The Alpha Showdown is underway, and already proving to be a good one. There’s stiff competition this year, just look at the bracket!
It’s badass alpha woman against badass alpha woman in Alpha Showdown Round 5. Coyote shifter Mercy from Patricia Briggs’s books will take on vampire Merit from Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires.
Who will advance in the Alpha Showdown, though?
We’ve lined up excellent bloggers to fill you in on why each alpha deserves to advance. Read the pitches, and then make the call.
Championed by: Margaret from VBC
In Patricia Briggs’s latest Mercy Thompson novel, Fire Touched, Mercy describes herself as, “as vulnerable as any human. My superpower consisted of transforming into a thirty-five pound coyote.” Why do we think she deserves to be an Alpha Showdown champion then?
Right after she said that, Mercy went off to battle a troll. She rescued an injured woman and her baby, shot the troll in the eye, and stabbed it in its big, green troll junk. She defended her unconscious husband with nothing but a stick and a bottle of essential oil. Mercy’s faced vampires, river monsters, and Fairy Queens and come out on top.
Mercy has a unique relationship with magic. She can see ghosts, where most supernaturals in her world can’t. She can tap into pack magic, even though she’s not a werewolf. And she can wield weapons meant for only the Fae. Her god-forged walking stick always appears when she needs it. She’s kind of a special snowflake, but it also makes her unpredictable.
I would also argue that shapeshifting is not Mercy’s only superpower. She’s also incredibly stubborn. Mercy never gives up, even though she winds up nearly dead at the end of so many of her books. She doesn’t do what’s expected. I mean, she’s an auto mechanic. She defies authority, mostly the Marrok’s, by knowing the rules and finding the loopholes. So she’s not only smart, but sneaky. She has to be to survive in a world where everyone else is bigger and stronger. That’s why she also carries a gun.
Mercy’s got a werewolf pack at her back and allies in every corner of the supernatural world—vampires, witches, and Fae. She stands up against evil, even when it’s kicking her ass. So while she may be the underdog, don’t count Mercy out. This coyote’s still got plenty of tricks up her sleeve.
Championed by: Amanda from VBC
Allow me to direct your attention to someone you’ve probably overlooked. You know, that blue-eyed, dark-haired vampire that he named Sentinel of Cadogan House? The alpha who should have been in this tournament long before this year?
It’s easy to forget she’s only been a vampire for a year, but what a year it’s been. She’s taken on other Master vampires, shifters, crazy-pants sorcerers, uptight mayors, and random nefarious criminals (McKetrick, anyone?) And while they might knock her down temporarily, she always gets back up and charges full speed ahead.
She’s a katana-wielding, ballet-dancing badass who’s not afraid to throw herself into the line of fire (though she might snark about it in the process). There’s a reason Ethan named her Sentinel, and there’s a reason he recognized she’s a future Master herself. She’s strong, smart, and savvy, and knows where the best pizza in Chicago is. She makes mistakes and learns from them, growing with each challenge presented to her. She’s lived through losing her Master and lover, almost losing her best friend, massive upheaval within the vampire ranks, and the near-miss explosion that landed her beloved grandfather in the hospital. She knows how and when to employ diplomacy and tact, thanks to her snooty-rich upbringing, but at the end of the night, she’s the girl you want to hang out and eat Mallowcakes with.
Being an alpha isn’t always about being the toughest guy in the room. Sometimes, it’s about knowing your strengths, and knowing what your resources are—and how to use them. Merit’s got a couple of sorcerers, shifters, an Ombudsman, and a former mayor in her pocket, as well as her fellow House guards. She’s stood up to Ethan (and triumphed!). Not just anyone can be consort-turned-fiancé-soon to be wife to a Master. Fiercely loyal and willing to do whatever it takes to protect her House, The Ponytailed Avenger is a force to be reckoned with. And she’s only been a vampire for a year.
She might be a newbie, but Merit’s more than ready to fight for her rightful place as the winner of this year’s tournament.
Who are you putting your money on: shifter or the vampire?
At the request of Alpha Showdown voters, we’re leveraging traditional polls for the voting, but also keeping reading for your chance to win awesome books. Your to-be-read pile could always use more. Trust us. Each poll will be open for 48 hours.
Participating in the Alpha Showdown is all about fun, and free books equal fun, right? We hope you’ll find lots of great new reads during this year’s Alpha Showdown, and to help that along, we’re giving away some stellar reads.
For Round 5, we have a copy of Shanna Swendson’s Rebel Mechanics for one lucky VBC reader to take home. This one has the VBC seal of approval.