Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5)

Silver BorneSilver Borne
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780441018192
Series: Mercy Thompson #5
Publication Date: April 4, 2010
Pages: 342
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical Fae, the less you know, the better. But you can’t always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful Fae book she’d previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge—and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn’t take enough of Mercy’s attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side—leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam’s life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn’t careful, she might not have many more to live…


This was my favorite book of the series until the last fifth or so the time spent in Elphame and that only because fae is my least favorite of the supernatural, I think. Still, this was an excellent read and I loved it. I really enjoyed the time spent on developing Mercy and Adam’s relationship, the pack, and definitely on Samuel. This book felt a lot less high-intensity than the ones before it in many ways, and I appreciated the break.

I can’t say a whole lot about the plot beyond what’s written on the back cover without going spoilerish. As I mentioned above, not a fan of the typical fae mythology – although I really like Zee and the way the author weaves the truth behind the fairy tales into this series. I just prefer them more when they aren’t taking center stage and this book – at least the last half, they are definitely center stage.

I have the next one on it’s way to me now and I can’t wait to read it.

Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson Series #4)

Bone CrossedBone Crossed
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 9780441016761
Series: Mercy Thompson #4
Publication Date: January 26, 2010
Pages: 309
Genre: Urban Fantasy

As a shape-shifter with some unusual talents, Mercy’s found herself maintaining a tenuous harmony between the human and the not-so-human on more than one occasion. 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’.


I was prepared to dislike this book, as the synopsis didn’t sound all that interesting to me, but the author did an excellent job defying my expectations.  I was dreading the whole aftermath of the last book, but found myself admiring the way she handled Mercy’s recovery. I also dreaded the whole vampire-revenge storyline, but the plot-twist was excellent! I genuinely enjoyed the first 80% of the book. The part I liked the least was the end, which, I suppose, wasn’t written to be liked. Ms. Briggs does evil well. However, she gets points for not dragging the ending out so very long and I liked the way everything wrapped up quickly and satisfyingly. I’m looking forward to reading more of this series.

Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, Book 3)

Iron KissedIron Kissed
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★
isbn: 9780441015665
Series: Mercy Thompson #3
Publication Date: January 2, 2008
Pages: 287
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

Though Mercy can shift her shape into that of a coyote, her loyalty never wavers. So when her former boss and mentor, Zee, asks for her help, she’s there for him. A series of murders has rocked a fae reservation, and Zee needs her unique gifts, namely her coyote sense of smell, to sniff out the killer.

But when Zee is accused of murdering the suspect Mercy outed, he’s left to rot behind bars by his own kind. Now it’s up to Mercy to clear his name, whether he wants her to or not.

Mercy’s loyalty is under pressure from other directions, too. Werewolves are not known for their patience, and if Mercy can’t decide between the two she cares for, Sam and Adam may make the choice for her…


I was dreading this book because I knew what was waiting for me in it, but I had just finished a Janet Evanovich, and if that isn’t inoculation enough against a dark, intense read, I don’t know what is, so I picked Iron Kissed up off Mt. TBR and started reading.

There’s no doubt that this is a great series with excellent characters. I enjoyed the slightly stronger focus on Samuel vs. Adam and I’m happy that this triangle isn’t going to drag on indefinitely. I also really enjoyed finding out a bit more about Zee and some of the fae folklore, although the fae as a group don’t hold a lot of fascination for me.

Iron Kissed is closer to a traditional murder mystery than the first two, and I have to admit I had the evil pegged from it’s first scene, but there’s so much going on in this book that it didn’t at all matter – I’m not even sure the author’s first goal here is to keep us from knowing who the evil is.

Finally the scene I dreaded the most: I was relieved to find the author didn’t feel the need to be disgustingly graphic about the physical brutality, but she does manage to convey the horror and creepiness of the scene vividly by exploiting the mental angle. I think of all the disturbing scenes of the overall horror, the one in the car ride over to the garage was the most disturbing for me. In just two (maybe 3?) short sentences, I’m completely creeped out, and horrified by the lack of free will Mercy suffers. The garage scene felt a bit jagged – like a film clip that was missing frames – but I was completely ok with that. I was happy to have details filled in when needed after everything was over and the body parts swept up.

This isn’t a series where I’ll be reading the books back-to-back until I catch up, but I’ll definitely keep on reading.

Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, Book 2)

Blood BoundBlood Bound
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780441014736
Series: Mercy Thompson #2
Publication Date: January 30, 2007
Pages: 292
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

Mercy 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.

When the undead and the werewolves sent to find him don’t return, the local vampire queen turns to Mercy for help. A coyote is no match for a demon, but Mercy is determined to get her friends back—including the two werewolves circling around her heart.


A tad darker than the books I usually enjoy, Blood Bound sort of rides that edge of what I enjoy reading and what I’d rather put down and move on from. Though as I start to read more and more books similar to Mercy Thompson, it’s not easy to keep saying that.  But, I really enjoyed it, in spite of it’s slightly darker intensity. Most of that can be contributed to my ‘bonding’ with the characters in the first book, so I found myself really wanting to know what was going to happen to all of them this time around.

I’m one who thinks you can never have too much humor, and there was enough throughout the dialog to keep things from becoming positively moribund.

The plot line is definitely dark stuff and the author gets big kudo’s from me for giving Mercy faith and using it as a strength, without becoming evangelical about it. She strikes a nice balance – Mercy is never, ever, preachy or superior, but she doesn’t hesitate to use that faith as a tool in her arsenal. Well done.

The climax was intense but I didn’t find it overly done and it didn’t drag out either. Following the sometimes labyrinthine vampire politics took some concentration, which at times I didn’t always have (especially when I’m picking the book up after a long day at work), but it added a level of intrigue that kept the plot from being too obvious.

