2009 Re-read Challenge: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

January 30, 2009 at 11:06 am 23 comments

Disclaimer: I’ve got a total girl-crush on Mercy, so sorry if I get too rah-rah in this review.
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson series, book 1) by Patricia Briggs

I first read Moon Called in late 2007. I love shifter stories, and the beautiful cover really drew me to this one, in particular.

This was my first pick for the 2009 Re-read Challenge, and was a no-brainer choice for me.

Bone Crossed, book 4 in the Mercy Thompson series is released on February 3, 2009. I decided last month (before joining the re-read challenge) that I would re-read books 1-3 in the series before reading Bone Crossed.

I’ve done this before, when a new book in a series is released, to refresh my memory and get more enjoyment out of the new book.

I’m crap at descriptions, so here’s the back cover description:

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, Mercy 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.

Mercy is a Native American “walker” that shifts into a coyote form. When a young werewolf shows up at her car repair shop looking for work, Mercy is drawn into events that involve werewolves, vampires, witches and fae.

This was such a great re-read! It made me remember all over again why I love this series so much. Since I knew I was going to write a review, I slipped scraps of paper into the book when I read a particular passage that struck me. So this review won’t go on forever, I’m limiting myself to 4 quotes that illustrate why I enjoy this book so much.

Mercy’s sense of humor.

Awesome quote #1:

Mine,” he said.

Adam’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t think so. She is mine.”

It would have been flattering, I thought, except that at least one of them was talking about dinner and I wasn’t certain about the other.

To me, Mercy’s humor makes her really relatable. Even when things are in danger of going very wrong (like when a young werewolf clings to her while in the throes of bloodlust,) her self-deprecating sense of humor make the book a fun ride.

She never takes herself too seriously, or those around her. Which leads me to . . .

Mercy’s feisty-ness.

Awesome quote #2:

I forgot to tell you that I joined the secret society of villians while I was away,” I told Samuel, exasperated. “I am now trying to put together a harem of studly, muscle-bound werewolves. Please.”

Just about everyone around her is bigger and badder than she is. Werewolves, vampires, witches, and fae: they are the creatures that feature in nightmares. Her coyote-self is small, but fast. She doesn’t have “super-healing” powers. She can’t cast spells or enthrall people. However, she doesn’t let them intimidate her. Her words are her weapons as much as the fae dagger and Smith and Wesson she carries.

Mercy’s observations about the supernatural world in which she lives.

Awesome quote #3:

Vampire politics, I thought. Humans, werewolves, or, apparently, vampires, it doesn’t matter; get more than three of them together and the jockeying for power begins.

In a lot of ways, Mercy is an outsider. She’s a coyote “walker” who was raised by werewolves, after her human mother realized she was unable to care for her daughter’s “special needs.” She doesn’t know anyone else like herself, nor does she have any information about her abilities, other than what she has personally experienced. The vampires have their seethes, the weres their packs. Mercy just has herself, and despite belonging to the supernatural community, she is able to stand a little apart and give the reader a bird’s-eye view into it.

Patricia Briggs’ beautiful werewolf imagery.

Awesome quote #4:

Come,” he said.

He didn’t speak loudly, but somehow his voice, like his song, spread through the abandoned tree-farm like a roll of thunder, powerful and unavoidable. And the wolves came.

There are times when Patricia Briggs’ prose makes me catch my breath. She and Kelley Armstrong (author of the Otherworld series) are the 2 most eloquent authors I’ve read when it comes to describing the nature of werewolves. More than once I’d read a passage in Moon Called that was so poetic, I had to stop and re-read it. Patricia Briggs also writes beautifully about the were’s connection to the moon and the natural world around them.

A few final thoughts:

Re-reading Moon Called allowed me to notice a few things that, having read books 2 & 3, are of greater significance than I realized (or paid attention to) when I read it the first time:

  • Her relationship to Adam’s pack and the role she plays in it.
  • The mystery of her father and what it means to be a “walker.” (Though not mentioned much in books 2 or 3, I see rich territory to be mined in future books in the series.)
  • The role the vampire, Stefan plays in protecting Mercy. 

I can’t wait to start on book 2, Blood Bound to continue on my way to book 4’s release. I actually have the opportunity to go to a book-signing Patricia Briggs is going to be at in February, for her Bone Crossed book tour. *squee*

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Entry filed under: 2009 Book Challenges, 2009 Re-Read Challenge. Tags: , , , .

February 2009 Book Releases Ilona Andrews’ Magic Strikes ARC Give-away

23 Comments Add your own

  • 1. AmyC  |  January 30, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Awesome review, Renee! I really love this reread challenge so far. It allows us to share our thoughts on books that we may not have because we weren’t blogging at the time and share how much we loved a particular book.

    I reread Susan Carroll’s The Bride Finder and it was alot of fun sharing why I love that book so much and reminding me why I love that book so much.

    I’ve not read this series by Patricia Briggs and likely won’t but I did read Raben’s Shadow years ago and I’ve had an itch to read the second book, Raven’s Strike. I never did read it when it came out. I didn’t keep Raven’s Shadow :(, so I wnat to get that one agian too and read it first, refresh my memory. I want the new covers for the books anyway.

    She has really great covers.

    Reply
  • 2. Tracy  |  January 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    This a great review Renee, thank you. I read Alpha and Omega and Cry Wolf this past year and I loved the writing in both. I’ve been putting off reading this series because I’m not a huge fan of on-going stories if that makes any sense. I like my HEA at the end of the book. But it seems there are so many bloggers who love this series. That being said you really have made me want to read this book! I’m not sure if I should thank you or not! lol

    Reply
  • 3. Renee  |  January 30, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    AmyC: Thanks! It really was a fun re-read. I’ll cruise by and check out your review! 😉
    I’ve been meaning to check out her fantasy books, but just haven’t gotten around to it. I really liked the excerpts on her site.
    She really has been blessed by the book cover gods.

