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REVIEW: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Dear Ms. Briggs:

I am constantly amazed at how consistently good these books are.  I don’t mind waiting a year between books if it means that each story is as good as the last one.  “Frost Burned” is the seventh book in the Mercedes Thompson series.  Mercedes is an auto repair mechanic and coyote, a shapeshifter whose only real power is her immunity to magic. She has recently married the alpha of the Tri Cities pack, Adam Hauptman. Their world is changing because the alpha of North America has brought the werewolves out of the supernatural closet. The fae, due to circumstances revealed in Fair Game, have retreated behind a magically protected curtain of sorts.

Frost Burned by Patricia BriggsThe story is set just after Thanksgiving.  The whole pack had gathered for the holiday meal.  Mercedes and Jesse, her stepdaughter, have taken off to do some Black Friday shopping to buy a popular video game.  Their post holiday gaming plans are interrupted when the entire pack appears to have been kidnapped by some fake federal agents leaving Mercy with Ben.

The kidnappers try to use the pack to force Adam to conduct a public assassination of  U.S. Senator Campbell, a fierce anti-fae, anti werewolf voice.  Adam’s actions would turn the tide against the newly come out werewolves, particularly on the heels of particularly gruesome vigilante justice carried out by the fae recently (see “Fair Game”). Adam is likely specifically targeted because he has become somewhat of a public figurehead for the werewolves. He had served honorably in the military and offered his services as a consultant. Attractive, charismatic, and capable, Adam has served to lessen fears and pave the way for acceptance.

If the anti werewolf contingent can get Adam to be seen as a dangerous animal, the transition of private to public for the werewolves would be much less likely to happen. Instead, they would be hunted, collared, and made outcasts. However, Adam’s first allegiance is to his pack and not the entire body of werewolves. If killing a US Senator frees his pack, Adam will do it even if he doesn’t want to.

Mercy must try to save the pack and Adam and all the werewolves as well as fight a serious battle of power with an ancient power.  If this sounds like a redux of previous Mercy books, it is but it isn’t.  The ancient power is a new evil and one that threatens both pack and vampires.  Through the battle, Mercy learns more about her walker heritage and we learn more about the pack connections.

While Mercy’s bonds with Adam are tighter and more emotionally powerful than ever, Mercy is always her own person and, more importantly, neither is diminished by their marriage or connection. Further, even though they are physically separated for much of the book, their mate and pack bonds means that they are never truly apart. We even get a few scenes from Adam’s point of view. The time spent with Adam actually focuses on his love for Mercy and his fear for her.

Part of this book carries over the theme from Fair Game in that danger to loved ones can create havoc for a stronger entity. Adam fears for Mercy’s fragility as much as he respects her canniness and her willingness to protect their pack. Mercy fears for the humans such as Gabriel, the young man who works with her at the Garage and who is in love with Jesse, and Gabriel’s family.

The pace of the book is fairly robust. Mercy is constantly moving, often hauling endangered and wounded individuals in her wake. I particularly liked the number of dangerous creatures in this book. It fits with my worldview of old, powerful beings. They either crave more power or are insane or both. Sometimes you end up cheering on the least evil person in the melee. I can’t wait for the next installment.

For long time readers, there are rewards in this book for continuing the series. For first time readers, however, I think that there story is unique enough that it can stand alone. The romance between Adam and Mercy was just enough to satisfying this die hard romance lover. Can’t wait for the next book. B

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

23 Comments

  1. Mandi
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 12:20:20

    Just what you said – I would wait a long time just to have the amazing world building and great detail she puts into each book. That being said, I think this book is better than her last two.

    I say this every time I read one of her books but I just love how she writes her shifters. How she combines the politics of their human side with their brutal, violent wolf side. So well done. And how it all ties into Fair Game and that series. So good.

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  2. Lege Artis
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 12:42:00

    Great review!
    My biggest complaint about River Marked was absence of other characters in Mercy universe we love , but Frost Burned compensated that in best possible way… I like how devoted Mercy is to Adam and pack, she matured considerably. Adam is just… ::swoon::

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  3. Brian
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 13:08:57

    Really enjoyed this one and I’m already looking forward to the next.

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  4. MarieC
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 13:18:54

    Great Review! I really enjoyed this book; it shows the growing connection between Mercy, Adam, and the Pack, as well the dynamics amongst the other supernatural entities.

    To be honest, I was expecting more Fae, since the ending of Fair Game was really a game-changer. Also, I thought the ending was tied up a little too quickly. It was still a great ending, but a little hurried.

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  5. Tina
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 13:45:04

    I enjoyed the heck out of this one. It was very fast paced compared to River Marked. As I was reading I just remembered thinking the pace felt relentless as Mercy went from one crisis to the next.

    And while I wanted to see more of the fall-out from Fair Game I have to remind myself that that is a different series so it isn’t really fair to readers who don’t follow that series for this book to pick up too much and follow the story-line from that one. Gotta wait for the next Alpha & Omega installment.

    Did like that this one also seemed to be about repairing relationships. Sylvia is thawing toward Mercy. Also Stephen and Mercy seem to be getting their old mojo back.

    But more than anything I love how Mercy and Adam seem to love saying ‘My Wife’ and ‘My Husband.’ It just felt like they were stoked to be married.

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  6. Neha
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 15:48:25

    Hmm.. Loved this book. Patricia Briggs is one of my favourite writers in this genre. Her books are just … good. I loved the book .. totally agree about the pace but I felt the ending was too hurried. That said, I actually like how this series flows and ties in with the Alpha&Omega series. I missed Samuel in this one, Adams’s POVs were nice and Adam+Mercy interaction was perfect!