I had my doubts about a were-based series – they aren’t my favorite paranormal species, but I’m really liking Adam and Warren and Bran. I’m looking forward to picking up the third book.

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)

Moon CalledMoon Called
by Patricia Briggs
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780441013814
Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Publication Date: January 31, 2006
Pages: 288
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Ace

Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, and while she was raised by werewolves, she can never be one of them, especially after the pack ran her off for having a forbidden love affair. So she’s turned her talent for fixing cars into a business and now runs a one-woman mechanic shop in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State.

But Mercy’s two worlds are colliding. A half-starved teenage boy arrives at her shop looking for work, only to reveal that he’s a newly changed werewolf—on the run and desperately trying to control his animal instincts. Mercy asks her neighbor Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, for assistance.

But Mercy’s act of kindness has unexpected consequences that leave her no choice but to seek help from those she once considered family—the werewolves who abandoned her…


This one started out slow for me, although reliable friends recommended it to me so I wan’t too worried I wouldn’t love it.

The story really kicked in for me once they hit Montana and I was hooked from there. I like Mercy – she’s got enough humour about her to keep the whole thing from feeling too dark. Adam is exactly what Adam should be!  Zee is fun and Stephan is, again, what he should be. So a great cast of characters you can get involved with.

The plot itself was delightfully labyrinthian – not so complex you couldn’t follow it, but complex enough to keep you guessing right up until the very end, when even the bad guys were somewhat sympathetic.

I’m not yet ready to add this series to my top 5 list, but I’ll definitely be reading the next book as soon as possible.

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson #4)

Fourth Grave Beneath My FeetFourth Grave Beneath My Feet
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9781250014467
Series: Charlie Davidson #4
Publication Date: November 4, 2012
Pages: 308
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley's last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above . . . or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she's insane. But the more they refute the woman's story, the more Charley believes it.

In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley's life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.


Just excellent. Have I mentioned how much I love this whole series? and this book was fabulous.

Truly great snark making for excellent readability. Fabulous characters with depth. No relationship in the book is perfect, but realistically messy – with the exception of Charlie and Cookie and, please, just don’t mess with that!

The main(ish) plot point of this book was an interesting one with a creepy twist at the end that I only half liked (and that’s all I can say without spoilers), but the entire story and all the plots had my undivided attention. I literally devoured this book in one sitting. It’s going to be a very long year waiting for the next book…

Third Grave Dead Ahead (Charley Davidson #3)

Third Grave Dead AheadThird Grave Dead Ahead
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★★
isbn: 9781250001542
Series: Charlie Davidson #3
Publication Date: February 4, 2012
Pages: 310
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Paranormal private eye. Grim reaper extraordinaire. Whatever. Charley Davidson is back! And she's drinking copious amounts of caffeine to stay awake because, every time she closes her eyes, she sees him: Reyes Farrow, the part-human, part-supermodel son of Satan. Yes, she did imprison him for all eternity, but come on. How is she supposed to solve a missing persons case, deal with an ego-driven doctor, calm her curmudgeonly dad, and take on a motorcycle gang hell-bent on murder when the devil's son just won't give up?


2021 Re-read: Wow,  I can’t believe I didn’t have anything to say in my original post about how dark this one is, and how hard to read at least one scene was.  Re-reading it, even knowing it was coming up, was still incredibly difficult, and I found I couldn’t let myself do more than skim read said scene.  It’s the sharp contrast of the often dark plots, to the snarky humour woven throughout the narrative that makes these books readable for me.

Original Thoughts: What a great book. I started it and couldn’t put it down until it was finished. I was hesitant about the premise – Charley can’t go to sleep. I was afraid it would be painful to read – but that wasn’t the case in the slightest. I found myself holding my breath during parts of the story, and although there were places where the reading of the story was difficult – truly painful for the characters at times – the humour never lets up and I love Charley’s sense of humour. The comedic banter she exchanges with many of the characters – especially her BFF Cookie, makes me laugh out loud.

I truly hope I do not have to wait another year for the fourth one. I’ll be re-reading the three I have in the meantime.

Second Grave on the Left (Grim Reaper #2)

Second Grave on the LeftSecond Grave on the Left
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780312360818
Series: Charlie Davidson #2
Publication Date: August 4, 2011
Pages: 307
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

When Charley and Cookie, her best friend slash receptionist, have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally.) has left his corporeal body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.


2021 Update:  I didn’t say much first go-around, but the second book, along with the standard mystery plots – because she always has a couple going on at once – introduced more of what will be the overall series arc.   Charlie starts to learn about her background and role as grim reaper and that she plays a larger part in Jones’ version of the end time prophesies.

Knowing where the series was going made it easier to understand some of the nuances of this second book, and it made the relationship between Charlie and Reyes a lot more understandable.

Original Thoughts: Great book! I love the writing and Charley is a great character. The plots are all interesting and nicely intertwined. The secondary characters are all really well written and you like the ones your supposed to like.

I really hope this is the beginning of a continuing series.

First Grave on the Right (Grim Reaper #1)

First Grave on the RightFirst Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
Rating: ★★★★
isbn: 9780312662752
Series: Charlie Davidson #1
Publication Date: February 4, 2011
Pages: 309
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Charley sees dead people. That's right, she sees dead people. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (i.e., murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an Entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely.


Well, based on the blurb I read, this is not the book I expected it to be. But it’s MUCH better.

While Charlie is a smart mouth with a bad attitude, the book is far more mature than it’s ‘chick-lit’ blurb description would lead you to believe. Or at least the one I read. Great humour, a few sincere moments and very good plot lines kept me reading this book until I was finished.

Luckily I was smart enough to buy the second one at the same time, so I can get right to reading it.  Instant gratification.  Oh yeah…