Monday, October 31, 2011

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

In honor of Halloween I decided to review one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy series that will make wonder what really does go bump in the night. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs is the first book in the Mercedes Thompson series. Mercedes Thompson (Mercy) appears to be your average Volkswagen mechanic in in the Tri-City area of Washington State. Mercy is anything but normal for many reasons:
  • Mercy Thompson is a shape shifter. She shifts into a coyote and as far as she knows she is the last of her kind.
  • When Mercy was a baby, her mother decided she could not raise a shape shifter and dropped her off in Montana with Bran and his clan. Bran is the Marrok, otherwise known as the leader of the North American werewolves.
  • Mercy’s mentor, former boss, and father figure, Zee, is a Fae. In Mercy’s world the Fae are no longer in hiding and the world is aware of their existence. However, the world only knows what the Fae want them to know, and that isn’t much. The extent of magical abilities of the Fae is still a well-kept secret.
  • Mercy’s neighbor is Adam, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack. The werewolves only tolerate Mercy’s presence and only because Adam has told them to leave her alone.
  • One of Mercy’s closest friends, Stefan is a vampire who drives an old Volkswagen van.
Mercy attracts trouble but she is clever, wily and knows when to run instead of fight. When she finds a young werewolf sleeping in Stefan’s Volkswagen van she tries to decide if introducing him to Adam is a good idea. Unfortunately she waits to long and some shadowy characters (unfamiliar werewolves) kill Mercy’s young charge. Adam’s pack is attacked, his teenage daughter is taken and he is injured so badly that Mercy’s only option is to take him to the Marrok. The problem with taking Adam to the Marrok is that there is a chance Mercy will run into Samuel, Bran’s oldest son and the man Mercy was convinced she would marry. Obviously that didn’t work out the way she planned. The attack of the young werewolf and on Adam’s clan signals something more sinister than conflicts between werewolf packs.

What I enjoy about the Mercy Thompson series is that Patricia Briggs writes her characters as flawed individuals who take responsibility for their actions and make no excuses for who they are. Mercy is extremely loyal to those she loves, even if they have not always been good to her. While she gets herself in trouble, she rescues her friends as often as they rescue her. Mercy is not a damsel in distress. There is no clear line between good and evil and the relationship between all the “magical” races is complicated and not always friendly. As the last of her kind, most of the magical races have no idea what to make of Mercy. Should she be pitied, coveted or eliminated? One thing is for certain, Mercy seems to bring out strong emotions in all of the races she encounters. The world of Mercy Thompson seems believable even with the supernatural elements. Briggs and Mercy Thompson is a good choice for those who want to try out the sci-fi/fantasy genre. Yes this is an alternate world, but the basis is grounded in the “real” world so there are very familiar elements. As the series progresses it does delve more deeply into the myths of vampires, werewolves and other supernatural beings.

To date Patricia Brigg’s has written 6 books in the series, Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne and River Marked. I would recommend reading the books in order as each one builds upon the previous relationships and story-lines. My only wish was that Briggs would write faster because I am eagerly awaiting the seventh book in the series. Unfortunately, according to Brigg’s website, it is scheduled for release in the spring of 2013. In the meantime, Brigg’s has another series that is a spin-off of Mercy Thompson called Alpha and Omega. This series focuses on Charles, also a werewolf, the brother of Samuel and son of Bran. Book 3 of the Alpha and Omega series, Fair Game, is scheduled to come out in early 2012.

~Amy, Adult Services

No comments:

Post a Comment