Review: Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs

In this new installment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . .

My Name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.

And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.

Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn’t taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.

The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.

But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.

Series: Mercy Thompson, 11
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Orbit (9 May 2019)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

This is one of the books that I have been really looking forward to getting my hands on, even though I didn’t rush to get my hands on a copy when it was first released. In her Mercy Thompson series Patricia Briggs has created a world and characters I really enjoy. So I had high expectations going into Storm Called, and honestly it totally lived up to them. From the first page I was able to dive straight back into Mercy’s world and become completely absorbed in the story, to the point that I was a little disappointed when I had to stop. This was not a book I savoured, though I probably should have: I just devoured it.

Plot-wise this book was not what I was expecting at all, though it did follow a similar formula to previous books in the series. Briggs kept me guessing from start to end about what was going to happen, and I really enjoyed that. I thought the set-up was going to go one way, but Briggs outmanoeuvred me on that front. The storyline was everything I wanted from a book in the Mercy Thompson series and more. My only slight gripe was that one of the events I thought was going to happen, happens off the page but with that there is definitely plenty of scope for future books in the series. It has definitely left me excited to see more of this world in future books, as there is a lot of potential for the future in this book. Fans of this series will, I think, definitely be pleased. Storm Called is definitely a contender for my favourite book in this series.

Not only was the plot interesting, but there is the return of a few familiar faces. I just want to say that Mercy has some awesome friends, and I love the way Briggs writes Mercy’s relationship with Adam and her relationship with his pack. It feels very real. The baddies are intriguing characters, though at times they do feel a little flat and two-dimensional. I don’t really feel that that reflects negatively on the story, to me it just reflects the fact that the story follows Mercy’s point of view and she’s not an omniscient narrator. There is definitely the feel that there is a lot going on behind the scenes, but considering the events of previous books it is somewhat to be expected – after all Mercy and her pack are at the centre of a period of great change within the world.

If you are new to this series and have just stumbled across this review and thought it sounded interesting, then I highly recommend that you give the series a try with the first book in the series Moon Called. If you are a long-time fan of the series, and you haven’t got this book yet then go out and get it. If you’ve loved the previous ten books, or at least liked them, then you will enjoy this one too.

Reviewlets: Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1 Dark Trinity & Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

After the success of my first reviewlets post, I thought I’d continue it with two more short book reviews for you to enjoy. Sometimes I read a book and I don’t have a lot to say about it, so I find sharing my thoughts in these mini reviews quite helpful – I hope they help you too.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1 Dark Trinity written by Scott Lobdell, artist Dexter Soy, colourist Veronica Gandini ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol 1: Dark Trinity

This is the first time I’ve ever delved into the DC universe in comic form. TV shows and films are where I know most of my DC lore from, but I was curious to learn more about Jason Todd and this seemed like a good place to start. Even with my very spotty canon background I found it easy to dive into the world in this bind-up. Lobdell includes a lot of backstory, so I did not feel lost at all. In fact, I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to getting my hands on the second bind-up and uncovering more about this world. Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini do a brilliant job with the artwork. Soy’s illustrations are incredibly detailed, and yet so clear. Jason was a really great main character, and he really pulled everything together. I loved the way his relationships with Artemis and Bizarro were written, and also his relationship with Bruce (though this is admittedly not something that is really focused on within the comic).

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5 stars)

Whiskey in a Teacup by Reese Witherspoon

This book is an interesting mash-up: part autobiography, part cook book, and hostess guide and yet somehow it just works. There is some really beautiful photography as well that compliments the narrative. Not just great food photos, but there are some beautiful scenery photos as well that give a glimpse into live in the US South. There has been a lot of thought put into this book and it shows. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet, though there are a few I’m tempted to try, I just glanced at them as they’re interspersed within the main narrative of Witherspoon discussing her life growing up in the American south – it is an interesting glimpse into a world I know very little about, apart from what is shown in books, tv and film.

Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

EVERY ENCHANTMENT HAS A PRICE.

With a flick of her paintbrush, Isobel creates stunning portraits for a dangerous set of clients: the fair folk. These immortal creatures cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and they trade valuable enchantments for Isobel’s paintings. But when she recieves her first royal patron – Rook, the autumn prince – Isobel makes a deadly mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes, a weakness that could cost him his throne, and even his life.

Furious, Rook spirits Isobel away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously amiss in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending upon each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, perhaps even love . . . a forbidden emotion that would violate the fair folk’s ruthless laws, rendering both their lives forfeit. What force could Isobel’s paintings conjure that is powerful enough to defy the ancient malice of the fairy courts?

Isoble and Rook journey along a knife-edge in a lush world where beauty masks corruption and the cost of survival might be more frightening that death itself.

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books (3 May 2018)
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 stars)

Funny story, but I only picked up a copy of An Enchantment of Ravens because I saw it on a lot of Instagram posts, back in 2018 when it was published, and thought it looked really pretty. Going into the book I actually didn’t know a lot about it, which I quite enjoyed. First person narration isn’t something I’m particularly keen on. For it to work, I’ve found I have to like the tone and the narrator. So I’m always pretty cautious about trying new books and authors who use this technique, and this book fills both of those criteria. I actually really enjoyed Isobel’s voice, and therefore I found Rogerson’s use of first person narration worked really well and I really enjoyed Isobel’s voice and perspective.

I will be honest, the book is slow to start which is normally something that I’m not particularly keen on. Especially, as with this book, when the plot slowly gains speed to that all the action is contained within the latter half of the story. It can feel a bit cramped together, and whilst it did feel a bit like that in this book I thought the pacing really worked for the story. It worked for me in this case because it allows the reader to get to know Isobel. Whilst Rook is a bit bland and a fairly typical fey prince, but Isobel shines for all that she is mortal, human.

When we first meet her Isobel is painting; providing portraiture for the fair folk. Her work is so skilled that the fey pay, in favours, for a portrait by her. And this is the bit that fascinates me most about her, she never forgets what they are and how dangerous they are to mortals. It also makes this story different from a lot of the books within this genre, and I actually really enjoyed the fact that Isobel is so aware. It is through Isobel’s work that she and Rook cross paths. I know I said that Rook was bland, but he stands out from the other fey in this book because he captures Isobel’s attention.

If you are looking for a story about the fey, then I highly recommend giving An Enchantment of Ravens a try. The story is fairly short, less than three hundred pages in my copy, so if the blurb intrigues you it’s well worth a try. Isobel’s tale is compelling, and Rogerson’s writing sucks you in and before you know it you’ll find yourself at the end. Telling the story through Isobel’s eyes allows Rogerson to remind us the dangers of the fey, but also to show us their beauty and cunning. Judging a book by its cover really worked out well this time, and I’m really pleased to have discovered this story.