Bone Crossed

January 26, 2017
Bone Crossed Book Cover Bone Crossed
Mercy Thompson, #4
Patricia Briggs
Urban Fantasy
February 3rd, 2009

By day, Mercy is a car mechanic in the sprawling Tri-Cities of Eastern Washington. By night, she explores her preternatural side. As a shapeshifter with some unique talents, Mercy has often found herself having to maintain a tenuous harmony between the human and the not so human. This time she may get more than she bargained for.

Marsilia, the local Vampire Queen, has learned that Mercy crossed her by slaying a member of her clan—and she's out for blood. But since Mercy is protected from direct reprisal by the werewolf pack (and her close relationship with its sexy Alpha), it won't be Mercy's blood Marsilia is after.

It'll be her friends'.

(via Goodreads)


Note: Being the 4th book in a series, there are some very minor spoilers for the previous books below. Here you can find my review for book 1 Moon Called

Our 4th episode: In which Mercy really gets a handle on her ghost-talking-seeing thing and gets into a crap-ton of trouble. Again. 

Bone Crossed picks up literally where the last book ended. In fact, a bit before the last book ended, so we get to relive a few of the last events. Mercy is still heavily weighed down by the emotional aftermath of Iron Kissed, and things jump full throttle in action. Mercy’s mother comes to visit, an almost starved Stefan apparates (or whatever we call if when Vampires do this, instead of HP wizards) into Mercy’s trailer, and Mercy’s old college friend, Amber, strangely stops by to beg for help chasing a ghost away from their house. This is chapter one.

One of the oddest things about being grown-up was looking back at something you thought you knew and finding out the truth of it was completely different from what you had always believed.

The next 280 pages tell a complex story involving mostly ghosts and vampires. Marsilla, the mistress of the local vampire seethe, has marked Mercy for killing one of her own. In an attempt to escape the vampires on the hunt, Mercy takes Amber up on her request for help dealing with ghosts. Amber lives in Spokane where only one vampire lives. But, he is The Monster, and surely he won’t notice Mercy? Pft. Yeah, right.

One of the good things about Mercy’s travels to and from Spokane is that she took Stefan with her. Stefan is a character I’d certainly like to know more about. It was nice to experience more of Mercy without Adam, as well. There are obviously a lot of facets to Stefan and his relationship with Mercy that have yet to be explored. I am intrigued to see where Briggs takes this.

This book didn’t work as well for me as the last one. I found the plot to be thick with forced hands and strange steps. I struggled to follow the reasons for all the decisions being made. I felt like the storyline was generally overcrowded with characters and difficult to follow. After the previous book, I was looking forward to getting to know our current cast of characters better. Instead, we were introduced to 6 more. While that isn’t always a bad thing, I felt like these new characters were not fleshed out. I didn’t understand their motivations, or, well, most of the preexisting characters. Instead, I was given a lot of odd decision making and no one explained themselves. I was used to them over explaining themselves. It was a struggle.

“Are you going to tell me what that was about?” Adam asked as we went back upstairs.

“Sometime,” I told him. “When we’re telling ghost stories around a campfire, and I want to scare you.”

And yet– One of the reasons I am starting to find this series so compelling is how all actions have consequences. There is now a pattern of unforeseen consequences from incidents in previous books resurface. This could result in new tangles and trappings, such as what Mercy ran into with Marsilla. However, this also means that the emotional and psychological issues our characters gain don’t just get wrapped up with a bow. Instead, these follow our characters throughout the course of the book. It makes them so much more real. Dealing with the ripple effect of one’s actions is part of life; seeing this in a book series is refreshing.

I didn’t feel compelled to pick up the next book immediately once I finished Bone Crossed, but I’m certainly not done yet. A lot of things have changed in Mercy’s world in the last two books. I am intrigued to see where Briggs plans on taking her characters. She seems to be on a roll.

What do you think?

  • Have you read any of the Mercy Thompson books? What do you think?
  • What are your favorite urban fantasy series?
  • How do you feel about mid-series book reviews?

Jackie’s Other Mercy Thompson Series Book Reviews


  • Diana January 26, 2017 at 10:57 am

    This is not a genre that I read but it sounds really interesting.Sorry to hear that this didn’t quite work out for you but I hope that the next book will be great.Which Urban Fantasy would you reccomend for someone like me who is new to this?

    • Jackie B January 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      I really love urban fantasy if it is done well. My favorite urban fantasy series is The Southern Vampire series (aka Sookie Stackhouse, aka True Blood), starting with Dead After Dark. It’s a little silly, a bit of My mother keeps telling me the best series is The Edge by Ilona Andrews (beginning with On the Edge). that said, the internet seems to think that her Kate Daniels series (beginning with Magic Bites) is better.

      That said, I’ll definitely keep reading this series. These books have been hot and cold for me, so I’m going to keep going and hope for the best!

      • Diana January 28, 2017 at 12:36 am

        Thanks for the recommendations.I used to like the True Blood TV series so I think I’ll start with the books. All the best with the series,I hope the next books are better.

  • YAandWine January 26, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    Great review! I love it when loose strings and themes carry into following books in series and tie them all together.

    • Jackie B January 26, 2017 at 6:20 pm

      Exactly! While this book wasn’t super great, I have faith they will only get better as these concepts grow throughout the series.

  • Books, Vertigo and Tea January 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    I have to be honest, this is not the sort of series I would expect you to read. I have no idea why. I know you read a little of everything, but it was a bit of a surprise. Maybe the cover is what throws me off?

    But then you mentioned that the story is one where actions have consequences and suddenly I found my interest picking up. Maybe I just have not ventured into urban fantasy enough. Hardly at all really. Good starting point?

    By the way, your writing! “thick with forced hands and strange steps.” <3

    • Jackie B January 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm

      Hahaha. I do read a ton of different genres and bounce all around. Sometimes, I want to read something fluffy and fun. My mother really likes to read mysteries and urban fantasy with a humorous/mystery bend to it. These books fall into that genre, for sure. I actually picked them up because of her. 🙂

      D’aw thanks for the compliment. Sometimes, I have my moments. I really appreciate it.

  • LizScanlon January 27, 2017 at 3:51 am

    Loving the review and agreeing with Danielle there about your writing re “thick with forced hands and strange steps”- quality sentence! 🙂

    For some reason I have a tendency to stay away from shapeshifter stories and sexy Alphas 😀 I think it’s because I see so many books where there are lions and bears and whatever animal shapeshifter as the man and then some damsel in distress and I’m like- hell to the no! 😀 obviously Mercy Thompson series isn’t with that kind of erotic undertone but the image is stuck in my head… funny what gets people ‘going’ eh? 😀

    • Jackie B January 28, 2017 at 8:46 pm

      Thanks, Liis! Like I told, Danielle… I have my moments, I guess. Just don’t expect that all the time. 🙂

      I completely understand where you are coming from with this genre. I am a staunch feminist, so I get revolted when stuff like that happens. However, my mother is really into slightly humorous urban fantasy, or the sorts with mysteries. I read all the Sookie Stackhouse books (Southern Vampire series True Blood is based on) on my mother’s recommendation. This was also one of her’s, but she now wants me to look into more of Ilona Andrew’s novels. I can’t please them all. 🙂 But, yes– these are the sorts of series which have very mild and limited sexy times. But there is definitely romance. It peaks my interest at least.

      After all, one can’t just read YA, graphic novels, and feminist literature all the time. O_o

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