Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Contemporary, Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: March 2013
Hardcover: 342 Pages
Mercy Thompson returns in the seventh novel in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Mercy Thompson’s life has undergone a seismic change. Becoming the mate of Adam Hauptman—the charismatic Alpha of the local werewolf pack—has made her a stepmother to his daughter Jesse, a relationship that brings moments of blissful normalcy to Mercy’s life. But on the edges of humanity, what passes for a minor mishap on an ordinary day can turn into so much more?.
After an accident in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Mercy and Jesse can’t reach Adam—or anyone else in the pack for that matter. They’ve all been abducted.
Through their mating bond, all Mercy knows is that Adam is angry and in pain. With the werewolves fighting a political battle to gain acceptance from the public, Mercy fears Adam’s disappearance may be related—and that he and the pack are in serious danger. Outclassed and on her own, Mercy may be forced to seek assistance from any ally she can get, no matter how unlikely.
Stand alone or series: Book 7 in the Mercy Thompson series
How did I get this book: ARC from the Publisher
Format (e- or p-): Print ARC
Why did I read this book: I’m a huge fan of the Mercy Thompson books (heck, I have loyally reviewed each book in the series every year of release since Iron Kissed back when we first started the blog), and of the amazing Patricia Briggs. I’ve been eagerly awaiting a new Mercy book for two years, and could not wait to dive into Frost Burned.
**WARNING: This review contains unavoidable spoilers for the first six books in the series. If you have not read books 1-6 and want to remain unspoiled, look away! You have been warned.**
Mercy Thompson, VW mechanic and coyote shapeshifter, has finally made the commitment to mate and marry Adam Hauptman, the Alpha werewolf of the Tri-Cities pack. While their honeymoon was more eventful than perhaps they would have liked (see River Marked and ensuing chaos), Mercy and Adam’s mate-bond is a strong and happy thing – and Mercy has finally gotten into the swing of married life. The new role has come with significant challenges with Adam’s pack (getting a group of werewolves to accept a mere coyote skinwalker as one of their leaders is no small feat), but now Mercy faces one of the biggest hurdles of married life: bonding with her teenage stepdaughter, Jesse. After agreeing to take Jesse out to hit the midnight sales following Thanksgiving dinner, Mercy gets into a late night car accident. When she tries to reach Adam through her mate bond for help, she discovers that he is missing – and in great pain and rage. The rest of the pack is unreachable, and all of Mercy’s supernatural friends are also mysteriously absent, leaving Mercy in a terrifying and urgent situation. Needing to protect the few pack members she can locate, Mercy is also forced into forming tentative alliances with others (includingfae and even the scornful vampires Stephan and Marsilia) to find her mate and her pack, and to protect those she loves from a shadowy government agency intent on bringing the recently, publicly outed werewolves down.
What Mercy discovers, however, is a conspiracy that reaches beyond secret government agencies, and has its roots in supernatural power-struggles far above Mercy’s paygrade. But resourceful, tough, courageous Mercy is up to the challenge – especially with the lives of all of those she loves at stake.
The seventh installment in the Mercy Thompson series, Frost Burned returns readers to the Tri-Cities and Mercy’s struggles as she grapples with her mate bond, her husband, and her pack. This time around the stakes are even higher than ever before, as she’s ripped apart from Adam and the future of werewolves in the United States hangs in the balance. After the brief respite in River Marked (and Mercy learning much more about her father, her heritage, and The Coyote), Frost Burned returns to the Tri-Cities and all of the tensions that have been simmering ever since the werewolves came out to the public, with Adam as the poster boy for the species. With that kind of fame comes trouble, and someone is desperately intent on bringing public opinion (and government legislation) against the wolves in dramatic fashion by focusing on Adam and his pack. I loved this return to some of the larger issues in Mercy’s world, and the overarching mystery of just who is pulling the strings of this conspiracy. I also loved the return to feature ALL of the various major players in Mercy’s adventures over the course of the series – including the fae (Zee is back, as is his son Tad), the other wolves (including a major role for Asil, a character we know mostly for his involvement in the spinoff Alpha and Omega series!), and the vampires. The overall thrust of the plot, however, is a little clumsier than Briggs’ usual – the final reveal of the the person behind Adam’s capture and the harebrained scheme to get him to publicly assassinate a popular anti-werewolf politician are abrupt and clunky. That said, the story itself is conceptually strong, and I love that Mercy is back home and learning from her past experiences and relationships. That is awesome.
