Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs


Moon Called
Mercy Thompson, Book 1
Patricia Briggs
Ace

Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Thirty years ago, the Gray Lords ordered the lesser fae (gremlins, brownies, sprites) to make themselves known to the world at large, hoping to prepare the world for the news that the bigger, more powerful things (werewolves, vampires) exist, too. For a short time, humanity was excited about the presence of the fae. Then came the inevitable backlash, headed by the religious and conservative interests. Now most of the lesser fae live in designated areas, and are not trusted by the general populace.

Mercy Thompson is a mechanic. She bought the business from its former owner, a gremlin. Mercy is also a “walker.” She can, at will, take the form of a coyote. She’s no match for the larger werewolves, but she’s smart enough to know that. When Mac arrives at her shop, looking for a day’s work, Mercy can smell that he’s a werewolf. The fact that he can’t smell her means that he must be very new. Mercy introduces him to Adam, the Alpha of the local Pack, as etiquette demands. But something goes very wrong. Adam’s home is attacked and his teenaged daughter kidnapped.

Adam is nearly killed in the attack, and Mercy goes to the only place she knows he can get help: Her foster family, a family of werewolves, led by Bran, the Alpha of all Alphas. Going back isn’t easy, and may not be safe. As a walker, Mercy carries lower status than any wolf and is only protected by Bran and his son Samuel, Mercy’s childhood love. The attack on Adam’s home was clearly planned; possibly from inside the Pack. Anyone who would attack an Alpha in his home is dangerous. So dangerous, that Mercy may have to look for outside help to resolve things.

MOON CALLED is an excellent urban fantasy novel that lays a great deal of groundwork for upcoming books. There’s plenty of politics, intrigue, and family/Pack relationships that make the situation complicated. The world the author has created is original and solid, with intricate social structures and dynamics for each type of creature. The plot is not exactly a straight line, and that makes the story all the more entertaining. Mercy is a great character. She’s tough without being reckless or foolish trying to prove it. She accepts herself and her limitations, both personally and within her particular social order. She’s smart and she knows when to fight and when to use her intelligence. This is one of those books that just flies by effortlessly. I’m looking forward to getting started on the next volume.

Rating: 8
February 2006
ISBN# 0-441-01381-3 (paperback)

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