Mercy Thompson-Hauptman’s evolution from grease-monkey rebel to wife of the Alpha of the local werewolf pack has been a slow process. At her core she remains the caring, hard-working, selfless woman we always liked, but life has a way of throwing her curve balls. So, when her husband’s ex-wife/mother of his only child comes running to the pack for help, Mercy has to find a way to cope.
Mercy’s husband, Adam, is truly a knight in shining armor. When someone he is connected to needs help, it’s not in his character to resist. He takes care of those he cares about, even when it’s not easy. Christy, Adam’s ex, is everything that Mercy is not. She is gentle-spoken, domestic, a great cook and really, really pretty. Well, Mercy is pretty too, but she doesn’t put the same kind of effort into it that Christy does. Mercy is also honest, loyal and faithful to those she loves and that’s the big divide between her and Christy and the reason that Adam is hers.
Christy’s life seems to be full of good-looking people, fun parties, lots of social life, and the adoration required to feed her needy ego. But when a strong wealthy man decides that he is going to keep Christy even when she wants to leave, bad things start happening. Sensing that she is in danger, Christy turns to Adam and the pack for aid. Even though they are still recovering from losing close members of the pack after the last big conflict, Adam’s pack takes her back in, but it’s not without strife and conflict because loyalty to Christy doesn’t mix well with having Mercy as the Alpha’s spouse. The “turf-war” over who is in charge amongst the females is ugly and for Adam and Mercy it’s a trial of their loyalty to each other.
As if often the case, the problem that Christy is running from turns out to be something much more dangerous than anyone thought. When god-like powers prove to be more than a match for the pack, things get very difficult. For Mercy, it means reaching out to her roots, to half-siblings, to other skin-walkers and even to the legendary Coyote himself, the trickster and sometimes hero.
In the midst of all this, the Fae come calling. One of the artifacts of the Fae has been in Mercy’s possession for longer than is deemed appropriate and she has to return it. Unfortunately, she gave it to Coyote and finding him is always easier said than done. Of course, that only means that Mercy has yet another life-threatening issue to deal with because if she can’t get it back, Beauclaire, one of the Fae Greylords, is not above destroying things to get what he wants.
Night Broken feels much like the rest of the MERCY THOMPSON series. The pattern of a huge threat, interaction with the other paranormal races, and Mercy finding a solution that is not usually what everyone she interacts with suspects. I really like what Patricia Briggs continues to do with Mercy. Let’s face it, coping with the challenges of being a spouse, step-mom and wife of the Alpha are going to shape her and that growth is what keeps the series interesting.