Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Review: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson #1)

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me, too.

Moon Called, by Patricia Briggs, is the first novel in the Mercy Thompson werewolf series. Based in the contemporary Pacific Northwest, Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson happens to be an auto mechanic with a thing for German cars. She isn't normal herself -- she is a shape-shifter who can turn into a coyote. In addition, a vampire friend owns her auto shop, which used to belong to a fae under previous ownership. Her next-door neighbor is the Alpha leader of the Columbian Basin werewolf clan. As a child, she was orphaned and raised by werewolves. She ran away to start a new life in the Tri-Cities. Mercy is a laid-back, self-confident, and tough girl who values loyal friendships and speaks her mind freely. She shifts at her own will and has enhanced senses and speed, even in her human form.

Meanwhile, a strange teenage boy stops by her shop looking for a job. She knew he wasn't a local resident, but he proved himself handy as her assistant. She also learns that he is a forcibly-turned werewolf with no ties to a clan. Suddenly, mercenaries and werewolves come looking for the boy, the local Alpha leader has been attacked in his own home, and a dead body is left on Mercy's front porch as a warning to stay away. The local witches and vampires also take an interest in the case. The national leader of the werewolves eventually becomes involved in the case because he plans to inevitably announce their existence to the public. Mercy seeks refuge with her werewolf companions for answers and protection. Mercy quickly uses her analytical mind and quick speed to investigate who is behind the killings in her area.

I finally have a new review! I have been so busy these past month that I am glad that I finished this novel. The weather is getting warmer, and that means more time to explore other books this summer.

This is my first novel in which the protagonist is not a witch, vampire, or telepath. I was initially skeptical about starting a werewolf series. I must say that Patricia Briggs definitely hit the bull's eye with this new series. I liked the flow of the storyline, character development, and extra attention to details. The supernatural originally came from Europe, and have hierarchies within their groups. Only the shape-shifters are native to North America.

This is not a romance novel. Although there are mentions of Mercy's previous relationships, this is primarily a mystery/action story. There were no physical sex references (read Lynsay Sands' or Anya Bast's novels). Readers learn more about her personality and surrounding area. She is cool, intelligent, and courageous. I definitely want to read Mercy's future adventures in the rest of this series.

Stay tuned to the next novel in the Mercy Thompson series, Blood Bound.

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