We have some fun stuff today. First up is an interview with the amazing author Patricia Briggs! Her Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series are a top favorites of mine and the ladies at BadAss. You can read our review of Fair Game, which the Badass Team loved and our interview with Ms. Briggs last year. Second, D.G. and myself review Patricia Briggs’s new release Frost Burned and then …….. because we want to share this amazing book, we are raffling off a TWO hardcover copies of Frost Burned. So if you want to win a copy your chances are good, so scroll down and play!
Welcome Patricia! We’re very excited to have you here with us at Badass Book Reviews Patricia Briggs!
Patty: To me, both worlds are already one . Fair Game, by taking place right after River Marked, brings the two storylines into the same timeline – which is useful and less confusing to both me and the readers. And certainly the end of Fair Game changes the game for Mercy. This is especially true with Frost Burned. We’ll see one character who has been mostly off screen come back and play an ongoing major roll in the Mercy books.
Regina: Will we be seeing more of Coyote in future books?
Patty: Yes – but not in Frost Burned. Many urban fantasy novels and series rely on squabbles between the couples to create tension.
Regina: In River Marked and Fair Game you demonstrated that the couples in your books, despite being established couples, can still be interesting to read about. Your books seem to have tension originate outside of the couple’s relationship. Is it more difficult to write a novel where the couple is already together and still maintain a certain level of tension and excitement?
Patty: It would be more difficult, I think, in a paranormal romance than in an urban fantasy where the plot turns on magic and mayhem rather than the relationship between the main characters. Even so, any relationship evolves through time – I’ve been married for dang near thirty years and my romance is still exciting and fresh. So there is no reason that Mercy and Adam’s won’t also be that way. They have a lot of things to work out – demands on both of their time, ongoing resentment of certain pack members about the inclusion of a coyote in their midst, ex-wives . . . all sorts of things.
Patty: I’m finishing up a couple of short stories to round out a collection of Mercyverse (I got the word from the comics industry. I like it so it’s a word.) short stories which will include all of the short stories so far published and about five new ones. The exception is “Alpha and Omega” because it’s included in the hardback of Cry Wolf. As long as I’m enjoying Mercy and readers are enjoying Mercy, I’ll keep writing them. I’ll write other things, too, to make sure I don’t get stale.
Regina: Do you plan to get back to writing pure fantasy, similar to your earlier books?
Patty: Sure. I have another Hurog book – and another Raven book that have been bumping into my other story ideas. I don’t think it will happen in the next couple of years, but I love traditional fantasy too much to abandon it.
Regina: If one of your children wanted to write and become an author, what would your biggest fear be?
Patty: It wouldn’t bother me – as long as they have something else to do for a living <grin>. Writing is a marvelous hobby but most writers (some of my favorite writers) never get to a place where it reliably pays the bills.
*We received a copy of Frost Burned from Penguin/ACE in exchange for a review*
Regina and D.G.’s Group Review of Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson #7) by Patricia Briggs
[box color=blue]Synopsis from Penguin/ACE:
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.[/box]
Was it worth the wait?
D.G.: Definitely. The book was exciting and full of good twists. I didn’t even realize who was responsible till the end.
Regina: If I would have answered this question before I started Frost Burned I would have said — no! But after reading it, I agree. Every page was fantastic, every page was a gift. And true to form, the monsters in this book were freaking scary.
Christal: Yes, but mainly because we had the wonderful Fair Game to tide us over. That helped make the wait bearable. Frost Burned was great though and if the wait was necessary for this level quality, then I say it was worth it.
Regina: Very true — Fair Game made the wait bearable.
Now that Adam and Mercy are together, does the tension and passion remain?
D.G.: I like seeing couples after they’re together. I don’t know if there’s as much tension – although both got grey hairs in this one with all the danger the other went through – but the passion and love is definitely there.
Regina: I also like seeing couples together. I dislike when authors feel the need to separate couples or create fights in order to add tension. I like how Adam and Mercy work together. I loved seeing them flirt.
D.G.: Oh that was so cute! The flirting with Biblical quotes was hilarious!
Christal: Passion, yes. Tension, only when they are in dangerous situations. I think this is good though; they have evolved from all the uncertainty into a stable alpha couple. I loved seeing Mercy grow into her power and position in the pack in this novel with Adam’s never-ending support.
Regina: DG I loved that scene because it showed off Mercy’s knowledge and Adam’s slightly different background. Plus, it demonstrated that as Christal says they are an alpha couple.
The cross-over between Alpha & Omega, did you like it?
D.G.: I loved it BUT I’m up to date in both series. I can imagine that if you are a person new to the Mercyverse, it might be confusing to have to jump from series to series. I don’t think you must read Fair Game to get what’s happening here, but I’m not sure that you would get the depth of the fear humans have for supernaturals if you don’t read it.
Regina: I agree — and then a reader wouldn’t appreciate the character for Alpha & Omega that shows up in Frost Burned. I loved
seeing that character, but to fully appreciate him/her then Alpha & Omega must be read.
D.G.: You’re right! I totally forgot about the A&O character for a minute. His/her background is very well explained here but again, reading the A&O series gives you a better understanding of this character”s issues as there are some scenes from his/her POV.
Christal: That is true; I think that having read the “Alpha and Omega” series definitely would help you to appreciate some situations in this book more. I’m still waiting for my Mercy/Anna team up though!
