After Mercy stood on a bridge and declared the citizens of her territory safe from others, she and her pack have been seriously busy. Called out to take care of some miniature goat zombies (or was it goat mini zombies?) she stumbles onto the fact that her territory is under siege by a coven of witches. The timing could have been better, after all, Adam and the pack are helping the government negotiate a meeting with the Gray Lords (fae) that will hopefully end in peace. Mercy again finds herself in the middle of a ‘situation’ and it takes the combined efforts of her pack to facilitate the survival of everyone.
Mercy is one of my favorite urban fantasy heroines. Even though she’s mated to the Alpha of the Columbia Basin pack, is the daughter of Coyote, and step daughter to Bran- THE North American Alpha, she is a character that many of us readers can identify with. She is a woman who lives for normality. However, being Coyote’s daughter, mischief is never very far away. In Storm Cursed, Mercy’s role as ‘she who spoke big words on the bridge’ is never more apparent. She now has to leave that wish for normality behind her and actively interfere for those who ask for her help. Her interference previously has always been passive. Mischief finds her, but now she must find the mischief in order to stop all of the chaos. It’s an interesting change for this character and I quite like seeing her take a more leadership role in her own life.
There were many plots and sub- plots intertwining through Storm Cursed that makes it really hard to talk about the plot without giving away some key plot points so I’m not going to talk too much about those other than to say there was a lot of very satisfying action scenes where Mercy and the gang got to outsmart the bad guys. I loved these action scenes, but a more subtle defining moment for Mercy’s character was when she and Mary Jo were dealing with the mini goat zombie’s (or was it zombie miniature goat’s?) and they had a heart to heart. Mary Jo is one of the wolves who is against Mercy and Adam’s relationship. Even though Adam declared a cease fire on any active resistance to he and Mercy’s marriage, Mary Jo still subtly lets Mercy know she’d prefer Adam with Christy, his ex-wife. Mercy usually rolls with the punches, but Mary Jo’s dig catches her at a weak moment and she speaks her thoughts on why Adam and Christy were bad together. Why would you want your Alpha to be with someone who tore him down and made him regret who he was? Christy was that woman who make him feel bad about himself and ashamed of being a wolf. I believe this conversation with Mary Jo will be the turning tide in Mercy’s relationship with the pack and we could see a united front in future storylines. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so!
The title of this book is Storm Cursed which is certainly apropos because they are in fact battling a coven of witches and their evil curses, but that is not the only cursed storm in this novel. In fact, this series is rife with objections against behavior that is beyond the norm. There are government factions who are against non humans, both fae, wolf, and vampire. There are vampire politics and hierarchy whose lineage becomes transparent both in Marsilia’s seethe as well as rooted throughout America and Europe’s vampire community’s. Then there are the more commonly found bias’s among humans against homosexuals and women, themes that are vividly portrayed on these pages. In Storm Cursed, we see the beginnings of absolution for many of these things. Kyle, Warren’s lover, is given a hierarchy of sorts within the pack, politicians begin to see more clearly through the clouded glasses of bias and hate, and yes, women’s roles are not subjugated but given strength through their actions. This novel starts as Storm Cursed, but almost ends up being a blessed storm. One that provides a cool wind of change. I can’t wait to see what the next Mercy Thompson novel will bring and in what other ways the subjugated will become uplifted.
I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
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