Mercy has faced many threats over the years. Vampires, werewolves, river monsters – but now she faces a new problem: Adam’s ex-wife Christy.
She is being stalked and hunted by someone who is more than willing to kill and destroy and has already hurt her. She has fled to the only people she knows can help – her ex-husband, the werewolf, and his pack.
But her stalker is far more than just a human who won’t let go – and the whole pack may be in danger.
I really liked this story – it was nicely balanced in terms of revelations and questions. The side plots fit in well, continuing the overall story without getting in the way – but also without feeling extraneous or irrelevant. They gave a nice sense that just because the main plot is happening doesn’t mean everything else in Mercy’s life is on hold – or everything else in the world is on hold. The vampires and the fae are still present, still edging into Mercys’ life, along with the human government and its hostility to supernaturals: they’re all present but this isn’t the focus of the book. It’s a nice balance to hit.
The big bad was very big and bad indeed and really did give over a good sense of his power while not being insurmountable or being oddly weakened to make him combatable. Sure there were a few “he’s just playing with us” scenes, but the true nature of the threat they were facing and the powers they had to call on to stand toe to toe with it really came through.
And the world building is well done – no wikipedia-like info dumping we’ve seen in the past. It also drew on an area of mythology I’ve never come across before, integrated well and called on some real world history to make it work on top of that. Excellently well done, in fact
And now for something horribly horribly wrong. Adam’s ex-wife Christy needs help, she is visiting and she is evil. Of course she is. The rest of the book has a long battle between Mercy and Christie full of lots of passive aggressive digs.
Let’s remember that this is a woman who’s boyfriend has been killed, her home destroyed and she badly beaten black and blue escaping an abuser and murderer and is now desperately seeking some kind of help and protection. But no, in among all these trauma she has time to make a play for Adam and play nasty little power plays on Mercy; though even her neutral gestures are seen through the most spiteful of lenses.
Her bruises? Give her “an advantage” because she can play for sympathy. When she cooks it’s clearly so she can prove she’s a domestic goddess far superior to Mercy (not cooking to try and be grateful for the help of course. And why everyone rhapsodises over a plate of sandwiches I do not know. Seriously the cooking quality of the area must be pretty damn poor if everyone flocks for BLTs). When Christy cries, it’s manipulation. When she’s sorry she’s brought trouble to their pack, it’s more manipulation. If ANYONE shows any degree of sympathy to the woman who has been beaten and stalked by a murderer, Mercy assumes it’s more of Christy’s manipulation rather than actual sympathy.
Of course, some are just unambiguous spite from Christy as well – there’s a battle over a stained table cloth, there’s a battle over where Christy’s make up and toiletries go (she puts them in Adam and Mercy’s en suite bathroom), whenever Mercy calls Adam she answers and refuses to put Adam on the phone. She tells lies to make people think Mercy is being mean to her.
I am actually in awe of how nasty Mercy is in this book.