This series remains kind of a guilty pleasure, but I really do look forward to more developments from Jane's past, and more character development for...moreThis series remains kind of a guilty pleasure, but I really do look forward to more developments from Jane's past, and more character development for both her and Rick. I'm also curious about the roles the witch children will play. They were both too active and important in this book to go back to being merely cute toddlers.(less)
A little bit silly, but less so than the cover would suggest. It reminds me of the Stephanie Plum mysteries, with the slightly incompetent bounty hunt...moreA little bit silly, but less so than the cover would suggest. It reminds me of the Stephanie Plum mysteries, with the slightly incompetent bounty hunter character, who makes mistakes but always comes out on top in the end, except this time in an alternate universe with magical races coexisting with humans.(less)
Oh, sad. This is the last book in the trilogy. I grant you, the ending has enough closure to make it seem tied up while allowing room for further stor...moreOh, sad. This is the last book in the trilogy. I grant you, the ending has enough closure to make it seem tied up while allowing room for further stories later, but the author says at the beginning that she's going back to her other series for a while, so we probably won't hear more about Margrit, Alban, et al for years.
And I do want to hear more. This book takes up right where the second one left off, but now that the main political machinations seem done amongst the Old Races as groups, we get to start looking further in depth at the personal relationships between the main immortal characters. The centuries-old rivalry between the two gargoyles, Alban and Biali, we know about from the first book. But it turns out that Alban, Janx, and Daisani have been friends for more than 300 years, and they have a secret tying them together, the secret that lies at the root of Alban's isolation from his own people for so long. The final truth of that ends up being more startling than any of them expected.
In the background, though, the other two Old Races, the selkie and the djinn, are still fighting. Margrit is drawn in to broker a peace deal. Things go both better and worse than expected, but I can't possibly say more without revealing major spoilers. I was, unfortunately for me, left wanting more, as the epilogue contained quite a few teasers to taunt my imagination about where things might go next. It has to involve more Janx and Daisani! It has to!(less)
In this second book in the Negotiator trilogy seems to have worked out a lot of the choppy writing issues I had with the first book. (And even at that...moreIn this second book in the Negotiator trilogy seems to have worked out a lot of the choppy writing issues I had with the first book. (And even at that, in the first one they were mostly limited to rare clunky phrases, which I noticed precisely because they stuck out from the rest of the book.) This book opens a few months after the first book ended, during which time Margrit has been trying to get back to her normal life at Legal Aid. Alban, our lead gargoyle, has been conspicuously absent, maintaining his efforts to keep Margrit away from the world of the Old Races for her own good.
Alas for him, Margrit's more mundane boyfriend Tony is assigned to a police guard detail for a visiting business mogul from Hawaii. Tony invites Margrit to the reception ball, where she runs into Eliseo Daisani again (vampire), and said mogul takes an interest in her. It turns out he is also the leader of the selkies, who intend to reannounce themselves to the Old Races, having been thought extinct for centuries. Margrit finds herself recruited as the middle(wo)man for the ensuing negotiations. She owes, and is owed, favors from both Eliseo Daisani, who wants to offer her a job, and Janx (dragon), who wants her to take Daisani's job and use it to spy for him. Alban gets drawn back in by Janx as well, trying to protect Margrit. So many plots!
This book delves a lot further into the politics of the Old Races, which I found very interesting, and because of all the faction maneuvering and negotiating, it remains fairly fast paced throughout. We also finally, finally, get some resolution to the whole Margrit/Tony/Alban triangle. (In quite dramatic fashion, too.)(less)
Okay, I think I'm going to have to go back and change my initial rating of the other books in this series from 4 stars to 5, because while I can hardl...moreOkay, I think I'm going to have to go back and change my initial rating of the other books in this series from 4 stars to 5, because while I can hardly argue that these books are works of deathless prose, I have to say that it's been a long time since I read something that I literally could not put down. Briggs has definitely nailed the ability to pace a book in such a way that I simply must know what happens next, what do you mean it's now 1am?
Anyway, in the first book Mercy ended up having to help solve the werewolves' problems, in the second on it was the vampires', now it's the fae's. Mercy gets a call from her former boss, Zee, asking for help identifying a serial killer who's been murdering fae inside the reservation. (Yes, in this world the fae were forced onto reservations in the 1980s when they revealed themselves.) Mercy uses her coyote sense of smell to identify the killer, and that should have been that. Except Zee and a friend go to confront the killer, find him already dead, and the police pull up just as Zee is bending over the body to see what happened. Given that the fae's leadership, the Gray Lords, have a habit of finding solutions that are more expedient than fair when trying to keep fae issues out of the public eye, Mercy dedicates herself to finding out what really happened so Zee won't have to take the fall.
Also, some resolution is beginning to appear in Mercy's love life, for added thrill for those times when she's not out attempting to solve crime. (less)
The second Mercy Thompson novel deals a lot more directly with vampires. In the first book, Mercy found out that the vampires know a lot more about wa...moreThe second Mercy Thompson novel deals a lot more directly with vampires. In the first book, Mercy found out that the vampires know a lot more about walkers than she does. Turns out, the reason there are so few walkers around (possibly Mercy is the only one left) is because they were the vampires' most threatening enemy in the New World and were therefore hunted almost to extinction.
However, when a sorcerer-vampire shows up in town, murdering innocents and encouraging violence amongst the general population with his very presence, the local vampires find they must turn to Mercy for help. As a walker, she is largely immune to his magic. The werewolves agree to help, and then the people Mercy loves best start getting hurt. She will have to stop this on her own.
This book also adds some extra drama in the form of Mercy's love life. What girl wouldn't want two extremely handsome dominant werewolves vying for her affections? Any sane one, it turns out. And maybe her favorite vampire is interested too? Again, a fast and entertaining read, finished in a day. (I'm glad I only have one left to go in this series right now; I can't afford to keep staying up so late reading!)(less)
Speaking of needing new categories here, maybe I should change my "vampires" one to "creatures of the night" in general. This book is the first in the...moreSpeaking of needing new categories here, maybe I should change my "vampires" one to "creatures of the night" in general. This book is the first in the Mercy Thompson series, and while it does feature some vampires, it concentrates much more attention on werewolves. The main character, Mercy, is a walker (ie, can turn into a coyote), but her mother couldn't find any other walkers around to help her, so Mercy ended up being fostered with a werewolf pack. Specifically, the pack of the Alpha of Alphas.
She left the pack when she was 16, not really fitting in with a bunch of wolves, but her life isn't really normal now, either. She works as a mechanic in a shop she bought from her boss when he retired. He's a German gremlin with an affinity for metal work. One of her main regular clients is a vampire with a finicky VW bus. And her next-door neighbor happens to be the Alpha of the local werewolf pack. When a strange young werewolf turns up at her shop begging for work, she turns him over to her neighbor, only to have people then attack her neighbor's house, kidnap his daughter, and nearly kill him. Thus Mercy finds herself back in the middle of werewolf politics and preternatural intrigue. Hmmm, maybe this needs to go in the mystery category, too. Anyway, I thought it was a good, fun read, and I finished it in less than a day.(less)
This book was excellent in both its story (one of McKinley's originals, as opposed to her myth retellings) and in its use of first person, because the...moreThis book was excellent in both its story (one of McKinley's originals, as opposed to her myth retellings) and in its use of first person, because the main character never broke her narrative to overexplain something that a person from her world would already have known. At certain points, it runs the possibility of making things confusing, but mostly it makes the reader seem more imbedded in the alternative reality of the story. My only complaint is that I want more! Fantastic main character, fantastic world, want more Sunshine!(less)