack a bit of slack because they were still grieving over the loss of Peter. Because he was their submissive wolf, it changed the sensibility of the Pack too and tensions were generally high.

    @Angela James: @Jane: My opinion aligns more with Kat’s above. I can see where you’re coming from of course and in some ways I’m kind of surprised that I didn’t get mad at Adam – in fact, it hadn’t occurred to me until we were talking about it on Twitter last night (my time). I’ve just bought the audiobook and when I listen I’ll have your comments in mind. I wonder if I’ll think differently if my filter is adjusted?

    That said, I did get mad, but at Christy. As much as I don’t usually like the evil-ex trope, here I was able to go along with it. I have met people like Christy and, to be completely honest, I really don’t know how to handle them other than to steer very clear. I’ve actually had the experience where a housemate’s mother came to stay and re-arranged our cupboards. She actually took a pillow off my bed because she wanted another pillow and she thought that was okay. I was livid. But at the same time she did this wimpy smile thing and I felt lower than a worm saying anything. I suppose that may be one reason why I cut Mercy and Adam both a bit more slack in that department. And I did appreciate that both Mercy and Adam took great pains not to get into a full on war with Christy and thus put Jesse in the middle of it.

  19. Kaetrin
    Mar 11, 2014 @ 20:58:17

    @Brie: We’ve already had a long discussion about this book via email so I won’t re-hash it here, other than to say that it wasn’t until you pointed them out to me that the Mercy-bashing by the women (except Honey, well mostly) was a thing. I’m often oblivious to those cues because: bad feminist. Having said that, now that I know it’s there, I’m kind of smacking my head because it IS obvious. And if it’s present in future books I’m (pretty) sure I’ll notice it. But I hope it doesn’t feature in future books.

    @Mandi: @Holly: I wonder what is going to happen with Coyote, with Gary Laughingdog, with Tad and the Fae and CNTRP (I didn’t think the CNTRP storyline went anywhere in this book so assumed it was there as set up for another?) and also with the new werewolf, Zack. I wasn’t bored – I’m still wide-eyed and adoring about this series. Maybe it was just a good reading day for me and all the planets aligned when I read it, but I did enjoy Night Broken.

  20. CD
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 03:21:26

    Well, the fact that I read this book in one evening still shows how much I like the world and the characters. However, I do have to agree that this one was largely filler – far too much domestic/pack politics and not enough plot. If this was book one in a series, that’s fine – but at book 8, you want stuff to happen…

    As for Christy, I didn’t mind her being manipulative and selfish but I found her essentially one-note therefore plain dull. That would have been fine for a bit character but there was so much page time devoted to her that it became irritating filler to me: there goes Christy being manipulative and selfish again blah blah blah yawn. The concept itself was interesting: Adam isn’t perfect and it’s not as having a husband as Alpha of a pack of vicious werewolves wouldn’t be a huge strain on any marriage [as sexy as Adam is, I for one would NOT want to be married to him]. However, because Christy was basically a cariacature, her only real purpose from what I could see was to reduce Mercy dangerously close to Mary Sue-dom status. Yes, I know the story is told from Mercy’s POV, but it is possible to show other viewpoints even from a single person narrative. And don’t get me started on how close this book came to slut-shaming…

    The plot, when it eventually got going, was OK but a bit routine. I’m beginning to feel that unless Briggs shakes things up more – like she did with FROST BURN – the whole thing is beginning to feel rather stale and by the numbers. However, I continue to love the supporting characters and wish there was more of them. What happened to Zack? And I for one want more Warren, Kyle, Stefan, Tad, Zee goodness.

    Anyway, I’ll probably give this series another try and if it’s more of the same, that’s probably it for me.

  21. CD
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 03:57:34

    @Jane:

    “This was actually one of my least favorite Briggs books. I felt that Adam came off really poorly here by allowing himself to be emotionally manipulated which placed Mercy in difficult situations. Adam’s lack of consideration of Mercy’s feelings, failing to put her above his ex-wife, was super disappointing.

    Mercy’s response to Adam’s emotional neglect was also a little unbelievable. Her unfailing understanding at how he could simply be so easily maneuvered by a few words frustrated me.”

    I actually didn’t have too much of a problem with Adam here: I just interpreted that as him knowing that Mercy’s strong and mature enough to weather it – I’m not sure what else he could have done without showing up Christy in front of Jesse (who unlike Mercy is a child) or being condescending to Mercy. I really didn’t see that Adam and Mercy’s relationship really suffered that much – to me, the tension was more about the relationship between Mercy and the pack which I agree was rather unbelievable at this point.

