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Headscratchers: Mercy Thompson
  • Why in all the world is Mercy so angst-like against everyone in Moon Called? Sure she is a strong woman and yes its true that she is also some kind of shapeshifter but still she has such a chip on her shoulder.
    • She isn't angst-like she is self-preserving, she grew up with werewolves after all.
    • And she doesn't have the pack-mentality, the Healing Factor, or the strength of body to deal with them like they deal with each other, so she has a sharp tongue and a strong will to fight back.
  • Although not part of the same series - Alpha & Omega (first shown in On the Prowl novella collection of short-stories) - is part of the same universe but how is it that Mercy has not met Anna by now?
    • Short answer: despite the complicated timeline, they've never been in the same place at the same time when we've seen them. Long answer:
    • In Moon Called, when Mercy takes Adam to Montana, she tells Bran about Mac (the dead boy) and identifies the alpha (Leo from Chicago) from the description he gave her. Bran says he'll take care of it. Mercy tells Charles to be respectful when disposing of Mac's body. Then she, Adam and Samuel go back to Washington.
    • Switch to On the Prowl. Anna sees the newspaper article on Mac and calls Bran. Bran says he had already known about the problem (from Mercy) and in fact has an agent on the airplane right now. Anna and Charles investigate the problem with Leo and fix it. Charles is wounded.
    • Switch back to Moon Called. Bran has to kill the doctor. He learns Charles is wounded and flies to Chicago to help.
    • Switch back to On the Prowl. Bran shows up. Anna agrees to go to Montana.
    • Change to Cry Wolf. Because of the doctor's funeral, Charles, Bran and Anna have to go to Montana sooner than Charles had planned. Charles tells Anna that Bran is considering bringing werewolves out of the closet. Samuel tells Bran that he is moving back to Washington permanently.
    • Switch back to Moon Called. Samuel tells Mercy that he is moving in with her.
    • Change to Hunting Ground. Charles and Anna meet with the European werewolves to discuss how werewolves will come out of the closet in the near future.
    • Switch back to Moon Called. Werewolves are out of the closet.
    • Change to Blood Bound. Mercy has adventures in Washington state and does not speak to or about Charles.
    • Change to Iron Kissed. Mercy has adventures in Washington state and does not speak to or about Charles.
    • Change to Bone Crossed. Mercy has adventures in Washington state and does not speak to or about Charles.
    • Change to Silver Borne. Mercy mentions meeting Anna sometime off screen.
    • Change to River Marked. Charles and Anna are present at Mercy’s wedding.
    • The entire Alpha and Omega series takes place during the first book of the Mercy Thompson series. The different scales of the timelines makes it hard for the two series to cross over. If Anna showed up in Silver Borne, she'd be younger in A&O 3 and anything she said in Silver Borne would be a spoiler for A&O 3. Mr. X is doing well? He didn't die. Ms. Y is my best friend? No need to worry when she's accused of betraying them. Likewise, if Mercy showed up in Hunting Ground, you would expect her to mention Anna in Blood Bound (impossible since BB was published before the A&O series).
      • I totally commend you on that, I was confused about that timeline until now -worship- I myself kind of figured On the Prowl & Cry Wolf took place during Moon Called but I haven't gotten that far into Hunting Ground to learn that tid-bit.
      • Yah, it is very confusing. Um, *rereads*, I hope the timeline isn't too spoilery. With the exception of some stuff from Moon Called and On the Prowl, most of that is basic stuff you learn in the first few chapters.
    • This just in: Patricia Briggs has said that A&O 3 will take place right after River Marked in order to match the timelines back up. I don't know if this means the two women will meet each other but at least it makes it possible.
      • Well that is promising!
    • Mercy has met Anna though. In Silver Borne, when she is trying to help Samuel, she asks if Anna could be of any help to him as an Omega. Mercy then mentally adds that she has met and likes Anna, but "didn't feel like curling up at her feet or anything."
      • Yes but the question predated reading that book, so next hopefully we see them IN-STORY interacting :)
      • Good point, I've amended the time-line to reflect that.
  • The rape-scene is very wrong to me; I know it was meant to show that she is vulnerable and a woman and the violation forces her to become scared and eventually give into Adam but seriously it was very disturbing, glad they killed the rapist off too but it just felt wrong for such a strong character to be hurt like that.
    • I did not read the rape as forcing her to give into Adam, because in my mind that would make Adam a sexual predator as well. I think the rape was meant to be disturbing to us because it really doesn't matter if a woman is strong or vulnerable, if she's drugged or sober, if she's cautious or careless, what causes rape is the presence of a rapist. Adam says that even if Mercy had told him she was going to the rapist's house, he wouldn't have done anything because he did not consider the nice human from the suburbs to be a threat either. To me, the rape scene was disturbing precisely because it is realistic. That being said, I tend to think PB overuses rape in all her books, but that's just me.
