on 15 October 2006
I loved this book! I first read it a couple of months ago and have read it twice again since - it's fun to revisit the characters and the events.
Mercy Thompson is a car mechanic who has a secret - she's a Walker, which means she inherited the ability from her native American father to turn into a coyote. This is unusual, but her neighbours and friends are even more unusual. Stefan is a customer in her repair shop - and he's a vampire. Her next door neighbour is a werewolf. She knows a Russian Witch and also a number of other fae people. The fae have come out into open society but the werewolves, vampires and some others are keeping quiet still, to see how it goes.
Mercy's life is turned upside down by the arrival of a young lad at her garage asking for work. Mac isn't all that he seems - pretty soon Mercy realises he's a brand new werewolf, and with his arrival in her life comes a great deal of trouble. Her next door neighbour, Adam, is seriously injured and Mercy has to rescue him at great personal danger. Mercy has to return to the place where she grew up, amongst werewolves, and there is murder and kidnapping and danger for her as she has to rely on other people to help her.
What's so brilliant about this book is the cast of characters and the way that Patricia Briggs portrays their lives. Yes, people are werewolves but she shows how they fit in to the modern world, how they try to maintain relationships with humans and yet the times when they know they have to keep separate. There's a slow-burn love story between Mercy and a very attractive character (I won't give away who it is!) and also an exploration of what it must be like for Mercy as a weaker shape-shifter than the werewolves around her. Her brush with the head of the vampires is pretty dodgy too.
I'm really looking forward to the next book in this series - if it's as good as this it will be brilliant.
on 10 February 2007
Set in a world where the minor fae have 'come out' to humans, whilst the more powerful fae, and supernaturals such as werewolves and vampires keep themselves hidden from human eyes. Moon Called is an impressive start to a new werewolf / shapeshifter series. When a newbie werewolf arrives at Mercy Thompson's garage looking for work, it sets a chain of events in motion that will bring her past and present together, and have repercussions for all those around her.
Mercy makes an appealing heroine, not least because as a skinwalker she changes into a coyote (much weaker than a werewolf); meaning she has to rely more on her brains and cunning to get her out of trouble. And sometimes she just has to deal with the consequences of her actions.
This is a wonderful story, populated with well-drawn and interesting characters. One of the things that makes it so fascinating is the detail in the complex relationships between the members of the various werewolf packs and how Mercy fits into that equation.
The only problem I had, was that the vampire section seemed a little superfluous to the plot. (As the second book deals more with them, this was probably to serve as an introduction, but I thought it took the action away from the werewolves and wasn't strictly necessary.)
Although the werewolf hierarchy that Patricia Briggs writes about is familiar, she manages to make the world Mercy lives in, unique. Moon Called reaches a satisfying conclusion but we are left with enough dangling plot threads to make us look forward to the next book. If you like Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison, I think this is another series that you'll love.
Patricia Briggs is a new author for me, up until this most recent novel she has primarily written several 'straight fantasy' novels. Moon Called is a fantastic read, more or less from start to finish the pacing doesn't let up. I haven't been this impressed with a werewolf debut since Kelley Armstrong's 'Bitten.' Stylistically this novel is a pleasing blend of Armstrong in terms of solid characterisation and a strong female lead, but in terms of structure it bears similarities to the early Anita Blake novels, except that Briggs has considerably more technical polish ( no pulses tasting like candy, or the ubiquitous 'spilling' here!)
Mercy Thompson is a damn fine auto-mechanic, but she possesses more unusual traits that could put her at risk. Mercy is a skin walker ( a creature of Native American myth) who can shift into a coyote, but in this alternate world, where otherworldly creatures are just starting to come out and reveal themselves to normal society, Mercy is understandably reluctant to reveal her secret.
Mercy is an unusual female character; her mentor is a gremlin, she repairs a VW bus for one of the local vampires and lives next door to Adam the domineering Alpha of the local pack. Despite her vulnerable position as a supernatural being who has no protection from a pack, Mercy is blessedly no-nonsense and stands on her own two feet. When Mac, a young werewolf, comes to her garage looking for work she takes a chance and hires him, setting off a cause and effect reaction, when the young apprentice's dead body is dumped on her doorstep. She goes to the local werewolf pack for help, but finds the attractive alpha Adam near death and his teenage daughter kidnapped.
