Author: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Mercy Thompson #8
Rating: D +
Night Broken is number eight in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and my introduction to the books.
After a late night visit from Fae Lord, Alistair Beauclaire, Mercy is given seven days to retrieve an artifact from Coyote. Unfortunately, no one seems to know how to find him and Mercy isn’t currently at the top of her game. A panicked phone call had forced Mercy and her husband, Adam, to open their home to his ex-wife, Christy. Now Christy is living with them as they protect her from a homicidal stalker.
Briggs is an engaging writer, but I have a problem with the fact that the rape of her heroines is a device she uses repeatedly. I found it hard enough to deal with it in her Alpha and Omega series, whose heroine has a brutal history of being repeatedly gang raped. So, I wasn’t chomping at the bit to dive into these books since I knew that, in one of the earlier stories, Mercy is sexually assaulted. In Night Broken, I was a little disturbed by how the rape was referred to consistently as just an assault. If I hadn’t known about it prior to going into the story I would’ve assumed that Mercy had just been beat-up. I was also horrified that there’s a video of it floating around, which almost everyone seems to have seen. I was further disturbed by the fact that everyone ignores what happened to Mercy and instead concentrates on how awesome/terrifying Adam was in it when he took out her attacker. This is not what should be concentrated on here. Why does it seems like the tape is getting passed around? Why does no one in this book see it as an extreme violation to have seen this tape? Why isn’t Mercy more upset by it? I really despised how this aspect was handled throughout the story.
Originally, I had chosen to start with this Mercy book because the plot interested me the most. I’m a sucker for stories where established relationships are going through a difficult time while danger stalks them. However, it didn’t work for me here. Mercy is having a tough time as Christy attempts to manipulate her way back into Adam’s life. Instead of doing anything about it, Mercy just keeps quiet. She constantly plays the martyr throughout this novel. By the end, I was so tired of her accepting the blame for every issue that arose and trying to take the heat for people who were at fault.
I also had a huge problem with how Adam handled Christy. He did nothing to protect his relationship with Mercy. If anything, I would say that he piled onto the issue by catering to Christy’s requests. I wasn’t on board with the excuse for his actions being that he didn’t want Mercy to look jealous and petty. I can understand (sort of) why Mercy would be concerned about everyone seeing her that way, as she’s trying to win people over. However, why is Adam so concerned by it? He’s in charge and people seem to adore him. Setting some clear boundaries and backing-up his wife instead of his ex should’ve been a no-brainer. I was further frustrated at how, by the end, nothing came from all the drama with Christy’s manipulations. We spent the majority of the book on Mercy’s angst around the topic and there was no real conclusion to it. The only thing I can think of is that Christy will still be flitting around in the next book and that’s why there was no closure there.
Despite my issues with the novel, I enjoyed the plot around Christy’s stalker and Briggs’ writing style is very smooth. It’s what kept me reading. However, I won’t be picking-up another Mercy book. I didn’t enjoy the characters, or their relationships with each other, enough to read another one. I’ll be sticking with just Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series for now.