Blood Bound follows Mercy Thompson as Stefan the vampire calls in a favor owed from the events of the first book. What follows is a violent, blood soaked look into the darker parts of the world Patricia Briggs has built.
While there was a decent amount of violence in Moon Called, Blood Bound out does it easily. Given that the big bad is a demon possessed vampire (as if one or the other wouldn’t be enough), it’s not surprising, but there are a few fairly intense scenes in here.
Plotwise, it’s fairly a nice mix of thriller and mystery. The big bad is obvious from the get go, but the power behind the scenes… there are a few options for who that could be. When it’s revealed though, it all makes sense, which is a nice feel for a reveal like that.
World building, we mostly learn more about the vampires and exactly what they can do in this world (which seems to be more of a grab bag, specific to individuals than the standardized werewolf powers) in addition to seeing that no matter how many magical beings there are a world, there always has to be a storyline where selfsame magical beings don’t believe in something. It’s always weird when that happens, although I guess eventually you do have to draw a line.
We also get a few more brief glimpses into the world of the Fae, which interests me even more, along with a timeline advancing from the Fae being public knowledge in the first book to the werewolves as well this time. That remains one of my favorite parts of this series and is well handled here, even if it’s pushed mostly to the background.
We also learn a bit more about Mercy’s powers. Apparently she can see and talk to ghosts? It’s certainly convenient for this story, but it really felt tacked on. There wasn’t much of a hint at it in the first book (although it would explain why the vampires hate walkers so much), which makes it feel like Briggs is adding powers as she needs them. It can work out, but it’s a dangerous road to start down.
Characterwise, I still think Stefan is interesting. He’s a vampire and you can’t quite forget that, but at least he’s half decent. The rest of the vampires are varying levels of crazy–the Wizard in particular. It would be interesting to get more in depth backgrounds for each of them, but on the other hand, I like where the focus of the story is around Mercy and she just doesn’t have as much of a reason to dig into their pasts.
The werewolves on the other hand are brooding and all seem to be falling for Mercy, leading to something of a love square. There’s still not much in the way of romance in this book, beyond a date or two and a few kisses. It certainly seems to be building towards something though. And given how many different characters are involved, I expect it will be messy… Not my favorite part of the series.
Overall, I like Moon Called better, but it’s still a solid read.