Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series: books 1 through 3

I’m just going to start with the first three books since there are a lot in the series so far. I’ll try to get through them eventually.

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…(book blurb – Goodreads)

This was probably my first kick-ass urban fantasy heroine series. I have to say that I’m really glad this was my first because I’ve tried a lot since then and with the exception of a few really good ones, they can tend to be duds. Briggs does the genre proud and thanks to her and Mercy, I’ve found a few other authors in this genre that I really like.

Mercy is a capable, interesting heroine with a huge heart and incredible courage. She’s immediately engaging. When the action really starts to happen (pretty early on) she lives up to the “kick ass” trope.

The world building is fascinating and it’s clear that Briggs put the time and effort into the little things. This is where many authors fall down. They get the broad strokes of a world, but they forget the minutia and the mundane that actually bring the world to life for the reader. This tiny little building blocks make a huge difference down the line and authors who forget them or just don’t care about them often run into trouble.

The Mercy Thompson series is populated with intriguing and fun characters that drew me in right away. And the males are hawt. Shoooo. Adam? Gimme.

But I digress. This is not a romance novel. This is urban fantasy with a romantic thread. You get hints of romantic interest in this book, but that thread is not the main concern in the story. And even though some characters have a “hotness factor” it doesn’t mean they’re cardboard cutouts. There’s depth and there’s story and world development. It all comes together to make a satisfying read.

Most of my friends have already read this series if they like urban fantasy so I’m not telling them anything new. But those who are interested should seriously jump in.

I’m giving it four beans. Why not five? Why the missing bean? Because the culmination of the mystery is kind of … “what the? … really? … he couldn’t think of any other way to accomplish that? … seriously?” It’s fairly convoluted and, ultimately, contrived. But everything up until then is so well crafted that it’s still a joy.

Rating: 30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg30 photo bbf17e9d-3786-47c6-aaa8-2056ad082597_zpsp5dtihlf.jpg

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Rip Van Winkle Returns!

Well. I intended to maintain this blog regularly, but I disappeared late in 2015. Why? Well, no details, but I experienced some very messed up stuff and I took about a year off from life. So now, a year and a few months later, I’m back to blog again.

Anything to report on my reading efforts in 2016? Well,  I did some re-reading because that’s my comfort zone and I needed it, but I discovered a couple of very good writers in that time as well.

First plug is Grace Draven. She’s a fantasy romance novelist who seems to be completely indy published. I absolutely adore her writing. I’ve read her whole backlist now so she’ll be in the reread pile, but I’m anxious for the next book from her. I just love the way she puts together a story and builds a world. She pulls me in and makes it all very real. I try to savor her books, but I find myself compelled to get back to them whenever I have to put them down. I’ll do some more detailed reviews of the individual books soon.

Second plug is Santino Hassell. He didn’t wrap me around his little finger the way Draven did, but I am really impressed with his writing. He writes M/M contemporary and it’s gritty and emotional and engaging. With the exception of one couple in his Five Boroughs series I found his pairings to be organic and satisfying. The first book in the series, “Sutphin Boulevard”, was a really powerful read.

I’ll try to add some reviews tomorrow and maybe some more commentary. With life being a weird new normal for me, I never know how I’m going to approach things from day to day. Sounds exciting, right? Well … we’ll see.

And with that, I leave you with a photo of my vision of Adam Hauptman from Patricia Briggs’ “Mercy Thompson” series. I’ve always had a hard time picturing Adam, but I finally found the photo that works for me. It’s Tom Hardy. I’ll probably choose him for multiple male roles in the future, but his first casting in the Beanbag Bookbag is Adam.

And on that note … goodnight. Sweet dreams!  photo d29c1cc4-c064-4c77-a13d-c4eb4bb55603_zpsxyqt7mxa.jpg