Written by Patricia Briggs
Published January, 2007 342 pages
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves / Shifters
Purchase: The Book Depository | Bookworld | Booktopia
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Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friend in low places - and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend, Stefan, goes to deliver a message to another of his kind. But this new vampire is hardly ordinary - and neither is the demon inside of him.
And the demon-riding vampire has gone on a killing spree unlike any the Tri-Cities have ever seen - one that could threaten the vampires' secret existence. When the undead and the werewolves sent to find him don't return, the local vampire queen looks to Mercy for help. A coyote is no match for a demon, but Mercy is immune to many vampiric powers - and those missing are her friends, including the two werewolves circling around her heart.
Though I found Blood Bound to be a bit of a slower read than its predecessor, it certainly cultivated my love for Mercy Thompson and the series in general. The plot was more interesting, the stakes higher and we got to really see Patricia Briggs’ characters shine. I can’t wait to keep reading – I have a feeling this is going to get really good.
“Even after all this time, I keep forgetting that heroes can be found in unlikely places and persons — like mechanics who can turn into coyotes.” – Uncle Mike
I managed to finish Moon Called in two sittings, but the second installment in the Mercy Thompson series, Blood Bound took a little more time. Slow to start, Blood Bound then began to overcome some of the problems I had with the first book in leaps and bounds. All of my favourite aspects remained (clever urban fantasy, great characters…) but I had a feeling things were going to be a little more complicated this time around in terms of plot.
While Moon Called might have given us the basics when it came to werewolves, Blood Bound expands Mercy Thompson’s world for the reader and really examines the vampires. Sure, we met them briefly in the first book, but the plotline for Blood Bound revolves around them heavily and allows us (and Mercy) to get right up close and personal. We learn how Patricia Briggs’ intends her vampires to exist; in menageries with living (often temporary, but sometimes long term in the case of Stefan) blood donors. There are few in Mercy’s area, but we get a better sense of how vampire politics work, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
I really love this approach to storytelling. It builds on and strengthens the world without it being too much of an ‘info dump’. I love it when series have the ability to touch on different aspects of worlds within each installment, slowly allowing the reader to acclimatise.
I also really enjoy the individual storylines – or ‘mysteries’ – that begin and end with each book, as was the case with Blood Bound. Things are tied up neatly with a little bow, allowing for some overflow into the next book, but not too much. Our characters are able to be expanded upon, growing from their experiences – the world changing, etc. – but for the most part, we’re able to leave most aspects of the plot with the final page. This makes it easy for readers who, like me, often forget integral hints and plotpoints by the time the next book rolls around.
“Why is it that in all the adventure movies the heroine doesn’t have to get up and go to work?” – Mercy
Mercy continues to be a great, kick-ass lead. I really like her no-fuss attitude and her conversational tone with the reader. Though I’m only on book two, I have a pretty good sense of what Mercy will and will not do. She’s willing to take on enemies for good reasons, and is actually a heroine who plans (*gasp* I knoooow, right?) and has back-up plans before going on her justified suicide missions (case in point: leaving typed up documents of her discoveries for Bran in case she, too, was taken prisoner by Littleton.) I love that she understands her actions have consequences, and that although she may not be able to take down the biggest, baddest foe – she has to try. For the right reasons. She’s someone who MAKES decisions and doesn’t spend 200-plus pages dwelling over whether or not she made the right call.
“We’d spent years as adversaries, two predators sharing territory and a certain, unwelcome attraction. Somehow, during all those years I spent outwardly acquiescing to his demands while making sure I held my own, I’d won his respect. I’d had werewolves love me and hate me, but I’d never had one respect me before.” – Mercy
I guess you could say that there’s a love triangle going on, but to be honest it doesn’t really feel like it is? Mercy’s romantic dramas aren’t in the forefront of her mind, particularly when something big and scary is rampaging around the Tri-Cities. I admit, I both love and loathe this aspect of the series. Mercy doesn’t seem to dwell much on her feelings for Adam or Samuel (or Stefan, for that matter) and while that’s refreshing after so many angsty teen books, I would like to see a bit more of how her mind works in this regard.
There was a quote towards the end of Blood Bound where Mercy mentioned she thought she ‘loved’ Adam, however I hadn’t had any reason to believe her attraction to him was anything more than ‘dating to see how it goes’. She wanted to stay away from him – as he made her feel as if she were submitting to him – though it was clear the two had chemistry. But, I say again, love? I wish Patricia Briggs would allow Mercy to converse a bit more with the reader on how she was feeling regarding the men in her life.
At this point in time, I’m just sitting back and waiting for the romance aspect to really kick in and fill out this series into something fantastic. Everything else is in place, it’s just lacking that crucial aspect which I find makes the perfect urban fantasy. I have high hopes that this series is going to get better and better!