MOON CALLED | Book #1 of the Mercy Thompson Series
AUTHOR: Patricia Briggs
PUBLICATION INFORMATION: MASS MARKET PAPERBACK EDITION – 288 pages | Published: January 31st 2006 by AceRoc Books
MY RATING: 4 Stars | GOODREADS RATING: 4.18/5.00 Stars
WHAT ITS ABOUT: Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…
MY THOUGHTS: I enjoy a good Urban Fantasy every now and again. I found Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld series (though I’m only around book #6 and have more to read yet.) thoroughly entertaining, and I’ve been craving some hot sexy alpha werewolves. This book has been on my shelf for a year, and I picked it up on a whim, without the intentions of really sitting down and reading it – but once I got a few pages in… I was hooked.
Mercy is a great lead character. She’s tough, takes no BS – and doesn’t mind calling people out on it – and can stand her own ground. She is also a Walker – able to shift into a coyote – and is the only one of her kind in the world. Mercy is an auto mechanic, working in a shop that was handed down to her by Zee – a metalworking fae (gremlin, to be exact). Mercy lives next door to Adam Hauptman, who is the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Pack, and all of the packs are overruled by the Marrok, Bran, who also had a hand in raising Mercy.
After several uneventful years, suddenly Mercy finds herself thrown in the middle of some nasty werewolf business when a newly Changed wolf named Mac shows up at her shop and she helps him out. He tells her about how he was Changed, and it sets off a chain of events leading to Adam and his daughter Jesse being kidnapped.
I find most Urban Fantasies to follow very similar rules. While I believe Moon Called can fit in with a lot of other books of its genre, there were so many things that helped it to stand out on its own. Mercy is definitely one of my new favorite characters. I love her attitude, and that she isn’t stupid. She finds herself in predicaments, but it’s usually to help out those she loves and cares for, and to set peace in the world. She’s always kept out of Werewolf affairs, but when young Mac comes to her, she’s suddenly thrust into their world and the politics and danger that comes along with it.
At the beginning of the book, Mercy’s relationship with Adam isn’t really much of anything. He keeps an eye over her, and they tend to aggravate one another, but there isn’t any hard feelings or hatred. I didn’t necessarily feel any type of connection between them, so events at the end of the book were a pleasant surprise and cliff hanger that is leaving me excited for book two to arrive in the mail – yes, it was ordered before I’d even finished this book because I knew I’d be continuing on with this series. There is a lot of lingering tension between her and Samuel, though, that I can’t wait to see how it is resolved. I like the love interests, even if they were a bit predictable, I cannot guess how they will develop.
In Mercy’s world, the werewolves, witches, and vampires are still living in secret, but the fae, ruled by the Gray Lords, are out in public. As such, they are forced to live on reservations around the US. The groups rarely mix. Bran, the Marrok of the wolves, is planning to bring the wolves out into public – which not all wolves are happy about. Thus this sets into motion the events of this book.
There is a lot of action in this book to keep you engaged, as well as a minimal of slower story-building scenes that keep you abreast of backstory for characters, etc. I absolutely love Patricia’s writing style, it’s easy to read yet engaging. I liked the pacing of the book a lot, and was excited to get back to reading any time that I had to take a break.
The themes of the book such as magic and special powers among the supernatural were interesting as well. Most wolves only have increased senses like hearing, smell; which is typical. But some have a little extra, like Samuel. They are also very dominance oriented, and feel challenged often. I like that Mercy, as a Walker, can “smell” emotions. She can tell when someone is fearful, scared, etc. She can also “hear” spells cast by witches, which up until this point, no one can do, and no one knows that she can. I am very interested in seeing how this develops in future books. I am not sure why this detail stuck out so much, but I find myself really interested by it!
I would highly recommend this book if you are an avid reader of urban fantasy or are looking to break into the genre. There are sexy werewolves, a bad ass heroine who is incredibly likable, and lots of tension between supernatural species to keep you fully engaged in the series.
SIMILAR READS: Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews | Downside Ghosts Series by Stacia Kane | Kitty Norville Series by Carrie Vaughn | World of the Lupi Series by Eileen Wilks | The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison