**I received this book for free from the publisher or author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**
Series: Mercy Thompson #8
Published by Penguin on March 11, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Fantasy, Fiction, Urban, Urban Fantasy, Werewolves
AMAZON • B&N • BOOK DEPOSITORY • Goodreads
#1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series has been hailed as “one of the best” (Fiction Vixen). Now, Mercy must deal with an unwanted guest—one that brings a threat unlike anything she’s ever known. An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from a stalker. Adam isn’t the kind of man to turn away a person in need—and Mercy knows it. But with Christy holed up in Adam’s house, Mercy can’t shake the feeling that something about the situation isn’t right. Soon, her suspicions are confirmed when she learns that Christy has the farthest thing from good intentions. She wants Adam back and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to make it happen, including turning Adam’s pack against Mercy. Mercy isn’t about to step down without a fight, but there’s a more dangerous threat circling. Christy’s stalker is more than a bad man—in fact, he may not be human at all. As the bodies start piling up, Mercy must put her personal troubles aside to face a creature with the power to tear her whole world apart.
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. It really sets the standard in terms of werewolf mythos and world-building, series development, and a compelling heroine. When the opportunity to read and review NIGHT BROKEN arose, I jumped at the chance. Given the synopsis, I knew this was going to be a good one. And of course, I wasn’t disappointed.
Central to NIGHT BROKEN, book eight in the series, is Mercy and Adam’s marriage. What Briggs does so well is show the depth of their commitment and their complete and utter belief and confidence in each other. It was nice to see, after all these two have been through, a book that centers on the strength of their relationship, particularly when it’s being tested by a manipulative ex-wife, which I’ll get to later. Mercy proves herself, once again, to be completely loyal and dedicated to those she cares about which is of course why she’s such an endearing character. But Briggs also takes some time to humanize this wonder woman with moments of childish retribution against Adam’s ex (blue dye in the shampoo anyone?). Mercy may be an almost-saint but she, too, can be “human,” and it was nice to see.
Another fantastic addition to Mercy’s world is the introduction of Gary Laughingdog. He’s the only other coyote shifter, born of Coyote himself, that Mercy knows and he’s a fantastic character — hilarious, completely not dependable, and wiley. He has the gift of sight and is a huge flirt which proves difficult for Honey given what she went through in FROST BURNED. I hope Briggs keeps him around because he’s a nice counterpoint to Mercy and he adds a bit of excitement and humor to almost any scene he’s in.
Other strong elements of the book include the continued difficulties Mercy has with her pack relationships. The pack is made up of a bunch of asses and NIGHT BROKEN really highlights the uphill battle Mercy faces. While there may be some hope it will get better, it angers me how they treat her depsite nice moments of support from characters like Warren, Ben, and Honey. Briggs also does a great job of introducing a new mythology that I’ve never heard of and which feels very original. I love the expansion of the supernatural world beyond the fae, vampires, and wolves that normally take center stage in the series. Finally, there’s Stefan. There’s a bit of a revelation in NIGHT BROKEN that will impact his relationship with Mercy and I’m curious to see how it will play out.
If I had to add some minor quibbles there would be two — Christy, Adam’s ex wife, and how the pack supports her, and NIGHT BROKEN’s ending. I find it a bit unbelievable that the pack would continue to buy Christy’s manipulative B.S. It really goes beyond reason. Her manipulations are obvious and her past abandonment of Adam and their daughter would, in my mind, create a sense of resentment from a pack loyal to its alpha, not continued support. I also wanted Adam to stand up a little more to her; he needed a swift kick to the gonads to get them in gear. And the ending…it felt abrupt. It opened the door to future fae shenanigans (read: troubles) but I admit to turning the page to see if I was missing something.
Regardless, NIGHT BROKEN is packed full of strong writing – great moments of humor, horror, and suspense; emotion and drama; romance and redemption. It’s another wonderful story in a series that sets the bar. NIGHT BROKEN is highly recommended for fans of the series and for those readers who appreciate really thoughtfully written urban fantasy. 4.5 Howls!