02 January 2011

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

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.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself ... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

Mercy Thompson is one of my all-time favorite characters. And this is outside the Harry Potter series, so let that be your perspective here. Mercy is riiiiight up there with Harry Potter. Kinda cool right? Well she’s definitely a cool chica. She doesn’t take crap, but she isn’t fake and cocky. She’s smart, but she makes mistakes. She can fight, but she isn’t invincible. Patricia Briggs created a very real character, someone everyone could either (a) identify with or (b) look up to. I think that nowadays in YA fiction that’s one of the most difficult things to do, because the main character is the most important factor to drawing people into the story. If you screw that up, well, the whole story can really suck for the reader. And even though Mercy is not exactly a teenager anymore (which is why this isn’t classified as YA, though it is perfectly suitable for young adults) she still has drama and feelings everyone can identify with. Except for having a werewolf living behind your backyard. And having a fae as an ex-boss. Yeah, except for that stuff. (Right?)

The second thing that I really admire about this book (and the whole series) is the fantastic writing. Maybe it’s because Patricia Briggs has had a lot of practice, but you know that it also takes a lot of raw talent to do that perfect combination of when to show and when to tell. The way characters and information is presented is flawless. As I reread it, I started thinking about how she did this and how she did that, how did she make me—the reader—feel this way about a character, etc., etc. I think another hard thing for writers to pin down is to mimic the thought process. For this reason, I love how Patricia Briggs presents Mercy’s mind to us. For once(!), I can truly keep track of what’s going on and it doesn’t get all jumbled up when a character tries to explain it. I’m sure there’s a word for that type of scene, but you know what I mean, right? The scene where the MC mulls over everything that’s happened and then miraculously gets the answer to everyone’s problems and you’re left going either, “Huh?” or “Are you kidding me?”

Now, I know there’s mystery in practically every book. It’s what comes from conflict. I generally don’t go seeking out the “whodunnit” books and especially not the adult kinds, but I love the mystery and intrigue presented throughout the series. And this was a perfect mystery to solve for the first book! It was gentle in how it was presented (since we’re all new to the game) but it was puzzling enough to intrigue us. And it made sense! Out of all things, the mystery has to make sense. Patricia Briggs ties up all the loose ends except for those that are required to move on to the rest of the series. Brilliantly done.

I love everything about this series, except for maybe the fact that I wish I had hardcovers instead of fragile mass market paperbacks, but I still have the book to read and that’s enough. :) Also, there may be some dark aspects—a little in this book, a little more often as you go on—but I think that just shows how bad people do bad things. I recommend this to older teens for that reason.

Favorite Quotes:
Mass Market Paperback edition
“I’ve always wanted to do that,” I confessed.  “Maybe when this is all over, you can drive, and I’ll stick my head out the window.” (p. 199)
“Mercy,” he mumbled.  “What the hell did you do to my French Roast?” (p. 251)
Unexpectedly, he laughed.  “Trust you to quote Lancelot rather than Guinevere.”

“Both of them were stupid,” I told him.  “Arthur should have let them marry each other as punishment and gone off to live happily on his own.  I only like Camelot for the music.” I hummed a bit. (p. 256)
Great, I thought.  Just what I need, another macho male in my life trying to take care of me. (p. 283)
Under the mellowing influence of good food and good music, Adam relaxed, and I discovered that underneath that overbearing, hot-tempered Alpha disguise he usually wore was a charming, overbearing, hot-tempered man.  He seemed to enjoy finding out that I was as stubborn and disrespectful of authority as he’d always suspected. (p. 284)
Book Info:
  • pages – mass market paperback, 304
  • published – January 2006
  • publisher – Penguin
  • genre – urban fantasy
  • received via – Christmas gift
  • rating - 5/5
  • series – Mercy Thompson
    • Moon Called
    • Blood Bound | Review
    • Iron Kissed | Review
    • Bone Crossed | Review
    • Silver Borne | Review
    • River Marked | Review
    • Frost Burned
    • Night Broken
    • Shifting Shadows (anthology)