Also awesome, per usual, is Mercy’s characterization. Mercy is my favorite urban fantasy heroine, period, because of her common sense, her inherent under-powered nature and her ability to use her smarts and her unique abilities to her advantage. In a world overrun by creatures that are much larger, stronger, and more powerful than Mercy, she’s got to think quickly in order to survive and overcome all of the challenges stacked against her. And survive Mercy does – I love that this book has her fighting by herself for a significant portion of the novel, where she cannot rely on the pack or on Adam for help. (In fact, it ends in super dramatic fashion, with Mercy doing battle for a surprising ally, but therein lie spoilers!) In addition to her usual kickass sensibility, Mercy also confronts and uses some of the abilities she’s discovered over the past few books, including her ability to talk to and release ghosts, and her unique heritage as the daughter of the Coyote.
And it’s not just about Mercy, either – Frost Burned also includes Adam’s point of view for a couple of chapters, much to the delight of Adam fans (like myself!). While Adam is a dominant wolf and has the predictable urges to protect and rescue, Mercy does not always require protection or rescue, and I love that we SEE Adam’s thoughts and his acceptance of his stubborn, wonderful wife. For all that he knows she is a fragile mortal, he loves her for her fierceness and independence and fight, and would never try to stifle that. Their relationship is one built on mutual love, trust, and respect, and this is a refreshing, wonderful thing to read, especially in an ongoing series.
One last thing on the character front: I loved the addition of Asil to this storyline! It’s very interesting to see him from Mercy (and Adam)’s perspective, an incredibly old and dominant wolf that has a tenuous hold on sanity and his bloodlust, but who you undoubtedly want on your side in a rumble.
I truly enjoyed Frost Burned. Finally, I feel like the series is coming to a more focused overall direction, while incorporating elements from prior books. I cannot wait for what comes next for Mercy, Adam and the gang.
Notable Quotes/Parts: From Chapter 1:
“You should have brought the van,” said my stepdaughter. She sounded like herself, though the expression on her face was still a little tight.
“I shouldn’t have brought anything, including us,” I muttered, shoving harder on the hatch. My Rabbit had a lot of cargo space for a little car. We’d only been here twenty minutes. I shop at Walmart all the time, and I never come out with this much stuff. We’d even left before the big midnight reveal. And still—I had all this stuff. Most of which had not been on sale. Who does that?
“Oh, come on,” she scoffed, determinedly cheerful. “It’s Black Friday. Everyone shops Black Friday.”
I looked up from the stubborn lid of my poor beleaguered car and glanced around the parking lot of Home Depot. “Obviously,” I muttered.
Home Depot wasn’t open at midnight on Black Friday, but the parking lot was huge and was doing a good job of absorbing the overflow from Walmart. A bicycle couldn’t have parked in the Walmart lot. I wouldn’t have believed there were this many people in the Tri-Cities—and this was only one of three Walmarts, the one we’d decided would be the least busy.
“We should go to Target next,” Jesse said, her thoughtful voice sending chills down my spine. “They have the new Instant Spoils: The Dread Pirate’s Booty Four game on sale for half off the usual price, and it was set for release tonight at midnight. There were rumors that problems in production meant before-Christmas shortages.”
Codpieces and Golden Corsets: The Dread Pirate’s Booty Three, better known as CAGCTDPBT—I kid you not; if you couldn’t say the letters ten times in a row without stumbling, you weren’t a Real Player—was the game of choice for the pack. Twice a month, they brought their laptops and a few desktops and set them up in the meeting room and played until dawn. Vicious, nasty werewolves playing pirate games on the Internet—it was pretty intense, and I was a little surprised that we hadn’t had any bodies. Yet.
You can read the full excerpt online HERE.
Rating: 7 – Very Good
Reading Next: When We Wake by Karen Healey
We have ONE copy of Frost Burned up for grabs, courtesy of the publisher! The giveaway is open to addresses in the US only and will run until Sunday March 10 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below. GOOD LUCK!
Buy the Book:
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siobhanMarch 4, 2013 at 8:35 am
Why, the Mercy series is one of my favorites! I’m also currently enjoying Seanan Maguire’s October Daye books.
LizMarch 4, 2013 at 9:10 am
I am dying to read this one! It’s been way too long since we’ve seen Mercy and the gang. And all of the little hints we’ve been getting have only made me more excited — I want to meet Tad in person, and Asil is one of my favorite characters.
