If Chapter 1 doesn't include the funniest scene that Briggs has ever written, I'll eat my hat. Naturally, after cracking me up, I figured she'd be taking us to a pretty dark place. And while there was a good deal of darkness -- and potential for big, dark happenings down the road (but I've thought that before, like with Fair Game) -- it didn't get as bad as I feared.
There's a scene fairly early on here that reminded me of the big " ...it is defended!" speech from Doctor Who's "The Christmas Invasion" -- the moment that the new Doctor defined himself. Mercy does something a lot like that not realizing just how far her message will go (thanks to the Internet, smartphones, and 25-hour news cycles), and just how much trouble she's created for Adam and the rest of their pack -- as well as Bran and pretty much every werewolf in the U.S.
Part of the immediate fallout of this moment is that a human child who has been abducted by the Fae at some point that no one (including him) remembers comes to Mercy for help. He doesn't quite fit in to this world any more, but he doesn't want to be with the Fae, either. With a big emphasis on the latter. So, with she gives him sanctuary of a sort -- at least temporarily. This brings attacks, threats, and destruction -- with more to come if she doesn't hand the boy over.
You can imagine how that goes over with everyone's favorite shape-shifting mechanic.
There's a lot more going on, but the fate of the boy is the centerpiece.
There's a major loss in this novel that moved me more than I could've expected. On the one hand, I think it'll be good for the long-term health of the series. But man, it's going to be strange opening the next Mercy book without seeing ____.
I've seen some people disappointed with this book, but I'm not sure why. There was plenty of action -- but it wasn't as epic (for lack of a better word) as Night Broken or River Marked, maybe that's it. You've got some really solid scenes -- in the comedic and the action veins, Mercy makes a strange new friend, plenty of Fae politics, internal pack politics and Mercy as David Tennant. Not the best in the series (but they can't all be), but a very satisfying installment in a really good series. That's more than I can ask for.
Again, Mercy as David Tennant. Need I say more?