by Patricia Briggs
There are a lot of girl-vampire-werewolf series out there, with a wide range regarding quality. Frost Burned is the most recent book in one of those series, that started out excellent, backslide into generic, but has managed to recover.
This is the tenth* book set in this particular universe, the seventh that follows the character Mercy Thompson, and I was impressed. The first few books in this series (Moon Called, Blood Bound, and Iron Kissed) are the best ones, while some of the most recent ones (Bone Crossed and River Marked) have felt rather bland, like Briggs was forced to write them in order to fulfill a contract, without having any particular plan or goal with them. In Frost Burned, Briggs is back with energy and interest.
I’m guessing it’s due to the major happening that concluded her most recent book set in this universe, but following a different set of characters. The Alpha and Omega series only has three books so far (Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground, and Fair Game) and these keep on getting better. The end of Fair Game was so spectacular, in fact, it drew me back into reading the Mercy Thompson series, just so that I could see what happens next in this universe.
And, without giving any spoilers: there is definitely a lot of fall-out.
I’m very excited about Briggs revamping (hee: re-VAMPing!) this universe, and think it was probably pretty important that she started alternating which series she was writing, so she could approach the characters with excitement rather than getting bored with them. However, I’m not entirely sure how readable any of her books are, at this point, without going back and reading the earlier ones.
Frost Burned did a pretty good job of filling in the blanks for what happened before, but it was enough that I think I need to go back and read the earlier Mercy Thompson book that I skipped entirely (Silver Borne).
Although, if you want to jump into this universe without having read any of the previous books, I would start out with Fair Game, just because it was a good book, delightful characters, the climax/epilog is really spectacular, and it sets up a whole new situation that is going to continue percolating through any future books in this universe.
* Or eleventh, if you count a novella in an anthology. Or fourteen, if you count short stories in anthologies.
Sounds good. Would agree that alternating has probably done them good. Other authors with long series often have two series which they alternate. It makes sense I think. Once you finish one story you rarely have the energy the willpower to immediately start another with the same characters. The will for something new is strong.
Yeah, even as a reader, I don’t generally read a whole series all at once. For a writer, who has to be so immersed in each book, it’s probably important to take a break, take stock, and make a fresh approach every so often.
I”m on the wait list at the library for this one, and I am checking almost every day. I know these are trashy, and I agree the last few were so-so, but I love the series and am excited to hear that this one is good.
🙂 And I finally picked up Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore from the library yesterday, working my way through a 38-person list.
I just finished it! I’m just picking up Rebecca’s left-overs, reading Frost Burned after she finished, and I’ll get the 24-Hour Bookstore once she’s done, too.
I liked it, and agree with Rebecca that it is better than the last few ones, but I didn’t love it. I feel like really well organized books have all the various action scenes clearly move the plot forward so that every scene seems really purposeful, and this book didn’t so much, to the point that I would periodically forgot what the main conflict was about, even.
Rebecca and I had a discussion over whether this was done intentionally because the characters themselves were getting hit from all sides and so were feeling unbalanced a lot of the time, but I thought if that was the case, Briggs could have made that writing style more overt.