MKMarch 4, 2013 at 9:17 am
Favs are Mercy Thompson and alairell Hamilton’s Anita Blake
AnonymousMarch 4, 2013 at 9:20 am
I don’t read a ton of UF since I generally like a bit more romance in my books but this series is an exception. I love this series! Mercy and Adam are greatness as well as all other characters that make this series so much fun!
Texas Book LoverMarch 4, 2013 at 9:23 am
I generally don’t read a lot of UF because I like a bit more romance in my books and UF series usually take a while to get there but this series is the exception. I adore Mercy and Adam and there is something about the rest of the gang that keep me coming back for more every time!
CrystalGBMarch 4, 2013 at 9:40 am
My favorite is Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series. 🙂
LozzaMarch 4, 2013 at 9:43 am
In addition to Mercy, I also really love Kate Daniels.
AndreaMarch 4, 2013 at 9:56 am
I love Mercy! Otherwise, I’m a big fan of Kim Harrison’s Hollows series.
StephanieMarch 4, 2013 at 10:04 am
I don’t read a lot of UF — but this looks like a great book!
Mary AnneMarch 4, 2013 at 10:28 am
This is one of the best. As well as the Kate Daniels series. I really like Tony in Tanya Huff’s Smoke series (I don’t think that’s what it’s called, but all the books have “Smoke” in the title.) And Sunshine, from Robin McKinley’s “Sunshine”- though it’s not a series, unfortunately. Sorry, I am constitutionally incapable of picking a favorite book or song.
KateMarch 4, 2013 at 10:29 am
Mercy is one of my favorites – but I also love Anna from the Alpha and Omega series!
Lori TMarch 4, 2013 at 10:46 am
Mercy is one of favorites! I, also, really love Jeaniene Frost and J.R. Ward’s series too.
BethMarch 4, 2013 at 10:48 am
Hmmmmm…..my favorite series? I don’t know if I could pick just one, but Mercy’s one of them, for sure. Character-wise, I’d say Mercy as she’s a girl you can root for, Stefan because he makes you shake your head and wonder “why?”, and Edythe….’cause she freaks me out a little….http://www.thebooksmugglers.com/wp-includes/images/smilies/icon_eek.gif
Linda WMarch 4, 2013 at 10:57 am
Some favorites are the Edge series by Ilona Andrews, Mercy Thompson, and Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series.
MarieCMarch 4, 2013 at 12:37 pm
Mercy Thompson (P. Briggs), Kate Daniels (I. Andrews), Elena Deveraux (N. Singh), Gin Blanco (J. Estep) are my faves, in no particular order.
ColletteMarch 4, 2013 at 12:48 pm
Mercy Thompson of course, Kate Daniels (Ilona Andrews), October Daye (Seanan McGuire) and, I think, Gin Blanco (Jennifer Estep). Couldn’t pick just one!
Erin LMarch 4, 2013 at 1:33 pm
I really like Kate Daniels and The Edge series.
Elaina W.March 4, 2013 at 1:41 pm
Its too hard to pick just one soo i’m going to pick my most recent favorite Alex Craft (Grave Witch by Kalayna Price)
KristaMarch 4, 2013 at 1:45 pm
I have two favorites: the Hollows series by Kim Harrison and the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. The Mercy series is definitely somewhere in my top 10 favorites.
Thanks for the giveaway!
AnonymousMarch 4, 2013 at 2:07 pm
I’ve been reading Patty Briggs since the original Masques release, and her characters are always people you could see yourself getting into conversations with at wherever you stopped for a few minutes; the grocery store, DMV, a gas station, the bank. And you can see them change in realistic ways in the course of a series. They’re not frozen in time like so many fictional characters. They get hurt, they heal – maybe a little crooked, but they heal – they grow, they make alliances and get into arguments with each other.
Jordan R.March 4, 2013 at 2:16 pm
I think my favorite UF’s are Mercy and Kate! I will admit to calling in sick on release days for both of those series!
April V.March 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm
That is a tough question – there are quite a few I find unputdownable. How about I just give a couple instead of just one? Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files and Briggs’ Mercy series are pretty much neck and neck for me. I placed Dresden first because Butcher makes me laugh and I consider that to be a highly sought-after commodity. But there are so many others that would be just under like the Connor Grey series by Mark DelFranco, the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson, and the Moon Shadow series by Maria E. Schneider.
Suz GloMarch 4, 2013 at 2:21 pm
I love early the early books in the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris.