Travelling across country to the werewolf pack that fostered her as a teenager we learn more of Mercy's intriguing backstory as she hunts for Adam's daughter and a murderer. When Adam is in turn kidnapped, Mercy must band together with friends and allies to save both him and his daughter.
This is fantastic, gripping and with just the right blend of mystery, action, and a touch of well placed romance; a must buy for Kelley Armstrong, Rachel Caine, and Jim Butcher fans. There are numerous things to love about this novel for a start the character of Mercy is a wonderful addition to the genre; she is self reliant and tough (as a skinwalker she is not compelled to change at will during the moon phases, and doesn't suffer from the werewolf agonies of changing form.)
The set up of the supernatural societies is well thought out and manages to be original without feeling the need to turn the genre on its head merely for the sake of it. There is also the potential for a romantic triangle, should that be something that twitches your whiskers, as Mercy has both an attraction to Adam her neighbour, and a yearning for her first love Samuel the son of the Marrock, the Main Alpha for the entire United States. As a teenager she fell hard for Samuel who protected her against other pack members who bullied her for not being a true werewolf. Naturally, this didn't work out but returning to the foster home of her childhood she discovers that they both have unresolved issues.
The only fault I can find with this novel is that the mystery plot regarding Mac's killers who seem to be turning normals into werewolves for experiments of their own purpose isn't as coherent as it should be. The double bluff reveal of the mystery antagonist at the end feels very anti-climatic and left me thinking 'huh? Surely there's a better way of working out your issues than this?'
For all of that, Moon Called enthralled me enough that I will be first in the queue when the second novel Blood Bound is released in January 2007. The good news is that Briggs has been obtained to write a further three books in the series with these characters.
on 7 February 2006
Mercy Thompson lives next door to a werewolf and fixes cars in her garage for a vampire, she's also not "quite" human herself so when a "new" young werewolf comes to her for casual work she takes him in and lands herself in a lot of trouble, which means returning to the place where she was raised and having to deal with past issues!!
A great story and you won't want to put it down - I hope there is a sequel.
on 6 August 2009
Mercedes Thompson is a mechanic and runs a garage in the Tri-Cities. She also delights in annoying Adam the local Alpha werewolf and spends her spare time karate training and tinkering with a VW bus that just so happens to belong to her vampire buddy.
Mercy is a shapeshifter, more specifically a coyote. As such, she's tolerated by the wolves but definitely low down the packs pecking order. As long as she keeps her eyes down and remembers her place, the pack will leave her in peace. In Mercy's world the fae have come out to humans because of advances in technology meaning they cannot afford to hide any longer. Thus the Gray Lords (the enigmatic leaders of the fae) decided it was time to come out to the humans -- however, werewolves and vampires' remain hidden in shadow fearing what would happen if their existence was discovered. Amidst this fear is much debate as to whether any species should come out... after all nothing stays hidden forever.
Unfortunately for Mercy things soon go down hill when a young man walks into her garage. This young man is a runaway and just so happens to be a (lone) werewolf. From here the trouble starts... because death, mayhem, vampire and werewolf hierarchy are hot on Mercy and this young mans tails. Trouble seems to follow Mercy around as she ends up embroiled in things she deems way out of her depth.
I did enjoy this book, but I also found it a struggle in places. The world building was excellent, and I loved the idea of the fae and the Gray Lords coming out to the humans before any other supernatural creature. I also liked the way Briggs handled the vampires and their society -- they have been done to death but I enjoyed the vampire bits the most. Which is odd because they don't interest me as a general rule, heh! Stefan was a fun character, he wasn't written as a typical vampire. He was slightly geeky and intelligent and just a quirky, old vampire. What endeared him to me was him having the mystery machine as his van, and his dilemma as to whether he should paint it black like the van in Buffy.
