Title: Soul Taken (Mercy Thompson, #13)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publication date: August 23, 2022
Length: 352 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy
Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must face her greatest fears in this chilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.
The vampire Wulfe is missing. Since he’s deadly, possibly insane, and his current idea of “fun” is stalking me, some may see it as no great loss. But, warned that his disappearance might bring down the carefully constructed alliances that keep our pack safe, my mate and I must find Wulfe—and hope he’s still alive. As alive as a vampire can be, anyway.
But Wulfe isn’t the only one who has disappeared. And now there are bodies, too. Has the Harvester returned to the Tri-Cities, reaping souls with his cursed sickle? Or is he just a character from a B horror movie and our enemy is someone else?
The farther I follow Wulfe’s trail, the more twisted—and darker—the path becomes. I need to figure out what’s going on before the next body on the ground is mine.
The Mercy Thompson series is one of my very favorites, and Mercy herself is one of my all-time favorite characters! As you can imagine, waiting 2 1/2 years for a new release felt like torture. But never fear, our long wait is over — a new Mercy book is here, and it was very much worth the wait.
Mercy is brave, strong, and fiercely devoted to her mate Adam, to their werewolf pack, and to anyone she sees as under her protection… which, as of several books ago, now extends to anyone (human or supernatural) living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington.
The pack has a sometimes smooth, sometimes uneasy pact with the local vampire seethe, and when their most dangerous vampire goes missing, it’s a sign that great evil is potentially at play. The fact that this vampire also has an unhealthy obsession with Mercy just makes it that much more important that he be found before very bad things start to happen to the people Mercy loves.
As in the rest of the series, there’s plenty of action and danger, and of course, Mercy and Adam end up with their lives in peril… repeatedly. The specifics of this book’s plot won’t make a ton of sense to someone who hasn’t read the rest of the series, so let’s just say that high points include a big reveal about a secret identity, some questioning about the trustworthiness of an old ally, and the reappearance of a deadly foe.
I love Mercy, always, and I especially love her in her quieter moments with Adam, when we see the depth of their connection. I also love every opportunity to see the pack spending time together, whether in battle or playing silly video games (and we get both in this book).
There’s also a brief mention of a continuing plot point from the Mercy-verse’s other series (Alpha & Omega), because these two series take place in the same world and there are characters who appear in both. (Just FYI, if you’re wondering why it’s been 2.5 years since the last Mercy book, it’s because there was an A&O book released in between). It’s only a small scene, one that doesn’t impact this book’s plot significantly, but it’s tantalizing enough to make me eager to see that story pick up again too.
A new Mercy book is always a treat, and Soul Taken made me incredibly happy, except for the moments when I was quaking with fear when a beloved character was at risk (which, let’s face it, is on and off throughout the entire book).
The plot was perhaps a little slighter and/or more opaque than some of the others in the series, but it does move certain characters and situations into interesting new positions for whatever comes next… and whatever comes next, I am absolutely here for it!
And now, it’s back to waiting for the next new release, hopefully in no more than a year… and meanwhile, I can always go back and re-read my favorite moments from the rest of the series!
PS – As always, a note of love for the awesome cover art by Daniel Dos Santos, whose work is just always so beautiful!