Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs
Published by Ace
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Adult, Paranormal
For Fans of: Alpha and Omega, Dreg City, Kelly Armstrong, Werwolves, Vampires, Shapeshifters, and all of that other supernatural jazz
My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Mercy Thompson has been hailed as “a heroine who continues to grow and yet always remains true to herself.”* Now she’s back, and she’ll soon discover that when the fae stalk the human world, it’s the children who suffer…
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?
Many thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for giving me a copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review
Let me paint you a picture.
It’s a nice, balmy, Tuesday morning in the tropics. You’re sitting on your doorstep sipping your coffee, your toes gently poking at your dog’s soft tummy. And then, it happens – your phone beeps. You’ve received an email. You fish your phone out of your pocket lazily. It’s either a Marvel newsletter, or an email from the boss-man, wanting to know if you’ve got those designs done yet. But no! It’s NetGalley informing you that you’ve been approved for an arc of Fire Touched – a book you’ve been waiting an entire year for! You’re thrilled. You squeal with joy. Your dog wakes up and stares at you with disgust. You don’t care, you get to read the new Mercy Thompson book a whole two months before it’s due to be published. Life is good.
Yeah… You guys probably know me well enough by now to know that none of that story was made up. Of course, I may have downplayed the amount of squealing I did, but that’s beside the point. I’ve read the new Mercy Thompson book. I don’t care. I’m happy as pie. (People say that. People totally say that)
ANYWAY, Fire Touched was, like all the other Mercy Thompson books, a delight to read. We pick up a few months after the incidents of the previous book, Night Broken. Mercy’s finally recovered from all those horrible injuries she received from a certain volcano god, and she’s smack in the middle of putting her life back together. The shop needs to be rebuilt, her husband’s ex needs to be dealt with, the pack needs to be put in their place, etc, etc… Basically, it’s another day in the life of Mercy Thompson-Hauptman.
Until the fae set a troll loose on a bridge and Mercy, Adam, and the rest of the pack are called in to help stop it. (Which, alright, is STILL another day in the life of Mercy. But you get what I mean.) Without giving too much away, I can tell you guys that the troll is just the beginning of a dastardly fae-problem that Mercy, Adam and Co. have to take care of. Because the fae have absolutely no chill.
Fire Touched is paced pretty much like all the previous books. Mercy tackles her issues at her regular ol’ Mercy Pace, somehow finding time for all the little, everyday problems that pop-up in between the giant disaster. Which just so happens to be one of my favorite things about these books. It doesn’t matter how much she’s got on her plate, Mercy still has to deal with the every day things.
Crazy witch-magic causing trouble for everyone? Mercy still has to go to work.
Werewolf husband’s been kidnapped by rogue federal agents? Mercy still has to make sure her step-daughter isn’t being bullied at school.
Volcano god running round town? Mercy has cars to fix and bills to pay.
I’d continue, but you get the idea. The pacing isn’t rushed. The story plays out in a way that doesn’t allow the normal, mundane matters to be drowned out by the giant supernatural problems. It’s not something you see in most adult UF novels, so that’s great.
As always, this books is centered around the characters. The characters are absolutely the driving force, the heart, of this series. Which brings me to one of the few problems I had with this book. The characters were great, don’t get me wrong, it’s just… there was a little too much going on. Too many characters involved this time around. Some of them got lost in the crowd.
Mercy, I’m glad to report, is still unapologetically Mercy. Same goes for Adam. They’ve both grown so much in the course of these past nine books, and have still managed to stay true to themselves. But the others? Zee and Tad and Ben and Warren? We don’t get to see enough of them.
I’d like to imagine myself at sixty, still reading new Mercy Thompson books. It’s a nice dream, even though it’s completely ridiculous. This series has to end SOME TIME. Maybe not anytime soon, but eventually, lest it become played out and stale. I don’t know when we’ll have to say our bittersweet farewells to Mercy and Co., but what I do know is that one thing definitely needs to happen before her tales come to a natural end – She needs to come to terms with who she is. Not just as a member of the pack, but in the world in general.
And who knows? It may be a little while longer before that happens, so yay. We’ve got more books to look forward to.