Book Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 30, 2020 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
Published by Ace Books on March 3, 2007
Pages: 298
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also by this author: Night Broken, Dead Heat, Bone Crossed, River Marked, Hunting Ground, Iron Kissed, Cry Wolf, Fire Touched, Moon Called, Silence Fallen, Burn Bright, Storm Cursed, Smoke Bitten, , Wild Sign

First in the Mercy Thompson paranormal fantasy series and revolving around Mercedes, a VW mechanic in the Tri-Cities in Washington state.

My Take

I was surprised to see that I still haven’t reviewed Moon Called, especially since I’ve been reading the series, over and over, for the past ten years!!

Yeah, I really like this series. I adore Mercy and that wicked sense of humor she’s got. She’s only one of the engaging characters in the series…I do like Adam and adore Warren. Kyle is an absolute crackup with a wicked wit. As for Zee…hmmm, I do want to know more about this growly fae. As for Bran, Samuel, and Charles…oh, yeah, I definitely want to know more!

Moon Called is brimming over with subplots and action that Briggs uses so well to introduce us to Mercy’s entire world — the circumstances that resulted in her being fostered by the pack she grew up with; her relationships with the Marrok, her mother, and the pack she lives among now; and, her work life and the variety of people that come within that orbit. And that’s barely dipping into all these interactions ’cause we can’t forget the betrayals, the kidnappings, rescues, and more!

That Briggs is darned sneaky. I loved the scene where she introduces us to Medea and pokes fun at Adam for how he handles kitty and his annoyance with Mercy’s trailer just across the fence of his backyard. A great way to avoid the dreaded info dump!

It’s all first person protagonist point-of-view from Mercy’s perspective. Thank god. Because I don’t think we’d know a quarter as much…or Briggs would need one heckuva lot more pages! With the focus on Mercy, we quickly learn that her character arc over the series is one of finding a home, a place where she belongs and is accepted. I love that Briggs does this so well that I’m not wanting to smack Mercy upside the head..!

I’m with Mercy in her choice between a crucifix and her lamb. A much more positive choice to represent the Lamb of God.

Seems the Puritans weren’t the only ones fleeing persecution for the New World.

Oh, lol, I did enjoy Zee’s description of trolls: they “like money and extortion, a lot of them go into banking”. Hmmm, or politics??

It’s an easy read with so much going on that you’d better have Blood Bound, 2 (4) on hand! I should probably note that Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series intertwines with Mercy Thompson (I call the combination the Mercyverse) BUT you don’t need to read them both at the same time.

Hmm, there’s a brief scene that mentions Charles’ journey to Chicago with a result that’s different from what’s in this story, Shifting Shadows: “Alpha & Omega”, 0.5 (Mercyverse, 1.1).

The whole series is about doing what’s right and sticking up for the powerless. Briggs also gets in a major dig at bigotry and the idiots who fall into it. It just goes to show that you don’t need to be strong…just sneaky, lol.

The Story

As a walker, Mercy has a sharp nose and an ability to sense magic, so she knows who, or rather what, Mac is when he approaches her, asking for work. It’s that compassion of hers that is the inciting incident.

Mac had escaped from a cruel experiment, and then his captors show up looking for him. It’s a battle that convinces Mercy that she has to introduce Mac to the local Alpha.

Before you can say “from the frying pan into the fire”, things go awry and Mercy finds and just barely manages to flee with a wounded Adam to the Marrok, the leader of all the North American werewolves, whose son Samuel is the man whom Mercy once loved and lost.

Meanwhile, Adam’s fifteen-year-old daughter Jesse has been kidnapped by the same people who came after Mac.

Mercy must contend not only with all the fae, vampires, other werewolves, and a witch or two, but also with Adam’s and Samuel’s interest in her and the territorial contentiousness that results from it.

The Characters

Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson runs a one-woman garage, specializing in German cars. Yeah, yeah, she’s heard all the jokes… She’s also a walker, a Native American shapeshifter who turns into a coyote. Thankfully, she’s also studying Shi Sei Kai Kan, a style of karate. Medea is the Manx cat (who adores anyone who’ll pet her) who lives with Mercy in her trailer in Finley. Tad had been her faithful office boy and tool rustler…gone off to college on a minority scholarship. Gabriel Sandoval will be Tad’s replacement…and work off those car repairs.

Zee, a.k.a. Siebold Adelbertsmiter, calls himself a gremlin after being forced to reveal himself five or six years ago. He’s actually a Metallzauber who can handle all sorts of metals. He owned the garage that Mercy bought from him. Tad is his half-fae, half-human son.

