Why Isn't Everyone Reading Mercy Thompson?

Just before Christmas, I decided it had been too long since I'd read any new Urban Fantasy books. So I browsed through my Nook and almost went for a Cat & Bones re-read. Instead, I decided to give Mercy Thompson a shot. I was in love almost instantly! Patricia Briggs builds an interesting and captivating world that jumps off the page, and Mercy quickly became one of my all-time favorite heroines. I also fell in love with Adam, the pack, and the rest of the creatures, supernatural or human.

Then, in my desperate search to discuss the books with the Wenches, I discovered that only one or two of them had read this wonderful series! So I'd like to try to convince you, and the rest of the Wenches, that you too will fall in love with Mercy and the gang, if you'll just give them a chance. Read more after the jump!









Oh Mercy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...


1) Mercy Thompson
I can't write a post about these books without talking about Mercy herself. She is so spunky, smart, brave, stubborn, tough ... the list of her attributes just goes on and on. After the first book, Moon Called, she had made it to the #3 spot on my list of favorite UF heroines. She bumped out Merit and Mac on her way up, leaving Sookie and Cat alone above her, although it's a close battle.

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Mercy is half Caucasian and half Native American. She is also a "walker", which means that she can turn into a coyote at will and is immune to several forms of magic. This makes for some interesting times for Mercy, as more and more of the supernatural population finds out about her immunities. She was also raised by werewolves.

The thing that appealed to me initially is that Mercy is very handy. She's a mechanic, so she knows her way around a shop and knows how to use tools. I am quite handy myself, so that instantly endeared Mercy to me. I like a girl who isn't totally dependent on a man to help her.

But, I think what I love most about Mercy is best described here:

“Don't try throwing this on Mercy, Uncle Mike. You knew she wouldn't leave it alone — especially if you told her to. Contrary is her middle name....”
~Samuel, Iron Kissed

That is my kind of girl. I am exactly the same way. I am absolutely the kind of person who will do something out of spite if someone tells me I shouldn't or can't. There are several times in these books when Mercy is advised not to do something, then either does it anyway or tries to do it and gets caught. But if whatever she has to do will get her or her loved ones out of trouble, she's doing it come hell or high water.

The other thing I love most about Mercy is her sense of humor. It's sarcastic, a little dark, and a little spiteful. When her neighbor, the delicious Adam Hauptman (who I'll get to in just a minute), complains about the broken-down car in her yard, she makes it worse. Any time he does something to make her angry, she pulls off a door, or a tire or something to make his view just a tad more annoying. She even goes so far as to spray paint his phone number under the words For a good time call across the hood.

If I lived in her world, I think Mercy and I would be fast friends. Assuming of course, the #2 reason that I love this series doesn't come between us....


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2) Adam Hauptman
I never thought anyone would surpass Alcide as my number 1 werewolf. But Adam really gave him a run for his money. Adam is the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, and Mercy's next-door neighbor. He is everything you'd want in a man. He's handsome, he's strong, he's intelligent, he's ex-military, and he now runs a security firm. He also knows how to treat a fiercely independent woman ... mostly. He shoulders a very large responsibility by accepting Mercy in his territory, when other Alphas would have run her out of town or killed her. And although Mercy knows part of what this means, it isn't until much later in the series that she finally realizes what he has been doing for her all along. It is this fierce loyalty and willingness to wait for her that really endears Adam to me. That aspect of his personality reminds of Bones, who is IMHO the perfect man. Before Mercy (and, therefore, the reader) gains this knowledge, Adam seems a little overbearing, almost Barrons-like.

But he does know when to rein in the protective instinct and let Mercy make her own choices, good or bad. His ability to do this, and Mercy's immunities to some forms of magic, allow two very different people to be together without killing each other.

3) The Columbia Basin Pack
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Mercy and Adam aren't the only interesting characters. There is a whole pack of werewolves to get to know and love also. Not all of the pack members are major players in these books, but those we see are outstanding!