    Reply
  • 4. Renee  |  January 30, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Tracy: ::rubs hands together:: My evil plan is working…
    Her writing really makes her stand out among the genre. I’d really put her in the top 5 of UF writers with: Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris, and Jim Butcher. I have others I love, but for sheer writing chops, she’s among the best!

    Reply
  • 5. AmyC  |  January 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Renee, I think you already read my review. I had posted it a few weeks ago :). I think you mentioned about getting it from your library.

    Reply
  • 6. Renee  |  January 30, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    AmyC: That show’s you how long my Booklist is. 😛
    I forgot you had posted your re-read already!

    Reply
  • 7. avantgardistsway  |  January 30, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    oh, what a great post! These are such interesting observations, esp about Stephan being her protector. It makes me sort of wonder how far back Briggs thought all this through. This reread thing is kind of cool!!

    Reply
  • 8. Carolyn Jean  |  January 30, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Oh, that was me. AW is a blog I was helping a friend set up.

    Reply
  • 9. nath  |  January 30, 2009 at 7:28 pm

    Great review Renee 😀 I’m not as in love with this series as you, but I do think Moon Called was pretty good 😀 I loved it when Mercy brought an injured Adam to the other pack. I am looking for Bone Crossed, although I felt meh about Iron Kissed 😀

    By the way, glad people are enjoying the challenge 🙂

    Reply
  • 10. Renee  |  January 30, 2009 at 7:38 pm

    CJ: lol. I get so messed up with changing IDs/profiles for things (mostly work-related, tho’) that I’ve begun using Safari for my personal stuff (with blogger id) and Firefox for everything else. My husband is sick of me yelling at him, “Use Firefox!” when he uses my computer.
    Thanks! Yeah, this was definitely worth the re-read. Stephan’s actions definitely take on more significance, given the later books.

    Nath: Thanks for organizing this! I’m really looking forward to reading more Re-read reviews, tomorrow! 🙂

    Reply
  • 11. Christine  |  January 30, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I think you and I have already discussed how awesome Mercy is! I love her, too. I read all of Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega novels in 2008 and she easily became one of my very, very favorite authors.

    I agree with you about the mystery of Mercy’s “walker” father. I hadn’t thought about that much before, and would also like to learn a bit more about that. This world is written so intelligently, and I think it could have an important impact on Mercy, so would think it would come up again. Although perhaps part of the mystery of Mercy is that she doesn’t really know all about herself and discovering that on her own is part of her life journey, you know?

    Only a few days until Bone Crossed!!! I can’t wait! 🙂

    Reply
  • 12. Renee  |  January 30, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Christine: Her history is definitely rich material to mine! I really do need to read the rest of her backlist.
    I plan on going to her booksigning on Feb 8, and will wait till then to buy the book.

    Reply
  • 13. ames  |  January 31, 2009 at 7:50 am

    I have a girl-crush on Mercy too! Can’t wait for the next book.

    Reply
  • 14. bookdaze  |  January 31, 2009 at 9:22 am

    I love the quotes you included! The first made me laugh, and the last one was just… wow.

    Oh, and am jealous that you get to meet Patricia Briggs in person!

    Li

    Reply
  • 15. Renee  |  January 31, 2009 at 11:01 am

    ames: Welcome to the club! 🙂

    Li: I had forgotten how beautifully she writes prose, until I re-read it.
    lol. I’ll totally post about it, fan-girl that I am!

    Reply
  • 16. Leslie  |  January 31, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Amazing review Renee. Loved all the quotes.

    Confession time: I have the first 3 books ~ unread. *hangs head in shame*

    I sooo need more reading time!

    Reply
  • 17. Renee  |  January 31, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Leslie: Thanks! And-read it, woman! lol 😀
    Yeah, I feel your pain. You should see my Booklist. It’s totally out of control (and that doesn’t even include the TBRs!)

    Reply
  • 18. Lea  |  January 31, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Hey Renee:

    What a wonderful review. Wow, I’ve been reading about these Patricia Briggs books everywhere. Now you have really piqued my interest.

    This one sounds so good.

    Thanks
    L

    Reply
  • 19. KristieJ  |  January 31, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I keep meaning to try this series because I really enjoyed Cry Wolf and the short story anthology (forget the name right now). I’ve found myself trying new types of books this past year and really enjoying them. I might not have been ready for this one when it first came out, but I’m ready for them now *g*

    Reply
  • 20. Renee  |  January 31, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Lea: Thank you! I’d love to read what you think about them. 🙂

    KristieJ: Yay! If nothing else, the Mercy Thompson series gives lots more context to the Alpha & Omega series, especially with regards to Bran, his relationship with his sons, and life in the were town (the town’s name escapes me just now.)

    Reply
  • 21. Jenn  |  February 1, 2009 at 11:58 am

    I’ve been looking for an Urban Fantasy series to sink my teeth into I think Patrica’s Mercy is what I’m looking for.

    Great review I can see why you love it. Another series to add to my TBB list.

    Reply
  • 22. Seneca  |  February 1, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    Yay, I love Mercy.
    Bone Crossed is out in some stores already!

    Reply
  • 23. Renee  |  February 1, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Jenn: Awesome! It’s definitely worth adding to you list. 🙂

    Seneca: Ooh, I’ve gotta wait till next Sunday to get it. Hope you enjoy it!

    Reply

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