The Columbia Basin Pack is…
…in the Tri-Cities and ruled by Adam Hauptman, the Alpha, a former Special Forces Ranger who was turned back in Vietnam, who owns a security company. The cheeky Jesse Hauptman is his fifteen-year-old daughter who loves to color her hair. Moms will freak, lol. Adam is divorced from her selfish flake of a mother, who lives in Eugene.

His wolves include Dr Darryl Zao, his second and an engineer at the Pacific Northwest Laboratories, whose wife, Auriele, is a chemistry teacher at Richland High. The gay Warren is Adam’s third and a good friend. Kyle is Warren’s friend, a very successful, gay divorce lawyer, who likes to make bigots squirm. Ben is a recent member, banished from England to get out from under a series of crimes. Mary Jo is a firefighter in Kennewick. John Cavanaugh is a realtor.

Mac“, a.k.a. Alan MacKenzie Frazier, is a starving, desperate werewolf who knows nothing. Joe is his brother. Meg had been Mac’s girlfriend. Leo James is one of two of the Chicago Alphas. Elizaveta Arkadyenva Vyshnevetskaya is a very powerful Russian, almost black witch, under contract to Adam’s pack. Robert is her grandson.

The Marrok is…
…the Alpha of all Alphas, in charge of North America. He’s Bran Cornick, based in Aspen Creek, Montana, and very, very old — he came to Montana with David Thompson, a Welsh cartographer in the late 1700s. Dr Samuel Cornick, another werewolf, is Bran’s oldest son (born when Bran was still human) who had tried to elope with Mercy years ago. Charles Cornick, born around 1813, is Bran’s younger son and a genius with finance. He’s also the Marrok’s Enforcer. (He’s about to head out to Chicago, Shifting Shadows: “Alpha & Omega”). Charles’ mother had been a Salish woman with magic of her own. Leah is Bran’s nasty mate, who hates Mercy.

Bryan, a werewolf, and his mate had been Mercy’s foster parents. Lisa Stoval helps run the motel in Aspen Creek along with Carl and Marlie. Marlie’s brother, Lee, was one of those who didn’t survive the Change. Dr Carter Wallace is the Aspen Creek veterinarian. His son, Gerry, is a werewolf and the Marrok’s liaison with packless wolves. George Brown, another werewolf, breeds award-winning mastiffs.

The Fae…
…came out thirty years ago. The Gray Lords are the powerful who rule the fae. Kieran McBridge is the garden sprite gardener accused of murdering Harlan Kincaid, a billionaire. Carin Kincaid had been his gorgeous actress wife.

The Mid-Columbia seethe is…
…the local vampires and are led by the depressed Signora Marsilia, a.k.a. the Mistress, who had been banished from the side of her love, the Lord of Night, the Master of Milan in Italy. Stefan Uccello, a vampire who loves Scooby Doo and has his own Mystery Machine, is friendly with Mercy. Lilly is a mentally challenged vampire with a gift for the piano. Estelle and Andre are more of Marsilia’s vampires. The vampires extort protection money from every supernatural doing business in the area. Except for the Pack.

Tony is an undercover detective who is totally flummoxed as to how Mercy always recognizes him. He’s in love with Sylvia Sandoval, a widow with a ton of kids, who is a police dispatcher who refuses to date a cop.

Margi is Mercy’s overwhelming mother; Curt is her stepfather, a dentist. Mercy’s biological father had been a Blackfoot rodeo rider, Joe Old Coyote. A great-grandfather’s uncle turned out to be a werewolf.

Dennis (a retired pipefitter) and Anna (a retired nurse) Cather are Mercy’s neighbors. McCue and David Christiansen had been part of Adam’s fated unit. David has grandsons now: Connor, John-Julian, and Shawn. Geordi appears to be a rival for Kyle. Ally is Kyle’s sympathetic sister. The Fairy Mound in Walla Walla is the fae bar for tourists. Uncle Mike’s is a fae bar in Pasco, that is strictly for the fae. Karen had been one of Mercy’s college roommates.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of blacks starting with that foggy gray background, a full moon centered at the top and a wrought iron gate with two baying wolves framing its center. In front of the gate is a cocky Mercy in hip hugger jeans, her hands framing the coyote print tattoo below her belly button. Her head is cocked, her long dark hair blowing across her face with one feathered earring visible. She’s wearing a black leather cropped, sleeveless top with a jewel neckline that shows off her tattooed sleeves (not sure why as Mercy only has the one tattoo in the story). All the text is in white starting with the info blurb at the very top with the author’s name below that. A testimonial is to the right of Mercy’s upper arm with the title at the bottom.

The title is a reference to the werewolves, for they are Moon Called.

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