Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)
Penguin Ace (US: 1st February 2006); Hachette Orbit (UK: 5th June 2008)
There’s more to paranormal creatures than mechanics in the opener of Patricia Briggs’s popular urban fantasy series.
Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson is a hereditary walker, brought up in a werewolf foster home. Now Mercy runs her garage specialising in German vehicles, and takes on a new assistant – who happens to be a werewolf with a lot of trouble on his back. But it’s hard to make friends when you’ve been kept in a cage, and experimented on.
When a corpse is dumped on her front step, and next door there’s more destruction, and a teenage girl is missing…it all leads to Mercy working with werewolves, vampires and fae to get everything resolved.
This series has its fans, and there’s reasonable enough evidence in the world-building and class structure. But yet these are also its downfall. All urban fantasy requires some form of suspension of disbelief, but this involved too much – Mercy doesn’t experience pain when she “walks” into coyote form and back, because for her it’s magic. But at least I was cool with the werewolves actually changing shape and experiencing pain.
The fae have been public for quite some time now, but are still discriminated against in many ways. And they live on a reservation. This is good world-building as it demonstrates social commentary…but bad because I would’ve felt more connected with the characters had they been gay and/or Native American (as the “coming out” and “reservation” seem to refer to), and not mythological creatures. This is a matter of personal taste, however, and shouldn’t bother your average reader.
But for me this book was very easy to put down, and I was never in a rush to get back to it. It wasn’t bad, but it just didn’t work for me. However, I own Book 2 in the series, Blood Bound, so I’m willing to give the author another chance.