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Winter Lost

Winter Lost, June 2024
Mercy Thompson #14
by Patricia Briggs

Ace
416 pages
ISBN: 0593438981
EAN: 9780593438985
Kindle: B0CM8BNN6S
Hardcover / e-Book / audiobook
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"Coyote shifter and her werewolf mate must stop the Ending Of the World"

Fresh Fiction Review

Winter Lost
Patricia Briggs

Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted June 16, 2024

Fantasy Urban

Author Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite authors of all time.  I ADORE her two paranormal urban fantasy series, Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega, both set in the same world.  I eagerly await the drop of each new bookand I reread each of these series at least once a year.  All this being said, I was disappointed to find that WINTER LOST, novel fourteen in the Mercy Thompson universe, did not resonate with me. 

Briggs had an earlier Mercy Thompson book, SILENCE FALLEN, where there were two main narrators and the timelines of the narrators were offset, making it a bit tricky to follow.  I disliked SILENCE FALLEN the first time I read it, for that reason; I felt it was gimmicky and did not advance the story.  Here, Briggs employs this tactic along with several other confusing writing tricks that make the story difficult to follow.  There are many different narrators, and it's often not clear who is the narrator in a given chapter.  Some narrators are unreliable.  And the timeline keeps shifting between the narrators as well.  All these things combine to make the book a morass of confusion.   A little bit of confusion is greatly enjoyable to me; for example, I delight in unreliable narrators.  But there are too many different tactics of confusion going on here for me. 

Too, Mercy is herself undergoing a lot of personal confusion.  In the last book, SOUL TAKEN, Mercy’s psyche is ripped open by a magical artifact that has left her reeling.  She cannot close herself off from “seeing” into the creatures around her, and she has lost control of many of her innate defenses against the magic around her.  Many times she is beset by a raging headache and the inability to speak or move, dealing with the aftermath of being torn asunder by the non-fae artifact.  Perhaps Briggs is trying to make her readers more viscerally experience the utter confusion that the character Mercy is, by making the story very confusing? 

I read this book another time before writing this review, and it is easier to parse the second time around.  I find myself still disliking the confusion this story engenders, however.  While I still delight in the Mercy Thompson series, I don’t imagine this book will ever be one of my favorites in the series.  Still, WINTER LOST does serve to advance Mercy’s story, and as always, I will be thrilled when the next book in the series is released.

Learn more about Winter Lost

SUMMARY

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must stop a disaster of world-shattering proportions in this exhilarating entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

In the supernatural realms, there are creatures who belong to winter. I am not one of them. But like the coyote I can become at will, I am adaptable.

My name is Mercy Thompson Hauptman, and my mate, Adam, is the werewolf who leads the Columbia Basin Pack, the pack charged with keeping the people who live and work in the Tri-Cities of Washington State safe. It’s a hard job, and it doesn’t leave much room for side quests. Which is why when I needed to travel to Montana to help my brother, I intended to go by myself.

But I’m not alone anymore.

Together, Adam and I find ourselves trapped with strangers in a lodge in the heart of the wilderness, in the teeth of a storm of legendary power, only to discover my brother’s issues are a tiny part of a problem much bigger than we could have imagined. Arcane and ancient magics are at work that could, unless we are very careful, bring about the end of the world. . .


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