Review: Night Broken by Patricia Briggs

night broken_front mech.inddReviewed by Jen

This was one of the most emotionally resonant Mercy Thompson books I have read.  Patricia Briggs always does a good job of putting us inside Mercy’s head, but I think this book really hit home for me because her emotional struggles centered on something that could just as easily happen to any one of us.  The return of the ex.

That’s right, Adam’s ex-wife is the main foil of this story and I’ve got to say it felt kind of unusual for a relationship factor to take center stage in one of these books.  Of course, Christy isn’t the only issue.  There are dangerous situations and supernatural threats in the mix. But at its core, the biggest enemy was Christy herself and the threat she posed to Mercy’s place in her family and in her pack.

The problems start when Christy calls Adam to ask for protection from a threatening ex-lover.  He is stalking her; She thinks he has killed one of her ex-boyfriends; and she fears her life is in danger.  Of course, Adam can’t turn away the mother of his child.  And Mercy is a good person. She knows why the pack needs to grant its protection.  But Christy is a master manipulator.  From the moment she walks in the front door, she is jockeying for position. She is undermining Mercy.  She is tugging on the heartstrings of her old friends and trying to ingratiate herself back into the family she abandoned years ago. I hated her with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

Yes, the danger to her is real.  And figuring out the particulars of her bad guy plays into the story.  There’s some stuff about giant volcano dogs and whatnot.  But this book is about the danger Christy represents in Mercy’s life.  The thing is, as much as I despised her, I found my real anger reserved for members of the pack.  Because I am just about fed up with they way they treat their alpha’s wife. Even if their behavior wasn’t an insult to Adam (which it totally is) –Mercy has proven herself time and again as worthy of their trust and respect.  I know we need internal conflict, but I am losing my patience with their animosity and petulance.

We are treated to a very interesting new character named Gary Laughingdog, with ties to Mercy’s coyote roots. I hope we see more of him in future books. I also feel like Briggs set up some interesting story possibilities with Mercy’s ties to Stephan –and her trials with the mysterious walking stick– as well as the continuing saga of what’s happening with the Fae since they have cut themselves off from society.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. But it most definitely felt like a bit of a departure for the series. I’m not sure the UF purists will be on board with so much relationship angst, but for me, it worked.

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Ace

Click to purchase: Amazon

Night Broken
by Patricia Briggs
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Ace

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