KimMarch 4, 2013 at 3:42 pm
The Mercy Thompson series is my favorite Urban Fantasy series 🙂
AbbeyMarch 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm
It’s a tie between the Mercy Thompson, Kate Daniels, and October Daye series.
Kirsten R.March 4, 2013 at 5:31 pm
I don’t typically leave posts but I can’t pass up one of my favorite series. I love both Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series. There is something about the world building and characters that she does really well. I’m glad to hear the next one sounds as though it is continuing the trend.
Jacqueline C.March 4, 2013 at 5:56 pm
Besides Mercy and Adam, I also love Anna and Charles from Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series and Kate Daniels from Ilona Andrews’s series.
LeeannaMarch 4, 2013 at 6:25 pm
My favorite is probably Mercy or Anna, from Alpha and Omega.
Barbara ElnessMarch 4, 2013 at 6:32 pm
My favorite urban fantasy series is Jennifer Estep’s Elemental Assassin series, and her Gin Blanco is my favorite character.
Bethany C.March 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm
My current favorites are Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series, Diana Pharoah Francis’s Horngate Witches, and Christina Henry’s Madeline Black.
KimMarch 4, 2013 at 7:04 pm
Mercy is one of my favorites
LashawnMarch 4, 2013 at 8:39 pm
I am currently in love with Kate Daniels and Elena from the Guild Hunter series, although Mercy was my introduction to this genre annd I still love her!
EmmaMarch 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm
My all-time favorite has to be Harry Dresden.
de PizanMarch 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm
Mercy Thompson and Kate Daniels are probably my two favorites (although I could do without either of their alpha-hole love interests). Jane Yellowrock is also pretty awesome.
And I’m so excited, Patricia Briggs is going to be at my local bookstore this week, and when she came a year or two ago, I wasn’t able to make it. I’m definitely there this time.
Kathy HudsonMarch 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm
Just at the moment, although I love Mercy,and Sookie and Harry, my current favorite is a British apprentice wizard named Peter Grant. Look for him in MIDNIGHT RIOT and MOON OVER SOHO and WHISPERS UNDERGROUND by Ben Aaronovitch. You will not be sorry.
StephanieMarch 4, 2013 at 9:26 pm
I like Mercy, as well as, Rachel Morgan and Joanne Walker.
LexiMarch 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm
I really like Mercy and Kate Daniels the best in urban fantasy. I have also started the Hollows but not quite sure what I think yet.
Chris BailsMarch 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm
It is a tie between Anita Blake series and Cat and Bones/Night huntress series. I also do love Mercy and alpha and omega series.
Chris BailsMarch 4, 2013 at 9:43 pm
Anita Blake and night huntress/cat and bones are my favs. Also love alpha and omega
JleeMarch 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Holly Black’s Modern Faerie books. But I don’t read much urban fantasy.
Jen B.March 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm
Bar none, Mercy and Adam are my favorite UF couple and Mercy is my favorite tough chick. I just ordered this book from Amazon. I am so excited to read this. The two year wait has been excruciating!
Victoria ZumbrumMarch 4, 2013 at 10:14 pm
I can’t think of an urban series or character right now. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. Tore923@aol.com
TheresaMarch 4, 2013 at 10:45 pm
Mercy definitely tops my list, but a new favorite is the Iron Druid series!
JenMMarch 4, 2013 at 11:12 pm
Mercy is tied with Kate Daniels for my favorite character and favorite series.
AngieMarch 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm
Gonna have to be a tie between the Mercy and Kate series for me. Top notch. Always have been. Always will be.
AudreyMarch 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm
this series is one of my favorites and what got me interested in vampire and werewolf books.
I am currently however working my way through the “kitty and the midnight hour” series and love it
Tim RMarch 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm
I’m going to suggest the works of Charles de Lint. Don’t know that I have a particular favorite, although there are some I like less than others. Well, that or some of the works of Diana Wynne Jones if we choose to go YA (The Ogre Downstairs leaps to mind).
GregMarch 5, 2013 at 12:56 am
UF wise I have really been loving the series by Ben Aaronovitch, it is great police procedural that the Brits do so well. Another Brit I just found is Francis Knight and her second world urban fantasy Fade to Black with it’s hero Rojan… great dark fantasy there.
Lisa @ Fic TalkMarch 5, 2013 at 12:23 pm
Not just because of this review, but a couple years back when I’d first stumbled upon The Mercy Thompson series, I devoured the first 5 in a matter of days. I was absolutely in love with the way it’s written and I got very emotionally involved with the characters and it was amazing.
