Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Dual ARC Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Series:     Mercy Thompson #10
Pub. Date:March 7, 2017
Publisher:Ace Books
Length:371 pages

Julie and I are back with another dual review of the latest release in one of our favored series, Mercy Thompson. We had some good chats about this one... which is always the best part of reading the same books as your friends. So let's get to it, shall we?

What Bambi Thought

As a self-proclaimed romance junkie, it is a testament to Patricia Briggs' writing that her stories continue to captivate me despite the lack of heat between our protagonists. The action is always steady to fast-paced, with engaging characters and dynamic plot.

In this latest installment following Mercy declaring the tri-cities a safe zone, she is abducted from the territory by a bid bad Italian vampire, Iacopo Bonatara (a/k/a Lord of the Night). Finding herself alone and separated from the pack bonds in Italy, Mercy must find her own way out of this sticky situation. It's a good thing that most people mistake her for a fragile human without much power of her own. This story was reminiscent of earlier books in the series where Mercy was nearly a one-woman show, creating chaos and defeating foes with more luck than skill. We learned a bit more about Mercy's coyote powers, and I hope these are flushed out more in the future. Our girl definitely needs to develop her power now that we don't have the walking stick... (sad face - I liked the stick!)

While Mercy is relying on luck and possibly some supernatural influence, Adam has to go confront the vampire who stole his wife. This takes a seemingly random group of supes to Italy to deal with the Lord of the Night. I enjoyed having Marsilia and Stefan along as they were both absent in the last book, Fire Touched. I particularly enjoyed seeing a different, softer side to Marsilia as she was not dealing with the pack in a combative or controversial situation. The goblins were also an interesting addition and I, like Julie, do not remember them being introduced previously. But there is also a new submissive wolf to keep an eye on - Matt Smith.

There is somewhat of a dual plot happening, so we got dual POVs in this installment. I really liked getting some insight on Adam, and wouldn't mind future books being in this format. The wonky non-linear timeline did take some getting used to - but I found that I did not mind it as we had Mercy's explanatory notes to guide us at the beginning of each chapter. I will say that the plot with Iacopo did get somewhat convoluted and circular, and I'm not sure if I really understood his motivations in the end. But overall, this was a good addition to the series that kept me reading until very late in the night.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Berkley/Ace Books.

What Julie Thought

Mercy finds herself kidnapped from home and stuck in Italy with the Lord of the Night. Escaping is easy. Staying alive and getting home is another story...

Marsilia, Stefan, Elizaveta, and Larry the Goblin King (I don't remember goblins from before) join Adam as they travel to Milan to negotiate Mercy's return from Iacopo (Jacob), Lord of the Night. This motley assortment of characters appeared strangely cobbled together, but with each addition, a logical reason was given that had me rethinking my perception of a couple of previous foes. They each brought a strength - a necessity if you will - to the situation that had me questioning just how involved Coyote really was. As usual, any questions/doubts I had were..mostly answered by the end when all was revealed. 

I thought the historical descriptions of Prague were charming but they felt like fillers while characters were scrambling to get into place - like an interlude during a play - small breathers before the action started  up again.

My only complaint, I wish we could have a story with Mercy and Adam catching a small break and spend normal time together! Then again, that might be a boring read if there's no one to chase, maim, kidnap, threaten, or wound Mercy. Of course, Adam might appreciate the break from danger and enjoy the peace and quiet! 

Silence Fallen was good! I liked the story twists and the villains being fought on different fronts, and I loved getting more of Adam's POV! And all those little sentences below the chapter numbers? Do read them carefully to keep yourself current with the events. They'll become a lifesaver bouncing between Adam and Mercy's point of view!

Silence Fallen is #10 in the Mercy Thompson series and I highly recommend reading the books in order to fully appreciate the depth of characters, politics, and relationships. 

I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book which I received at no cost from Berkeley Publishing through Goodreads.