Regina: Mercy and Anna together would be amazing! I would read that. That Alpha & Omega character that appears in Frost Burned and plays a part — is one of my favorite Alpha & Omega characters. And I love how Ms. Briggs doesn’t make it easy. She shows how stressful it is on Adam to have him there.
Is Mercy Badass?
D.G.: She must certainly is! To confront all these people and come out on top you have to be a badass chick. But I also like about her that she’s not cocky or fearless. A lot of the time, Mercy is afraid but she still does what she thinks it’s right.
Regina: I think she is. I like that she recognizes her limits and her frailty. And I like that the other characters challenge what a little frail coyote is doing. charging off into the fray :)
Christal: Mercy is a badass because she always tries to do the right thing. She might not be the biggest, baddest canine around, but she always steps up. When there is evil lurking and no one better able to handle it is available, Mercy always sticks her neck out because she can’t let evil win. She is one of the truest White Hats around.
What did you think of Adam’s POV?
D.G.: Really liked it. I felt terrible for him though. I didn’t realize that’s how he thought of himself. That’s why my favorite quote of the book is Darryl’s: “Just because we’re monsters, doesn’t mean we’re the villains.”
Regina: Reading Adam’s POV was such a wonderful surprise. Thank you Ms. Briggs! I knew from what Mercy has said in the past how he viewed himself, but to read it in such a stark way is sad. But reading from his point of view about his love for Mercy, Jesse and the pack was a beautiful thing.
Christal: I really liked it. Just as the Curran snippets add to the “Kate Daniels” world, getting a chance to see from Adam’s perspective added an element we would be missing otherwise. It was nice to get inside his head and see how he views himself. It was even nicer to see Mercy realize it and not give a damn because that’s not how she sees him. Mercy is known for being quite stubborn… she might just get him to reevaluate his viewpoint.
Was there something you didn’t like?
D.G.: There were a LOT of people in this book and I don’t know if all of them were really necessary (all those kids!) I also didn’t like Tony’s involvement at the end. I couldn’t believe he would go along with the plan. And finally the bad guy’s plan seemed very convoluted. It makes sense in one level but on the other, it seemed too elaborate for somebody who seemed to have been so patient with other stuff.
Regina: Hmmmmmm. Without being giving away the plot, I thought Tony’s involvement made sense given the other character that was involved. I got the idea that he would do anything for that other character. I do see where you are coming from DG, valid points. It just didn’t bother me. There was a portion of this book, maybe 3/4 in that was not a complete page turner as the beginning, middle and end of the book was. It was that lull before the ending. Interestingly, it was when the characters themselves were tired. I felt tired during that part and was not as engaged as I was during the rest of the book. So I guess that was my part that, while I wouldn’t say I didn’t like it — I didn’t love it. Oh and there was a character that was “missing”. I really would have liked to see more of a certain character.
Regina’s Review and Thoughts: 5 Stars/Grade A+:
Beyond typing “I loved it. I loved it. OMG I loved it.” over and over again, it is hard to write a coherent review. Why? Because I loved this book so much. It was an emotional and a fun experience reading it. I feel like I lived another life through the pages of this book!
Patricia Briggs’s talent seems to increase with every book that she writes. Frost Burned brings a heightened level of complexity and character development to the Mercy world — in the same manner that Fair Game did for the Alpha & Omega world. Like the other Mercy novels, there is danger and Mercy is engaged in figuring out the source of danger. What I like about how Mercy traces down the danger is that she does it in a rational way. She does take chances, but only if she has to. She really doesn’t want to be reckless. And Mercy’s actions make sense. I can see her living a real life off the pages of these books, fixing cars and giving Adam heck. The cast of characters that are involved in Frost Burned is large, but in my opinion it was manageable and oh so satisfying to see “everyone”. Frost Burned feels longer than previous Mercy books and is very meaty. This book is worth reading and buying now.
The monsters are freaking scary and yes this includes the werewolves. Briggs’s stories are engaging because they are not simplistic. She does this by writing horrifying creatures that remind me of what I was afraid of when I was younger and alone in the dark. Vampires are not sexy — well they may be sexy, but only in a terrifying way. Werewolves’ protective nature may be admirable, but it gets in the way of modern life and puts others in the vicinity of a protective werewolf in danger. And then we have the Fae. For those readers that read Fair Game, then you know that the stakes have been upped and the world is suddenly a much more dangerous place for supernaturals. In the midst of all this there is Mercy and Adam. Their humor, banter and flirting shine through the pages and as does their love for each other. Thankfully, their bond is stronger than ever ..
Kyle blinked. “You can talk to Adam when he’s not in the room, and you don’t have a phone?”
Frost Burned gives readers several chapters from Adam’s point of view. These advance the story line and give good insight into why Adam does what he does. But also, (for me anyway) reading Adam’s point of view solidifies that he there is NO doubt that Adam is my favorite werewolf. I live to read when he is frustrated with Mercy and yells, “Mercy!”
I gotta say that I love what being an alpha and submissive means to Briggs. Alpha is not just to push people around and to dominate. Alpha is to protect and care for others. As Briggs writes, having a submissive werewolf in a pack is a gift because it breaks the tension and gives the alphas something to focus on and protect. I love this concept, it is so beautiful.
Frost Burned is funny (lots of really good humor) and sweet; it moves the Mercy world forward. Fans of Mercy and Patricia Briggs will not be disappointed.
Enter the Badass Mercy Thompson Giveaway! We are giving away two copies. Please note, winning copies of Frost Burned will only be sent to a U.S. address.
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