Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs ****1/2

Blood Bound is the second of the Mercedes Thompson Series.  It’s one of my favourites because I like how complicated the plot is.  I like all the little subplots between the characters and how all of the action helps them develop emotionally.  Briggs does a great job making everything a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of fun.

Because of her magical resistance Stefan asks Mercy to come along as a coyote and help deliver a message to a visiting vampire who has not stopped in to pay the proper respect to Marsilia, Stefan’s Mistress.  Stefan (a.k.a. The Soldier) is afraid that the visitor has some sort of power that would compel him to do things that he wouldn’t normally do and he hopes that Mercy’s immunity would allow her to report back to the seethe is something happens to him.

Stefan, the Scooby Doo obsessed vampire, shows up in uber goth, vamp clothes and takes Mercy to a hotel as a coyote while she wears a leash made of silver and leather.  When they get there, things go desperately wrong and they find that the vampire is a sorcerer controlled by a demon.  This demon-ridden bad vampire has killed everyone in the hotel and puts Stefan in a trance while he murders a woman in front of them, making Stefan believe that he’s the one who has killed the maid.

After the debacle at the hotel, Stefan asks Mercy to testify for him at a vampire court.  As a result, Mercy, Ben (a werewolf from London with a shady past who I liked from book one even though he’s a bit of a bad dude), and Warren make their way to the seethe.  She and Stefan testify and Stefan is told that he must hunt down the evil vampire with the help of another member of the seethe.  Stefan chooses Daniel, a young friend of his who was turned into a vampire by Andre, his rival and sometime friend.

Adam sends Ben and Warren to help Stefan and Daniel while banning Mercy from helping.  One thing you know about Mercy though, if she’s told not to do something it’s a safe bet that she’s going to get involved at some point.  A while after the hunt of this book’s Big Bad starts, they find Warren badly injured outside Uncle Mike’s, a bar run by a Fae named Uncle Mike.  Stefan, Daniel, and Ben are all missing.  The next day, Adam and Samuel disappear as well.  Not surprisingly, Marsilia goes to Mercy, who is looking for her missing friends, and sets her up with Andre for assistance. 

We learn that as a walker Mercy is able to see and talk to ghosts, something that helps her find the lair of the demon-ridden vampire.  Mercy gets help from the Fae, who have put together a vampire hunting kit of magical objects, and goes into battle.  By the time she solves the mystery of where the sorcerer is, Mercy has also figured out who made him.  While she thinks that vamp is going to be punished, Marsilia has decided that she wants another one so that she can leave banishment and return to Milan.  Mercy goes off on a mission of her own to punish the guilty vampire through the use of the Fae objects, forcing Stefan and another (much creepier) vampire keep her crime from Marsilia.

At the end of the book, not everyone is left alive and Mercy is confused about her feelings for Adam, Samuel, and Stefan.  She doesn’t know what to make of the vamp who helped her (other than the fact that he is super creepy and not so sane).  She finds that she’s starting to like Ben, though she’s wary of him still, and can’t quiet figure out when that happened.  Life just keeps getting more complicated. 

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