Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson:  HomecomingMercy Thompson: Homecoming by Patricia Briggs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The visual medium has a distinctive way of conveying a story to a reader. Unlike movies, graphic novels encourage a reader to use their imagination based on the visual images presented (we see the artist rendering, but our minds process those pictures into a three-dimensional finished product in our minds). Honestly, I wasn't quite sold on the concept of popular, already published books translated into the graphic novel medium. Now I am! It’s just an additional way to gain exposure to one’s favorite books and series.

It was utterly diverting to see Mercy Thompson's prequel story in the graphic novel format! As most already know, I am a huge fan of Patricia Briggs and this series. Seeing Mercy in action on the page, not to mention the other characters from this series I know and love, just primes the well of my devotion.

The artwork is beautiful, and the script feels like Mercy's voice, which was crucial to connecting to this graphic novel as an authentic part of the Mercy Thompson story. In other words, it was an extension of the series as I know. For readers who are curious about how Mercy ended up in the Tri-Cities, working for Zee, with the oh-so scrumptious Adam Hauptman as a landlord, this book will fill you in on that.

The artists captured the motion and action of a story in which wolves clash with each other over territory--rogues versus Adam’s pack under the aegis of Bran Cornick, the Marrok (leader of all North American werewolves); vampires attacking humans (and one vampire named Stefan befriending Mercy); and a smaller, but incredibly courageous walker (Mercy) who dives in to save the day when necessary. The colors were beautiful, and the artists render Mercy beautifully, revealing her appeal, valor, and strength of will. Stefan is quite creepy-looking. I can see why Mercy was wary of Stefan and his offer of friendship. Zee has a Loki-like mischievous look to his face that fits what I would think of him as a gremlin. Adam is as gorgeous and full of presence as he seems in my mind. The wolves are dangerous and powerful, creatures that inspire fear in others, even the wolves who don’t attack humans. Mercy’s coyote form is small and spry and just what I imagined. I’d say the artists did Patricia Briggs’ characters justice.

Mercy is the kind of heroine you want to give a high five. She's so down-to-earth and fierce in an everyday way. She has to work for a living, and is not afraid to do so. Nor is she unwilling to pay her dues. She's taken steps towards establishing her independence and keeping it. She clearly has emotional wounds from being abandoned by her mother, later losing her adoptive parents and the safety of Bran, the Marrok's pack. She rejects the Marrok's overtures to take her back in, determined to live her own life. You can see how ‘complicated’ her relationship with Adam promises to be. Lots of tension and sparks between them already.

Homecoming is a great addition to the Mercy Thompson series. It successfully captures the spirit of this series for fans. Homecoming takes us back to the start of Mercy’s time in the Tri-Cities, fills in the blanks on what we don’t know about her prior to Moon Called, and exploits the visual medium to tell the story of one of my all-time favorite heroines in beautiful, living color. I need to pick up the other Briggs graphic novels at the library as soon as I have the time to fit them into my reading schedule!

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