    @Brie:

    “I disliked how Christy, and most of the women, were used and portrayed.”

    Yep – totally agree with this. I really liked Honey, and Mercy’s mother for that matter, in previous books showing that it is possible to be a girly-girl and not be superficial or manipulative. But this book felt too pointed the other direction. Please, no more cat-fights over men. Or if you have to have cat-fight, subvert our expectations and don’t go the same old same old route…

    @Kat:

    “To me, Adam in this book is consistent with Adam throughout the series. He never presumes to fight Mercy’s battles for her, and Christy and the pack are her battles to win in this book. The toiletries are tiny things that niggle but don’t count in the bigger scheme, and I never doubted their relationship at all in this book–they intervene when Christy endangers people with her games, and she does on a few occasions. I’m more bothered by Samuel and Mercy in the earlier books, and later, Mercy and Stefan.”

    I agree with you on Adam-Mercy. It was dull to read about for me but I never thought Mercy’s emotional state was such that she was really threatened by Christy’s games: irritated and annoyed but not emotionally hurt. I would have thought less of Adam if he didn’t trust her to handle something something so minor herself and it’s not as if they didn’t touch base regularly during her stay. And he did make it clear that she should talk to him if she was having problems coping. What else could he have done in that situation – especially with Jesse there as well?

    Yep, I was also much more bothered by the Samuel-Mercy and Mercy-Stefan dynamic so I found it strength in this series that they went for Adam as the love interest. But then, I much prefer Elena-Stefan to Elena-Damon in the VAMPIRE DIARIES so I think it comes down to a personal preference in your fictional romantic relationships!

  22. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 04:34:22

    @CD: I like the way you put the Mercy/Adam dynamic. That’s pretty much how I saw it as well.

    And I really liked the way Mercy dealt with the bathroom thing – both times. :)

  23. Bamaclm
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 10:27:43

    I noticed with this book that the pack members giving Mercy a hard time were the females. I think the males have mostly accepted her. But the females were all “Yes she’s fights for the pack and yes she’s Adams mate but darling, when it’s all said and done she’s still just a coyote. She’ll never be a wolf and Adam could do better.” Key words: mate and wolf.

  24. Imani
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 11:21:21

    What was really puzzling for me is why the female pack members preferred Christy. She abandoned her husband and child; she has no physical or supernatural gifts that makes her an asset to either Adam or the pack; and she endangered the pack by withholding critical information about the stalker. She is not a wolf and was never Adam’s mate. Is there a detail I’m missing from earlier books?

    I still enjoyed the book and am not yet tired of the series but I am definitely over the now inexplicable Mean Girls plot line. I think I’m in the minority as one who much much much prefers the Alpha and Omega series. I was almost disappointed to see ap Lugh in this book because I associate him (and that *epic* courtroom ending) with that series.

  25. Raine
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 15:08:18

    Great review…..and I would grade it the same, really wasn’t expecting to be so pleased with this one.

    I was pleasantly surprised as while I loved the earlier books the last two were below par for me and I feared I was going to quietly retire from following the series.

    I liked the intimacy of this story. I didn’t care that the bitches were all over Christy, who has always been a negatively played character, I though Adam very subtly supported Mercy – without severing the ties with his daughter’s mother and in balance with his protective Alpha stuff. I loved seeing sweet tortured Stefan again, who I really prefer to some of the grumpier werewolves – I do sometimes fondly imagine him and Mercy together in an AU somewhere without Hauptmann…..

    For me this series is back neck and neck with Charles’ and Anna’s now.

  26. Bamaclm
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 15:41:43

    I agree with you, Raine, re the Adam/Mercy/Christy triangle.

    In fact, Christy so easily pulled the wool over most everyone’s eyes, I was wondering if there was a bit of magic involved. Like, maybe her great x5 grandmother was a Siren or something. Really, she was overwhelming. So glad Adam and Mercy kept their cool.

  27. Candide
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 18:32:33

    I just finished the book and I am now formally in Book Hangover land. This was definitely one of the best of the series. I’ve read through the comments and I think you have to read it first before ranting against the Mercy/Adam dynamic or the portrayal of Christy and her impact on the pack politics. Everyone has made strides in their characterization and I salute Patricia Briggs on taking a lot of care in developing secondary and even lesser characters along the series so they don’t stagnate. Honey was the biggest surprise for me and she’s grown on me throughout the book. Darryl, who I previously had never really cared for, has also evolved as a character.

    I agree that a couple of tropes seem a bit pointless but I’m hoping they make more sense in the coming books. The last chapter had me holding my breath and though it does end a bit abruptly I think it sets up the next installment well.

