Night Broken is the eighth book in one of the most beloved, popular ongoing urban fantasy series. The previous installment, Frost Burned, was two years in the making and thank goodness we didn’t have to wait as long for this one.
Jen: Frost Burned had the normal, crazy conflict Mercy has a way of getting herself wrapped up in but what it also had was so real progress in Mercy and Adam’s relationship. We saw a connection between them that allowed things generally unheard of between mates and I was very excited to see where it would go in future books.
The first two sentence of the blurb had me squinty eyed:
An unexpected phone call heralds a new challenge for Mercy. Her mate Adam’s ex-wife is in trouble, on the run from her new boyfriend.
Nothing good ever comes from the ex being brought back into the story, especially one we know is a useless putz and no good for her daughter, Jesse. I thought this might be Adam and Mercy’s time to shine and show what their relationship was really made of but then this happened on page 6.
If she tried anything, she would be sorry. Adam was mine. She had thrown him away, thrown Jesse away-and I had snatched them up. Finder keepers.
Oooookkkkk, so it was going to be like that. Sigh.
Angela: The blurb had me worried, then excited, then worried, then excited again. I was actually kind of anxious to see what the dynamic would be between Mercy, Adam and the much talked about, but never seen ex. Especially after Mercy and Adam have been through so much and developed this new connection between them. I was hoping to see Mercy put her in her place quickly. Welllll, that didn’t happen, but there were fireworks for sure. Most I wasn’t happy with and changed my opinion about several characters in this series forever. I think this quote kind of sums up Christy nicely.
Jesse gave me a despairing look. “She doesn’t want Dad, but that doesn’t mean she wants anyone else to have him. She’ll try to get between the two of you— like water torture. Drip. Drip. Drip. You should hear what she says about you.”
Jen: Let’s talk about the Pack. I love this series, truly I do. It easily ranks up there as one of my favorite. But after the events of this book, I HATE the Columbia Basin pack. The ground could open up and every last one of them fall through (ok, maybe a couple wouldn’t have to die) and I would be ok with that. I was so damn angry reading this book, Angela. The way they treated Mercy and the way it was ALLOWED to happen like it was acceptable was unacceptable to me. Mercy has given blood, sweat and tears for those assholes and they jumped right to Christy’s side even though she is the one who couldn’t handle being with Adam.
Angela: I completely and totally agree with you, Jen. I was so MAD at the pack. Like seriously angry. I kept reading, waiting for something to happen and people to jump to Mercy’s defense and every single time that didn’t happen and they let this person slight Mercy I got more pissed. There are only a few members I can even stand at this point and there were a couple I was hoping would just get killed off. I’ve come to the conclusion that Mercy is too good for them. All of them. At a couple points while reading I even had the thought that she was too good for Adam. He redeemed himself, but still, I did have that thought.
Jen: The conflict, as always, was riveting and superbly written. I didn’t want to put the book down. Around the 50% mark the story shift more to dealing with the baddies instead of how many ways can we shit on Mercy. At that point, I was on board. Mercy is at her finest when dealing with problems and solving stuff. It helped also that this was a problem of Christy’s making and maybe that meant Mercy was going to save the day.
Angela: I read this in one sitting. I was always on board, if only to see how Mercy would finally put the evil, narcissistic, shameless ex in her place. Once the action picked up and Mercy started doing what Mercy does best I kept thinking “okay, this is where the pack’s attitude changes.” Especially since this was a problem Christy brought to the pack. Even with how well the conflict and action scenes were written I can honestly say THAT was what was always in the back of my mind. That is how upsetting the whole pack attitude thing was to me.
Jen: Also, as always, the secondary characters are one of the highlights of the story. Zee, Stefan, Kyle, Gabriel, Ben, Marsilia, Tad, Warren, Honey, Peter, Tony, Coyote all play a part and some even have larger roles than I expected. We learn something about Stefan that made me sad and hopeful, Tad has an interesting twist, Coyote plays a huge part and brings with him a new character, Gary and then there are blah, blah and blah of the Pack. They don’t deserve names. Oh and let’s not forget our trusty walking stick.
Angela: I love the secondary characters in this series. I used to love more than I do now, but I’m always happy to see Tad, Zee, Warren and Stefan. You know the thing that surprised me the most? How much I enjoyed Honey in this installment. With all the above twists and turns and the reaction of the pack to Christy it will be interesting to see how Pack dynamics change in the future. Some changes I’m looking forward to seeing, some I have a sense of dread about. Things are going to be different now, for readers and for Mercy.
Jen: In the end, I think the quote below is what saved the book for me. It was also my favorite quote. Behind the story and the crap Mercy takes, there is a strong love and connection between these two that I can’t give up on. I think the future is very precarious for them and the pack though. Something has to give and I don’t think it will be this relationship since it remains the very heart of this series. Final grade- B
He looked up at me. There was heat in his gaze-there is always some spark of heat when Adam looks at me, bet there was also need that was deeper than sexual. I could see the shadow caused by worry, possessiveness, and a vulnerability that allowed him, the Alpha wolf, to stay on the ground when I was standing. That vulnerability (and the possessiveness) meant that Adam would never let me leave him, as he’s let Christy leave.
Angela: I love that quote! I spent a good deal of this book upset, but I will say that I believe in Mercy and Adam. They have been through too much, come through too many things to let anything come between them. This is still one of the best urban fantasy series out there and I am already anxiously awaiting the next release. Final Grade- B+
“I love you,” I told him rawly. “And if you don’t come back, I will spit on your grave.”
He smiled, but not enough to bring on his dimple. “I know you do, and I know you will. Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, if I have not said it, you should know that you brought joy into my life when I thought there was no joy left in the world.”