Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: A book worth rereading

Posted by Simcha 3:35 PM, under | No comments

I rarely reread novels because I don’t find them to be as enjoyable the second time around, plus knowing how the book ends also ruins the suspense, which is most of the fun. But after finishing Patricia Brigg’s newest book, Hunting Ground, I wanted to spend more time with some of her wonderful book characters so I pulled Moon Called off of my shelf, despite my general misgivings about rereading books. But to my delight, I found this book to be just as enjoyable on a second reading, as on the first.

Mercedes Thompson, or Mercy, is a Volkswagen mechanic who is also a walker, meaning that she was born with the ability to shape shift into a coyote. Mercy’s neighbor is a domineering Alpha werewolf, one of her regular customers is a vampire and her old boss is a goblin. So when things start heating up in the supernatural world, it’s no surprise that Mercy gets caught in the middle.

One day, as Mercy is working in her garage, a haggard, hollow-eyed teenage boy, calling himself Mac, shows up looking for a job. Mercy’s high-tuned senses can tell that this boy is not human but a werewolf and a very recently turned werewolf as well. He also appears to be running from some sort of trouble, trouble that follows him to Mercy’s doorstep and forces her to turn to the Alpha for help. As Mercy discovers that Mac is running from a group that has been experimenting with drugs on newly turned, captive werewolves, she finds herself more deeply entrenched in this dangerous situation. And when the Alpha himself is attacked and his daughter kidnapped, Mercy is forced to take charge of the situation, particularly since she suspects there is a traitor in the pack.

In a market overflowing with books about vampires and werewolves, Patricia Briggs’ books really stand out. At this time I have read both the Mercy Thompson series and The Alpha and Omega books, all of which I have enjoyed enormously. The stories are well told and the characters are well developed and memorable. It is clear that plenty of research has gone into the books regarding the habits and behaviors of actual wolves, and Briggs’ convincingly used this information in creating her werewolves.

Mercy is a great protagonist, independent, loyal and tough; ready to come to defense of her friends despite the dangers involved. She is a likable and believable heroine whose adventures you will want to follow from book to book. The two main male protagonists, Samuel and Adam, vie for Mercy’s affection. Adam is the Alpha who took her under his protection (despite her protests) and Samuel was Mercy’s first love who she came close to marrying at the age of 16, and who now reappears in her life, many years later. While each of these strong male characters has a central part in the book, the romance is subtle and sweet; woven into parts of the story but not taking over the plot, as in many similar books. The story is exciting and well thought out. Even when I reread it and knew exactly what to expect I still really enjoyed it just because I like the characters so much and the story was still fun.

I highly recommend Moon Called to all fans of fantasy. Even if you feel like you have had your fill of vampire and werewolf literature, I strongly suggest that you give this book a try as it offers something different than many of the other books out there.


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