    All in all a definite recommendation to read for all Mercy fans. Don’t be out off by the side discussions which are quite inconsequential in the overall arc of the story.

  28. Mzcue
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 21:28:20

    I richly enjoyed this installment of the Mercy series, and I’m glad to see DA awarded it the Recommended Read.

    I actually wasn’t expecting to be so pleased since I had just come off a back-to-back read of Anne Bishop’s two novels from her Others Series, WRITTEN IN RED and MURDER OF CROWS, both of which are outstanding. (To me, they elevate the bar for paranormal fiction in that they’re about more than the immediate plot and characters.) As a result, I had winced when I realized that the ex-wife trope was going to play a big role in NIGHT BROKEN. Have to say, it didn’t really turn out to be as much of a drag as I’d feared. I’d expected Mercy to end up cast out of the pack, or there to be some devastating misunderstanding between her and Adam. Instead the two characters handled things about as well as one might hope. To me it felt like a maturing relationship as they learned how to handle the bumps and zings.

    I disagree with commenters who take the book to task for allowing the pack to remain hostile to Mercy. Seemed to me that this is the book in which they start to realize her depths. There’s an opportunity for the weres to see Mercy in action as she fights with an uber-bad guy, and they absolutely acknowledge her heart and skill. Plus several members in particular are clearly warming to her over the course of the story. In other popular paranormal series, a lot of conflict between newcomers and established members happens off-camera, even in between novels. Briggs chose to reveal the process in this book, and I thought she did a very credible job.

    Also, if anyone above has mentioned it, I missed it, but the fact that Jessie, Adam’s daughter with Christy, was in the thick of things made it understandable that Adam and Mercy would stifle a lot of their reaction to Christy’s guff. As we follow Mercy’s POV, we see her making measured decisions about when to object (seldom) and when to press her authority. That aspect of Briggs’ narration, Mercy’s thought process, is part of what makes the series so appealing to me.

    So if any of the tropes that bothered some readers are discouraging others from taking the plunge, I’d say you should dive in. NIGHT BROKEN isn’t the hackneyed replay of a hundred other ex-wife intruder stories. It’s a thoroughly satisfying, deeply furry story with generous helpings of romance and adventure.

    And now I have my third helping of plot withdrawal in three days. Argh!

  29. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:14:28

    @Bamaclm: I started listening to the audiobook this morning (I’m a hopeless case!) – and I noticed that right at the start Jesse says to Mercy that she doesn’t want her mother to come stay with them because she will cause trouble for Mercy and Adam. Jesse says that her mother has a way of making people do what she wants, making Jesse and Adam do what she wants. The narrative says that Adam’s face tightens because he knows what Jesse says is true. So, I think it’s pretty consistent right the way through.
    It’s only a little bit later that Adam and Mercy have a discussion where she explicitly says that she’s not worried about Christy doing damage to their relationship, she’s worried about Christy hurting Adam, hurting Jesse and hurting the Pack. And Adam says he loves Mercy in a way he never loved Christy.

    (Actually, as an aside, I’d be really curious to know what commenters think about this: Mercy doesn’t believe him when he says that; she remembers when times were good between he and Christy and thinks he’s misremembering. I actually didn’t believe Mercy there – I thought Adam was actually telling the truth. Who do commenters believe here?)

    Generally, I tend to take characters at their word – perhaps that’s naive (and of course there are exceptions to the general case occasionally) but here, I believed Mercy when she said she wasn’t worried about Christy coming between her and Adam. And I believed Adam when he said he wasn’t interested in Christy like that anymore. So I was never really worried about their relationship. But I suppose that might say something about the way I read! LOL

  30. Kat
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:20:40

    @Kaetrin:

    Actually, as an aside, I’d be really curious to know what commenters think about this…

    I believe that Adam believed it at the time, and I thought it was very generous and realistic of Mercy to acknowledge that Adam’s previous marriage must have had some happier moments. I’m not sure if these kinds of conversations in the book are meant to remind us that Adam and Mercy share a supernatural bond that gives them an understanding of each other beyond what they say out loud. So to me, that’s part of it, although I’m probably overthinking it.

  31. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:27:18

    @Imani: I think Christy looms so large in this story that she almost comes across as a group of people rather than an individual (that made more sense in my head).

    There are only 3 female Pack members. Honey doesn’t like Christy and never has. Honey ends up *mild spoiler follows*

    Buried Comment: Show

    saying to Mercy “I don’t like you” but Mercy smells that is a lie – so we know that they are no longer enemies and are becoming friends.

