Sunday, 8 March 2009

Moon Called

I'm sensing a definite werewolf pattern to my reading at the moment. First Bitten by Kelley Armstrong and now Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. I've read about this author's work in various places but most recently here on Susan's blog. She's the Bad Blogger who eventually made me do something about getting hold of the book and actually reading it.



The main character in this book is not a werewolf at all in point of fact. Mercy Thompson is a 'walker', a shapechanger who can change into a coyote but keep the memory of who she is. She has Native American heritage but was brought up in Montana as a member of a werewolf pack; she left when the son of the Alpha wanted to be her mate for all the wrong reasons. Mercy moved to Washington State and bought a garage mechanic business from a Fae. She also got herself a trailer, which just happens to be next door to the residence of the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, Adam. Things turn interesting for Mercy when a teenage werewolf turns up on her doorstep looking for a job. It's clear to Mercy that he's just been changed and could be dangerous but she takes him on anyway. Returning unexpectedly to her garage, late one night, she comes upon the scene of a group, including two werewolves, trying to take the boy away. She intervenes and a chain of events is set into motion that brings her closely into contact with Adam and his pack. Mercy has to return briefly to her adopted pack in Montana, and when she returns she brings Samuel with her, the werewolf that she'd previously had a romantic interest in when she was sixteen. What with the mystery of the deaths that have occurred, the kidnapping of Adam's human daughter, the involvement of the local vampires, and the sudden inexplicable rivalry between Adam and Samuel, Mercy suddenly finds her life more complicated than she could ever have imagined.

Given the cover of this book, I wasn't sure I would take to this book as much as I did. It seems to be the vogue at the moment for most of the paranormal series that are around to sport some scantily clad female on the cover who rarely bears any resemblance to the character they're supposed to represent. I'm not sure who the publishers are trying to appeal to. Obviously not women of my generation so I should shut-up and put-up I suppose but I can't help but be a trifle irritated by the trend.

Anyway, now I've got that off my chest, I'm going to go on to say how much I enjoyed this book. Mercy is an excellent main character. She's independent, smart, a 'good' person and I liked the fact that she's something different to a werewolf with different powers and strengths. The mystery element was strong and I had no idea, until the end, who the perpetrator of the crimes was, or why; red herrings galore sent me completely astray. I like that. I'm also an unashamed romance fan... 'in its place'. There are times when I feel it's inappropriate, but here it most certainly is not and there's a nice 'who is Mercy going to choose?' element to the book, which carries on into the sequels. I know who I want her to choose but it's not a foregone conclusion by any means as there are several choices. Other strengths of the book include its nicely understated humour, the setting in parts of the USA you don't normally hear about, and Patricia Briggs's excellent writing which, unlike some paranormal romance type books, does not annoy me but keeps me turning the pages.

I've already got two of the sequels, Blood Bound and Iron Kissed and, along with Kelley Armstrong's 'Women of the Otherworld' series, am greatly looking forward to reading them all. I think it's going to be a werewolf kind of year. :-)

10 comments:

BooksPlease said...

The cover of this book would mean that I wouldn't even open it, so obviously I would be missing a good book. I should be more open-minded!

Susan said...

I had problems with the cover too. It's awful, isn't it? Mercy is nothing like it. I love your review though! It would make me want to read it again if I hadn't just read it! I can hardly wait for book 2 to come in....her other series looks equally good. I think Kailana has reviewed it. I almost bought it Friday, but put it back, being a good girl. :-D Next time, though!

and i love romance in its place, you are right! Excellent review, Cath. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book too!

Kailana said...

Yeah, I hate the covers for this series. Mercy never dresses like that and she only has one tattoo, but the covers keep adding more and more! Cry Wolf, the other series set during the same time, but a bit different geography and characters annoys me too. The character on the front is wearing more clothes, but she still doesn't really resemble the main female character.

Cath said...

Well, I don't blame you in the slightest, Margaret. I wondered if they were aimed at men in their late teens or twenties but I can't imagine them reading this. Women in their twenties? I honestly don't know but feel the publishers might be putting off more people than they're attracting!

Awful cover, Susan. My husband asked me what on earth I was reading and I had to explain that the girl in the book was nothing like the cover. My own image of Mercy was more akin to the actress, Sandra Bullock, to be honest. Yes, Kailana recced the other series and I shall definitely be reading that too.

Kailana: You of course *know* who Mercy ends up with. LOL. (I'm sure it's Adam. ;-)))) Anyway, as I said, I just can't imagine who these covers are aimed at. I notice Kelley Armstrong's covers aren't like it - the UK covers anyway - so why does a perfectly good series have to portray itse;f like that. I think if I was the author I would be pretty annoyed, but maybe she has no input...

Nymeth said...

I seem to be one of the few fantasy fans who's yet to discover this series...but I plan to change that very soon!

And yeah, not a fan of the cover either.

Jeane said...

This is the second great review I've read of this book. I probably would have passed it up for the cover, but now I'm going to look for it.

Marg said...

I just read the first book in this series myself last week, after months and months and months of meaning to get to it!


I am guessing the cover is very much an urban fantasy go to style, regardless of the content.

Cath said...

Nymeth: I hadn't heard of the series until recently either, though the author was familiar.

Jeanne: Good luck and I hope you enjoy the book if you find it.

Marg: I left a message on your bookblog Facebook page that I couldn't see your blog. When I went back to recheck I found it *was* there but the first half of the page was completely blank and I had to scroll down to find the text. It's now back to normal :-)

I didn't see your review of Moon Called so will go back in a minute and look for it.

Darla D said...

Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It's one of my favorite series these days. I just started Bone Crossed this morning, and it's really good so far!

Cath said...

Hi Darla. I wouldn't be surprised if this series doesn't end up being one of my favourites too. And after sending for them from AM, I went into my local bookshop this morning and there they were on the shelf! I couldn't believe it...