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