    Honey never supports Christy against Mercy. The other two are Mary Jo and Auriele. Auriele was Christy’s friend but I think by the end of the book Auriele had a more positive view of Mercy nevertheless (I think she’s still pretty much snowed by Christy but *maybe* is opening her eyes just a little).

    Mary Jo didn’t, for me at least, feature strongly in the book. And, there are other females in the book that Mercy gets along with well – Jesse and Lucia and Ariana (although Ariana and Mercy aren’t close, at least not yet – maybe they will be one day).

    I read an interview with Briggs that she plans for Evelyn, Mercy’s college roommate (and the girl who did Mercy’s tattoos) to become a player in the series and also for her to develop stronger female friendships within the Pack – I think that is likely to be with Honey from what I can tell. And there’s the whiff of maybe a new relationship for Honey in a while and that might stir up a hornet’s next in the Pack too. So for those who are worried about the female relationships, the good news is that apparently this is going to get better over the next books.

  32. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:29:06

    @Kat: I was talking to a friend about the book last night and I said that I was glad Christy left Adam. Adam never would have left Christy – it’s not in his nature but I think he loved Mercy a long time before Mercy had any idea and probably before Christy left. (Of course, that could be me over-romanticising it! LOL).

  33. Kat
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:37:02

    @Kaetrin: So evil. You’re tempting me to reread this series from book 1. But I think you’re right — Adam would never have left Christy of his own volition.

  34. MikiS
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:37:24

    Still only on Chapter 5, so can’t say much. So I’ll just comment that I’m seriously disappointed in the cover. Maybe I didn’t notice it earlier, but I know in the earliest books, Mercy actually looked American Indian. Not this chic, not at all.

  35. Bamaclm
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:43:57

    I believed Adam. He not only loves Mercy but hes mated to her. Is it Briggs’ books where you can have the mate bond and still hate each other?

    So it stands to reason his relationship with Mercy is deeper and much more complicated. I do agree he would never have left Christy; he’s too much the alpha for that.

  36. Mzcue
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 22:56:46

    @Bamaclm Yes, in both Mercy’s stories and the Alpha/Omega ones, there can be mate bonds without love. The one that stands out if I’m not mistaken is the relationship between the Marrok—Bran—and his mate. I’m a little fuzzy on it, but I think Bran (the uber were alpha) had been so devastated when Charles’ mother died that he intentionally chose a mate he wouldn’t grow close to.

  37. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:23:46

    @Mzcue: Yes, that’s right. Bran’s married to Leah but not mated to her.

  38. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:24:43

    @MikiS: The model is the same person as has been modelling for all the covers. I read it in an interview with the author this morning. Apparently the larger endowment is because the model had just had a baby.

  39. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:25:15

    @Bamaclm: It seems more romantic to believe Adam doesn’t it :)

  40. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2014 @ 23:26:23

    @Kat: LOL I was just looking up a reference in Silver Borne (which I couldn’t find dammit!) but I ended up reading quite a few of the Adam/Mercy parts and whoops, there went an hour!

  41. CD
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 00:20:55

    I’m glad this book worked for other people – a lot of the differences are just personal preference and expectations to be honest. To me, it’s not a bad book but it was definitely more domestic and intimate than others in the series – the plot seems rather incidental to the relationships. IMO, the plot in NIGHT BROKEN was basically an excuse to focus on the relationships. This isn’t a bad thing – most romances have this basic dynamic – but after the last couple of books in both this and the Alpha/Omega series, I wanted more plot and the domestic/pack politics bored me as I didn’t feel like it told us anything new. That’s why I felt this book was mostly filler.

    Part of this was also that Christy felt like a caricature – she never came across as a real person but felt very much like a plot device to show how great Mercy was by comparison to both the reader and the pack, which to me was thoroughly unnecessary. And the feminist in me is uneasy with the idea that a woman has to show how great she is by putting down another woman – especially when there’s a suggestion of rivalry over a man, not to mention the slut shaming that I felt was going on below the surface. The “ex who is shallow and manipulative and still hung up on my man” trope is obviously a hot button for me and any book with it would have to have worked extra hard to win me over – and I felt this book never tried to do anything different or interesting.

    Just to make things clear, I have no problem with Adam’s actions in this novel, or with Adam-Mercy’s relationship. They both behaved as well as could be expected in a difficult situation. In fact, I think the domestic drama would have been more interesting if there were a bit more tension. As it was, the novel made it difficult to see why Adam would have even been interested in Christy to begin with – as she is portrayed, it doesn’t say much for his perceptibility and taste. And it would have been more interesting to have had an insight into how Adam-Christy had worked (or not) as a couple and the qualities that he in saw her; and also to have had a less one-sided view over why the marriage ended. Similar to Chase’s LORD PERFECT where Benedick comes to realise that even though his wife had been silly and superficial, he too had not been a great husband to her. That would have been interesting and given a bit more flavour to Adam-Mercy’s own very different relationship. So yes, I felt their relationship was great for them but just not that interesting to read about in a book where there isn’t much else going on.