Jesse, Adam's teen-aged daughter, isn't technically part of the pack, since she is human. But that doesn't stop the rest of the pack from treating her like one of their one. Jesse is a feisty little thing. She knows how to shoot, practices karate with Adam, and is wicked smart. She and Mercy team up frequently to make Adam's life just a little bit tougher. It was Jesse's idea to paint Adam's phone number on the junker in Mercy's yard. She also likes to cut and dye her hair into some unusual styles, just to needle Adam.

Mercy's BFF and Adam's third (meaning third most dominant) is Warren, a gay man/wolf who, many moons ago, was a cowboy. Warren is witty, tough, and resilient. He is also a good friend to Mercy, who can't say that about many people. His human partner, Kyle, is a high-powered divorce lawyer. Warren and Kyle have some trouble gaining acceptance in the pack, but because of Warren's dominance, and Adam and Mercy's protection, they manage to make things work without too much bloodshed.

Darryl is Adam's second in command. He is a PhD of half African American and half Chinese descent who works in some sort of top-secret, government job. He is not Mercy's biggest fan initially, but he and his mate, Aurielle, come around to support her eventually. Darryl is a worthy second and an all-around good man.

Then there is Ben. Ben starts off as quite an alienating character. He's a Brit who was kicked out of his London pack after they suspected him in a string of rapes. After some negotiation on Ben's part, Adam took him into the Columbia Basin pack. Ben comes off as a bit of a misogynist and woman-hater, but as we get to know him, those qualities are revealed to be a façade hiding a pretty good man underneath. Ben reminds me very much of Ian, from the Night Huntress series. He talks a good game, but as long as you don't cross him, he won't hurt you.

Honey, one of the only females in the pack, starts out as Mercy's mortal enemy. Honey is everything that Mercy isn't — always perfectly dressed in the latest high-end fashion, manicured, and made up like a model. But she is also one of the toughest wolves in the pack and a good fighter. Once she and Mercy overcome their superficial differences, they become friends.


4) The Rest of the Gang

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In addition to the pack, there are a whole host of other creatures in this world. There are other wolves, vampires, Fae of all varieties, witches, sorcerers, monsters, and humans. Some of these creatures fall into the villains category, but in this world even the villains are really interesting!

Most importantly, there is Samuel Cornick. Samuel was a member of the pack that Mercy was raised in. They used to be together when Mercy was a teenager. He is the pack leader's son. He is also very, very old, though he appears to be in his mid-to-late twenties. He is an extremely dominate wolf. Because of this, outside of his father's pack, he has a hard time fitting in, since he is a challenger to the throne for all other Alphas. This means he is mostly a lone wolf. Samuel is an ER doctor at the hospital near Mercy's house and, for most of the series, her roommate as well. Samuel's status as Mercy's roommate and former boyfriend causes a little bit of a love triangle with Adam throughout the earlier books in the series. I am leaving out a big part of Samuel's background, because I don't want to spoil it for any of you prudes out there. This piece of information has left me with very mixed feelings for Samuel. Normally, Samuel would be the prime candidate for my twisted, non-leading-man-loving heart. But this one bit of intel makes me want to keep Samuel firmly in the friends category. He is a great man and a great character, but there are some mistakes that can't be righted, no matter how much you try.

Bran Cornick, Samuel's father, is not only the head of his pack in Montana, he is the leader of all the wolves in America. Bran is a very interesting man. Like Samuel, he is very, very old — Mercy suspects he might be close to one thousand years old. That many years makes him a very wise and crafty man. Bran also has the rare ability to hide his power and his dominance if he prefers to remain unnoticed, which, combined with his youthful appearance, makes it easy for him to gather information and observe his surroundings unnoticed. We don't see much of Bran; most of the time, any interaction with him is over the phone. But what we do know about him makes me want to see more and more.

Stefan Uccello is a friend and client of Mercy's. He is also a vampire. If it's possible, Stefan is actually quite a humane vampire. He treats his "menagerie", his human food, quite well. And even though vampires are the reason for walkers being killed nearly to the point of extinction, he keeps what Mercy is a secret from the rest of the vampires in the Tri-Cities, which puts him at great risk. Stefan is a good friend to have in your corner, as he is quite a powerful vampire. He is very old and, unlike virtually all other vampires, is not beholden to his maker's commands. He sticks his neck out for Mercy more than once.


