Storm Cursed by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Urban fantasy isn't the force it once was, but there are still a few long-running series out there. The Mercy Thompson series is one of them. This is the eleventh book, and while I didn't like it quite as much as last year's excellent Silence Fallen, it's still an entertaining blend of vampires, werewolves and witches. In this case all three of the above interact with the human world, which brings the messiness of human politics into the mix.
As always, our protagonist is Mercy Thompson, the skinwalker daughter of Coyote. Mercy is endearing precisely because she isn't a superpowered badass; she's a coyote shapeshifter, which means she can't take on a werewolf or a witch head on and has to rely on stealth, smarts and cunning. (That doesn't mean she doesn't have surprising powers of her own--she can see ghosts, and as she discovers at this story's climax, she has her father Coyote's power over the dead.) It thus falls to her mate and husband, Adam Hauptman, the leader of the local werewolf pack, to get the big fight scenes. The mature, supportive relationship between the two is one of the highlights of the series, as they have each other's backs at all times.
A story and world like this can easily become fraught with cliches, but Briggs manages to keep her universe relatively fresh. A big part of this is the supporting characters, particularly Stefan the vampire and Zee the fey. This book doesn't offer any big character reveals or world-shattering plot changes, but it's a good entertaining read.
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