    @Kaetrin:

    “(Actually, as an aside, I’d be really curious to know what commenters think about this: Mercy doesn’t believe him when he says that; she remembers when times were good between he and Christy and thinks he’s misremembering. I actually didn’t believe Mercy there – I thought Adam was actually telling the truth. Who do commenters believe here?)”

    I think Adam did tell the villain that he had loved his wife, so I’m probably with Mercy on this. I can’t imagine you can live with someone for ten (?) years, have a daughter with that person and not love them in some way. We don’t know what their marriage was actually like, but it doesn’t seem like an abusive or a really painful awful marriage – just one that was lacking. It was definitely not the connection that he shares with Mercy but I think there was love there.

    @Kaetrin:

    It’s good to know that there will be stronger female friendships – too much testosterone for my liking! And as someone with very strong and close female friends, I love seeing them in fiction. I too really like the idea of Honey – a girly girl dominant female werewolf who prefers less dominant men ;-) and not to have to bother with pack politics. I wish we could have a book from her point of view.

    I’m not entirely sure if I like the idea of her and Gary – I would prefer her to be her own self for a bit first.

    @Mzcue:

    I don’t think Bran chose Leah – I think his wolf did as it felt he needed companionship but not love. They are mated and married but not in love.

  42. Kaetrin
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 01:22:30

    @CD: I don’t know how long the Honey/Gary thing will take (or even if it will definitely happen) but it’s clear Honey isn’t anywhere near ready yet and Gary knows that.

    I do agree that it was hard to see why Adam married Christy in the first place. I’d like to have a better understanding of that – what they were like then and to see Christy in a different way. Maybe that will happen in future books (if she stays in the area)?

    I get what you say about her being a caricature here. I thought she was certainly someone we weren’t supposed to like (and she never has been really, so at least it’s consistent) but I also felt that there was “depth” to her unlikeability. I’m not sure if I’m saying this right. I think there were layers to her and glmpses of things and she felt more than a plot device to me. But she didn’t to you and that’s fair enough.

    I don’t normally like the “evil ex” trope myself actually so part of me was a bit surprised that I didn’t mind it so much here. I think it’s because she didn’t actually get between Mercy and Adam. If she had I would have been all ragey about it for sure so I’m really glad Briggs didn’t go there. Most of the time I’ve seen that trope it’s been used to put the protagonists in conflict/try to split them up but that wasn’t the dynamic in NB. Or at least, I didn’t think it was.

  43. Kat
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 01:38:48

    @CD:

    As it was, the novel made it difficult to see why Adam would have even been interested in Christy to begin with – as she is portrayed, it doesn’t say much for his perceptibility and taste.

    I think it’s easy as the reader to see Christy’s shortcomings because the story is in Mercy’s POV, but the book also shows how likeable she is when she’s not trying to undermine someone. She’s a great homemaker, she gets along with the pack, and she makes Adam feel good about himself. These are all selfish acts, of course, because Christy does it to manipulate people around her and to earn their praise and to look like the long-suffering (ex-)wife, but I can also understand how that would have been attractive to Adam, who has a lot to be stressed about and maybe he just wanted an uncomplicated wife. The problem is the selfishness, because Christy needs constant affirmation and attention, and that gets old very quickly, not to mention an added burden to him. And I think that’s part of the reason I believed Mercy when she said Adam really loved Christy. To me, he did, but he also realised that there was more to love than how good his (ex-)wife made him feel, and that allowed him to open himself up to Mercy despite the fact that she really was a big risk for him emotionally and also for the pack.

    I was slightly bothered by the strong reactions from the women in the pack at first, but in the end I just figured that’s to be expected. They would be the people Christy would have spent most time with, not the men. And if I remember the previous books correctly, the women fell into traditional roles and resented Mercy when she wouldn’t fit into that mould.

    But maybe I just really love this series a little too much and so I read it with rose-coloured glasses!

  44. CD
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 02:28:09

    @Kaetrin:

    “I don’t normally like the “evil ex” trope myself actually so part of me was a bit surprised that I didn’t mind it so much here. I think it’s because she didn’t actually get between Mercy and Adam. If she had I would have been all ragey about it for sure so I’m really glad Briggs didn’t go there. ”

    Fair enough. I think I dislike them for another reason: I really don’t like seeing women cat-fighting over a man. Not only does no one end up looking good in that situation, I feel it reinforced very negative stereotypes about women. I don’t mind seeing women being catty and manipulative, but over more interesting reasons – like in BRIDESMAIDS for instance. Unfortunately, the dynamic here really pushed my buttons in a bad way – particularly when the “evil ex” has the stereotypical “feminine” characteristics and is portrayed as the complete opposite to the heroine.

