Three Recent Recommended Reads
Night Broken by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson series)
Night Broken, the eighth book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, places Mercy in a precarious and dangerous situation.
Danger lurks as a threat to herself, her marriage and her pack.
You've all probably at least heard of the Mercy Thomson series, but for the few that haven't, here's the scoop: Mercy is both human coyote. She’s a shape shifter married to Adam, alpha male and leader of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack in Washington. A coyote and a wolf falling in love and marrying stands out as unique. They share a commitment to honor one another and their pack. They are both primal beings and human beings.
Adam’s former wife, in an attempt to usurp Mercy’s position as wife and pack member, comes to Adam begging for protection against a stalker who threatens her life. The truth is that the stalker is real but Adam’s former wife is decidedly human with her own self-serving agenda.
It’s not in Adam’s character to turn away a person in need, especially his daughter’s mother.
The plot thickens, bodies pile up and the stalker’s sinister intentions pull Mercy and Adam into a vortex of ancient lust.
Beginning with Briggs’ first Mercy Thompson novel Moon Called through Night Broken, each book builds upon the last in a world of urban fantasy and diverse characters. This wonderfully crafted series will keep you reading and looking toward the next book.
I continue to be so impressed with how Briggs manages to keep this series fresh through so many books--while other series have outlasted their welcome, this one leaves me looking forward to each new installment.
Mortal Danger by Ann Aguirre
Cutting a deal with the devil has never been a recommended way to settle scores or solve problems. For Edie, it’s a deal she can’t pass up.
She was supposed to die at 5:57 a.m. She’d been planning it for months and just as the plunge is ready to swallow her, a handsome savior stands before her offering a deal she can’t refuse.
Edie never fit in at her exclusive prep school. Blackbriar insured that the rich and beautiful people who attended there would further enhance their prestige and presence. Edie was neither beautiful nor rich, especially not rich. She saw herself as homely and weak. Kian, her newly-found friend, her crush and her savior offers to make her beautiful, therefore solving her problems.
The assholes at Blackbriar won’t know what hit them.
Suddenly, the brilliant Edie can strut about Blackbriar since she’s now the sweetest eye candy they’ve ever seen. But, there’s so much more to living than being a pretty face. She’s learning more about life with a gorgeous face and great body than she ever did as an ordinary and plain girl.
How did I feel about being eye candy? It was bizarre and slightly unwelcome, not because I didn’t think I was pretty now but I wasn’t before, and I was still the same person inside.
Guys whistled when she went by, flirted and did their best to get her attention. This reality brought her to a horrifying realization. Hateful words and actions painfully asserted themselves into her mind until she felt the only escape was death. But now that she was the object of desire, she didn’t feel pretty or special. She felt disgusted.
It just made me feel worse, knowing that it didn’t matter what kind of person I was, only how I looked.
Mortal Danger digs deeply, sometimes painfully, into the life of a teen wanting to be accepted for who she is, but knowing that wasn't going to happen. She’s facing grave danger and taking it on as if it’s a game.
Aguirre caught me on a sharp hook with this book. I know there’s another one to come and I want to follow Edie’s moves as she explores everyday teen life and ancient foes.
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
“It’s stupid and mean to tell a young girl that she can fly, only to have her heart, not to mention her bones, broken when she realizes she can’t.” “ So, you think it’s better she doesn’t even try?”
Leslye Walton’s first published novel caught my eye initially because of its beautiful cover and second with the promise of magic realism. Neither disappointed.
I find it difficult to categorize the strange and beautiful sorrows of ava lavender. It is magic realism and so much more. It’s about hopes, dreams, finding your wings and learning about love.
Lyrical prose sealed Ava into my imagination, Ava who in every way but one is a typical teen with hopes, dreams and naiveté. The significant difference between her and others is she has wings sprouting from her back like a bird or an angel.
How does a lovely young girl fit in with her peers when her wings set her apart in such a stunning way?
Ava suffers from teen angst and misunderstanding. She also suffers from her family’s legacy that repeats itself generation after generation.
Love makes us such fools.
Love can uplift. Love can demean. Love can give us wings. Ava Lavender experiences one after another.
I highly recommend this beautifully crafted novel to those who love magic realism, who can get lost in mystical language and who through the pages of a book can easily slip into another world and accept its reality.
But, this weird novel will not hold everyone’s interest. My book club selected it as a reading choice with varied responses. A couple of us sang its praises, others did not finish while a couple who finished found it too strange.
I am one who sing its praises, obviously. The multi-layered and mythical quality of the book makes for a magical and beautiful read. The poetic prose creates strong images that will stay with you long after you close its cover.