Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
My Rating: 3-1/2 out of 5
Let me start by saying that I think Patricia Briggs is a fine Urban Fantasy writer. I have enjoyed the Mercy Thompson series very much over the years, and the spin-off Alpha and Omega series even more. So I am sorry to have to give what would have been a solid 4-star book a 3-1/2 star rating. But Briggs broke one of my cardinal rules and decided to mix in some comments about real life politics in the middle of a story about werewolves, fae, vampires, and ghosts. I was so upset by this, I very nearly did not finish the book, but I really wanted to know what would happen next so I kept reading. (My usual response when this happens is to hurl the book across the room and never read another word in the rest of the series. I REALLY hate this and find it inexplicably stupid. In a country that is divided right down the middle politically, I fail to understand why any Urban Fantasy writer would want to insult and/or alienate half of their possible audience. And I feel that way no matter which side of the political aisle they are insulting. If you aren’t writing a book on politics, kindly leave it out of my escapist reading, thank you.) At any rate, I made a deal with myself that I would continue reading IF no further mention was made of any real life political parties or groups. Luckily, things did not go any farther in that direction and I was able to enjoy the rest of the book.
Mercy is an interesting character who can shift into the form of a coyote, but who is very different from a were-animal and has certain powers and magic unique to herself. I like many of the characters in her world, including her mate, Adam, the Alpha wolf of the local pack. I have never felt any serious chemistry between the two of them, for some reason, but I do enjoy their interactions. Frost Burned would be the exception to that, and I really did find their chemistry much more intense. It added a nice element to an action-filled story that I ended up enjoying a lot. There were plenty of surprises, especially during the big battle scene, and I particularly liked the way the “queen” of the local vampire seethe, Marsillia, was portrayed this time. She seemed to have a bit more depth to her character, which I thought made her a more intriguing figure.
If you love this series already, you will probably enjoy Frost Burned, unless you are even touchier about the political thing than I am. (Hard to imagine that, though.) If you have never tried any of the books, I do recommend them for you Urban Fantasy fans. They are all well-written and with any luck, I will be able to give the next one a full four stars again. Pay no attention to the cover art, btw…Mercy has a much lower Bimbo Factor than it implies. And not nearly that many tattoos, either.
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