2010. 352 pages. Ace Hardcover.
From: the public library, after a long time spent on the hold waiting list.
For the challenge: The Colorful Reading Challenge
In a nutshell (minor spoilers if you haven’t read the first four books of the series):
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and coyote shape-shifter, has a lot of trouble in her life. In the fourth book, her decision to be the mate of Alpha werewolf Adam initiated her into the pack bond. As she is not a werewolf, this somewhat telepathic bond works erratically. In a twist more alarming, she finds out that it can be used to influence her by less honorable members of the pack.
As if it’s not enough that her mind is being messed with, her close friend and werewolf Samuel is showing signs of dangerous despair. And to top it all off, some nefarious and powerful fae are threatening Mercy’s life and those of her friends if she doesn’t give them a magic object she had borrowed from a friend.
Whew! As you can tell by the summary, there’s a lot going on in this fifth book of the Mercy Thompson series. I finished this book in two evenings. I’m a big fan of this series. The protagonist is a very likable and capable heroine. Patricia Briggs has also created a very interesting world with fae, werewolves, vampires, ghosts and other supernatural beings dwelling alongside humans.
And yet with these built-in merits, I did feel that Silver Borne was not as good as the rest of the series. It seemed to bog down a little with Briggs’ explanations of the complex werewolf pack politics and fae magic. True, there is always some level of explanation needed in world-building. However, it seemed like there was too much explanation this time, and the story flow was adversely affected. Also the vast array of characters is starting to seem unwieldy. When the main villain of the werewolf pack is discovered, I was like, who is that? So, apparently this was not a memorable character from the previous books.
I was also disappointed that Mercy rarely shape-shifted in this book. I always enjoy the passages when she’s loping around as a coyote, and these scenes were lacking in Silver Borne.
Now that I’ve voiced some of my disappointment in the book, I’ll move on to what I liked:
– Adam’s teenage daughter, Jesse, gets a crucial role in this book. I’ve always liked her and so I enjoyed seeing her role expand.
– The reunion between Samuel and someone from his past is intriguing, and I hope that is explored more in future books. Also, Samuel was in his wolf-form for most of the book and that also was a cool dynamic.
– Mercy makes a few mistakes, especially early in the book, and I like that she is allowed to have these flaws in judgment. She can’t be omniscient.
All in all, while I was a bit let down by Silver Borne, I still love the characters and I happily anticipate the next book.
Just for fun, my ranking of the series so far, from most loved to least loved:
Blood Bound #2 (deliciously creepy)
Iron Kissed #3 (an awesome Mercy-as-coyote chase scene, great Mercy/Adam moments)
Bone Crossed #4 (I liked Stefan the vampire’s role in this one, and the ghost element was cool. Again, some great coyote moments for Mercy.)
Moon Called #1 (good introduction to the series, and the book that distracted me from ever finishing Twilight which I had out from the library at the same time. Moon Called was definitely the more interesting of the two.)
Silver Borne #5