Mercy Thompson: Homecoming is a graphic novel about when Mercy is first visiting the Tri-Cities area. This just happens to be at the same time that the Marrok (head of North American werewolves) has sent Adam Hauptman (Alpha werewolf) and his pack to deal with a rogue pack in the area that has been bad. Between vampires acting out, the werewolf gang war and some really bad luck on the employment front, Mercy just isn’t having a good week…. Makes perfect sense to move-in!
Patricia Briggs is proving just how versatile of an author she is with her foray into graphic novels. She’s doing such a wonderful job building up the world that Mercy Thompson and the companion series, Alpha and Omega, take place in, and it rocks! When I saw Homecoming available for $6 at the local Meijer, I had to grab it for the pretty pictures alone :D. Better yet, it’s an original (short) story that tells of how Mercy and Adam actually came to live in the Tri-Cities area. Fun fact: Mercy wanted to be a history teacher! Look how that turned out, haha!
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Title: Mercy Thompson: Homecoming
Author: Patricia Briggs, David Lawrence
Illustrator: Francis Tsai, Amelia Woo
Genre-ish: Urban Fantasy graphic novel!
Rating: ★★★★☆- Really fun, minor turn-offs
Setting: All of the Mercy Thompson series, including Mercy Thompson: Homecoming, are set in an alternate US where werewolves, fae, vampires and coyote shifters all exist. The fae came out of hiding several years ago and the humans have mostly dealt with that shock, and everyone in the supernatural community knows that vampires and werewolves exist. Shifters, however, are thought to be extinct, making Mercy a bit of a spectacle even for a supe.
Premise: A gang of rogue werewolves has been attacking humans in the area that Mercy Thompson also happens to be interviewing for a teaching position. When she’s just out for a nice run (in coyote form) this rogue pack just has to come looking for a snack. Fortunately, a much more responsible pack has been sent over to take care of the situation, and they are able to save Mercy. This convinces the Marrok who also happens to be Mercy’s foster father, however, that she should not be in the area which causes Mercy to respond by getting a job as a mechanic instead. Now if only this gang war would leave her along, everything would be peachy.
- Mercy has always been a really strong and fun character and Mercy Thompson: Homecoming is no exception. She has a tendency to pick fights she has no hope of winning due to her honor, standing up to the most powerful werewolf in North America simply because his orders annoy her, and going out to dinner with vampires.
- Generally I am a big fan of the artwork of the various characters. Zee, Mercy’s fae boss, wasn’t how I had pictured him; he was better. Stefan, the vampire who is a huge Scooby Do fan, had a wonderfully painted VW bus and Adam had some pretty fine moments ;-).
- Prequel stories are always so much fun when you know what ends up happening with the characters and get to giggle at their interactions. It was an awesome moment when Adam realized he had bought a house next door to Mercy. Also, Mercy’s desire to teach history explains her various book researching adventures in the series very well.
- Apparently they switched artists part way through the development, which is clear looking at some of the pages, but didn’t really bother me. What did both me is that the second artist drew Mercy much more sexually and I just didn’t like those panels as much. Mercy isn’t supposed to be that sexual; she’s covered in motor oil half the time!
- Shape-shifting tends to leave people without their clothes on, which is fine in a novel since you don’t really picture that detail much (or at least I don’t, haha), and Briggs made a great decision to keep that realism element in Mercy Thompson: Homecoming. This does mean, however, that there is a fair amount of female skin showing throughout the novel. No actual full frontal nudity, but plenty of scenes with conveniently positioned arms and legs with everything else showing. Just a warning not to let small children read it and to be careful who can peek over your shoulder.
- The first two chapters have a really weird transition that heavily confused me until Briggs resolved it with a memory scene. Basically, they jump forward in time and skip a significant encounter and then go back to describe it. I really didn’t like it; it seemed unnecessarily confusing, but I’m hoping that by telling you, you will be less confused.
Graphic novels are a really fun edition to a novel series and Mercy Thompson: Homecoming is no exception. You get a combination of a new prequel storyline and really pretty art! What could be better? It’s obviously a very fast read because it’s so short, but you should definitely be prepared for PG-13 artwork and bad guys. Anyone who has been enjoying the Mercy Thompson series so far should definitely pick it up or borrow Mercy Thompson: Homecoming.