Where the wild things are…

Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5; Mercy Thompson World - Complete, #15)Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Not much to add to my first review. The famous conversation came out of the blue and did not sit well with the rest of the story. So I am really looking forward to finding out if this topic will get a lot more coverage in the next Mercy novel coming out this month. Why else even stick it in there, as it was never mentioned in any of the many previous books.
This time around I did not know who the bad guy was and really only clocked on in the last moment. The story didn‘t keep me up at night, but it was good. I liked the look at the various wildlings and loved the altercation with the vikings. Fun!
Onwards to the last book of my re-read!

P.S.: Forgot about that playlist down there. This book is the reason I started to actually listen to Dolly Parton. I recently watched a documentary about her on Netflix. Turns out she is not the dumb, enhanced bimbo she looks like! Why do women do that to themselves? I will never understand that…

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Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:(view spoiler)
– Next: Storm Cursed, ★★★★★, Mercy #11
– Next: Smoke Bitten, pub date March 2020, Mercy #12

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
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First read in 2018: ★★★★☆

Very early in the book there is a brief conversation between Charles and Anna, that upset some of my goodreads friends quite a bit. It might cause them to stop reading this series and also Mercy Thompson. I was surprised when I read that conversation, mulled it over a little, but was not massively perturbed by it. It might or might not be a plot bunny for later books, we shall see.

Unfortunately the comment thread of that review had spoiled me by revealing who the traitor in this story is. That obviously took some of the suspense out of the story.

The plot as such was pretty straight forward and simple, the action was good, we get a deeper look into Anna‘s ever developing skills with her gift. Leah gets some page time that helps to make her a more interesting character. I liked it, solid addition to the series.

Playlist:
Johnny Cash, Hurt
Bobby Dylan, Knockin‘ On Heaven‘s Door
Waylon Jennings, I‘ve Always Been Crazy
Johnny Cash, Personal Jesus
Patsy Cline, Crazy
Dolly Parton, The Company You Keep

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Another evil fae-thing

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

dead heat—a competition in which two or more competitors finish at exactly the same time or with exactly the same result

I enjoyed it. It was nice to meet Leslie again. I learned something about horses. The evil fae was a bit dull in the end. Although the battle was good. The drama with Maggie was a little tiresome. Charles with kids is cute.

Playlist:
“Froggy Went a-Courtin’” — https://youtu.be/ElIZNKklPR4
A frog went a-courtin’ and he did ride, M-hm, M-hm.
A frog went a-courtin’ and he did ride,
Sword and pistol by his side, M-hm, M-hm.

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Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:(view spoiler)
– Next: Night Broken, ★★★★☆, Mercy #8
– Next: Fire Touched, ★★★★★, Mercy #9
– Next: Silence Fallen, ★★★★★, Mercy #10
– Next: Burn Bright, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #5
– Next: Storm Cursed, ★★★★★, Mercy #11
– Next: Smoke Bitten, pub date March 2020, Mercy #12

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
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First read in 2015: ★★★★★

Now, ladies and gentlemen, this is a book with a plot! Interesting things happen in every chapter.

And all of the characters, even the small ones on the side, have personalities and come to life right off the page. Even the horses.

It is vivid, it is fun, it is a little too sappy and sweet at times, it has tension, scary wolves and even scarier fae. Great stuff. This is actually a lot better than the last Mercy Thompson book I read.

Excellent.

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Frost didn‘t burn, actually…

Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, #7)Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Who needs a slow build-up? Let’s just jump into the middle of that crisis in the first chapter…”

That‘s what I wrote in an update during my first read and it holds true. This story starts in the middle of the action and keeps going. Good tension and build-up, none of the issues I mentioned below in my first review.
Yes, getting a bit fed-up with the bitchy bitches in Mercy‘s pack. But the drama is bearable. I did enjoy the parts written from Adam‘s POV and the expansion of Tad‘s character. I would like it, if Briggs took a deeper look at Mercy‘s abilities and how to expand and make them play a bigger part.
Yes, again, almost no recollection of the storyline. Besides the parts with Zee, I remembered zilch.

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Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:(view spoiler)
– Next: Dead Heat, ★★★★★, Alpha & Omega #4
– Next: Night Broken, ★★★★☆, Mercy #8
– Next: Fire Touched, ★★★★★, Mercy #9
– Next: Silence Fallen, ★★★★★, Mercy #10
– Next: Burn Bright, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #5
– Next: Storm Cursed, ★★★★★, Mercy #11
– Next: Smoke Bitten, pub date March 2020, Mercy #12

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
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First read in 2013:

I liked the POV switching to Adam, the ghosts added a nice little extra, too. The Mercedes (the car, not our heroine) had me cracking up.
I took some smaller breaks in between and had problems keeping some of the characters straight, but that might have been me. Took me a bit to get back into it, the gap between this and the last book feels huge.
After reading Eileen Wilks I have to say I like the dynamic of her werewolf packs much better. The female werewolves here are so bitchy. Perhaps because they are bitches, literally… 😉

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Trouble in Boston…

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3)Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charles is suffering in his role as his father‘s enforcer, killer of wayward werewolves and all around bogeyman. Anna has a cunning plan. There is a serial killer in Boston and the FBI ask for help. Anna takes the opportunity to do just that, to get Charles out of his rut and help him to get better.

