[REVIEW] Moon Called – Patricia Briggs

Patricia Briggs
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.


3 responses to “[REVIEW] Moon Called – Patricia Briggs

  1. Really? I’ve read a lot of different urban fantasy series, and this has to be one of my absolute favorites. This universe worked for me on all levels, and I devoured each book.

    I don’t really get why you were hung up on Mercy not feeling pain when she transforms; that and speed are about the only advantages she has versus the much stronger, bigger and harder to kill werewolves. The whole point was to make her a shifter, but not too similar to a werewolf. Overall against them she’s at a disadvantage.

    So I didn’t mind the explanation of it being magic, because that’s how walkers are described in Native American myth anyway. They are magical beings, and I was able to accept fast transformation as part of the spell. I guess I don’t see what’s so bothersome about it, from an urban fantasy reader perspective.

    As for the fae, I guess it is a matter of personal taste. I didn’t have any issues with them, and I liked the social commentary of how they’re treated. As for you feeling disconnected from them, they are supposed to be strange and foreign. You find out more about the fae later on in the series; this is only book 1. Can’t explain away everything right away, can we? πŸ˜‰ That’s no fun. And as for gay outcast type characters, I think she covers that too. πŸ˜›

    What really set this series above most other urban fantasy series for me was Mercy herself. It’s becoming trope to have a hardass female main character that is sometimes too stubborn to have any common sense. (Anita Blake and Danny Valentine spring to mind as examples.) Mercy is an independent minded woman, but she also has a lot of common sense. She’ll bow to reason–even when it’s a man telling her to do so–instead of digging her feet in, but then she’ll also figure out some other way to go around things or to help in a different way and do that. I don’t know how else to put it exactly. She really has common sense. She is not over the top, but she’s still very compelling and likable.

    Not trying to offend, just trying to give a different perspective. And I do actually love the Danny Valentine series, but Dante really did need to mellow out some at times. πŸ˜‰

  2. Good Review Tez! Hopefully, you’ll pick up Blood Bound, since out of the series, Moon Called is the weakest, at least to me. I was on the fence with it, but thankfully after reading Blood Bound I was hooked.

    ~ Popin

  3. Oh good, so I’m not the only person who didn’t fangirly over this book. I swear, sometimes I feel so alone… πŸ˜‰

    Have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

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