Review: Winter Lost by Patricia Briggs

Posted April 8, 2024 by Lucy D in Book Reviews, Urban Fantasy / 0 Comments

Review:  Winter Lost by Patricia BriggsWinter Lost (Mercy Thompson, #14; Mercy Thompson World, #20) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #14
Published by Ace Berkley Penguin on June 18, 2024
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Netgalley
amazon b-n

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

Mercy Thompson, car mechanic and shapeshifter, must stop a disaster of world-shattering proportions in this exhilarating entry in the No. 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 . . .


I love Mercy.

I am always overwhelmed by how Mercy manages as a near human in this paranormal world. In Winter Lost, Mercy is still (LITERALLY) suffering the effects of the artifact known as the Soul Taker from the last story. She is has terrible headaches and her “soul is wide open” calling to all kinds of bad creatures and her natural magics have been twisted. Yet when her brother Gary shows up at her door with nearly all his senses dampened and no ability to speak, Mercy puts aside her own troubles to find out what happened to Gary.

Mercy and Adam travel to Montana where Gary had been caring for a ranch.  Since nothing is ever easy,  they are driving there during a snow storm that is turning into the blizzard of the century (I wonder if that is the same storm where Charles gets a visit from his brother, Samuel, at the end of Wild Signs. Hmmm?)   I was cold and stressed out during that entire trip.  (Note: Do not read this story in the winter)

Mercy and Adam are almost to the ranch when they are stopped by a frost giant, one who is creating this storm of the century and like an episode of The Mandalorian, Mercy and Adam need to do a favor for the frost giant before he will tell them what he knows about what happened to Gary.    Someone stole the frost giant’s lyre (see book cover) and has taken it down the road to the Hot Springs resort which is a natural holy place where the frost giant can’t go.   Mercy and Adam need to get the lyre back since the frost giant has already declared that everyone at the resort will die unless he gets his property back and he can’t go back on his word.  It’s a fae thing.

The biggest problem is that this Resort is about the host a wedding.  A binding which must occur ever 144 years to prevent the end of the world. With a blizzard making travel dangerous, the groom hasn’t yet arrived.  So, yeah, no pressure.

I love these stories but they stress me out too.  Mercy–and everything that makes her different than the regular paranormals–is the axis of this story.  It is what binds all of these different factions together where they normally wouldn’t work together.  But Mercy is far more breakable than vampires or werewolves and the like and she goes from one bashing to the next with barely time to recover.  You could feel her pain and suffering still from what the soul taker did to her in the prior story.   And she spent a lot of time in this story in the snow either naked or in wet clothes–so this whole story made me cold.

And we can’t forget that Bonarata is still playing cat and mouse with Mercy and Adam.  How come we haven’t seen Stefan is the last,  I don’t know, 10 novels?

One issue I do have is that there were two goings on that weren’t needed to move this story forward and I don’t know if the author decided not to pursue them further or if maybe they are foreshadowing for the next story?   One is the Sherwood gets into a car accident, which didn’t blow into anything and the second is that Darryl and his wife went to New Mexico to deal with an attack on a building that Adam’s security company was guarding. I do know that part of the New Mexico thing was that Adam sent Darryl to handle it so that he could go with Mercy — showing that Adam’s only true loyalty is with Mercy. Other than that, we really didn’t need to go back to it.  Focusing on things that don’t need to be part of the story make me nuts.

In a narration viewpoint, Patricia Briggs changed up the usual first person POV and broke up the story with Interludes–which featured different characters and goings on (see above) and we also got several Adam viewpoint chapters.

Favorite Scene:

Adam laughed. The winter sun struggled through the frost-edged windshield to love my husband’s face. I really didn’t care that he was beautiful–but I wasn’t blind.

“I love that dimple,” I told him, reaching out to touch his face.

His laughter quieted, his lovely eyes focused on the road ahead. He leaned his face into my hand, but I knew that he didn’t really enjoy compliments on his appearance–which, he observed now and then, was an accident of birth and nothing to do with him. He used his looks, as he used every talent, every bit of knowledge, and all of his strength and cunning, to keep the pack–and me–safe.

“Ask me why,” I said.

“Why?” His voice a little dry.

“Because it only comes out when you are happy,” I told him. “I like it when you’re happy.”

He glanced at me and away–but the dimple deepened.

My phone rang and I answered it. Silence drifted through the SUV’s speaker, and the dimple disappeared as if it had never been.

Its disappearance made my angry.

“Hi,” I said in a fake southern accent. “Thank you so much for takin’ my call. Do you have a few minutes? I’d like to talk to you.”

Adam gave me a look, but the roads were still not good. He couldn’t take his eyes off them for long.

I didn’t pause long enough for the vampire on the other end of the phone connection to say anything.

“Life is short,” I said, “and we’re not getting any younger. What would you give if you could look ten years younger and increase your energy at the same time? Here at Intrasity Living, we are so proud of our products and the help they provide to people who are tired and beaten down by life.”

And I spent about five minutes doing my best imitation of Jesse’s best friend’s mother’s multilevel marketing speech–surprised at how much of it I remembered. I was waxing poetic about how our Good Vibrations essential oil blend not only had proven effective in fighting male-pattern baldness but also lowered blood pressure when Bonarata disconnected without ever having said a word.

“Take that, you bastard,” I said, still clinging to my fake accent. “Bless your heart.”

Adam cracked up. I was fiercely proud that it took him a good few minutes before he calmed down enough to talk.

“I kept waiting, but you didn’t tell him that the orange essential oil raises the humble brownie to ambrosia level,” Adam said.

“He doesn’t deserve good brownies,” I told him.

Like this post? Share it with the rest of the world. --->

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.