So to answer your question: My Favorite series is The Mercy Thompson series. I just love it.
AnonymousMarch 5, 2013 at 3:24 pm
Well, it’s not a series, but I love Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. American Gods was awesome, too! But yeah, as far as series go, Mercy is my favorite, too!
AxieMarch 5, 2013 at 3:55 pm
Does Artemis Fowl count?
scribe k.March 5, 2013 at 4:37 pm
hmm…i don’t read too much urban fantasy…illusions? the replacement? maximum ride? juliet immortal?
Steph HostmanMarch 5, 2013 at 4:38 pm
I love these books! Some nights there is nothing better than sitting back and re living Mercy’s “Adventures” (read, Trials).
BrieMarch 5, 2013 at 6:24 pm
I love this series and Patricia Briggs is a favorite author of mine. I like the bits of snarky humor she puts into her stories and the fact she sets them in eastern Washington state. Mercy is one of my favorite literary characters. She is a strong woman but has a soft side…plus she shifts into a coyote…how cool is that!?!
BeeMarch 5, 2013 at 6:39 pm
I’d have to go with the night huntress series. : )
Jasmine StairsMarch 5, 2013 at 7:21 pm
That would have to be the Mercy Thompson series.
DebbieMarch 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm
Absolutely LOVE Mercy’s series. Been too long since the last book. Started rereading from the beginning in anticipation for this one! Thank you Ms Briggs 🙂
SerenaMarch 5, 2013 at 8:35 pm
I love this series, so probably this!
Laura D.March 5, 2013 at 8:51 pm
Harry Dresden holds my #1 spot for favorite character/series but Mercy is definitely #2.
Divya SMarch 6, 2013 at 10:22 am
Hmmm…My fave character has to be Curran from the Kate Daniels series.
JustineMarch 6, 2013 at 10:32 am
I don’t have a favorite urban fantasy character, but would be willing to adopt one!
DonnaMarch 6, 2013 at 10:35 am
Favorite UF series…hmm, that’s hard for me to decide since I several…the Mercy Thompson series, of course, Jane Yellowrock series, Kara Gillian series and Alpha and Omega series are the first ones to come to mind…love them all!
Thank you for hosting the giveaway!!! 😀
KellyMarch 6, 2013 at 3:17 pm
Mercy, of course! I have been waiting forever for this book.
Tom BruceMarch 6, 2013 at 4:15 pm
A great series of books, thanks for the fabulous write up, will be diving in very soon, just waiting for it to arrive!
Shannon SullivanMarch 6, 2013 at 6:08 pm
Mercy Thompson is my favorite Urban Fantasy character <3
BrittanyMarch 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm
I love Mercy, but I think my favorite urban fantasy series is the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. Something about it just hits all my comfort read spots and makes me extremely happy. 🙂
saracMarch 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm
I can never get enough of Harry Dresden!
StephanieMarch 6, 2013 at 9:32 pm
My favorite UF series is definitely Kim Harrison’s Hollows series. I also love Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series and this one of course!!
Van P.March 7, 2013 at 12:47 am
My favorite series is the Kate Daniel series by Ilona Andrews.
KiraMarch 7, 2013 at 12:51 am
This looks awesome
SarahMarch 7, 2013 at 9:22 am
Huge fan of Patricia Briggs and I love how her characters cross between the different series. Asil was one of my favorites from Alpha and Omega and I can’t wait for him in this one.
ChristineMarch 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm
I LOVE Mercy! She’s my favorite UF character.. for all the reasons you mention in your review. I love that she’s resourceful, clever and strong but sensible when it comes to knowing when she’s in over her head. It’s a smart girl who knows when it’s time to shut up, run or hide!
I’m a book behind in the Alpha & Omega series.. do you recommend I read that first before picking this up? I’m dying for a Mercy fix, but I don’t want to miss anything.. particularly about Asil.
Bridget LockeMarch 9, 2013 at 1:42 pm
i need to do a straight reread of all of this series. i haven’t read the last w books. i need to rectify that.
my favorite uf series is the kate daniels series by ilona andrews, but this is a close second.
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PaulineMarch 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm
I’ve already bought and read this book, and like your review. Adding favorite quotes from the book was an excellent “add in”. Maybe you’ll look into doing some of the Jane Yellowrock book reviews in future…she shares a lot of traits with Mercy only she’s much taller 🙂 and changes into something more feline…
Thanks for posting the review