Sunday, August 31, 2008

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

After two disappointing paranormal/fantasy reads, which I didn't bother finishing, I finally found a good paranormal/fantasy to read.

Mercedes (Mercy) Thomspon owns and operates a vehicle repair shop, specializing in VWs, though she will fix the occasional BMW and Mercedes-Benz. While working on a VW, a werewolf, Mac, shows up at her door, which she thinks odd because werewolves tend to avoid the likes of her. Turns out she's a coyote shape shifter. But this is a new werewolf and he looks pretty harmless and pathetic. Against her better judgment, she takes him in. Later, she finds she forgot her purse at the office, goes to retrieves it, and finds her new boarder/worker being worked over by a werewolf and lackey. She tries to distracts them so Mac can escape, but accidentally kills the werewolf. She calls her neighbor, Adam, for help, he just happens to be the Alpha male for the pack. He arrives after the witch comes to clean up the mess so no one gets suspicious and asks questions. The fae have come out of hiding, but the werewolves are trying their best to keep their tracks covered. Turns out that Mac was part of an experiment gone very bad. Adam calls an emergency meeting of his pack to help sort this out. It turns out not to be Mercy's day. The meeting closes successfully, but it's the after party which causes more problems for Mercy. Mac, unfortunately, winds up dead on her doorstop and she surveys Adam's house and finds him almost dead and his daughter missing. Because Adam's Alpha and is in bad shape to where he needs help healing, Mercy decides to call on werewolves who can help, her old pack who fostered her. The pack is less than pleased with her for bringing Adam in the state he's in, but they still help him and decide they need to get to the bottom of who's conducting the experiments. The also decide a female isn't the best choice to handle this operation, so they send Mercy's ex-boyfriend, Sam, to help Adam. Frustrated with the chauvinistic werewolf POV, Mercy decides to show how useful she by pulling on her fae and vampire connections which pull in more pieces of the puzzle. The werewolves determine she's helpful after all, but try to limit her involvement, to protect her, naturally. But in the end, she proves herself her own coyote and no werewolf is going to hold her down, though they'll still try. There's also the scent of romance between Mercy and Adam or Sam.

Briggs did a good job on plot and characters. The story starts a little slow, but flows smoothly and I found myself liking Mercy more and more. She's a strong character, but has an enormous amount of compassion for the other characters around her, even the werewolves. She knows the strength of the werewolf but can go against them if she has to. She doesn't like the chauvinism of werewolves, but can't help but love them, too. She's accepted who she is and that she has to find a way to balance her world and the one she lives in. Another thing I liked about the book was the language, or lack of the foul variety. There was very little cursing in the book, maybe a damn here or another word there, but no cursing every other page. There was some violence, werewolves and vampires practically demand it, but nothing over the top. Mercy isn't a big fan of violence and prefers the safer route. The story still held together beautifully. With the strong female protagonist, little violence and foul language, this book was quite refreshing. Look forward to more in the series.


hamilcar barca said...

first "cozy"; now "fae". Christina's reviews are certainly expanding my vocabulary. and Wikipedia calls this genre "urban fantasy", which is also new to me.

Julie said...

I've never really heard of the "urban fantasy" genre. I also had never heard of the word "fae" either and I looked it up. I didn't get the right definition at first judging by the way you had used it in your sentance, so I looked again and thanks to Mr. Barca's comment I eventually found the meaning on Wiki. Thanks for keeping me learning.

Christina said...

Urban fantasy is a new term for me. I didn't realize that's what it was until I looked up Wikipedia. It's "urban fantasy" in that the story takes place in contemporary times. Whereas I don't mind contemporary, I still like the traditional stories as well. Susan Dexter writes traditional fantasy stories with a horse called Vladimir, sired by the wind. Excellent writing.