I’ll admit it. I felt robbed at the end of Iron Kissed. Fans of Mercy Thompson waited through three books to see her choose between suitors Samuel and Adam. And when our big payoff moment came, the author faded to black. BUT she picked up exactly where she left off at the beginning of this book. Of course, we still didn’t really get the payoff… at least not right away… but I digress.
With the book picking up precisely on the heels of its predecessor, Mercy is only two or three days past her rape, and she is still experiencing the fallout. She is suffering panic attacks and trying to return to some semblance of her life. Things are hard enough, when her vampire friend Stefan is dropped into her home, after being tortured and starved by the head vampire queen, Marisilia. The wolves give blood to Stefan to keep him from feeding on Mercy. And as he recovers, he reveals that Marisilia has learned Mercy killed one of her vampires (in Blood Bound) and now Mercy is a target.
To get away from the danger, Mercy goes to the home of an old college friend, who has a haunted house. She works to solve the mystery of the ghost, but is drawn to trouble like a magnet. Essentially, she becomes trapped in a quagmire of vampire politics and is targeted by a master vamp from out-of-town.
A lot is going on in this book. Most of it focuses on the vampires, but we learn more about what it means for Mercy to be a “walker.” We see her relationship grow with Adam and the pack… and with Stefan as well. It was a solid installment, maybe not quite as strong as Iron Kissed, but still quite good. I just wish there was a little bit of on-page action between Mercy and her man. My imagination is good –but actually reading the action is better. 4 1/2 stars.