Frost Burned feels almost like two novels sort of smooshed together. In starts out with something of a bang with the entire pack getting kidnapped by people apparently mad enough to take on an entire pack of werewolves at once. By the second half though, that’s shifted into a little bit of Fae and a lotta bit of vampire trouble which–don’t get me wrong–is related, but feels like a different sort of book.
It actually works surprisingly well though.
There have always been aspects of all of the different parts of the world that Briggs is building in her books, but this is really the first example of something that really pulls everything together. You have the werewolves of course, plus a touch of the Fae in Zee and Tad and a pair of assassins, plus a bit more digging into the politics of the vampires. Oh, and just a little bit of Coyote to remind you how strange River Marked was. Add to how the mortal world is dealing with all the things that go bump in the night and you actually get a pretty solid read.
Characterwise, not terribly much changes for most of the characters. We get to learn a bit more about Zee’s son Tad, Marsilia gets a more ‘human’ side, and everyone else reinforces who they are. There’s a scene with mercy Mercy that’s cruel given what she’s been through, but it’s really starting to look like she’s be all right–Adam and the pack helps with that. Plus, as she mentions towards the end, at least this time she didn’t end up in a wheelchair.
One really weird thing if you’ve only read the Mercy Thompson books is that the Fae have apparently all pulled a vanishing act. It sort of comes out of nowhere and I remember being confused the first time I read this series. It makes a lot more sense if you read Briggs’ other series set in the same universe: Alpha and Omega. Also you get a lot more about Charles, which is pretty cool.