Book Review: Frost Burned

Audiobook cover: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs

Frost Burned is the 7th installment in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I’ve made it this far, which is a testament to Patricia’s world- and character- building skills. That said, Frost Burned wasn’t my favorite of the series.

The previous book, River Marked, had flowing action, relationship building, history, a mysterious and fantastical antagonist, and expanded on Mercy’s past. It was a fabulous holiday feast for readers hungry for more of the complex world and protagonist Patricia’s woven.

Frost Burned did little of the above. While the antagonists were mysterious, they felt shallow. Their transgressions included killing a recurring character. It was explained over and over why Mercy’s pack cared about the murder (i.e. why I should care), but the truth was that it was a minor character, and I had little personal investment. This, unfortunately, set most of the emotional foundations through the rest of the book, riling the pack into action and commiseration, which I had trouble connecting with. Even Stefan, who had finally gotten some much-deserved attention in previous books, felt flat and, if anything, confusing where his character arc was going, and what purpose he served.

Mercy did pull a few cool tricks out of her Walker hat, which furthered explored her atypical mate bond with the pack. We also got a much larger dose of Tad, Mercy’s former garage assistant who had always been a minor character. In this book, Tad acquires the spotlight and earns his Certificate of Badassitude. Long-winded explanations and justifications over plot points and decisions overshadowed these strengths, however, making it hard to get into this book as I had others.

The good news is that book 8, Night Broken, is off to a strong start, and will hopefully make up for what I consider a lull in the series.