Monday, March 25, 2013

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Sometimes, it seems like Mercy can't go anywhere without getting into trouble. She and her mate, Adam's daughter, Jessie, decide to go out after Thanksgiving dinner for a little Black Friday shopping, and get more trouble than they bargained for. Mercy suffers a panic attack for no apparent reason (it comes to me later that it's triggered by her psychic tie with Adam), and when they have the tow truck driver drop her and Jessie at the garage, they find Gabriel and Ben have taken refuge there from a group of rogue Cantrip agents who have taken most of Adam's pack into custody.

The Cantrip deserters want Adam to assassinate for them a senator who does not agree with their agenda, and they need all the leverage they can get to force him to their will. It's obvious that there would be no better leverage than to capture Mercy and Jessie, so it is essential that they stay out of the agents' clutches. But Warren's partner, Kyle, is already being held hostage and interrogated to find out where the "girls" might hide, so Mercy sends Jessie and Gabriel off to stay with Gabriels family, and asks her half-fae friend, Tad (Zee's son) to watch over them, then she and Ben set off to free Kyle and interrogate the hostage takers. To help, she recruits the vampire, Stefan, and together they are more than a match for a handful of humans.

Mercy, who is in some strange metaphysical or metaphorical way the daughter of the Amerindian god, Coyote, gains some interesting new powers in this novel. Her mixture of using Indian magic with Christian symbols for banishing ghosts seems like a new thing in urban fantasy, unless you count Anita Blake mixing her crosses and necromantic powers, I suppose. So, the bad guys are poisoning the werewolves with silver to keep them weak, and Adam is using his alpha magic to absorb the silver into his own body. When Mercy spirit walks to be with Adam, she ends up "eating" a large quantity of silver, thereby taking it away from Adam and the pack, and giving her nothing more than an upset stomach and a few minor side effects, hardly debilitating.

When the rogue agents betray a band of mercenaries they hired to help kidnap the pack members, the mercenaries make it easy for Adam and his wolves to escape and take vengeance on their captors. But that's not the end of the story, as the money and power behind the Cantrip people belongs to a powerful vampire, who wants control of the entire country, and a return to the time when vampires were at the top of the food pyramid. So Mercy and her friends have to fight one last supernatural battle to decide the fate of America.

Good action, an interesting plot, and some neat new skills for Mercy.

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