    I don’t know – I think because of my hot buttons, I’m reading a lot more into it than Briggs probably intended so it’s probably more my problem than the book’s.

    @Kat:

    Kat – no need to make excuses for liking a book! Personal preference is personal preference.

    I get what you’re saying about the book coming from Mercy’s POV so is most probably not a neutral perspective. But that’s in some ways why I thought it would have been great to have Christy do something or be something rather more unexpected. I was actually hopeful when Mercy first saw Christy’s face and admired how she fought the villain off with a flying pan as they had a moment as people rather than “evil ex” vs wife – but I didn’t feel that Christy as a character built on that start.

    Thinking about it, I do agree that that’s probably why Adam married Christy – I think I remember in a previous book something about him liking to have someone to take care of and spoil. But Adam essentially wanting a trophy wife at the time doesn’t really paint him in a great light either – especially given that I think they met when Christy was only 18 (although I could be wrong about that last). But the books don’t really go into that and how Adam has learnt from his mistakes and changed in the meantime – which would have been a bit more interesting to me at least given Mercy’s own struggles with giving up her independence. It would also not paint Adam-Christy’s relationship as quite so one-sided in terms of fault, which no break up really is.

  45. Kat
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 03:41:07

    @CD:

    But the books don’t really go into that and how Adam has learnt from his mistakes and changed in the meantime – which would have been a bit more interesting to me at least given Mercy’s own struggles with giving up her independence. It would also not paint Adam-Christy’s relationship as quite so one-sided in terms of fault, which no break up really is.

    I agree with this. I think Adam’s ‘fault’ in the marriage is supposed to be that he’s the pack Alpha and therefore couldn’t be there for Christy all the time, and can’t possibly give it up to make her happy. It also put her in danger, which she couldn’t deal with. So it’s more of a problem with his nature–which the series otherwise celebrates–and comes across as a kind of high end problem, really. The one-sidedness is partly a consequence of the one-POV style, I think.

    Talking about this book is making me want to reread the series, even though I have no time for rereading at the moment!

  46. Kaetrin
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 03:54:24

    @CD: Oh, I’m a really bad feminist. People usually have to explain stuff to me. I don’t tend to see it otherwise. I’m getting better, slowly.

    Just listening to the book now I’m paying more attention to littler things because I already know what happens. In print I skim a little but I can’t in audio so that’s a factor as well. I think that Christy is aging and that Adam wasn’t/isn’t was a big factor in them splitting up. Also, Mercy is “the younger woman” and

    Buried Comment: Show

    as we now know, she’s going to be long-lived too so it seems likely to me that she will age apace with Adam (although Christy wouldn’t know this of course)

    so I think that is one of the reasons why Christy pokes at Mercy as much as possible. I think Christy sees all the things she isn’t in Mercy and that’s what she’s reacting to as much as it is also true that Mercy sees the reverse in Christy.

  47. CD
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 05:09:59

    @Kat:

    “Talking about this book is making me want to reread the series, even though I have no time for rereading at the moment!”

    Me too! I’m meant to be writing an essay at the moment but keep getting distracted by thoughts of rereading the last book ;-)! Damn you, dearauthor…

    To be honest, as sexy as Adam is, I would NOT want to be married to him for exactly those reasons – kudos to Briggs in that she manages to make the downsides of werewolves very very clear. Mercy has enough problems and she was raised by werewolves… And marrying a woman who you know needs constant attention and validation, but knowing that you would not be able to give that to her – that’s not great thinking on Adam’s part either. If Christy sticks around (which I’m in two minds about), I hope Briggs goes into that a bit more and also gives Christy a bit more nuance. I think it would be great to see her continue to screw around with Mercy’s head, but not in a rival-for-Adam’s-affections way and more because of the fun…

    @Kaetrin:

    To me, whole thing about feminism is that you can never be a bad feminist – own what you like, baby! I can’t get enough of how the hero gleefully spanks the heroine in this scene from KISS ME KATE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6zsLowDJ6c from 3.04) so it’s not as if I can cast any stones ;-)…

    I’m not sure if it’s the feminist in me or just a trigger/hot button that stops me from enjoying something – so you’re better off not having it!

