For week 9, I read Silver Borne, by Patricia Briggs.
I’m a big fan of this series. I haven’t tried very hard to get into Briggs’ fantasy series, of which there are several, but I do enjoy her Alpha & Omega series, which are based in the same alternate universe as Mercy Thompson’s. I really like the main character, and while she does do frustrating things now and then for the sake of the plot, they make sense. Mercy manages to keep her own fragility in mind when she’s dealing with monsters, and knows better than to charge into battle with things that are stronger than she is, even if a rescue is warranted. It seems to me that a lot of other Strong Paranormal Lady Investigator types take their highest heels and their cutest gun belt and just charge into the fray, while everyone around them is frantically trying to keep them from killing themselves out of sheer, bull-headed right-fighting.
Perhaps that’s the thing I like most about Mercy; when everything around her is nuts, she manages to be the voice of reason. In most other types of urban fantasy novels, the main character is passionate and driven and tortured and must protect everyone, and the voice of reason is another person talking them off the ledge.
I also like that Mercy isn’t gorgeous, or worse, described as fairly average in appearance, but everyone finds her endlessly fascinating and desirable for no good reason. She isn’t particularly strong or amazingly intelligent (though she’s no slouch in the logic department), and in fact is surrounded by people who are bigger, scarier, stronger, smarter, prettier and more important. Still, the things she does matter. The things those other people do matter too, but when Mercy manages to pull something off, it’s usually because she isn’t as scary or strong or intimidating as the others, and those big, scary, smart, beautiful creatures completely underestimate what someone with half a brain and a lot of tenacity can do.
Now that I think about it, that has been my complaint with a lot of the modern heroines. They happen to get very, very lucky, or they have the right friends, or for some unknown reason the big bad screws itself up in the end, and voila, they win. Anticlimactic at best, a cheap victory most of the time, and outright insulting at worst.
I like this series. You should give it a shot. Please start at the beginning, though; don’t be like me.