Book Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.
Mogsy’s Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book 10 of Mercy Thompson
Publisher: Ace (March 7, 2017)
Length: 352 pages
YES. Now that’s what I’m talking about!
While I’ve made it no secret that I love the Mercy Thompson series, if you recall my reviews for the last few books, you’ll know how I feel things in the overall story arc have been stuck in a holding pattern for some time now and the lack of progress was starting to take its toll. For this milestone tenth installment though, I’m glad to report that Briggs has brought the energy back to these books in a huge way.
It all began like any other night. A pirate-themed video gaming session ends with Mercy heading out to the store to pick up some cookie baking supplies, but she never makes it home. Her car getting wrecked is the last thing she remembers of that day. Next thing she knows, she’s waking up alone, imprisoned in some strange room. Her mysterious captors are soon revealed as two vampires playing good cop/bad cop come out to question her, cluing Mercy in to the identity of the one behind her rude abduction. If she’s right about her guess though, things are only about to get worse.
By shapeshifting into coyote form, Mercy manages to escape her confinement by outmaneuvering the werewolf assigned to guard her, but the resulting triumph is short-lived. Outside, the world is completely unfamiliar, and with a sick realization, Mercy suddenly understands why she cannot feel her mate bond with Adam anymore. Not only have her kidnappers taken her out of the Tri-Cities area, they’ve taken her out of the country altogether and somehow gotten her unconscious body across the ocean to Europe, where she now finds herself with no clothes, no money, and no allies.
Mercy has been in some hairy situations before, but nothing like this. Silence Fallen is the big shakeup this series needed, in my opinion, and it delivered phenomenally in both content and structure. The synopsis alone should tell you why this story should not be missed; aside from being able to take an unexpected but totally awesome trip to Europe with Mercy, we also get to see a side of the werewolf-vampire political war that we’ve never seen before. This one blows the door wide open on what we think we know, adding a great many more layers to the history of the conflict and to the various parties involved.
The other big deal is how Briggs has chosen to tell the story. So far for the most part, all the books have been told from Mercy’s point of view, though recently we’ve seen a smattering of other POVs involved, like Adam’s. Silence Fallen takes things even further this time around by making Adam’s perspective a central aspect of the novel, though given the nature of the plot, it’s easy to understand why it had to be this way. With Mercy in Europe trying to problem solve her way out of a jam, Adam and the pack have not been sitting idly by, and having both storylines running along side by side is a good way to show how everyone is working in concert trying to figure out why Mercy was kidnapped and how to bring her home. I was truly delighted with the way the two timelines ended up tying together, and especially enjoyed the way it emphasized the power behind their partnership.
Plus, seeing Adam take such an active role in a Mercy Thompson book was a refreshing change of pace. None of us are strangers to Mercy’s resourcefulness, so of course it is no surprise when this book once again shows her using her wits and skills to wriggle out of an impossible situation. But Adam? Thus far, Adam has mostly played the role of Mercy’s support, and bless his heart, he’s good at things that require strength and a voice of authority when it comes to pack drama, but he’s never exactly been one for subtlety. At long last, we see him out of his element and it is a real treat, not to mention the new challenges also add a lot of depth to his character. What do you know, our great commanding Alpha is actually quite capable of diplomacy!
When you’ve been following an urban fantasy series for this long, it’s always fantastic to see a tenth installment that still brings fresh ideas. This being Briggs and Mercy Thompson, I was never truly worried, though the last couple of books have led me to feel slightly underwhelmed by the direction the overall story seemed to be taking. Well, no longer. There are so many great twists here, so many new developments, and so much new potential. Silence Fallen is the shot of energy I needed, and I am once more excited about the future of this series.