This time around this is more of a police procedural and we even get a new POV from Leslie, an FBI agent they work with. And there are fae and stupid humans.

I enjoyed this one! And I still don‘t remember any of the plots…

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Reading order and progress of my chronological Mercyverse re-read:
Moon Called, ★★★★★, Mercy #1
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the same…
Alpha & Omega, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #0.5
Cry Wolf, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #1
Hunting Ground, ★★★★☆, Alpha & Omega #2
Blood Bound, ★★★★★, Mercy #2
Iron Kissed, ★★★★★, Mercy #3
Bone Crossed, ★★★★★, Mercy #4
Silver Borne, ★★★½☆, Mercy #5,
River Marked, ★★★★☆, Mercy #6
Fair Game, ★★★★★, Alpha & Omega #3
– Next: Frost Burned, Mercy #7

Complete time-line for the “Mercyverse”, including the short stories:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…
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First read in 2011:

This is the third book in the Alpha & Omega series, if you don’t count a short story published in the anthology On the Prowl. It is set before the actual series and introduces the two main characters, Anna and Charles. You don’t have to read it to understand the series, but I certainly liked the background it gave me.

Alpha & Omega sometimes crosses paths with Briggs’ other series, centering around werewolf Mercedes Thompson (First book: Moon Called). Some of the characters in her universe appear in both series. For maximum enjoyment I would suggest reading Mercy Thompson first, at least the first few books and in order, before you branch out to Alpha & Omega. That way you get to know all the characters and understand the dynamics of her world much better. Plus Mercy Thompson is a lot of fun!

Right, so Fair Game! Good plot, lots of suspense, well drawn characters. I guessed pretty early on who the bad guy was, but that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story (much). Very good, still going strong and I’m looking forward to the next book.

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Howling mad

Full Moon CityFull Moon City by Martin H. Greenberg
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“The children of the night. What music they make.“

“I Was a Middle-Age Werewolf”, Ron Goulart, ★★★★★
Hollywood. My kind of humour. Funny. I am envisioning Michael Douglas in the lead and Alan Arkin as Hersh, aka The Kominsky Method with werewolves.

“Kitty Learns the Ropes”, Carrie Vaughn, ★★★★☆
This story is most likely the reason I got this anthology five years ago. Well, Carrie Vaughn can write, she‘s proven that often enough. This was easy to read , especially because I have read the whole Kitty Norville series and it‘s one of my favourite UF series. Maybe it is time for a re-read.

“The Bitch”, P. D. Cacek, ★★★★☆
Story about a bothersome and creepy ex-lover. Oh, that was unexpected! How fun! I am a big fan of doing something differently and this surprised me. Checked out the author, did not see anything that grabbed me.

“La Lune T’attend”, Peter S. Beagle, ★★★★☆
Good world-building and character development. I liked the setting. It felt like a much longer story through what it conveyed. Sad, but powerful ending.

“The Aarne-Thompson Classification Revue “, Holly Black, ★★★★☆
Third person present tense, urgh. I don‘t like it. Never mind. We are auditioning for a musical!

“Being a werewolf is like being Clark Kent, except that when you go into the phone booth, you can‘t control what comes out.“

Sweet, a little sad, made me smile. What a werewolf girl wants. Good! Checked out the author, all YA—not my genre…

“Kvetchula’s Daughter”, Darrell Schweitzer, ★★★¾☆
Jiddish vampires in New York. Lots of kvetching. Mildly amusing. Where are the werewolves, you ask? Oy vey.

“The Bank Job”, Gregory Frost, ★★★¾☆
Well-written, good story. Good pacing, nice level of suspense. Fairly predictable. Will check out the author.

“A Most Unusual Greyhound”, a Harry the Book Story, Mike Resnick, ★★★½☆
Amusing. What is a werewolf to do to make some money? Slightly odd tense and grammar in general. Possibly on purpose, but it threw me off.

“Sea Warg”, Tanith Lee, ★★★☆☆
“Now the boats put off from the west end of Sandbourne, or at least they did so when the rest of Europe allowed it.“
What did we do? Did Brexit start in 2010 and I missed it?”

I could swear I read some novels written by her, but for the life of me can‘t recall their titles or plot. I only found a short story collection I DNFd.

