Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Audiobook Review: Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Series:     Mercedes Thompson #9
Pub. Date:March 8, 2016
Publisher:Brilliance Audio
Narrator:Lorelei King
Length:10 hrs 7 min

Bare with me because its been almost two years (I think) since I read the rest of this series... so I didn't quite remember everyone and I couldn't fit a re-read of the series into my schedule.

Let me start out by saying that Lorelei King does a great job narrating this series. All of her characters have their own sound/persona, and she has no problem switching between male/female/child characters.

Mercy and Adam are trudging along in their own version of marital bliss, while taking care of an integrated pack of werewolves, coyote and tibicena/presa canario. The pack still hasn't fully accepted Mercy and her pack additions, and there are some grumblings early in the story to deal with. But then we get to the meat of the plot, where the pack will be battling with the Fae over a fire-touched human boy, Tad and Zee (Siebold Adelbertsmiter). The conflict is wide-ranging and has the potential to affect both the Fae and Were races as a whole... owing in part to a little grandstanding that occurred with Mercy and her magical walking stick.

Aidan is a fire-touched human boy who was trapped in Underhill (Faery), and the Fae really really want him. I liked Aidan's character... his circumstances were unique and I liked the connection to Underhill. Is he a boy or is he a man? I can't imagine having that dilemma. I think the relationship that he forges with the pack going forward is going to be very interesting, as will any changes that his character undergoes now that he is out of Underhill.

You may recall that in Night Broken, Joel was infected (for lack of a better word) with the spirit of the volcano god's tibicena. He has been battling with this new situation but hasn't gotten a handle on it yet. As he can only maintain his human form for about an hour, Joel spends most of his time as a presa canario, and turns into the tibicena lava dog when going into a fight. I would have liked to see more of Joel's wife to see how she is dealing with her husband's new forms... but I find his character fascinating as well. I don't think there is another character of this type in the UF genre - at least not one that I have read. I believe he and Aiden will have a special relationship as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing Joel's transformation once he gets a complete handle on the fire inside.

This story includes a foray into Underhill, and I love stories that take place in Faery so I was looking forward to that. Unfortunately they didn't spend as much time there as I would have liked, so there was not an abundance of Fae detail that I was looking for. I kinda feel like this was a novella stretched into a story. It didn't have the action and romance that I seem to remember the prior books having. So while I enjoyed the story, I was surprised that it was ending so fast and there weren't more or bigger plot conflicts.

One of my new favorite characters is Baba Yaga. I am sure she appeared in prior books... but I just don't remember when or where. In this installment, she was funny and engaging - and you couldn't always figure out if she was friend or foe. I hope we continue to see her stick her nose into Mercy and Adam's business in future books.

I felt like this book was a good bridge for me (who hasn't read the other books in a couple years) between my past reading and the upcoming release, Silence Fallen. It helped me re-familiarize myself with the characters and storyline without throwing in a lot of material that required me to remember what happened in the past. Now I am caught up and eager to start the next book.

*I apologize if this review is all over the place. I had the hardest time writing it! My brain just didn't want to work for this book. Sometimes audiobook reviews are the hardest to write because I can't highlight and make notes as I read!*