Mercy was lovely. But I felt it was hard to connect with her personality here -- she seemed more a device to deliver a great deal of exposition about other people rather than a strong character-voice in her own right. However, having started the next book I know that her voice gets much stronger and I adore her now; I feel like I know what she's like better in the second book. I also found the humour lacking in this book is much more apparent in the next one!
The plot was a little patchy. I liked parts of it but in general is wasn't that compelling. I loved all the character stuff and found Mercy's history with Samuel, Adam and Bran very interesting. Overall, a good novel and a series that I know improves to five star quality! Blood Bound is fantastic so far. Highly recommended.
Mercy Thompson is a Walker which means she can shapeshift into a Coyote. Brought up by werewolves she is used to dealing with pack politics and being weaker than others around her - she's learnt to use her brains as well as her physical strenght and her karate training comes in handy too. She left pack life behind her years ago and is working as a mechanic but she is still surrounded by the supernatural - literally. Her neighbour is an Alpha, her ex-boss is fae and she fixes vampire's cars for protection.
When a young boy arrives at the garage looking for work life is about to get complicated - Mac is a newly turned werewolf who has yet to gain full control of his wolf making him dangerous to be around but he is also in trouble and Mercy is unable to turn him away. But she had no idea just how difficult things are going to get and while trying to deal with her current problems she is going to have to face up to the past she ran away from.
Moon Called is the first Patricia Briggs book I've read and it is a very promising start to the Mercy Thompson series. Patricia has created a realistic world populated by an interesting mix of characters - from the lesser fae who have already "come out" to the human population to the more dangerous fae, and other supernatural characters like werewolves and vampires who keep their existence hidden.
Mercy is a likeable character who knows how to stand on her own two feet - she doesn't rely on the pack for protection & is determined to be in control of her own life. I like the fact that she stands up for herself against the werewolves even though she is physically weaker than they are. I liked the wolves - particularly Samuel and Adam and I'm looking forward to learning more about them throughout the series. We don't get to see too much of the vampires in this book but I think Stefan is going to be an interesting character to watch out for as the series continues.
The only thing that prevented this from being a 5 star read for me was the ending - I didn't really understand the bad guy's motive or what he was hoping to achieve which made it a slightly unbelievable ending. Having said that I still thought this was a great start to the series and I will definitely be reading future books. I'd recommend the series to urban fantasy fans who like books with a wide mix of characters. If you like Kelly Armstrong's Bitten I'm sure you'll enjoy Moon Called.
on 17 June 2009
This book isn't flawless, there are a lot of characters with not a lot of background on them, making it a little hard to keep track of them at times, and hard to care about some of them. The romance is minimal, and seems to be little more than an afterthought at times as well, creating little tension between the interested parties.
And yet, I love it. I love that Mercy isn't the toughest girl around, until the beginning of this book she's never killed, and certainly not deliberately. She cares a lot and she's pretty friendly, easy going and she's got a sense of humor. Her relationship with the alpha wolf, Adam, is pretty funny at times too. She clearly enjoys annoying him a little, but she also cares and knows how easy it would be for him to kill her and she respects him.
We get quite a bit of back story on Mercy as the book goes on, finding out about the oddness of her relationships with the other supernaturals around her, how she came to be living beside an alpha wolf and how she knows so much about wolf life when she's not one herself.
Mercy's problems start when a teenage wolf, not a member of the pack and newly turned, appears at her garage and asks for work. She quickly decides to do what she can to help him, before realising he's in much more trouble than she first thought. Trouble follows Mac and soon Adam finds himself and his (human) daughter well and truly caught in it, with Mercy doing everything she can to help them.
