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Sep. 3rd, 2010

Title: Silver Borne
Author: Patricia Briggs
Rating: 4/5
Publisher’s synopsis:

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, never knows what the day – or night – may bring in a world where “witches, vampires, werewolves and shapeshifters live besides ordinary people” (Booklist). But she is about to learn that while some secrets are dangerous, those who seek them are just plain deadly…

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 previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

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

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn’t careful, she may not have any more…

I was somewhat disappointed by this book. Honestly, I don’t think the quality of writing has changed much since Bone Crossed, which was similarly overwhelming. The problem is that in this book, Mercy somehow achieves the seemingly mutually exclusive states of being overpowered and not actually doing anything.

She has always been a coyote shapeshifter, with minor talents, and describes herself as a minor league player. Being mated to Adam and entering the werewolf pack, however, has given her new powers. At the same time, the only plotline she does anything active in is Samuel’s; first Mary-Jo, then Ariana, then Bran and Adam solve all of the other ones, putting Mercy firmly in the position of observer or even distressed damsel.

At the same time, the book has a wonderful moment where the misogyny of the Pack’s current structure is challenged by Mary-Jo. It’s overshadowed by the life or death conflict, but I’m hoping Briggs will address it in the next book.

The descriptions of the fae world beneath its glamour are beautifully detailed, however, and I liked the way Adam and Mercy’s romance is played much better in this book than I have, previously. They’re shown as equal partners instead of Mercy trying to escape Adam’s control while being in love with him, and Adam states that he loves Mercy the way she is, so there’s no point in trying to change her.

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