My Initial Reaction...
Night Broken may be my favorite Mercy Thompson book to date! After feeling lukewarm about the last one, I loved every second of the action, mystery, and the dynamic between Adam, Mercy, and the pack.
Note: Expect series spoilers - we're too far along to avoid them, sorry!
One of the things that felt off to me in the last book was Adam and Mercy's relationship. It just was just so easy that it didn't have the spark. Well, the spark was definitely back for me - even though I never doubted their relationship. But it did have a real stress put on it - Adam's ex-wife, Christy.
OMG I hated this woman. She was worse than any paranormal threat Mercy has faced! She manipulates and lies and tries to gain control and just... UGH!!! I found it surprising that she was so easily able to manipulate members of the pack who should have been more attuned to deceptive behavior. But she manages to not actually outright lie - perhaps because she honestly believes that she is this victim that needs protection and to be babied. But I wanted to throttle her!
Mercy wanted to too - but she didn't. I was so incredibly impressed with the way Mercy was able to handle Christy and keep her cool. Adam does a decent job too - he's aware of what Christy is doing and he does his best to let Mercy know that he appreciates her and loves her, despite Christy. Jessie too - she knows her mother is a piece of work, and even though she loves her she sees through her manipulative behavior.
A new character introduced in Night Broken was Gary Laughingdog and OMG I loved him. He is another child of Coyote and has a bit of a frustrating relationship with Coyote. He just wants Coyote to leave him alone because Coyote has gotten him into so much trouble - he claims Coyote tries to kill his children - something that Mercy can sort of relate to. Anyway, his life experiences have made him very sarcastically hilarious. I hope we see a lot more of him in future books. With him comes Coyote - and I always love Coyote, Night Broken was no exception!
All said - the characters were handled beautifully with a few new ones and little bits of new insight on characters we've known for a while, in and outside the pack.
Night Broken centers on the return of Adam's ex - Christy - to the town. She's running from an ex-boyfriend who got abusive and possessive and she thinks might have even killed another boyfriend of hers. She's staying with Adam and Mercy for protection while Adam uses all his resources to try and find and stop her stalker ex. Christy stirs up plenty of drama within the pack on a good day, so Mercy and Adam are doing their damndest to keep things from getting crazy.
Meanwhile (because Mercy's life is never simple), Mercy has a Grey Lord showing up at her door wanting his father's walking stick back - yep, the one she gave to Coyote. She's been given a week to get it back, which wouldn't be easy EVEN IF she knew how to reach Coyote, which she doesn't. Oh and on top of that the police have asked for her help because they've got some horrific massacres taking place and they know it's supernatural - they think werewolf, but Mercy knows it's something else. Something big and bad and unknown to her.
Everything about the flow and pace of Night Broken was perfect for me. It struck me how naturally right it felt to have Mercy in Adam's house, at the head of the pack as his mate. She fits there and with the pack in Night Broken in a way she hasn't before, IMO. It was awesome to see and read :)
The mystery and action was fantastic in Night Broken! I was pretty much constantly anxious about what was going to happen - when I wasn't I was either LMAO at Gary or yelling at Christy. There were a few tears, but thankfully not too many. All in all a great read, with some BIG changes at the end, hinting at another awesome read coming up next!