Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson, Book 7

Big thanks to my library for having the entire series and not even batting an eye when I checked out the whole thing.

Because this series isn't exactly new, even though it's current, I hadn't planned on reviewing all the books because I felt like sooooo many people had already read them, and I was so late to the party, that I didn't need to. The series, as a whole, is really lacking a lot for me. My biggest problem is our heroine, Mercedes Athena Thompson. She's a coyote walker who was raised by a pack of werewolves and can talk to ghosts. She's married to an alpha wolf, become friends with a vampire and fae, and has to fight for her miserable life in every single book and get saved every single time.

Why is Mercy my biggest problem? Because she's weak. I love it when things are different but I'm hard on female lead paranormals because I feel like the heroine should be kick ass. I look at Jane Yellowrock, Damali Richards, and even that annoying little thing Jayne Heller and basically compare everything to them. They set the standard for how kick ass a female is and Mercy can't even come close. I do, however, think the author was smart. She crafted a heroine that was weak in body but strong at heart. That don't work for me, though. Every single time she has to be saved by someone. Generally, it's a guy, because in this series, female wolves are few and far between ... And the ones they do have, they don't like Mercy because she's a coyote and not a wolf.

This last book, Frost Burned, was definitely a favorite. At one point I was thinking that their was so much going on ... It was like Explosion! And then death! And then eating! And then ROAR! And it was awesome! Why couldn't the rest of the series be this kick ass?

We'll start off with Adam's entire pack being virtually kidnapped. Now Mercy has to get Jesse, Gabriel, and his family to safety while saving Kyle, nursing Ben, trying not to get assassinated, and breaking the ties this special vampire has made with dead folks during a fight involving Marsilia. See? So much crap is going on! This one is a nonstop ride and worth sticking through the series for. But still ... The problem is Mercy. No one else. She's just a human woman who does a neat trick. She doesn't get super strength or anything and that's why she can't save herself. She's a 30 pound coyote vs. everything else that can kill her in half a blink. It is boggling my mind. But it took 6 books in for this to be decent. Silver Borne was good but not great and River Marked sucked so hard. Now that this one was good, I wonder how the rest of the series will fare as Briggs writes it. Yes, I'll get the next one just because I know everyone so well but I really freaking hope Mercy gets her ish together.

4 Stars
IR: Everywhere

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you proved why she is so awesome by lamenting her lack of physical awesomeness. Briggs created a real person with real limitations, as opposed to a Mary Sue who should be powerful "just because."

    Based on this, it sounds like you think a female isn't worth writing about if she isn't a physical powerhouse. Granted, I think you are 100% right when it comes to mercy constantly being saved by men. Considering there are quite a few powerful female shifter, vampire, fae, and witch characters, I'm sure Briggs could have written at least one instance where Mercy is saved by a kickass female.

    However, it doesn't change the fact that Mercy would have needed to be saved. Based on that, I think its accurate that she pretty gets her ass kicked in every book. i would be severely disappointed if she managed to pull a miracle out of her ass in every troublesome sitation. Instead, she has to work for every success and the reader is right there with her while she does it.

    Likewise, I think this series reaffirms two very important things. As women, we're often mistaken and/or misinformed about physical violence and its consequences. I like that Briggs doesn't bullshit about the consequences to jumping head first into violence and chaos, and that our vaginas don't make us exempt to beatdowns.

    Second, I think its important to reaffirm that even those who inferior resources at their disposal have the right and might to be heroes. Its amazing that a person (whether real or imaginary) can choose, over and over, to delve into chaos, knowing their own limitations and that harm could easily come to them. As a Black American, this concept is repeatedly embodied in the history of my people and its shown itself to be quite a gamechanger.