Sunday, April 18, 2010

Review: Silver Borne

Silver Borne
Patricia Briggs
Urban Fantasy
Mercy Thompson series/Book 5
Berkley/April 2010
Library book

*Spoilers for previous books*

From the inside cover ~

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shape-shifter, never knows what the day-or night-may bring in a world where "witches, vampires, werewolves, and shape-shifters live beside ordinary people" (Booklist). But she is about to learn that while some secrets are dangerous, those who see them are just plain deadly...

Mercy is smart enough to realize that when it comes to the magical fae, the less you know, the better. But you can't always get what you want. When she attempts to return a powerful fae book she previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secrets-and the fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side - leaving Mercy to cover for him lest his own father declare Samuel's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she may not have many more...

One of my favorite series and after reading Silver Borne, it still is. Ms. Briggs takes us back to Mercy's world and the pack that Mercy is slowing becoming part of. This time the fae figure prominently in the the story. I like the fae of Mercy's world. I'm not always fond of fae in UF, or witches for that matter. But Briggs writes them well and integrates them into the supernatural world of the Tri-Cities.

Mercy is still living at her trailer with Samuel as her roommate even though she's mated to Adam, the local pack alpha. I keep waiting for her to move to Adam's house, it's putting a strain on the pack dynamics, having the mate of the pack's alpha not living with the alpha. I can't help but think the only way Mercy will cement her position as Adam's mate and get the rest of the pack on the road to accepting her is to move into Adam's house. I get that she doesn't want to leave Samuel alone because he's been on the edge for a long time but as much as I love Samuel, IMO, Mercy's first loyalty should be to Adam.

We get lots of Adam this time around. :) His patience with Mercy sometimes makes me forget he's a werewolf, an alpha used to being obeyed. I love reading about Mercy and Adam and their developing relationship. Silver Borne added more layers to Mercy and Adam. Both as individuals and as a couple. The fact that Mercy lived with Bran's pack helps her deal with her feelings for Adam and her conflicting feelings where his pack is concerned. The pack still hasn't accepted Mercy with open arms, something that Mercy knows is highly unlikely. Add to that the friendship she maintains with Samuel and tension stays high.

Samuel is a lone wolf. He's also standing on the edge and about to go over. He's been barely hanging on, about to lose control to his wolf. All that changes when he makes a decision that forces Mercy to come to his and his wolf's aid. Sam (Samuel's wolf) is such a fascinating character to read. I loved seeing this side of Samuel. We usually don't see much of the animal side of shape-shifters in UF or PNR unless they're in attack mode. That wasn't the case here. Sam is a wolf that can interact with others without going into attack mode. The war of power play that we see between Samuel the man and Sam the wolf gives the reader a view of what goes on inside the shape-shifters. The difference here is we get to see it played out, in person, with Samuel and his wolf.

I've always liked Mercy and that hasn't changed. She still works hard at her garage and doesn't want special treatment because she's Adam's mate. Although, it would be nice if some of the pack didn't treat her with such disdain. We again see Mercy's determination and loyalty regarding her friends. She is determined to help Samuel/Sam and her loyalty makes things difficult when she must side-step questions from both Adam and Bran about Samuel. She has to tread a fine line when skipping around the truth with the two alphas.

As I mentioned the fae figure heavily when Mercy tries and fails to return a book and gets caught up in a fight over the book. The tension in Adam's pack hits a peak and Briggs shows us one way that conflicts are dealt with in the pack. I loved the parts with the pack and learning more about the inner workings. Mercy also takes a more active role as the alpha's mate which also helped with the story arc. I was glad to see this since I felt something needed to happen with regards to Mercy's standing in the pack. She couldn't maintain her distance without weakening Adam's control over the pack.

While I liked learning more about the fae, I did feel that and the romantic element regarding Samuel were the weakest points of the story. There was a lot of build up to the finale' of Mercy vs. the fae which is why the defeat was anticlimactic for me. And Samuel's love interest wasn't what I was expecting. I found myself wishing it had been fleshed out more. It felt too much like a quick fix to Samuel's problem. But even with all of that I still loved the book. Still stayed up until 2am reading it. Weird I know, but I think it just goes to the power of Briggs writing that while I had a couple of minor problems they didn't dampen the overall enjoyment of the book.

If you want to read a really great review of Silver Borne, head over and read nath's review. :)

Rating: A-


  1. Great review. I agreed with everything you wrote, 110%! I too was really happy to read Mercy's changing dynamic with the pack - I think Ms. Briggs is setting up for some very interesting pack politics, now that Mercy is well and truly emerged in that world of Adam's.

    I think the general consensus is that Samuel's story-line did not work. Patricia Briggs's husband, Mike Briggs, has been answering readers questions/comments over at the Amazon board... and he said (on behalf of Patti) that Sam's story was hard to tell because it was from Mercy's perspective... and it will probably take a few books (or possible a stand-alone Sam book?) to really communicate that history and romance.

  2. Fantastic review, Leslie. I am DYING to read this one... you know I am a HUGE Mercy fan. I am bent on waiting to buy the paperback, BUT... I am second on the list for the hardcover at the library. What the heck is taking those two other people so long?!?!!!!? LOL!

    Danielle, thanks for that tidbit about the full telling of Sam's story. That's interesting.. .and makes perfect sense, really. I hope Briggs does decide to do a stand alone Sam book. I think that would be a wonderful addition to this series/world.

  3. Danielle ~ I think you're right about the set up for the pack politics and Mercy's greater involvement. She really needs to take her place next to Adam.

    Oh, I second what Christine said - thanks for the info regarding Samuel. :) I do hope we get a Samuel book or even a novella, from his perspective.

    Christine ~ I hope you get your copy soon! I got lucky, the library had it to me within a week of release. Surprised the heck out of me. :)

  4. Nice review, Leslie :D Thanks for the link to mine, but seriously, I think you covered everything :D

    Well at least now, after the events, Mercy can move in with Adam no problem LOL. But you were probably right. Perhaps moving in with Adam and then presenting an united front would have been better.

    Luckily for me, the pack element in this book was strong and it should tide me till we get the next Alpha and Omega book. Sigh.

  5. nath ~ that's what I thought too until it was mentioned that the other half of Warren's duplex is empty. Why would Briggs mention that if it wasn't important? I hope Mercy doesn't move in there. Maybe Samuel will.

  6. Nah, I don't know. After this, it was pretty obvious for me that she would move in with Adam...

  7. nath ~ hope Mercy's smart like us and moves in with Adam. LOL