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  7. Isobel Carr
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 16:27:58

    Reading this right now and totally loving it!

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  8. katieM
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 16:59:47

    I read this book and immediately started reading it again. I love Patricia Briggs. I love this series and her Alpha and Omega series. I will gladly wait for the next in either series because they are just that good.

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  9. Jenny Schwartz
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 18:52:18

    I enjoyed River Marked for its focus on Mercy and Adam, but Frost Burned with its cast of loved characters is a wonderful read. Patricia Briggs is such a great writer. I’m another devoted re-reader of the series.

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  10. Brian
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 21:20:36

    @Tina:

    Gotta wait for the next Alpha & Omega installment.

    Have you heard that there will be one? Last I read she’s contracted for two more Mercy books and one “Mercyverse” side book, but was unsure at this point if she was doing any more A&O books (her Pub was up for more, but she was unsure).

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  11. Susan
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 21:25:39

    I read this last night and agree with your review/rating. There were a lot of things I liked about this installment: the ever-deepening relationship between Adam and Mercy, Mercy’s relationship with the Pack and Jesse, the forward momentum of the overall storyline, the tie-ins to the Alpha/Omega series, etc. It was a strong book, much better than River Marked, IMO.

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  12. Kaetrin
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 21:31:37

    Mercy is always her own person and, more importantly, neither is diminished by their marriage or connection.

    Yes. This.

    I’m so blown away by how Briggs just keeps on deliveringg. I liked it better than you did (I gave it an A-) but I agree with all your points.

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  13. Violet Bick
    Mar 12, 2013 @ 22:46:32

    I also love the writing of Patricia Briggs and the worlds of Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega, but I had a different reaction to this book. I enjoyed it, but for me, it seemed like a transitional piece from the events of River Marked/Fair Game and whatever is going to happen next (e.g., more Fae fallout?). Reading across both series, the events of the last two books took us away from the Tri-Cities pack (Mercy and Adam on their own in River Marked; Fair Game an Alpha & Omega story, but linked plotwise), and therefore Frost Burned serves as a reintroduction to the pack members/heirarchy/politics, albeit with a few new events thrown in. I felt you could not start reading this series with this book, that it does not stand alone, and that you would be lost as to who all these characters are (as wonderful as it was to see so many of them).

    One thing that bothered me: I thought Asil was completely underutilized. If he’s going to show up in Mercy world, he should be the complete badass we all know he is. I don’t want to give any spoilers away, so that’s all I’ll say, but I was hoping for more from him (if not action, then at least sharing of knowledge/experience, otherwise why is he here?). Maybe his appearance in Frost Burned (away from Bran’s pack) will also serve as transition of sorts for him? (Come on, let’s get to Asil and Sage already. We’re all waiting for it.)

    Finally, I couldn’t figure out the title. Why Frost Burned? What did I miss in the book that suggests the title? (This is what happens when I devour a book like I’m a hungry werewolf.)

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  14. Lege Artis
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 01:52:05

    @Violet Bick – I think the title has to do something with the fact that Gauntlet Boy’s (bad guy) name is William Frost.

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  15. Jane
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 08:00:29

    @Lege Artis – yes, I think it is a poor name but one consistent with the naming of past books. It identifies the bad (Frost) and ads a past tense action verb. River Marked | Frost Burned

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  16. MarieC
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 10:12:27

    @Brian: I read the same thing, regarding the number of forthcoming books. Hopefully, she’ll get a new contract for more Mercy-verse books, if not for this series, at least for species/packs within the ‘verse. I wouldn’t mind reading a book from the perspective of Zee, Bran (since we only got a taste of his mate and pack dynamic), or even the Emerald City Pack.

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  17. Brian
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 11:33:27

    @MarieC: I wouldn’t mind some expanded ‘verse books either if she feels she can do them to her current standards. She’s said in the past that there’s pretty much no chance that Bran would get his own book (don’t know if that’s still the case) although we might learn more about him in a book from Samuel’s POV.

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  18. Shiloh Walker
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 15:50:13

    I lost half my work day yesterday reading this. I love the Mercy books. :o) I want more of Charles and Anna, too.

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  19. Lada
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 16:48:52

    Is it necessary (or even would it just enhance this book) to read Fair Game first? I read the first in the Alpha & Omega series but it didn’t draw me in the same way as the Mercy books so I didn’t keep reading. Your review leads me to believe I’d be missing quite a bit of set-up without reading the other books first.

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  20. Jane
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 16:51:14

    Honestly, I don’t think so. The book explains enough about the fae – that they have retreated and it is primarily focused on the vamps and the pack.

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  21. Lada
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 17:04:15

    @Jane: Thanks, Jane but I went ahead and bought it anyway. Felt like I was missing out on too much!

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  22. Merrian
    Mar 14, 2013 @ 00:48:33

    @Violet Bick:

    I pretty much share your views and experience reading Frost Burned. To me, it felt over with too quickly. I was disappointed in Asil’s non-role too. He is a character with a lot of potential.

    I am also thinking about how Mercy doesn’t have close relationships with other women. No female werewolves like her either in Bran’s pack and as this story makes clear in the TriCities Pack, her friends are Stefan, Warren & Kyle, Samuel, Zee & Tad. This disappoints me because it denigrates female relationships and connections. I understand that Mercy’s relationship with her mother and half-sisters is fraught but that doesn’t supply sufficient reason to make her unable to connect with other women.

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  23. Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs | A Good Stopping Point
    Sep 14, 2013 @ 17:26:23

    […] Dear Author – “I particularly liked the number of dangerous creatures in this book. It fits with my worldview of old, powerful beings. They either crave more power or are insane or both. Sometimes you end up cheering on the least evil person in the melee.” […]

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