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Smoke Bitten

Monday, May 25, 2020

Smoke Bitten (2020) Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson)

Smoke BittenBizarrely, I had forgotten about the previous book–the one with the zombies–which threw me initially, since those events were not foremost in my mind.

I’d disemboweled a zombie werewolf on the old carpet, and one of the results of that was that I’d finally discovered a mess that Adam’s expert cleaning guru couldn’t get out of the white carpet. All of it had been torn up and replaced.

How I forgot that, I don’t know.

This story initially seems to start with Aiden.

Aiden’s room was in the basement, so I just continued down the next set of stairs. He lived in what had previously been the pack’s safe room because Adam and his happy contractor (who said that fixing the damage routinely experienced by our house from a pack of werewolves had already paid for his kids’ college and was working on his grandchildren’s) had decided that it would be the easiest room in the house to fireproof. Aiden tended to have nightmares, and when he did, sometimes he started fires.

But it soon becomes clear that Aiden was just an excuse.

We also get Wulfe, who is suddenly far more interested in Mercy than he had been.

“Not fortunate,” demurred Wulfe, answering Aiden with a coyness that would have been more appropriate from a Southern belle in an old movie. In old movies, overacting was standard fare. “Not mere luck. I am stalking Mercy. Of course I was around, because that’s what stalkers do, or so I’ve read. It’s my new hobby.”

Wulfe is a fascinating character.

I was afraid of witches. I was afraid of vampires. I was very, very afraid of Wulfe.

I think the author does an excellent job of making Wulfe fascinating, while reminding us that he is terrifyingly powerful and insane. (It’s not his fault he is insane, but that doesn’t make him any less dangerous.)

One thing I particularly like about this book is that although there is a lot of drama, it is natural drama (so-to-speak). Mercy isn’t the center of it, but she is often caught up in it. (Such as the issues cause by Christie, Adam’s ex-wife and Jesse’s mother. It causes drama, but it’s not Mercy’s fault. Also, she is justifiably hurt by it, and we see her working hard not to overreact to a situation outside of her control.)

I also adore the little side bits, especially the ones where we get glimpses into side characters.

When someone asked Sherwood directly about the Robin Hood identity, he hunted me down and asked to see the betting book. Sherwood put a dollar down on Robin Hood himself— and another dollar on William Shakespeare.

These little side stories are one of the things that make me love the series so much. I figure at some point we’ll get a story about Sherwood, but it’s a delight getting these glimpses.

Also, bits like this:

I hoped he could hear my eyes rolling. “That’s what you told me when I was fourteen. I was hoping for something more useful now that I’m an adult and she’s trying to take over my pack.”

“Don’t roll your eyes at me,” he snapped. “And you were fifteen.”

I looked at the phone. “You remember how old I was?” I asked incredulously.

“It was the day Charles glitter-bombed my office,” Bran said darkly. “Of course I remember.”

“Charles?” There was no way. “Charles glitter-bombed your office.”

That is an Easter Egg for those who read the Alpha & Omega series, but it’s also a peek into Mercy & Bran’s relationship, and it also feels like a real conversation.

It was just lovely and delightful and just what I needed after the darkness of the Jane Yellowrock book.

Publisher: Ace
Rating: 8.5/10

Categories: 8.5/10, 8/10, Fantasy, Female, Supernatural     Comments (0)    



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