Frost Burned (Mercy Thompson, Book 7)
by Patricia Briggs
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ace Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441020010
Date: 05 March 2013 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
It's Black Friday and Mercy Thompson and her stepdaughter, Jesse, are hunting bargains. Jesse has a list and a game plan. Mercy hates shopping. There's only so much you can stand before you break and Mercy was almost there, and that's when they had the car accident. Mercy wasn't sure what happened. Traffic was stop and go and she just ran into the car in front of her. At least it ended their shopping spree and they could now go home as soon as the police reports were all taken and she got someone to give them a ride home. But, no one answered the phone.
The werewolves had recently come out to the world. Adam Hauptman was the public face of the werewolves as a business man specializing in security systems. Some people didn't like having werewolves living among them. The problem was identifying which of the many hate groups had taken Adam and the pack.
The point of view switches from Mercy to Adam and the tension ramps up very quickly. There's hardly a breather between one crisis and the next. Some issues that have been on the back burner for several books rear up and must be dealt with head on.
Briggs manages to keep the action going and the tension high, but still pull readers into the emotional turmoil of the characters. Bad things are happening to characters that readers have come to care about. Mercy finds herself trying to hold the few members of the pack that didn't get scooped up together while their alpha and their pack members are in turmoil. She also needs to safe guard those who are associated with the pack because it looks like friends of werewolves are on the hit list too.
Frost Burned has the feel of an action adventure with political overtones but it also seems to be ramping up toward a big finish. As the various groups are announcing themselves to the world, a whole new level of discrimination is coming to the fore as people fear what they don't understand. Of course, there are always those who enjoy flaming the fires of fear and insecurity. This is a continuation of the discontent with unfair treatment of the supernatural community that saw the Fae pull back from the world and wall themselves off.
There's a great story here of family, friendship, and love. Beyond that there's the issues of discrimination and racism -- or should I say species-ism -- as humanity tries to deal with learning that creatures from legend walk among them, work with them, and live next door.
You could read this as a stand-alone novel but having read previous books would give you a better grounding in the relationships between the characters and the politics of the world in which they live.