Blood Bound

March 29, 2016
Blood Bound Book Cover Blood Bound
Mercy Thompson, #2
Patricia Briggs
Urban Fantasy
January 20th, 2007

Under the rule of science, there are no witch burnings allowed, no water trials or public lynchings. In return, the average law-abiding, solid citizen has little to worry about from the things that go bump in the night. Sometimes I wish I was an average citizen...

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

(via Goodreads)


Like Moon Called, the second Mercy Thompson novel, Blood Bound is establishing the series as a strong urban fantasy meets mystery series. I find these books very similar to the Sookie Stackhouse books I’ve read before (and probably a dozen other series I haven’t read yet, in all honesty…). demon sorcererIf you are looking for a kick-ass strong female protagonist who deals with werewolves, vampires, and fae almost exclusively: This is the series for you!
In the second book of this series, Mercy and her gang are put up against a sorcerer-demon-vampire. More or less an invincible creation that is slowly killing everyone in the entire tri-state area and who happens to be WAY stronger than everyone else. The paranormal are kidnapped, killed, and act likes crazies in his presence. WILL THEY STOP HIM?

There are a lot of things about this book which I find incredibly frustrating.

(Just like you might find the following endless hidden spoilers frustrating… O_o)

1. Poorly masked sexism: Mercy is portrayed as a strong independent female who abhors the way women are treated in the werewolf pack (and other paranormal groups). But, Mercy is constantly finding herself in the middle of stud-tug-o-war and she just tries to calm them down by being submissive and weak. She’s just a stereotypical romance lead who wants a dangerous man who doesn’t treat her well, but she knows she can “save him”. She tolerates this violence and sexism from the werewolves, but she is terrified of the vampire who loves and respects her, who is always kind and gentle, and who never takes her for granted. What?

“You should be home sleeping. What is the use of having a man in the house, if he cannot take care of you for a while?”
“Mmm,” I said, “I give up. What’s the use of having a man in the house?”

2. Obvious Love Entanglements: In this book our love triangle expands into a square. I know that’s part of what makes these books so addicting, and I am completing expecting it. But it’s so obvious to everyone BUT Mercy. It kills me. Why do we need to hit our reader over the head with these love interests? Can’t we be more subtle? Isn’t that how most budding romances work?

“Adam wants to know what took you so long?”
“Tell him I had wild, passionate sex with a complete stranger.

3. Lack of relationship building: Yes. All the characters interact and have relationships, but they are poorly crafted. After reading Rainbow Rowell, I have much higher standards for the relationships my characters are experiencing. I want to feel and understand the relationships other than just Mercy and XXX. How about Adam and Samuel? Ben and Adam? Stefan and Andre? Anyone else. Please.

Americans in particular are oddly innocent in their faith that science hold explanations for everything.

4. The most infuriating world building. EVER: Why make your main character, who is a paranormal creature, who has been raised by another set of paranormal creatures, completely ignorant of all other paranormal groups? In this novel, instead of listening to Mercy lecture us repeatedly on how werewolves function, we get lectured by a random additional character. This character is (obviously) a former college professor and gives us (and Mercy) a rambling lecture on Vampires and how they function. Seriously? This was even more tedious than the previous book.

mercy thompsonThat said, there are a lot of great things about this series:
1. Diverse range of characters and personalities: Briggs does cover the gamut in these books. I adore Warren and Kyle. A gay cowboy werewolf and his flaming divorce lawyer human boyfriend? Brilliant. While the different groups of paranormals all fall into fairly stereotypical paradigms, they all have their own unique personalities. I do like that a lot.

2. Our characters are flawed: Yes, in the aforementioned stereotypical ways, but also in very realistic ways. This is the part of Briggs’s world that I find most relatable. These flaws make our characters more real to the reader.

3. Briggs is in this for the long game: I can tell Briggs is setting up readers for the long haul, too. Some lines stuck out as strange to me– they didn’t fit in with the current story sometimes. I started to see that she is prepping her world for future stories, and hopefully future big reveals. For example, Medea is obviously more than just a cat. I really look forward to learning what the secret is there. I just adore the big reveal moment when you discover an author has been leading to this point for hundreds of pages across multiple books. It’s just so refreshing.

The problem with deciding to bend the rules was trying to figure out just how far you could bend them.

All in all, I found Blood Bound a sometimes frustrating but fluffy read. I have been reassured by multiple friends this is the weakest of the Mercy Thompson books as far as world building, character development, and overall writing style is concerned. I flew through this book, and I will continue to fly through a few more before giving up. I have faith this will turn into something much better before it’s all over.

After all, you can’t just read Pulitzer Prize winning literature. Where would the fun be in that?

2 stars

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