Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson, #12)

Smoke BittenSmoke Bitten
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
Series: Mercy Thompson #12
Publication Date: March 19, 2020
Pages: 344
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit Books

Mercy Thompson returns in another thrilling instalment from No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs

I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman. My only 'superpowers' are that I turn into a thirty-five-pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I'm going to need them.
Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill. When they were cast out, they left behind their great castles, troves of magical artefacts . . . and their prisoners. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.
Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like any creature it chooses and if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction and can make you do anything - even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.
It won't, can't, remain. Not if I have anything to say about it.

Finally!  A Mercy Thompson book that didn’t include storylines with animal sacrifice.  The last few books before this had me seriously hesitant to continue with the series, and even after buying this, it stared at me for about a week before I picked it up with the intention of putting it right back down again if it even looked at an animal the wrong way.

Fortunately – and unfortunately – I never had to put the book down.  At least, not until 2.30am when I finally gave into sleep, only to pick it up again the next morning and finish it off.

That’s not to say the story was perfect; it was good, but the sub-plot between Mercy and Adam was meh, and got terribly schmaltzy towards the end (keeping in mind I have a low tolerance for “the power of love”).

The main plot concerned something that got out of Underhill and started possessing people, making them kill others, before it killed them and moved on.  This was more interesting to me, although it never really achieved ‘gripping’.  And towards the end, but long before the climax, I guessed who the smoke demon was, which was both a tiny bit disappointing, and also – YAY!  I was right! – making it a wash overall.

Generally, I enjoyed the story and it restored my faith in the series.  I hope book 13 stays away from the witches, although with that number, I don’t like my chances.

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