    • Over uses is not the phrase I'd elect to use sometimes when reading her material, despite loving it. I think perhaps more like she gravitates towards that theme because of some past Real Life fears or even experiences? We are only human and all write from our personal views even if we don't realize it.
      • Maybe it's because I'm under-caffeinated, but what do you mean by the pothole to the faux symbolism? What's symbolic about my phrasing of "overuses"? And I'm sure she is writing from her heart, I just personally find the idea that rape is something every woman must fear always to be depressing. Maybe I should start a new IJBM ^_~
      • Well rape is symbolic of fear, by the way men fear being raped also...just usually by other men although you find a lot of stories in Europe where an older woman rapes a younger man with...devices for her pleasure. *ahem* but its symbolic to me.
      • Ah, gotcha.
  • I like the fact that Patrica Briggs tells us a little about magic users and all but heres my big gripe, if you real Alpha & Omega novels before or with out ever having read the Mercy Thompson series you'd be at a loss over some details like how they constantly reference Mercy and they mention sorcerers but if you didn't read any of the books you'd never know that was a demon conjurer in this universe. I mean I know the books were written as a side-story and all but it bugs me a lot that she didn't bother or maybe felt like she didn't need to explain them. She does explain druids, witches, and wizards and by technical default shamans, at least that is what I feel Charles is, but if you didn't read Mercy Series first you have NO CLUE whats going on...just a minor issue I guess.
    • You know I agree with you on that, I feel she should have added those little details just because who knows if someone would pick up the books of the Alpha & Omega Series FIRST before learning of the more popular one?
    • I think that is because Patricia Briggs felt most people would have read the previous books
      • That's exactly the point though. The Alpha & Omega series does not stand well on its own, but is marketed as a separate series. Without any indication that this is a sequel series, how can a new reader be expected to know where to start? Most readers aren't fans who hop on the internet to check an author's webpage; the majority of readers just pick up what looks cool at the bookstore.
      • Yeah unfortunately she didn't put much thought into that when A&O was first published, now strangely she made a call back to Mercy in On The Prowl when Charles came to rescue Anna and she made little tid-bits in both Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground but I do see the point, with out knowledge of the main series A&O is a some what poorly done side-quest story, its still very good and its very well written and wonderful, but it misses a few points of interest.
      • The On The Prowl short was intended as a one-off peek into the other characters of the world (like "Star of David" and "Seeing Eye"), which is why there are hidden references to Mercy's activities. What kills me is why not include a note in the front of Cry Wolf saying it's a sequel to "Alpha & Omega"? Cry Wolf was so confusing to me without that background info. Just all around not marketed well, IMO.
      • The truth behind all opinons is true, Patrica Briggs did state in an interview she admited that On The Prowl's Alpha & Omega was ment as nothing more then a short tid bit however her publisher liked it so much he asked for a full on novel. So, thats what she did and we get Cry Wolf from it and really your right a sequal should have been marked to it or something or even including the orginal story in the prlouge to catch readers up. Now I understand her reasoning, Mercy Thompson was and still is a fairly popular series but still I agree, bad marketing. Now if she ever reads these tropes at least we can be assured she knows we love her lol.
  • What bugs me about the series is the switch between 1st person (Mercy) and third person (Anna), why not stick with 1st person??
    • I think because the Anna books have more than one POV, Anna + Charles + the Moor + some miscellaneous POV's, so third person makes it easier to keep track of who's saying what. Since the Mercy books are only ever narrated by Mercy, there's no confusion about who "I" is.
      • Yeah I second the above on that, Mercy's stories are better as first person because we only ever see her point of view and in A&O we see Anna, Charles, Bran, and others points and thoughts which help build the world extensivly.
  • Why is Stefan so insistent that he is (and the other vampires are) literally damned to hell?
    • I don't think he necessarily means that they're literally damned to hell. I think he might mean that existing as a vampire is a form of damnation in itself. That said, if he does mean the former, it could be fairly easily explained in that "vampires are evil" is a fundamental rule in this universe, and all the aspects of vampire mythology that show them being diammetrically opposed to the works of God are present - can't step on holy ground, repelled by religious symbols, etc. Given that information, it would be fairly logical to conclude that in the event of a vampire's "death" they're not up for admittance to heaven.
