I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Mercy Blade opens a month after the conclusion of Blood Cross. Jane and Rick are back at her mountain home, packing up her belongings so she can move to New Orleans to take on the job offered by the Vampire Council when the world finds out that Weres (shifters) are real. Meanwhile, Leo has been accused of murder by the U.S. werewolves and Jane has a mystery to solve.
So here’s the thing… I really, really enjoy the parts of the Jane Yellowrock books that revolve around the book-specific mystery, and this is especially true with Mercy Blade. I became immersed in the detective work surrounding the death of the mysterious panther-were. Following Jane’s thought process and the police procedures as Jane tries to put together all the pieces is fascinating. I love how she finds little threads and pulls until she unravels the truth. However, I have issues with almost everything else.
First, I feel the world building is a bit forced. We are three books into the series and no mention of the weres or the Mercy Blade before now? Maybe it was meant to be, but then, the fact that EVERYONE keeps Jane in the dark so completely is irritating and annoying. She’s supposed to be in charge of security, and I agree with her that both Leo and the police should have informed her of what is happening in NOLA. I was okay with this in the first couple books, but by now, having Jane know nothing when she starts the book and has to pull teeth for information is old.
Next, Jane nearly dies too often in every book. She gets mauled, shot at, and destroyed multiple times now in each book. This is old. I know she works in a dangerous profession, but can’t she just get nicked from time to time, rather than knocking on death’s door?
Finally, I am not a fan of Jane’s “love life.” While I don’t need romance in my urban fantasy stories, if it’s going to be included, I don’t want this… I’m too much of a romantic to follow Jane’s mish-mash of emotions and sexual cravings. I don’t like when Beast controls her - pushing her to mate with someone other than her boyfriend. I don’t like cheating. I can embrace multiple partners, but it needs to be consensual and in the open, and I feel like what happens in this book was neither. I’m greatly simplifying what is going on in Mercy Blade, but needless to say, I have issues with it.
On the bright side, Khristine Hvam continues to provide excellent narration. And while I was annoyed with some of her accents and male voices in the beginning of the series, I find she’s settled down and firmed up many of the voices.
So in the end, while so much of Jane’s story calls to me, I find myself overly irritated and frustrated far too often. Mercy Blade has some fabulous moments, but unfortunately, they are overshadowed by messy and irksome complications.
My Rating: C/C-