  48. Mzcue
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 08:47:46

    @CD “If Christy sticks around (which I’m in two minds about), I hope Briggs goes into that a bit more and also gives Christy a bit more nuance. I think it would be great to see her continue to screw around with Mercy’s head, but not in a rival-for-Adam’s-affections way and more because of the fun…”

    Um…no more for me, thanks. My own sense is that we’ve been there and done that and worn out the t-shirt.

  49. CD
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 12:08:35

    @Mzcue:

    Yep – you’re right. Don’t know what I was thinking. Patricia Briggs – no more Christy. Give us some plot instead…

  50. Evangeline
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 13:45:19

    @Brie: This is why I bailed on the series three books ago. I flipped through the first couple of pages of this book at B&N, saw that Mercy’s special snowflakeness was still prevalent, and reshelved the book with no regrets.

  51. Imani
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 14:28:39

    @Kaetrin: Thank you for the female characters round up. I still am unable to see why anyone except Jessica cared for Christy, based on how she was written in this book, but you did provide more balance on my Mean Girls perspective.

    I’m still antsy for an A & O installment though…

  52. Allison
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 14:34:13

    I’m on the fence with this book. There were parts I really enjoyed, and others, not so much. It isn’t one of the stronger outings in the series unfortunately. My main issue is that the series seems to be losing steam. As I said on twitter, what is the endgame for the characters/arc? Is there some evil entity they will have to fight or greater good that will have to prevail? Because each book is episodic with a sprinkling of moving forward glacial issues with the fae/vamps/humans, I wonder where it is going. Mercy has a complex to save the world/everyone in her ‘family’. This is a big trope in UF. But I’m beginning to feel that a series I liked because of her varied friends/interesting interactions is dwindling into a money-spinner for the author/publisher, with no clear end plotting.

    I haven’t read the author’s website, or heard her speak, so maybe she’s stated some goals etc. for the series, but I’m going to be a bit more cautious about this series/wait for MPB (or cheaper e-versions).

  53. Wahoo Suze
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 20:08:48

    I was going to wait to buy it, because the e-book is $14 on Kobo, which seems to be the only place it’s available, but I’m home sick and you talked me into it. I loved it. It did end abruptly, but there are all kinds of strings left dangling, and I’m quite happy to bat away at them until the next book comes out.

  54. Wahoo Suze
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 20:10:04

    BTW, in the excerpt at the end of the review, Mercy is talking to Warren, not Kyle.

  55. Kaetrin
    Mar 13, 2014 @ 20:14:50

    @Wahoo Suze: Thx for catching that Suze – I will go fix it now.

    I’m glad you liked it – after convincing you to spend so much $ on a book, that’s a huge relief. :D

  56. Kaetrin
    Mar 14, 2014 @ 01:43:53

    **This comment doesn’t really give away spoilers and it references events fairly early in the book. Nevertheless those who haven’t read the book might want to look away. **

    **

    **

    Okay, new question. I’ve just listened to the scene where Christy’s made lasagne for dinner and various Pack members, Jesse and Adam are reminiscing and laughing about old times. Mercy narrates the scene (obviously) and just mentions that Adam tells a funny story about finding a bathroom for his very pregnant wife in New Mexico and everyone is laughing and Adam and Christy share a fond look. I wonder if those kinds of scenes (there are more than one in the book), had they been filled in with actual dialogue, where the reader heard those stories too, would have made the difference to people to see what Adam and other Pack members saw in Christy?

    I can understand why Mercy isn’t interested in the dialogue – it excludes her and she’s feeling left out and jealous. I think she can’t hear much because of the roaring of it in her ears. (That’s not from the book, but from my personal experience of such things.) But I think if I’d heard those conversations, as a reader/listener, I’d have a much better idea of who Christy used to be and maybe why they mostly liked her so much. Thoughts?

  57. Tori
    Mar 16, 2014 @ 12:52:31

    I wasn’t happy with this book. I too felt is was a filler that was attempting to open some new pathways for the series to go but I couldn’t get a good take on exactly what they were. I thought Christy was a weak character and her appearance in the book only served to make me question everything I had ever learned about Adam. Adam and most of the pack failed for me and I took it personally. Mercy has bled heavily for this pack and they are still critical of her? There are no rational justifications for it. My main contention though was that Mercy would never do anything to make Adam feel insecure about himself or their relationship but now he can’t say the same thing.

    Also, the whole, “Mercy, I’m so proud you never stooped to her level” pats on the head irritated me.

    I think if we had been able to hear Adam’s POV, the book would have seemed better balanced.

  58. Kaetrin
    Mar 16, 2014 @ 20:23:45

    @Tori: I enjoyed it (obviously!) but there are plenty of people in this thread who share you view Tori.

