Hopcross Jilly (#1-6) by Patricia Briggs, Rik Hoskin and Tom Garcia
Published by Dynamite Entertainment
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
For Fans of: The Mercy Thompson novels
My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

 “Hopcross Jilly” – follows the titular heroine, a shape-shifting coyote and honorary member of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. When her pack stumbles upon the buried bones of numerous dead children, Mercy finds herself drawn into a mystery of the legendary fae… one that may result in her death. Longtime Mercy Thompson fans will be rewarded to see that Mercy’s step-daughter, Jesse, takes her place in the spotlight for the first time.

I love Mercy Thompson. I love the world of Mercy Thompson. I love anything involving Mercy Thompson. I did not love Hopcross Jilly. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it just fine, but “just fine” is not how I want to be describing a Mercy Thompson story.

As a huge fan of the series, I was pretty psyched to see Jesse in the spotlight this time around. I have a giant soft spot for Jesse Hauptman and, when reading the novels, always feel like she needs to see more action. She’s tough, snarky and has a good head on her shoulders. I’d always wanted to see her pull through a situation on her own – preferably one a little more dangerous than a tussle with teenage bullies. And I thought that this was exactly what I was getting with Hopcross Jilly.

Until the ending, where everything just kind of fell flat. Have you ever had those moments where you’re aimlessly browsing through YouTube, listening to covers of this song you’re really digging at the moment and, you find a decent one, and the buildup is so good that you expect to be blown away by the end, but the singer decides to play it safe – too safe – and you’re just left feeling so… cheated?

This felt a little bit like that. Like I was listening to a decent cover song that disappointed at the end. I’ve noticed that Briggs does much better with her full-length novels and short stories than with her graphic novels, so I guess it’s not really a surprise that, story-wise, Hopcross Jilly wasn’t anything to write home about. The buildup was alright, but that ending. Sigh. It was anticlimactic and left us with a couple loose ends.

As far as the art is concerned… I read my fair share of comic books and graphic novels. Batman: Black Mirror is some of the best graphic novel artwork I’ve seen. Ever. And that gives you an idea of the kind of artwork I’m used to, the kind I expect. The illustrations weren’t great. The only reason I let it fly was because I thought that the artwork was  better this time around than it was in Moon Called or Homecoming. But then again, not by much.

I really wanted to love these comics, but I didn’t. And that makes me sad.

It makes me even sadder to know that Fire Touched (the 9th Mercy Thompson book) won’t be out until March next year. I NEED IT SO MUCH.


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