    • At a book signing with the author in the Tri-Cities for the release of River Marked, someone asked if Stefan would be getting his own book. Ms. Briggs said no because vampires are damned and she didn't want to spend more than a short story in the mindset of a damned soul. How Stefan knows this, I'm not sure, nor do I know the in-universe explanation - but Word of God is that all vampires are literally damned to hell. My best guess would be that it has something to do with parasitically living off humans, either murdering them or changing them too, but I don't think it's been spelled out.
  • A couple from Silver Borne:
    • Samuel has been set up from the previous book as terribly, suicidally depressed, yet it's implied that finding a woman makes it all better. Granted, a lot of it was attributed to his lack of a mate and children, but still, he does a near-instant turnaround: years of sorrow banished within a month by a character he's apparently secretly pined for for centuries.
      • That bugs me too! Talk about a cheap way to wrap up a five book long conflict in about two paragraphs.
      • I'm not sure if this is the actual explanation, but I think it's not so much that Samuel's all stable now and everything's perfect as that he's no longer an immediate suicide risk. It really doesn't take that much to stop someone from committing suicide, and Samuel has been shown repeatedly to be very family-focused. The things that have hit him hardest - losing all his previous children, losing Mercy, losing that baby in Texas, have all been connected to that. I doubt it's a coincidence that he gave up right as Mercy was becoming settled in Adam's pack. Samuel needs to take care of people, to be needed. Now he has someone he cares about who needs him again, and that's enough to hold him here so that maybe he can put himself back together.
    • Gabriel spends a day in Elphame, real-world time (his mother hasn't even noticed him missing), but to him it's been a week: time is established as passing more quickly in Elphame. Mercy, on the other hand, is apparently there for only a few hours or days at the most, Elphame-time (she notes her bite wounds are still fresh), but in the real world she's been missing for a month: implying that time passed more slowly in Elphame.
      • This is consistent with fairy mythology. Time moves "differently" in fairy kingdoms; there's nothing to imply that difference is constant - quite the reverse, it's as unpredictable as the fairies themselves. That's part of why entering elphame is a bad idea - not because time moves specifically slower or faster, but because you have no freaking idea what it's doing.
  • Adam has a lot of behaviors reminiscent of an abusive boyfriend/husband, all of which get excused as part and parcel of being an alpha werewolf. If Mercy has done something that upsets him and he flips his lid, it's treated as her fault for being so gosh-darn difficult all the time. When his daughter was beat up, the situation turned into him needing to be placated in his rage and his already upset daughter being treated to this display. He's terribly controlling in the guise of being protective. In Silver Borne, he actually destroys the counter in Mercy's garage (upsetting all the organized financial documents and cash register in the process), and it's never brought up again as a dick move or even, iirc, him offering to replace it.
    • Mercy, in the meantime, is lauded as being stubborn and defiant by all the characters, yet for one reason or another spends her time literally or figuratively showing her belly and trying to shoulder the blame for everything in their relationship. Despite being such a modern, tough gal, she also doesn't seem to much care about the incredibly sexist nature of werewolf packs since she's special enough to be outside the hierarchy. For a series that's been likened to the Kitty Norville books in terms of focusing on the societal implications of The Unmasqued World, all the characters are amazingly nonvocal about the institutionalized sexism of the pack compared
    • This is mostly symbolism, for her anyway, she does love Adam and knows that to live in the society of werewolves and with him she must at all costs follow their rules even if she doesn't agree with them. She is still very strong, and yes while he is abusive he is also truthfully caring and loving and a good father figure also.
      • and yes while he is abusive he is also truthfully caring and loving and a good father figure also. Aren't those two things mutually exclusive?
  • Why do so many werewolves still have high-security jobs in the military and defense-related industries, even after they've come out of the fur-coat closet? Any non-Omega werewolf whose Alpha issues an order has to obey it, regardless of whether or not it would violate security protocols. So why would someone who can be compelled to breach security by those outside the chain-of-command be left in a position to do so? Realistically, they ought to've been fired immediately upon being found out, or at least transferred to lower-clearance jobs. That's not discrimination, that's making sure that complete bastards like Leo — or worse, psychos like Chastel — can't get access to nuke launch codes and so forth.
    • There are probably several reasons for that: first, the werewolves might not have let the government know about just how much werewolves are subordinated to their Alphas. Second, it is likely that most werewolves in said positions are either Alphas (like Adam) or lone wolves (like David) anyway.
    • This troper agrees, they probably didn't let to much information slip out in the big outting; instead they just stated 'we change shape, we can control it, its a magical thing, deal..'
The Maze RunnerHeadscratchers/LiteratureMelmoth the Wanderer

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