Audio Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

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March 13, 2013 by Heidi

Moon Called by Patricia BriggsTitle: Moon Called [Amazon|Goodreads]
Author: Patricia Briggs [Website|Twitter|Facebook]
Standing: Mercy Thompson Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Published: September 1st, 2009 by Penguin Audiobooks (in print January 1st, 2006)
Format: Audio; 9 hrs, 14 min.
Read by Lorelei King.
Source: Borrowed from my local library.

Have you ever felt guilty about enjoying a book so much?  Not in a guilty pleasure, “I’m embarrassed to admit I love this” kind of way, but in a “I feel like I’m cheating on other books when I read this” kind of way.  Yes, for Mercy and I, it was insta-love.  Not the hard-earned love that other UF series like Kate Daniels and October Daye enjoy–strait up, flat out, love at first page kind of love.

Mercedes Thompson is a mechanic.  You know, just one of my back-pocket, chicks are awesome, favorite secret dream jobs since watching Brotherly Love as a kid in the 90s (What? Like you didn’t).  But on top of this, she’s a Walker–a skin changer of Native American decent that can slip into the skin of a coyote. Of course, she was also raised by wolves.  Werewolves who will never consider her one of the pack (not such a bad deal when she doesn’t particularly want to listen to them).  When a new young wolf shows up at her shop looking for work, Mercy takes the kid under her wing.  She knows that Mac is probably in some kind of trouble, but she doesn’t expect to be dragged into it along with all of her allies, whether wolf, vampire, witch, or fae.

Patricia Briggs doesn’t waste any time, and doesn’t pull any punches.  She has this pacing thing down pact from the get go, throws you into this world without spoon feeding you, and manages to make fairly traditional werewolf lore seem fresh and invigorating.  The world of Mercy Thompson is one where fae have been forced out of hiding into the public eye, and are now largely residing on reservations across the country.  Other preternatural creatures, however, remain in hiding.

Everything about Mercy’s life and Moon Called just feels like home to me (okay, maybe not everything).  Patricia Briggs is Montana born and bred, chose to set her series in Eastern Washington, and as a Wyoming girl I couldn’t feel more at home with the badlands, mountains, and wild.  You have no idea how much I wanted to hug Mercy when she said “pop” instead of “soda”.  Add to that Brigg’s awesome combo of lesser-known Native American mythologies with those rampantly accepted in pop-culture, and you have yourself a sure-fire success.

Briggs has done an excellent job of starting us out with a heroine who’s no pushover, but not exactly a BAMF either.  Mercy knows how to navigate the minefield that is werewolf social-structure and signaling, but never having known another of her kind, she knows next to nothing about her own capabilities as a Walker.  She’s tough–you have to be to lift and install carburetors and other car parts without help, but prior to Moon Called it didn’t seem as if she’d been in many physical fights.  She doesn’t have the strength or ability to heal like her werewolf friends, but she also doesn’t have to play by their rules when it doesn’t suit.

Moon Called comes with an entire cast that promises to make it difficult to choose sides in future battles (*sigh* there’s going to be another love triangle here, isn’t there?).  As a victim of prejudice for her entire life, Mercy’s done a great job of overlooking the prejudices of others and befriending anyone she feels is worth her time.  A vampire who drives a van painted like the Mystery Machine?  Sure!  A much-verboten gay werewolf? Why not? One of the few fae that can work with metal? Of course. I like that Mercy is starting the series with a network of friends and supporters, but also a clearly troubled past that’s working hard to catch up with her.

I was uncertain about doing a UF/PNR series via audio, but after seeing Jess’s review, I knew I had to give it a try.  I am oh so glad that I did.  I immediately balked when I tuned in, uncertain as to how the voice of Lorelei King was going to play to the character in my mind, but within the first chapter I was sold completely.  Lorelei’s gravely voice makes her the perfect narrator for Mercy’s inner thoughts, and also renders her believably capable of voicing a number of deeply masculine werewolves.  Her accents are believable, without being cheesy, and quite frankly this non-stop type of pace is perfect for those of us who listen to audiobooks while at the gym.  My only teensie-weensie complaint is the pronunciation of “coyote”.  How do people in Eastern Washington say this word?  Someone please tell me!  Lorelei pronounces it with the more widely-accepted “ky-o-tee”, but in Wyoming we say it “ky-oat”.  I would assume that it would be the same for Montana/Eastern Washington.  I suppose it’s fair to say the more colloquial pronunciation makes more sense for an audiobook, but after my being elated about “pop”, I was curious.

Likelihood that I’ll be back for more:  Psh, already have Book 2 loaded up and ready to go on my i-pod.  It’ll likely be my “breather” between the MG books I’m listening to for the Audies.

Recommended for:  Any fans of Urban Fantasy or Paranormals.  Love your wolf boys?  Sign up here.

Real life repercussions of reading this book:
The Mercy Thompson series boasts what are probably my favorite covers in Urban Fantasy (despite the reality that no, no professional mechanic is going to be changing your oil with her boobs falling out)–but I thought it was interesting that her tattoos on the covers change with each installment, and other than her coyote print on the stomach, don’t exist on the actual character.  The official note says that the artist changes the tattoos at will to match the theme of the current book.  I think this is kind of cool, but others don’t–what do you think?  Does it bug you that “permanent” physical traits on a character’s body are changed with each book?

Get a second opinion:
Gone With the Words – “It’s the type of story that, when read perfectly, is completely cinematic.”
Fantasy Cafe – “Moon Called is a highly entertaining, quick read with lots of adventure and mystery, a hint of romance, and a great female lead.”
Chachic’s Book Nook – “I admit that Moon Called wasn’t a real page turner for me but I still think it’s a promising start on an interesting urban fantasy series.”

