June 2, 2023

REVIEW Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs

Smoke Bitten (Mercy Thompson #12) by Patricia Briggs
Rating: 3 Stars
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Format: Audiobook (Personal Library)
Publisher: Ace 

If there’s one thing that’s certain after so many books in Patrcia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, it’s that coyote shifter Mercedes ‘Mercy’ Athena Thompson Hauptman cannot catch a break. That trend holds true in Smoke Bitten, as a mysterious creature that’s escaped from the fairy realm wreaks havoc on Mercy, Adam and the rest of the pack’s life. 

Things are understandably tense for the Columbia Basin Wolf Pack. They’re on their own after being abandoned by the Marrok for declaring themselves protectors of all the supernaturals in their territory. If that wasn’t enough, Adam’s ex-wife is creating tension in the pack, and Adam’s under a lot of scrutiny to keep the image of the werewolves positive in the public eye. Despite wanting to deal with all the pressure on their relationship, Mercy and Adam’s attention is forced elsewhere as Underhill (or ’Tilly’) has opened a doorway in their backyard and the troubled vampire wizard Wulfe has developed an obsession with Mercy. 

As opposed to some of the other books in the series, Smoke Bitten seems to be more of a transition book as it’s taking some of the plotlines from previous installments of the series and moving them forward. A filler book, if you will. The massive number of storylines and plot threads that the author is working with make it hard to keep track of everything in this book, and rely heavily on the reader being able to recall what happened in previous series installments (which can be hard, with a series so long). 

While the book is mainly a series filler/transition story, the characters and worldbuilding are still a highlight. The extensive ensemble cast is a strength of the series and readers get to learn a bit more about Aiden, Underhill/Tilly, and even Wulfe. Ms. Briggs also pulls a lot of inspiration out of mythology and folklore, so it was fun to put the pieces together and figure out what things were.  

Overall, Smoke Bitten was another solid entry to the Mercy Thompson series and the larger Mercy Thompson universe. I was disappointed with how much of a filler book it seemed to be, but I think that it was bound to happen eventually with such a long series. With the set ups being put into place in this book, I’m eager to see how the action resolves in the future. Lorelei King once again did an excellent job bringing the action to life with her performance in the audiobook narration. Urban fantasy and paranormal readers who are looking for great worldbuilding, a well developed set of main characters and ensemble cast, and a witty headstrong heroine should definitely pick up the Mercy Thompson series ASAP. 

About the Book
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, faces a threat unlike any other in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

I am Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman.
My only "superpowers" are that I turn into a thirty-five pound coyote and fix Volkswagens. But I have friends in odd places and a pack of werewolves at my back. It looks like I'm going to need them.

Centuries ago, the fae dwelt in Underhill--until she locked her doors against them. They left behind their great castles and troves of magical artifacts. They abandoned their prisoners and their pets. Without the fae to mind them, those creatures who remained behind roamed freely through Underhill wreaking havoc. Only the deadliest survived.

Now one of those prisoners has escaped. It can look like anyone, any creature it chooses. But if it bites you, it controls you. It lives for chaos and destruction. It can make you do anything--even kill the person you love the most. Now it is here, in the Tri-Cities. In my territory.

It won't, can't, remain.

Not if I have anything to say about it.

About the Author

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children, and six horses and writes full time, much to the delight of her fans.

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