Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Silver Borne [Mercedes Thompson] by Patricia Briggs
This is book 5 in a series of books and I've not read any of the others so I'm not coming from the position of being a fan and some people might even wonder why I'm even bothering to try to pick up in the middle or even far end of something. The good news is that this stands well alone and there is plenty of information to bring a reader up to speed enough to understand this novel. I've no idea yet whether there's enough to understand the series, but it was a pretty fair read and since my usual genre reading doesn't touch much on Fae, Faries; and Shape-shifters; and werewolves; and witches. I don't come in with a whole bunch of baggage and expectations of what it means to be great urban fantasy.
I have read some of the samples of the first books and was already interested in this shape-shifting mechanic with an odd assortment of friends. While I was putting together a packet of paper books to have delivered to me, I was touched by a note that indicated I could get this bound edition for much less than an e-book or trade paper edition so I decided to give it a try before realizing that it was number 5 in the series. It sat with several others on my desk in a neat stack waiting patiently always trying to push itself to the top of the stack.
When I started reading it; it was much the same as the samples; with a sort of smooth story telling style that sucked me into the world of Mercedes Thompson. It didn't take long to find that she was owner of a specialty repair shop for imports and had a helper, Gabriel, who seemed quite normal and a few other helpers that seemed a bit more than what they appear. She also has access to Zee, the former repair shop owner, who stops by now and then to help bring wrecks back from the brink of death; sometimes he does this by way of his Fae Magic. Mercy has a bit of magic of her own; or at least she has a cane that follows her around and appears and disappears at the most opportune of moments. She has other magic friends and one of those has lent her an old book of Fae written by a Fae and this is what starts the story as she gets a call from a relative of the book owner, who gives her a strange message from Phineas Brewster about the book. When she attempts to return the book she finds that Phin might be missing and that begins a small mystery.
A more important aspect of this story is that Mercy is a coyote shape-shifter and her boyfriend Adam is a Werewolf and that relationship makes her a part of the pack: because Adam is the Alpha. There are pack members who are not happy with this and it creates a tension and subplot in the story that eventually converges with the main plot. Mercy lives in a motor home with a Werewolf roommate who has no pack and seems to be a long acquaintance; and though there are none apparent in this novel she has a few vampire connections, which show up as part of the contention between her and the Pack. Samuel the Werewolf roommate has his own subplot that also will converge with the main plot.
When someone mistakes Samuel's wolf for Adam’s and tries to collect an inexplicable bounty, someone has deadly intent, and Mercy eventually comes to the conclusion that the real target was her; and then begins the search for the reason that someone is trying to kill her.
To say that this has everything that a fan of Urban Fantasy could want would be a bit high handed of me since it's not my usual genre. But it has plenty enough for me with some tight writing and interesting plotting. The action and pace were good, though not the usual high octane stuff I see in today’s fiction; it was balanced well and kept the tension at the right amount in the right moment so it passes my test; but I'm not a great fan of the usual blood and gut carnage that seems to follow some of this genre.
Great urban fantasy in my limited opinion and well told story that might keep a few SFF fans happy.
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