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19 comments »

  1. Bahahaha, that opening is fantastic.

    I wasn’t sure if I would like this series, mostly because I don’t like the cover (don’t judge me), but I think I need to give it a try. I’m putting this on my audio shelf. A lady who can do convincing male voices? All over it!

    • Heidi says:

      Hehe, thanks, Christina! And no worries, I LOVE this cover art, but I can see why others wouldn’t–to be fair, it’s not really an accurate representation of the character. Lorelei King was an awesome narrator, I’m planning to listen to the rest of the series!

  2. Hah! Knew you’d love this series

    I hope you don’t mind if I say that the trianglenss fades as we go on, and actually there is a bit someplace where Mercy specifically thinks about the ky-ote vs ky-o-tee pronunciation. I bet tehse do work fabulously as audio books; too bad I already have them all in paper copies.

    I really like the covers. I like Mercy’s girl-next-door prettiness, I think that’s just right for her. And I like the tatoos; it doesn’t bother me at all that only the coyote print exists in the books.

    • Heidi says:

      You were right!

      I’m actually happy to know the triangleness fades, I just went through the October Daye series where it goes on for five books, and that was a bit much for me. I’m going to listen for the ky-ote vs ky-o-tee part now! Kind of word-nerd excited.

      I’m hoping to listen to the rest of the series on audio, though we’ll see if I have to switch to print for one or two. Mercy is very girl-next-door! I love that about her.

      I liked the tattoos too, I think it’s cool that they change with each book, and had fun going through all of the covers and checking them out. :)

  3. Angie says:

    Well, as you know, I like the changing tatts.

    And the triangle is handled well and in a timely manner. No worries there.

    I LOVE THIS SERIES.

    • Heidi says:

      I approve of the tatts as well! Also glad to know the love triangle is timely…not in the mood for another drawn out one. Really excited about this series, I’ll be listening to the next been in the next week or so. :)

  4. Yay!!! I love this series so, so, so much and I’m always so thrilled when someone else discovers it. I went to a Patricia Briggs signing last week and it was the biggest book signing I’ve been too–standing room only–and one the coolest things was the people were talking about Mercy, Adam and the rest of the gang like they were old friends we all had in common. The staying power of this series is so special.

    Re, coyote: I have a ton of relatives in that part of Washington and it’s definitely said “ky-o-tee” there. I know they say it that way in Idaho, too, (relatives there too) but I’m not sure about Montana.

    • Heidi says:

      Ah!! That’s so awesome that you got to go for her signing! I LOVE hearing that a series this long has staying power. I was so taken aback by the fact that it was so strong to begin with, if it can stay as good as book 1, I’m going to be so happy.

      And THANK YOU for the coyote info. I was insanely curious about this for some odd reason.

  5. Yaay, Lorelei King is the best. She narrates the Charley Davidson series as well, and she’s doing an amazing job with it.
    The love triangle IS coming, but not a bad one, and it won’t last long at all. Mercy isn’t exactly an indecisive type.
    Re: pronunciation of coyote… it’s discussed in book 6 when they talk about Mercy’s dad, Joe Old Coyote… HIS name was pronounced ky-oat.

    • Heidi says:

      Oooh, good to know, I’ll totally follow her to another series after I’m caught up here–really fantastic. I’m glad the love triangle won’t last long, you’re right, Mercy isn’t exactly wishy washy. And thanks for the coyote info! I must have missed the pronunciation of his name when they first mentioned him in book one (assuming they said his full name).

  6. HELL YES! I love this series — the only UF I’ve ever been able to get into. It’s so addicting and immersive. I don’t want to leave this world. Or Adam. :) Are you going to read the Alpha & Omega series as well?

    • Heidi says:

      Hell yes I’m going to read the Alpha and Omega series as well! I’ll probably catch up on Mercy first, and then go read those.

  7. I’m glad you were able to enjoy Moon Called so much, Heidi! It really is a nice feeling when you are able to fall so quickly in love with a book. I hope that feeling continues throughout the series!

    And every time I read a new UF review from you, I end up mentally kicking myself. I know that there are fantastic adult UF series out there (as evidenced by your reviews), yet I have not even started one yet! I need to fix this soon.

    • Heidi says:

      I hope the feeling continues too, Amanda! I hope you do give adult UF a shot soon (this would be an excellent one to start with because you don’t have to wait till book 3 or so for it to get really good). It’s very different from YA UF, and it’s not for everyone, but I fell in love with this genre last year.

  8. Chachic says:

    I read three books in this series and then didn’t feel the need to continue with it. Which makes me a little sad since so many blogging buddies love it and I couldn’t fangirl with all of them. Same with the Toby Daye series (I’ve only read two and I’m trying to decide if I should continue with the series). So in urban fantasy, it’s still Kate Daniels for me.

    • Heidi says:

      Yeah, Urban Fantasy just might not be for you. Something about it just clicked with me, and I ended up loving it–I think they’re the perfect kick-back fast reads for me. When I need my brain not to hurt now, I go for either UF or romance, but more often UF. I do think the Toby Daye series changes in Book 3, but I honestly don’t know if you’d like it if you weren’t that into the first two at all.

  9. […] Moon Called by Patricia Briggs–Book 1 in the Mercy Thompson series, which I experienced insta-love with.  This is starting out at a pace to make it one of if not my favorite UF/PN series. Blood […]

  10. […] Mercy Thompson series came highly recommended by Heidi from Bunbury in the Stacks and is featured by Sarah at Clear Eyes, Full Shelves on her recommended urban fantasy series, so […]

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