March 13, 2013 by Heidi
Title: 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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Category Adult, Audiobook, Review | Tags: adult, Audiobook, book guilt, fae, home on the range, Montana, Native American mythology, Penguin Audio, review, shapeshifters, urban fantasy, vampires, Washington, witches, wolf boy