Book Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

May 31, 2019 Book Reviews 2

Book Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
Series: ,
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Cozy, Mystery
on May 7, 2019
Pages: 368
Format: Hardcover
Source: the library

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Also by this author: Night Broken, Dead Heat, Bone Crossed, River Marked, Hunting Ground, Iron Kissed, Cry Wolf, Fire Touched, Moon Called, Silence Fallen, Burn Bright

Eleventh in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series (and sixteenth in the overall Mercyverse) revolving around a VW mechanic who shapeshifts into a coyote. It’s been a little over three years since Moon Called, 1. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the Mercyverse books on my website.

My Take

Mercy has re-opened her garage!

I enjoyed Storm Cursed, even though it feels more like a bridge story, prepping us for the next arc of activity in the series. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of important reveals in here from Sherwood to that contract “issue” to Larry’s secrets, the Love Talkers and William Frost from Frost Burned, Elizaveta’s activities, Mercy’s compulsion issues with Stefan and what she suspects about Wulf (some fascinating back history here!), and more. You cannot miss this!

“A blackmailed monster is just what I’d want guarding my back.”

And as always, good triumphs over evil, lol, in spite of government suspicion.
I do love the pack’s enjoyment of Instant Spoils: The Dread Pirate’s Booty Four, a.k.a., ISTDPB4, and even more, I have to crack up at Mercy’s idea of punishment for some of the werewolves. I gotta say that the Mercy Thompson series is a fascinating blend of characters, action, and humor — and Mercy’s and Mary Jo’s rueful thoughts on following Larry’s orders do raise some good questions!

It’s first person protagonist point-of-view that keeps us informed of Mercy’s thoughts, actions, and dialogue. I particularly enjoyed her “mention” of that twist Briggs has taken on the werewolves. They’re heroes now, and Mercy has noticed what it’s done for morale as well as police relations. Mary Jo also has a growth spurt, and about time.

As for Mercy’s thoughts about Adam, yep, ladies, take notes on part of what you want in a man (or men, what to look for in a woman!): intelligence, caring, honesty, good temper, honor, a sense of humor, and protective. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that [s]he’s gorgeous, lol.

It’s a neverending round of zombie roundups, a murdering goblin, kidnappings, traps, and dealing with the feds…eek…lol.

Ruth’s implication about all [and only] Christians being moral people…pshaw…they’re as moral as any other group…nothing special about Christians, with good people and bad people in any group.

Hmmm, who is that “she” the naughty goblin mentions?

The “nudge” runs rampant throughout, lol…

And Tad grows up in Mercy’s eyes.

The Story

The US government and the Gray Lords are dickering over a conference they each want. One that will create an agreement between them and the fae, bringing peace to both sides.

It’s a storm of zombie distractions, curses…dang, if only Mercy hadn’t made that declaration on the Cable Bridge that the pack would protect any and all supernaturals as well as the humans living in the Columbia Basin area!

It’s made the area…so much more interesting to a wide range of supes and fae.

The Characters

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson Hauptman (with her degree in history) is a VW mechanic who can shift into a walker, a coyote, and sees ghosts. She’s married to her mate, Adam Hauptman, whose nom de guerre is Captain Wolf Larsen. He’s also a werewolf and the pack Alpha. His human side owns a successful security firm, Hauptman Securities, that specializes in hush-hush government contracts. Jesse is Adam’s daughter who lives with them. The werewolf-lovin’ Medea is Mercy’s cat. Mercy is also a descendant of Coyote, one of the avatars of the First People. Gary Laughingdog is Mercy’s half-brother, also a coyote shifter. Mercy’s stepfather is a dentist.

The Fae
Tad is Zee’s son, half-fae and half-human, with some almighty powers. When home, he works with Mercedes in her shop. His father — Zee, a.k.a., Siebold Adelbertsmiter, a.k.a., the Dark Smith of Drontheim, an ancient metalsmith fae — is the one who sold the garage to Mercy.

Uncle Mike is a green man who has re-opened his bar, a local fae hangout that is now open to all. Kinsey is a hobgoblin who works at the bar. Beauclaire is one of the Gray Lords with whom Mercy and Charles have had quite a bit of contact.

The Columbia Basin Pack is…
…based in the Tri-Cities in Washington state. Adam’s second-in-command is Darryl Zao, a brilliant scientist, who’s mated to Auriele Zao, a chemistry teacher who terrifies her students and whose nom de guerre is Lady Mockingbird. Warren Smith is gay, Adam’s third-in-command, and a private investigator; Kyle Brooks, a very successful lawyer, is his human partner. Mary Jo is a firefighter who hugely dislikes Mercy. Ben Shaw is a foul-mouthed Englishman who fled England and is brilliant on computers. Zack Drummond is their lone submissive wolf who rooms with Warren and Kyle. He and Sherwood Post, a one-legged wolf, are both quite skilled with a blade. Sherwood is adopting a cat, Pirate. Honey Jorgenson. George is a cop in Pasco. Paul (he spent ten years with a SWAT unit back east) hates Mercy and has recently gotten divorced. Luke is one of the pack employees?? with Hauptman Securities; Libby is Luke’s wife, and they have a baby. Kelly works at a nursery and moonlights for Hauptman Securities; Hannah is his wife, and they have four children under twelve, including Makaya.

