Moon Called - Patricia Briggs

Since the Twilight phenomenon you can’t walk into a bookshop without being hit over the head with a novel about vampires or werewolves or both. Unfortunately due to the current popularity of this genre, authors have jumped on the bandwagon and are churning out books that should not have passed the editing stage. Luckily for us, there are many good quality supernatural books out there, and this is one of them.

Our protagonist is a Volkswagen mechanic named Mercedes (Mercy) Thompson who can change into a coyote. Having been raised by werewolves, Mercy knows a lot about them, but not being part of a pack can give her major problems. The pack doesn’t respect her and she has to fix cars for vampires in order to have their protection. When the local Alpha wolf is attacked and his daughter vanishes, the only person Mercy can trust to get help from is the one who exiled her from his pack – the one that she was raised in.

I had a bit of writers block when it came to this review because although Moon Called is an urban fantasy where vampires and werewolves are a strong presence in the novel, I can’t bring myself to see it as a vampire/werewolf story. I think that this is because Briggs does such an excellent job with the personalities of her characters that the fact that they’re vampires and werewolves isn’t relevant. Also, the fact that Mercy (being supernatural herself) deals with them as part of her daily life makes the reader accept the paranormal theme of the novel as normal.

Having read other books by Briggs, I am happy to say that this one has lived up to her usual high standards. Her depiction of Mercy is subtle about showing the conflict of living between two worlds; the story unfolds at a satisfying pace and fits perfectly into the urban landscape. I also like the fact that we get to see further into the mechanics of a werewolf pack (inside and out) through Mercy’s eyes.

Moon Called is written in a style similar to Charles de Lint’s short stories, but is a lot less depressing. It is a serious book with some romance to it, but thankfully Briggs does not make the mistake of turning her novel into soppy drivel or paranormal porn. Mercy is a strong, confident woman who is “capable of making her own decisions thank you very much!”. What also excites me is that the story does have a sense of humour. There’s something amusing about a Volkswagen mechanic named Mercedes, and you can’t go past a vampire who drives a minivan painted like the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo (well, at least I couldn’t).

This is a book that I read over and over again without getting tired of it. I hope that you will too.

1 comments, please comment here:

Danielle said...

Very good review! I definitely agree with you about the quality of writing in this book and others by Briggs.