The most important Fae in Mercy's world is Zee, or Siebold Adelbertsmiter, Mercy's friend and mentor. He is also the one who gave her a job at his mechanic shop and helped her hone her skills. He then sold the shop to her when the Fae were forced to "come out" to the world. He is a Metallzauber, or a gremlin, as he calls himself. He can manipulate metal, making his career choice a wise one. Zee is a little grumpy, but he is in your corner as much as a Fae can be. He, too, helps Mercy out of several jams.

Gabriel Sandoval is Mercy's shop assistant/office manager. He started working at the shop as a way to pay off his mother's debt, after Mercy fixed her car. But he stayed on afterward so he could make some money to help his mother out and ogle Jesse. She returns the attraction, and they eventually fall pretty hard for each other. The only other human of importance, besides Warren's boyfriend Kyle, is Tony. He is a police-officer friend of Mercy's. He knows that Mercy isn't quite human, because she is the only one who sees, or rather smells, through his undercover disguises that supposedly fool his own mother.

5) The World
Tri-Cities Washington
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Patricia Briggs has cultivated one of the more interesting worlds to set her stories in. It comes from a very natural, old-world place. Mercy is a "walker", similar to the Native American skin walker legend. There are also Fae, based on fairy legends throughout the world — Native American, German, Scottish, Irish, Norwegian, and Russian to name a few. Even the werewolves talk about "the old country" and their descent from the Europeans.

We learn a lot about werewolf packs and pack magic. And, even though it's a decidedly patriarchal and slightly misogynistic society, I'd love to be a part of a pack. I'd love to have a place where I knew I'd always have support, protection, and friends.

The vampire world is a little different here as well. Instead of having sheriffs or houses, like other UF series, they have a seethe with a leader, and only the most powerful of her subjects can stand to live away from their leader. The Fae are very secretive, but because of Zee's friendship, Mercy learns more about the Fae than most. The "real world", the Tri-Cities area of Washington state, is vividly described also!

And these are the things I most love about the Mercy Thompson books. I hope I have convinced you to give them a shot! Mercy and her associates are quite the entertaining bunch. I breezed through all six books in around two weeks, and think they are definitely worth the read. The newest book, Frost Burned, is due out in March, so you don't have much time to catch up. If you'd like to get started, visit Ms. Briggs's website for sample chapters and a printable book list.

So, dear readers, did I convince you to become acquainted with Mercy? Or have you already made friends with Mercy, Adam, and the rest of the gang?


Comments

  1. I liked this series, but wasn't insta-love for me. It took a few books before I eventually fell in love, and I don't typically care for werewolf books.
    Adam is so yummy! He makes my heart sigh (especially in book 6!!!).

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  2. Darn it! I don't have time for a re-read right now, especially since I have this series on audio only. I cannot wait for Frost Burned in March.

    Have you read her Alpha & Omega series about Anna and Charles?

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    1. I've read those. I like them. Anna is an amazing character.
      And, Anna and Charles together... too cute. ;)

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    2. I have not read those! But, after reading these, they were definitely put on my To Be Read.

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    3. 'Alpha nad Omega Series' is set in Mercy's universe, only the time frame is a bit earlier. The story is closely connected to Bran' s pack and his son Charles, Samuel's brother. The first story is 'Cry wolf' in the 'On the prowl' anthology. ;)

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  3. I'm so glad you like this series. It's definitely one of my favorite. Mercy is in my top 5 favorite heroines too. Smart, independent, capable, strong, willful, passionate and kind. She's easy to relate to (if you disregard the supernatural context) :).


    I was also surprised that such a small number of wenches read these, but you and I will change that. Hopefully. ;)

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    1. I hope so. I think everyone would like them.

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  4. I like Mercy Thompson and her world, great post! It has been a long time since I read this series and this is a good reminder. I hope it will inspire many to read this delightful series.

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  5. I'm not too fond of werewolves books, but I think this series might be up my alley. Mercy is such a good girl, with such a pretty mouth (and loud, I guess) that I can't not put these books on my TBR list.
    Great post, Anne.

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  6. Mercy T is one of an exclusive club. Series that I read completely through. :) Also, I love Ben. Frost Burned soon!!

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