Joel Arocha is a tibicena, a creature born in a volcano, who usually appears as a large presa Canario (Night Broken, 8). Lucia is his wife who is now working as an accountant for the pack. Cookie had been the Arochas’ rescue dog. Aiden is the Hauptmans’ fire-wielding almost-ward who can help Joel control himself.

Christy is Adam’s bitchy, selfish, trouble-making first wife and Jesse’s mother.

The Russian Elizaveta Arkadyevna Vyshnevetskaya of house Kikikora is a gray witch who adores Adam and is on retainer with the pack. Adam considers her family. She’s still in Europe in talks with Iacapo “Jacob” Bonarata, Marsilia’s maker, the Lord of Night, and ruler of the European vampires. There are fourteen members of her family, including Militza, Robert’s daughter, who went to the same school as Jesse. Even Robert, Elizaveta’s grandson, had been recently alive…if unrecognizable.

The Mistress of the local seethe is…
Marsilia, who can teleport. Lilly is the gifted but brain-damaged vampire no one trusts. Wulfe, a.k.a., the Wizard, is Marsilia’s second-in-command, a witchborn, and a whacked-out nutjob with a seriously impaired sense of humor.

Stefan “Soldier” Ucello is no longer one of Marsilia’s since Bone Crossed, 4, and is a friend of Mercy’s. He drives a Scooby Doo Mystery Machine! He can also teleport. His sheep include Rachel.

Thomas Hao is the Master of San Francisco.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Alexander “Renny” Renton is Mary Jo’s ex-boyfriend. Captain Allen is his boss. Carter is a co-worker.

Aspen, Montana, is…
…the location of Bran Cornick, the Marrok who is witchborn, the Alpha of the Alphas, who loves and protects Mercy. Charles Cornick is Bran’s youngest son. Bryan had been Mercy’s foster father. Abraham Lessing had been a London werewolf who disappeared a couple of hundred years ago.

The goblins
Larry (he can sense important events in time) is the goblin king who recently moved to the Tri-Cities…it’s getting interesting here. This particular killer is the “first of thirty”.

Mesa is…
…where the anti-fae, anti-werewolf, Bright Future farmer, Keith Traeger, has a barn whose son, Jack, works in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Benton City is…
…another satellite town of the Tri-Cities where Arnoldo Salas, a former Marine, and his wife have a farm where their young son, Santiago, raises miniature goats. Porter is a friend of Arnoldo’s from the Marines, but I don’t think he’s the same one who’s on the porch.

Their sheriff’s department includes Fedders who is a hostile deputy. Jimmy is a friendlier one. Captain Gonzales will have to explain the uselessness of antagonism.

The US government
General Gerald Piotrowski, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is not a friend of Adam’s. Jake Campbell is the Republican Senate majority whip (Frost Burned, 7) who is the poster boy for the anti-fae groups. Tory Abbot is his too talkative assistant. Ruth Gillman is Campbell’s personal assistant; she has a wife. Bob, an engineer, is Campbell’s younger brother; he and his wife, Sharon, are renovating a house for when they retire.

Ford is Rankin’s man. Rankin is one of the idiot Democrats on the House committee on fae and supernatural affairs, a.k.a., the Tinker Bell committee. Ford had also been dating Stephanie, Campbell’s youngest daughter. Along with Rankin, there’s the idiotic Ms Pepperidge from Alabama. Judd Spielman is a Secret Service agent.

The Love Talkers are…
…a bloodline of black witches, the Hardestys who invade the Tri-Cities, intending to take over. The Hardestys believe Magda Fischer may be as talented a zombie-maker as Lieza. Death, their Ishtar, is actually Patience Ramsey, and there is no house Ramsey.

Bright Future and the John Lauren Society are…
…hate organizations against supernaturals who use a variety of means to whip up hatred against them.

Alan MacKenzie “Mac” Frazier was the catalyst for events to start rolling back in Moon Called. Betty is one of Mercy’s longtime clients. Nick is also thrilled that Mercy has re-opened and can work on Stella. Hank (River Marked, 6) is a shapeshifting hawk. Dale is a tow truck driver.

There are three types of witches: white, gray, or black. White are the least powerful who generate power from themselves and their environment. Gray witches stay just this side of black who are power hungry, preferring to sacrifice living beings. The fae have difficulty with witch magic while Mercy is sensitive to all magic. A coven requires thirteen witches, and in this story, each witch must be from a different witch bloodline.

The Cover and Title

The cover is focused on a golden-brown-eyed Mercy, her hair loose and aswirl around her head, wearing a pendant feather earring with an intricate, stylized tattoo on her chest just above her cleavage, staring straight at us in challenge. She’s wearing a black leather jacket with graphics from the story swirling around her. An info blurb is at the very top in white. The author’s name is in an embossed metallic electric green above Mercy’s head. The title is something of an afterthought in an embossed thin white just below her neck with the series information in white at the very bottom.

The title is distant and rather vague, referring to Death coming and that Mercy and the pack are Storm Cursed by her direct assault.

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