(Mercy Thompson, #9)

Tensions between the fae and humans are coming to a head. And when coyote shapeshifter Mercy and her Alpha werewolf mate, Adam, are called upon to stop a rampaging troll, they find themselves with something that could be used to make the fae back down and forestall out-and-out war: a human child stolen long ago by the fae.

Defying the most powerful werewolf in the country, the humans, and the fae, Mercy, Adam, and their pack choose to protect the boy no matter what the cost. But who will protect them from a boy who is fire touched?

“Holy Avon, Batman, I thought as worry relaxed into annoyance-tinged humor, I’ve been attacked by a multilevel marketer.” 
Now don't get me wrong with the rating that is under four or even five stars - I liked this book and wasn't disappointed with it. It has Mercy and most of the group I'm used to, it had an interesting enough story, but it didn't have the oomph and energy required for a four star rating. It was kind of like sitting with a familiar and well-liked group, watching an interesting movie with them, but not like they were actively involved enough to be participants. Yeah, it doesn't make a whole bunch of sense, but it's what it felt like.

I know some grumble about the pack still not accepting Mercy, so Briggs brought that to a head here early enough. While I get annoyed with the grumblings sometimes too, it served the purpose of useful tension that brings story struggle and interest. If everything was rainbows and roses, it'd come across a little cloying and overly perfumed, which eventually just comes across bland. Still, that boat has sailed and now I'm glad, as I'm sure there will still be minor struggles but they won't be so rampant.

I never held a grudge over Adam with Christy, so this story wasn't a redemption for me for their relationship like it was for others. I just saw it as a solid continuation of their sweet joining and how they make such a killer couple, personally and politically.

Bran is present through Skype and there's some emotional struggles with Mercy over him that I found interesting. I know this ties into current plots of her other series that I was never able to get into. You don't have to read that one to get this one, but those who follow that one will understand more of the fae political maneuvering that's been going on in the background.

Aiden was an enjoyable character - didn't know what I'd think about a kid being introduced at first, but now that he's here I don't want him to leave.

There's absolutely no Stefan at all, which was a sad thing. The other werewolves are there but really only at the beginning. The bulk of the book is with the new fae and their issues, which makes an interesting story but nothing I was overly invested in. There stood little tension and actual danger-danger, at least for the mains.

Overall it was a pleasant story and since I already love the series, I enjoyed it. It wasn't too strong or shattering for the world of Mercy overall, more of a set-up for a future alliance and what this can mean later on, and also a bridge toward Bran later that is a little unresolved now. Not fully filler, more of a next step kind of book.

Worth reading but not the best one.

   Book Quotes:

“Death is not to be feared. Death is easy. It is living that is brutal.”

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