A few weeks ago, Patty Briggs and her husband Mike joined a chat room to discuss both Frost Burned and Patty's previous books. The idea was to discuss each Mercy Thompson book separately, but that's not how it went in the end. I was able to join them just once because the timing didn't work for me, but the half hour I spent talking to Patty and her fans further convinced me that she is both a great author and a very pleasant person. When I shared with her my opinion that Fair Game, her third Charles and Anna book, is the best one she's ever written, she assured me that Frost Burned is even better. At the time, I took that statement with a healthy dose of skepticism, but now that I've finally read it, I both agree and disagree with Patty.
Frost Burned is neither better nor worse than Fair Game - both are as good as urban fantasy can get. From the first Mercy Thompson book (so far there are ten books in this universe), Patty has been getting better and better. In pacing, characterization and plot development, she has reached perfection. Big words, you say? Well, yeah, but so is this series.
After all that fear of her mate bond and of losing herself to the pack, it was nice to see Mercy so comfortable in her role as mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack. She and Adam have such a beautiful, healthy relationship. In River Marked, Mercy was feeling more comfortable as part of the pack, but she was still adjusting and she still had her doubts. In Frost Burned, she is truly the Alpha's mate - she thinks as one, acts as one, and protects as one.
I was going to have to come up with a rank for myself besides Alpha's mate. In the pack, I was just Mercy - but if ten more people called me the Alpha's mate, I was going to hit someone. It sounded like a chess move.
The addition of Adam's point of view was so very unexpected that I had to take a moment to think about it and decide whether I liked it or not. I certainly understand the need: Adam and Mercy spent most of this book apart and their mate bond can only be used so much. Besides, I feel that I now understand Adam just a bit better, and Patty did an excellent job writing from a male perspective. And yet, something bothered me about it, and it took me a while to figure it out. It wasn't the change in perspective, it was the switch from first-person view to third person view. I wish she'd done both Mercy and Adam in first person. I think that would have worked much better.
Although he was mostly absent from the second half of this book, one Mr. Kyle Brooks stole the first half all to himself. Yes, that's right - an ordinary human (though admittedly a lawyer) won me over by being a bigger hero than all those other heroes Briggs has created. Kyle has always been the brightest star in Mercy's universe, but I felt that he finally got due respect in Frost Burned.
All of the secondary characters appeared, at least for a little while, with the exception of Samuel and Bran. I didn't miss Samuel all that much (I never did warm up to him), but I missed Bran greatly. He was a constant comforting presence both in Mercy's mind and mine, but I missed his subtle sense of humor and everything else that makes him who he is.
Those of you who are still unfamiliar with my favorite coyote and her wolves should consider giving this series a chance. And I doubt I need to say anything to those of you who've read this series before... except: We waited two years for Frost Burned to be released and now it's finally here. Yaaaay!show more
by Maja (The Nocturnal Library)