Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Moon Called
Patricia Briggs
Ace Fantasy
Copyright: 2006

From the back of the book:

Werewolves can be dangerous if you get in their way, but they'll leave you alone if you are careful. They are very good at hiding their natures from the human population, but I'm not human. I know them when I meet them, and they know me too.

Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf.

She's tinkering with a VW bus at her mechanic shop that happens to belong to a vampire.

But then, Mercedes Thompson is not exactly normal herself... and her connection to the world of things that go bump in the night is about to get her into a whole lot of trouble.

I loved this book as, even though it seems to have all of the staples of the urban fantasy world, it had some unique twists as well and it kept me guessing right to the last page. I'll admit that I'm not overly familiar with the type of book, only really having read a few of the authors, namely Laurell K. Hamilton, Sherrilyn Kenyon and Tanya Huff, but Patricia Briggs is an author I'm enjoying a lot.

In a way, this book reminded me of the early books in the Anita Blake series, where you have the mystery to be solved amid the paranormal, but Briggs has done something different. Where usually there are two extremes in the type, one where the paranormal is known about, and the other where they're trying everything to stay hidden, Briggs has taken the middle route. It's interesting to see the reactions to the news and the approaches the different groups are taking to the discovery of the supernatural as they are coming out of hiding, one at a time. Mercedes reminds me of Anita in her attitude and weapons skills, but not so much. However, I get the feeling that that is a staple of the genre.

At the time the book starts, only the Fae have come out, but the reader soon finds out about the other main groups: the werewolves and the vampires. Nobody has said if magic is openly known about such as that of witches.

Werewolves may be a secret to the general public, but it's soon made clear that there are select groups that know about them, and that adds tension to the story. Is it the government that's causing the problems, or is it somebody else. I was kept guessing until quite late in the book as to who exactly the villain was. And, even once the villain is discovered, the motivations aren't revealed until the very end.

The characters are vibrant and full of life, as is the descriptions Patricia Briggs has created, ranging from weather, to rooms to clothing. Not to mention the details of werewolf behavior she has put together. She's taken things a bit farther than Hamilton has, I think, but it only adds to the story, especially with Mercedes' interactions with the wolves.

I liked Moon Called a lot, and I'm already half way through the sequel, Blood Bound. I recommend this series to any reader of Hamilton or Huff's Blood Ties series.

The other books in this series/world so far are:
Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed

Cry Wolf

Other reviews:
Ceridwen's Book Lounge - Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Tomes of Eldritch Power - Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Calico Reaction - Moon Called
Reader : Superhero Prose Fiction: Mercy Thompson - 1 Moon Called
Kill Anything That Giggles
Tales Of A Web Goddess - Moon Called - Patricia Briggs
Books And Other Thoughts: A Murder Mystery In A Dark Fantasy World

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