Smoke Bitten by Patricia Briggs
Something has escaped from Underhill. Something with the power to assume control over anything with a single bite—and then take their form. It’s up to Mercy to stop it, before it can kill anything else.
3.5 stars, rounded down—and I’m kinda sobbing to be admitting that I didn’t love a Mercy Thompson book nearly as much as the rest of the series.
After the stunning previous two installations, this felt more like filler for a Big Showdown of Something.
The set-up for a Later Thing:
-Underhill established a door so that she can visit Aiden.
-The witches’ curse on Adam is coming into power.
-Mercy is realizing the power of her pack bonds and how to use them.
-The relationship with the Marrock and everything else is being realized/established.
-Jesse decides to go to college close to home, instead of at the U of O near her mother (boooooo, Chrissy) or U Dub (because things are Shaking Up and she needs to be safe).
-Girl Power™ in the form of highlighting the female werewolves and their power.
-Stefan is out of action, as Stefan always is.
-Wulfe is weird and has a kink for Mercy, but every cishet man has a kink for Mercy so that’s not new.
And really not much else happens. There is a lot of talk, a lot coordinating and double coordinating and running around trying to figure out what the fuck is going on and what is happening with Adam and much Congratulations about Mercy and Adam boning At Long Last So the Alpha Chills the Fuck Out.
The Big Bad is as nebulous as the smoke that curls out of its bites. That whole plot (and it’s kinda ridiculous revelation???) felt more like something that should have been kept into a novella instead of expanded into a whole-length book.
Overall, there were good points, but most of the plot and reasoning went around its ass to get to its elbow and therefore it felt like very little was revealed or accomplished.
Here’s hoping that something Big (and actually consequential) happens in the next book, because I will be very disappointed if this long-running series gets stale. And I hope that the next book has Big Things that happen that…actually change the dynamics of the world, because despite the Columbia Gorge crew being out of the Marrock’s protection and on their own, nothing really has changed. And Adam’s curse felt more like a gimmick than real angst and suffering.
Anywho, I’ll read the next one because I love this series to death, but fingers crossed that there’s an end in sight before it rehashes old plot points and stretches a tiny plot out into a novel.
I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review
Smoke Bitten released March 17, 2020, from Ace.