The main plot is tight and moves at a good pace. The interaction of werewolves, fae and vampires, along with of course Mercy, a coyote, gives you a lot of supernaturals to enjoy, all with their own talents and agendas. There is enough about Mercy, Adam and several other secondary characters that you start to get a good feel of them and those guys you do care about and it left me eager to read the next in the series to discover what happens next with them.
on 23 July 2011
ive put this series on the sidelines for ages, thinking rather stupidly that i wanted something with a bit more raunch involved. the lack of sex in these books put me off, and im ashamed to say that i let that get in the way.
having finally given these books a go...well....BOY WAS I WRONG! here we have a beautifully written story, focused on people with real relationships, real hang ups and very real attitudes. the main character Mercy is one of the most interesting female characters ive read, very much stealing the crown from the earlier versions of anita blake.
the lack of full on sex scenes actually does this book a favor. ive abandoned many book series now *sigh* due to the content focusing on sex sex and more sex. this book delivers a hell of a punch in the story and characters and also has oodles of sexual tension. reminded me very much of the style of the FEVER series by KM Moning. lots of action, and some real development of relationships that take months rather than days to form. its obvious that alot of thought has gone into the lore of the creatures in this book, and find the subtle traits of each creature making it beleivable that there are whole societies of preternatural creatures exsisting in secret.
already on book 3 after just a few days.
for those that enjoyed the fever series, anita blake (before the insane sex) this is a must. i REALLY hope this auther sticks to her guns and doesnt sell out like so many other authors.
on 10 February 2007
Mercedes or Mercy for her friends, is a car mechanic living in the Tri-Cities. She leads a relatively quiet life, except for the fact that she knows a faerie and is herself not quite human; she is a walker, a person who can change into an animal (in her case, a coyote) at will. She is doing okay for herself until a young werewolf named Mac (I kid you not) appears on her doorstep. Between Mac's inexperience at being a wolf, the local pack's Alpha, some unknown enemies, an old love and crazy vampires, Mercedes begins to think she might have bit more than she can chew.
First book I've read by Ms Briggs and I enjoyed it immensely. I loved her writing and thought it captivating. The main character, Mercedes, is a good character: likeable, though (without being stupid) and very cool when she goes all 'cute puppy' on you. I even enjoyed the plot.
The real problem with this book is that it is... too mainstream. Briggs didn't really add anything new to the genre. She recycled most of the ideas that urban/contemporary fantasy authors use. Her description of the werewolves' skills and characteristics is quite common. The only original element (I mean truly original, the plot is new too) is the whole story of the Walkers. I know that coyotes and wolves and Indians are all connected, but I'd never seen it used in urban fantasy before. So, points for that. As for the vampires, I didn't see any appeal to them as a 'race', but then again the story focuses on werewolves so it's possible that might be it. I hear 'Blood Bound', this book's sequel focus on vampires... let's see their characterization then.
The story was enjoyable, yes, but again, unremarkable. It was a paranormal action/adventure book with a very run of the mill storyline. Even in terms of 'mystery' the case the characters had to solve wasn't that interesting. It wasn't something you went all 'Ah! So that was it!' about. The romance (the little that was) was well done and it adds charm to the story.
Overall, this was an 'okay' book. I enjoyed reading it, thought it good when compared with other works of the genre. It is not a work of art, but it's a nice read. If you're a fan of supernatural fiction, give it a try... just don't expect much.
The world is finally coming to terms with the existence of the Fae, yet there are plenty of things still out there that perhaps humans are better off not knowing really exist. Car mechanic Mercy Thompson is far more than she initially appears. She can change her shape into a coyote (courtesy of her Native American father) and though lacking super strength, she is able to detect magic and remain immune to the thrall of a vampire. Mercy's neighbour Adam is the alpha werewolf, plus one of her regular's at the garage is a vampire. Stefan could be a friend so she tends to forget how scary vampires really are.
Mercy tries to stay out of werewolf politics and dominance games, but she can't turn down Mac; a newly turned werewolf who clearly needs a little TLC. Her acts of kindness have disastrous results, and although Mercy may be considered one of the most physically weak of the supernatural creatures in her world, she is determined to save the day when necessary.
There's plenty of action, drama and explosive action. This book sets the scene well, introduces a number on intriguing supernatural characters and a heroine that will exceed her limitations to do the right thing and keep those she cares for safe. There's only a hint of a romance, but with several love interests lined up, it'll be interesting to see whom Mercy ends up with. Mercy is definitely a heroine that could potentially be on par with the likes of "Kate Daniels" or "Rylee Adamson" and will certainly appeal to fans of a dark gritty paranormal romance which features an equally gritty heroine.