Hm, interesting. Hadn‘t expected that ending. Well, that was mean. And Johnson is a very creepy character.

“And Bob’s Your Uncle”, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, ★★★☆☆
Sad boy meets mysterious, but cute black dog. Promising beginning, but didn‘t turn into much.

“The Truth About Werewolves”, Lisa Tuttle, ★★¾☆☆
Unusual take on werewolves. I disliked the female MC for her dishonesty. She felt like a hypocrite to me, especially after disrespecting the Chihuahua woman for „shopping“ and then doing the exact same thing.

“Weredog of Bucharest”, Ian Watson, ★★☆☆☆
A murder investigation and a crime writer observing. Ponderous, overly explanatory, superfluous details. The author seemed very eager to show us little details of Romanian life, perhaps trying to create atmosphere? Unsatisfying, with a lame ending.

“Innocent”, Gene Wolfe, ★☆☆☆☆
Weird. Guy in prison tells a priest about his life. The story only consists of his side of a dialogue.

“No Children, No Pets”, Esther M. Friesner, ★☆☆☆☆
Another odd one, about a werewolf child of six living in Central Park. Humorous writing, I suppose. Not my thing.

“Country Mothers’ Sons”, Holly Phillips, ★☆☆☆☆
When I started, the slow moving, very descriptive prose had me interested. It never went anywhere though and I lost that little spark. Suggestive, but ultimately pointless.

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The moon called again

Moon Called (Mercedes Thompson, #1)Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

‘His eyes lit for a minute. ‘Mercedes the Volkswagen mechanic?’ His face closed down quickly, and he mumbled, ‘Sorry. Bet you’ve heard that a lot.’‘

It‘s been over 10 years since I read this for the first time. It is a good reminder of all the little details I forgot. Hair colours, eye colours, who is who, who did what when and why…

Never mind not remembering the actual plot. At all. The resolution of the whodunnit at the end revealed a pretty convoluted plot.

Still liked it after all this time.

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Chronological reading order for my Mercyverse re-read:
(1st time readers should start with Moon Called)
– Silver, novella, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson, might read later.

Homecoming
, comic, ★☆☆☆☆, skipping
– Gray, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Fairy Gifts, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows
– Seeing eye, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows

Moon Called
, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel
extra
Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson: Moon Called Vol. 1
, ★★★☆☆, comic adaptation of the beginning of the first Mercy Thompson novel.

Alpha & Omega
, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off

Cry Wolf
, ★★★★☆, first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series
Hunting Ground, second novel in the Alpha and Omega series, next… and with this I am back on track in the correct reading order.

Time-line for the “Mercyverse”:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…

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Original review from the 1st read in 2007:

How refreshing, the shapeshifting heroine is not a werewolf for a change, but a coyote! And she’s almost a normal girl from next door with her job as a car mechanic. Ok, so the guy who fancies her is the alpha of the local werewolves and her old boss is a gremlin. And that other bloke that keeps coming over is a vampire…. Life is not perfect. But cheeck-in tongue and a page turner with Mercy Thompson. First in the series.

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Crying wolf three times…

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn‘t find Anna as whiny as during my last re-read. I did pay more attention to Bran, Leah and Asil this time around. Satisfying read.

I have been wanting to re-read this series for a while. So here it goes. We‘ll see how far I‘ll actually get. Skipping stuff, as the mood strikes me.

Chronological reading order: (1st time readers should start with Moon Called)
– Silver, novella, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
Homecoming, comic, ★☆☆☆☆
– Gray, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
– Fairy Gifts, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
– Seeing eye, short, not read, part of Shifting Shadows: Stories From the World of Mercy Thompson
Moon Called, ★★★★★, 1st Mercy novel, re-reading next.
Alpha & Omega, ★★★★☆, novella, start of the Alpha & Omega spin-off, re-read in January 2020
Cry Wolf, ★★★★☆, first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series, re-read in January 2020
– …

Time-line for the “Mercyverse”:
http://www.patriciabriggs.com/books/t…

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Re-read July 2017:

“I was never afraid of monsters until I became one. Now I’m afraid of my own shadow.”

Anna is a little whiney in this one. I know that some people get put off by that. But she is not really a special snowflake, she comes into her own eventually and it’s done in a convincing way.

I think to appreciate the story best, reading the Alpha & Omega prequel is a good choice. It moves on from the pretty smoothly.

Entertaining, good action scenes, good characterizations. And it fleshes out the world of Mercy Thompson quite nicely.

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First read in 201o:

This series is a spin-off of the Mercy Thompson books. The first one is set back in Aspen Creek and centres around Charles Cornick and his new mate Anna. I was hesitant at first if it would be as good as the Mercy books, so it sat on my shelf for a while. But it is really good, I’ve had a lot of fun, it actually kept me up half way through the night.

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