Monday, 21 September 2009

‘Mercy Thompson: Homecoming’ – Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence, Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo (Del Rey)


As much as I can’t stand certain tropes being over used in Urban Fantasy I just keep on coming back for more. When it’s done well Urban Fantasy can make for some absolutely engrossing reading; even when it’s not done so well it can still be a fun and entertaining way to pass the time. There are a few Urban Fantasy books that I make a point of reading and one of these is Patricia Briggs’ ‘Mercy Thompson’ series. Here’s a series that never fails to entertain (with a shape shifting female lead that really is more than a match for her male counterparts) and if you’re an Urban Fantasy fan I’d recommend these books wholeheartedly.
Just in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m trying to cover more comics on the blog and ‘Homecoming stood out as a way to do just that while getting my ‘Mercy Thompson’ fix at the same time. ‘Homecoming’ may be one for fans only but it’s still worth a look...

‘Homecoming’ tells the story of Mercy Thompson’s arrival in the Tri-Cities and her bid to settle down and make a life for herself. With her usual sense of great timing, Mercy has chosen to come into town just as two rival werewolf packs are getting into a turf war. She also has to find her own place in the Fae community as well as avoiding the inevitable stint flipping burgers in the local bar. Could things get any worse? Maybe...

‘Homecoming’ is the perfect ‘origins’ storyline where we see Mercy come to town and also see her meet established characters for the first time. Everything Mercy gets up to in the books (‘Moon Called’, ‘Blood Bound’, ‘Iron Kissed’ and ‘Bone Crossed’) plays out from these first meetings. You would have thought that a prequel like this would be a great place for newcomers to jump on board but I wasn’t so sure in this case. Here, the introductions come across as a nod to established fans rather than people meeting for the first time. This might just be because I’ve read the books, and met these people already, but that’s how it felt…
‘Homecoming’ is a fairly slender book and after all the groundwork laid there isn’t an awful lot of room for the story itself. What room there is though is used efficiently and the story doesn’t appear to suffer for it. The plot itself is a fairly simple affair (two werewolf packs stand off, there can be only one winner…) but this is balanced out by the sharpness of the prose and the intensity that bleeds out of the artwork…



Say whatever you like about the Dabel Brothers (who originally published this mini-series), and if you’re someone that’s still waiting for last year’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ calendar then you have every right to, but one thing that they do very well is match up the story with just the right artists. Francis Tsai and Amelia Woo both have the skill of being able to ratchet up the tension, and capture the sheer animal power of the werewolves, just by drawing a picture. The chase scene at the beginning just blew me away and I’ll happily admit that I forgot to breathe at certain points. I’ve a slight preference for Tsai’s artwork but it was a really close run thing.

‘Homecoming’ is definitely one for fans who are in for a treat here if they haven’t picked it up already. The artwork is gorgeous; the story is simplistic but, really, it’s all about the characters.

Eight and a Quarter out of Ten

1 comment:

xalwaysdreamx said...

That chase is definitely very intense. I love it!

--Sharry