It was what the rating says it was: okay. It wasn't a bad book, but I was so bored that I almost fell asleep more than once. I don't buy books like Mercy Thompson to be bored, okay? I buy them for action and monsters, and because in the first couple of books I just loved Mercy herself. She was tough, she was strong, she was fairly smart, she didn't rely on others to get the job done. She did what she had to do, when it had to be done, no matter if she liked it or not. She was a good heroine that I could sympathize with, mostly.
Not anymore. Mercy "Thompson" has become a dependent sap of a character whose only tough moments are when she steals some of the wolves' power to command people. She has to steal power to get ANYTHING done nowadays. The romance is just awful, it's become the main focus of the series. I never liked Adam as much as I liked Bran, Stefan, Zee, Samuel, etc. and I'm annoyed that he is the secondary character. Neither Mercy nor Adam can make it more than a page without going all lovesick and worrying about their sweetheart.
Also, I'm tired of the wolves. I'm sorry. In the beginning of the series we got wolves, fae, vampires, demons, all sorts of stuff. Nowadays, you still get glimpses of fae and ghosts and vampires, but no matter what they have to take a backseat to the werewolves. The wolves are not Briggs' greatest creation, whenever she talks about "dominance" I get this image in my head of like a stamina or mana bar from a video game - you know, whoever has the longer bar is more dominant. Mercy is constantly repeating herself, reminding the reader about dominance, and submissiveness, and pack power-sharing, and the protocols between wolves, and not meeting their eyes, and body posture, and everything else. It's not just that she repeats herself once per book, she does it TWENTY TIMES in EACH BOOK. She doesn't repeat herself this much about the rules for ghosts or vampires . . .
The filler in this book was also ridiculous. Let me give you an example: there was a scene in the book where Mercy; a half-fae; and a werewolf in human form were battling a full-blooded fae in a tiny apartment. There were baseball bats, knives, magic swords, stuff was flying around and breaking and getting chopped to pieces, people were getting thrown through walls. I was interested . . . until out of nowhere, Mercy decided to give us a page-long description of a desk that sat in the apartment. She described in excruciating detail how there are a lot of desks like that in the area where she lives, how they happened to be so common, what they usually look like, how hard they are to damage. She tells you what this particular desk looks like, and then tells you that a good friend of hers accidentally bought a bunch of these kinds of desks at an auction, plus a lot of broken chairs, when she thought she was buying something less. Mercy then tells you that a bunch of the broken chairs were cobbled together to make one chair that works, which is now the chair in Mercy's office.
After all that, FINALLY we get back to the fight, and the desk is thrown out a hole in the wall. Wouldn't it just have been easier for Briggs to tell us that "it was a big, heavy metal desk"? No?
Okay. So, someone tell me what the chair in Mercy's office has to do with the attacking fae with the magic sword? Tell me why I needed to hear the life's history of that desk and every desk in the city, in the middle of the fight?
Also, one tiny note. This is Book 7 in the series. We all know that Mercy doesn't have any female friends except for Jesse, her daughter-in-law. Mercy doesn't get along well with other women. BUT, this friend who bought all those desks was female, and I assume, since she lived in the area where Mercy does, she was human (if she wasn't human, she would have been mentioned by now and thus, she would have had a name. Oh, wait, this is Book 7. No matter who she was, she would have had a name by now). Mercy has no female human friends; if she did, we would know about it by now, right? She would at least have been mentioned enough to have a name, right?
So, Briggs wanted some more filler for this book, so she gave us the life's history of every metal desk in the state, and to do this, she crafted a nonexistent "good friend" for Mercy, who I've never heard about before and who isn't important enough to have a name.
That wasn't the only episode of filler, either. The whole book was full of random, disconnected thoughts and backstories that had no bearing on the plot or the characters. So many pages were wasted with nonsense. The last fifty pages felt really, really separate from the first two hundred, the plot didn't come together well at all. Sure, it all made sense if you squinted at it really hard, but should you have to do that?
One more thing: the POV changes. This is the seventh book in the series, as I keep reiterating (gosh, I'm starting to sound repetitive like Mercy), and I don't remember it being so blatantly pointed out in any of the other books that Mercy's first-person narrative wasn't good enough. In this book, on two separate occasions, you get switched over to a third-person narrative by Adam. (STINKING ADAM.) There's no apparent reason for this, because everything that happened in Adam's first chapter was repeated and re-described so many times after it happened, that I didn't need to read Adam's viewpoint at all. During the second chapter, Mercy was being kind of mind-controlled, but that also doesn't make it necessary, because in other books she's been mind-controlled MULTIPLE TIMES and still stuck to her own POV.
Why, Mercy? Just . . . why?
Also, let me point out to any Samuel-lovers like me who read this book: Samuel isn't in it. Not even once. He was in the first few pages of River Marked, and he didn't appear at all in Frost Burned. I haven't seen him in two books and I'm not happy about it. He's not the only character who was overlooked - characters I love have really been rare in Mercy's recent books, because they have to make way for Adam and his wolves. I just never thought that Samuel would be one of those removed entirely from the story.
I'm done with this series, unless one of my friends reads the next one and tells me it's awesome. I just don't care about Mercy and her silly pack anymore.