    I actually just finished listening to the book and different things stood out to me in it. It didn’t change my view of Adam or Mercy but it seemed to me that Christy loomed less large on second pass. Perhaps that says more about my own listening focus than anything.

    I was a bit more bothered this time by the Stefan thing actually. I’m trying to get my head around who knew what when, and whether anyone lied about it and if anyone lied, why Adam and/or Mercy didn’t know it was a lie at the time. I expect it will all become clear in future books (or, at least I hope it does).

  59. MikiS
    Mar 21, 2014 @ 20:12:48

    I liked this book. Wasn’t a “wowzer” book, but I’m okay with that – I like when sometimes it’s more about the people than the latest apocalypse.

    I’ve been thinking about this review and some of the comments here for almost a week, and I’m bothered by some of the tone here. Mercy is one of the strongest heroines available in urban fantasy. She kicks butt and takes names, but she also can be soft enough to be caring with Adam and Jessie and those she calls friends.

    There are varying levels of male behavior as well in Mercy’s world. These guys aren’t all alpha he-men. And even those with more “old fashioned” behavior tend are acknowledged as being anachronistic (for example, the whole bit about Adam opening the car door for the female firefighter, whose name I can’t remember at the moment).

    Why do we have to react so strongly against the Christy character? I don’t know about you, but I know women like her IRL. They exist. I’ve always believed as feminists, our goal should not be to suddenly require all woman to be strong, independent, self-supporting, etc, but to give all woman the choice to be who they want to. We’ll have Mercy’s, but we’ll also always have the Christy’s out there. I don’t get the princess-culture so big with little girls today, but those girls should be allowed to be princesses if they want, as long as it’s what they want and not just something expected “because they’re girls”.

    Slut-shaming? So what? If a man acted like she had, I wouldn’t have any respect for him, either. She’s not an teenager or young adult just learning her way around her sexuality, she’s a 40-something adult. Neither is she a newly divorced woman looking to reassert her femininity or some other reason that might make it easier to condone her behavior. One-night stands in today’s world are just stupid. And despite all that, I didn’t think the book really did (slut shame). There’s a comment from her where she says “I know I shouldn’t have…” and Mercy agrees – at least for a moment – in her head. But Mercy doesn’t say it – if I remember correctly, I thought she kind of backed off the thought as petty – and she and the rest of the pack go out of their way to tell Christy what’s happening isn’t her fault. (In fact, she turns it around on them and blames them for being werewolves). I don’t think it’s out of a character for a person to sometimes feel that feel that it’s something they did – isn’t that common for victims of rape or stalking to have to struggle with that?

    I do agree that I wish the pack wasn’t still so anti-Mercy. But I’m wondering if that has more to do with the amount of time passed in the Mercy world versus when the books came out.

  60. Kaetrin
    Mar 23, 2014 @ 01:47:59

    @MikiS: I didn’t like Christy much (well, at all, really) but it wasn’t because she’s a “girly girl”. I just didn’t like her manipulations and I’m not a fan of passive-aggressive – in real life or in fiction. I had a bit of sympathy for Adam in dealing with her because, like him, I’m never sure what to do either.

    I think you might have a point about the time which has passed since Mercy has been officially Pack – I think it’s been about 2 years since that momentous day when Adam made her Pack and the rest of the wolves reeled. It seems like a longer time to us as readers, but in book time I think it’s still relatively early days. Still, I am happy that Honey has come around and I’m hoping to see more of the Honey/Mercy friendship coming up in future books.

  61. Lilpaws
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 14:27:14

    Okay I’m not sure but I think my copy is missing pages. It’s just stops once the walking stick shows up at the hospital and she says one line to it on page 341 ( hardcover book) and that’s its ……… Is my book defective or did she really just leave it like that?

  62. Mzcue
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 15:53:07

    Nope, no pages missing. That is indeed the end. Most of the immediate plot issues are wrapped up at that point, while the returned walking stick indicates that the adventure continues. It’s been a few weeks since I read the story, but if I recall correctly, the demand for the walking stick by the uber fairy was more of a ruse to surface Coyote than anything else. The artifact’s affinity for Mercy supersedes the scope of Night Broken, and will presumably be around for subsequent installments in the overarching story.

    Personally, I found it to be a pleasantly flirtatious touch by Briggs, like a wink into the camera at the end of a flick.

  63. Kaetrin
    Mar 29, 2014 @ 00:50:16

    @Mzcue: Seconded!

    @Lilpaws: The ending was abrupt but I felt like the main things were sorted. I had some warning that it ends pretty abruptly but as long as Adam and Mercy were okay I was fine with it.

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