This post contains spoilers!
Honestly, I really did try to like the Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Despite its focus on “sexy” werewolves, and the heavy handed use of love triangles, I was actually starting to get into it… Until the end of book three, when the main character (Mercedes) gets raped. My tolerance for that topic has massively improved over the years (I’d rather not explain why I was overly sensitive early on), but I simply don’t think I appreciate what the author was trying to do with the event.
The way the character emotionally dealt with the event, along with how the news of the event got spread around the way it did… I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to read about this character anymore. And honestly, I don’t think I’m supposed to. I think the author was trying to do something very specific with this event, and that thing did not have male readers in mind. I think she was trying to speak to sexually abused women; saying that it’s okay to feel the way you do, and that you can still move on afterward.
That’s a fine message, but apart from the fact that I can’t personally identify with it, I honestly don’t think that message belonged in this series in the first place. Or if it did, Mercedes Thompson wasn’t the character to deliver that message. Apart from the fact that I don’t think it should have been able to happen in the first place (early on she’s repeatedly described as being largely immune to exactly the sort of manipulation that caused it), I also don’t think the way Mercedes dealt with it was consistent with her character.
Maybe I’m the one blowing this event out of proportion. Maybe it doesn’t play an important role in future books, and I’m just nitpicking something that happened at the end of book three. But even if that’s true, this series already focuses too much on love triangles and “sexy” werewolves. The rape victim issue was just a step too far.