Reviewed in the United States on December 31, 2020
Second in the Mercy Thompson paranormal fantasy series (fourth in the Mercyverse) and revolving around Mercedes Thompson, a VW mechanic. Based in the Tri-Cities, Washington state.
If you're interested, there is a chronological listing of the Mercyverse books on my website.
It's not only the werewolves that get outed, so did Mercy as a walker hated by vampires. It'll take quite a bit to keep her alive.
Especially with that demon-ridden vampire running around the Tri-Cities. This was a pip of a story with plenty of action and some really tense — negative — events. Had my heart in my mouth for a few of these. It doesn't help with all the betrayals rampant in Blood Bound.
I do enjoy Adam's "relationship" with Mercy. It's all push and pull with Mercy getting her vengeance with that old Rabbit, half destroyed in a field with some excellent graffiti that greatly annoys the OCD Adam.
Briggs also gets some good bits in about bigotry, all those fears about "monsters" and gays. It's the scary "monster under the bed" fears we all have to some extent. Of course, it doesn't help when evil is prodding and poking at everyone's self-control. It's Kyle who pokes fun at people by emphasizing his gayness. Ya gotta love the guy, ROFL.
Briggs uses first person protagonist point-of-view from Mercy's perspective, so everything we know is what Mercy experiences.
Ooh, one of those subplots is Andre's taking of Daniel. Stefan is so ticked. Another subplot that keeps me so entertained is Adam insisting that Mercy needs bodyguards, lol. She so hates that. She's also, um, found out that Adam declared her his mate. Oops...
Ooh, Mercy is getting herself in deep with the cops, the vampires, and the fae. Each has their own way of meting out justice. Of course, that sorcerous vampire is pretty nasty too...just take a look at Mercy's trailer!
Whoa...turns out Warren's been faking it all this time. It's definitely an eye-opener! Another reveal is pretty nasty...if Stefan is dead, so are his sheep, according to what Naomi tells Mercy. We also find out where the vampires find their sheep. It is a practical choice. Especially Stefan's since he's realized that these more modern times require a more practical, world-serving choice.
Then there's that snark for which I adore Mercy. That was some zinger she sent Andre's way, lol. Of course, it's not the same as that final zinger. It cracked me up, reading about Adam having to rescue that "dog" all the time.
A dominant theme in the series is, well, dominance. Adam is an alpha werewolf who had been in the army, so he can't help being a control freak. It's not an approach that appeals to Mercy, and Adam is struggling to compromise.
The Tri-Cities is awash in violence and blood, and everyone needs a Mercy who can tickle out the truth and take the culprit down.
Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson owns a garage and works on German cars. She's also a walker who turns into a coyote, sees ghosts, and is immune to some vampire magics. Medea is her Manx cat who loves anyone who will pet her. Gabriel Sandoval is her current part-time office manager and tool rustler.
Dr Samuel Cornick is now Mercy's roommate and a werewolf friend from her childhood. He's finally licensed to practice medicine in Washington state and works in the ER at a Kennewick hospital. He's also the oldest son of the Marrok, Bran Cornick, the Alpha of all Alphas in North America. Charles is Bran's younger son. Bryan, a werewolf in the Marrok's pack, and his human wife, Evelyn, had been Mercy's foster parents.
The Columbia Basic pack is...
...the local werewolf pack led by Adam Hauptman, a former Ranger who now owns a security company. Jesse is his fifteen-year-old human daughter. Adam is divorced from Jesse's selfish, irresponsible mother.
Dr Darryl Zao is Adam's second and an engineer. His wife, Auriele, is a chemistry teacher at a high school. Warren, a real cowboy when he'd been turned, is Adam's third and a good friend to him and Mercy. He's also gay, which is quite an achievement for him to have survived this long...and to be accepted (at least by Adam) into a pack. He's in a relationship with Kyle Brooks, a shark of a divorce lawyer for whom Warren now works as a private investigator. A computer geek who works at the Pacific Northwest Nation Laboratory, Ben is a recent import from England who sneers swear words and is not trusted around women. Mary Jo works for the Kennewick Fire Department. While Honey is a dominant wolf, she prefers her low rank due to her mate, Peter Jorgenson, a submissive and a plumber. Elliot. The nasty Paul who thinks he's all that.
Stefan "Soldier" Ucello is a loyal vampire who loves Scooby Doo with his own Mystery Machine, and he's Mercy's friend. Daniel had been one of Stefan's sheep. His other sheep include Naomi, a professor with leukemia, who acts as business manager; Rachel has been with him since she was twelve; Josephine "Joey" rides a motorcycle and scared too easily; Tommy; and, Ford, who is dang close to becoming a vampire. The Mistress of the local seethe is Signora Marsilia, a banished vampire. Lilly is a crazy vampire but one gifted as a pianist. Andre, the "Courtier" with a preference for pirate shirts, is one of Marsilia's powerful vampires along with the crazy Wulfe the "Wizard", Bernard, Estelle is the "Teacher", and Stefan.
The non-scary fae came out some thirty years ago on the orders of the Gray Lords, and the government put them on reservations to protect them and keep them where the feds could keep an eye on them.
Uncle Mike's is a mostly fae bar in Pasco. It's owned by, ta-dah, Uncle Mike, a powerful fae. Fergus is one of the bouncers who forgot about not killing the customers. Biddy is another bouncer.
Siebold "Zee" Adelbertsmiter calls himself a gremlin, able to handle metals of all kinds. He had employed Mercy as a mechanic and later sold the garage to her. He's still her friend.
Sylvia Sandoval is a widow who works as a dispatcher for the Kennewick Police Department. Gabriel is her oldest and the rest are her vivacious girls. Tony Montenegro is an undercover detective who's in love with Sylvia and is a friend of Mercy's. Sergeant Owens is the watch commander.
Elizaveta Arkadyevna is an almost black witch who is under contract for clean-ups with the pack and the seethe.
Asmodeus, no wait, he's Kurfel, nope, no, he's Cory Littleton, a sorcerer from Chicago who is desiring great power.
The existence of werewolves was revealed to the world six months ago and scientists everywhere, including Johns Hopkins, are studying what virus or bacteria is involved. Mrs Marjorie Hanna is a ghost with a regular route that includes Mercy's garage. Tom Black is a reporter after a story about Adam. Kim is an upholstery genius who collaborates with Mercy in restoring rusting hulks. Sensei Johanson is Mercy's teacher in shisei kai kan as opposed to Adam's aikido. Josef Riddlesback, a werewolf, is a friend of John Beckworth whose young daughter, Kara, was attacked. Jonie is a nurse at Kadlec Hospital.
The Cover and Title
The cover is primarily orange with that striped, deep orange sky forming most of the background. The frame of it is an open bay door with piles of tires on either side of the bottom. I reckon that bat hanging from the top and those flying in the sky represent the vampires. Mercy herself, with those tattooed sleeves, the "necklace", and her coyote paw print all exposed (why does Briggs have this need to show off more tattoos than Mercy has??), wearing a black bra that gives her plenty of cleavage with a maroon button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up and cinched in with a belt over her jeans, holds a wrench in her left hand, laying it up on her shoulder with her head tilted down and aside. Her brown hair is bound into a ponytail (did this cover artist even read the book?). The info blurb at the top is in a greenish yellow with the author's name below it in white. A testimonial in white is immediately below that. At the bottom is the title, also in white.
The title is primarily about the vampires who are Blood Bound.