Published 2006 288 pages
Mercy (short for Mercedes) Thompson is a mechanic, who earns a good living fixing German make cars in her garage in the Tri-Cites. She lives in a world where the lesser fae have been ‘outed’ and now live in government reservations, werewolves and vampires exist but have managed to keep their existence secret, along with a few other strange creatures that are still firmly in the closet.
Whilst she is working in her garage a young drifter turns up looking for casual work and feeling sorry for him, Mercy gives him a job. She can tell he is in some sort of trouble and apart from everything else she can tell that he is also a werewolf.
Mercy knows a lot about werewolves, she was raised by a werewolf family, her first love was a werewolf and her current next door neighbour is a werewolf. Yes, Mercy certainly knows werewolves! She isn’t a werewolf herself, though she was born a ‘walker’, a Native American supernatural shape shifter who can change into a coyote at will.
Determined to help her new friend she introduces him to her next door neighbour Adam, who is also the alpha of the local werewolf pack. From there events soon spiral out of control with Mercy caught in the middle. She is soon forced to return to her childhood home and seek the assistance of the Marrok, leader of all the werewolf packs of America. It is soon apparent that there is a plot against the Marrok but without much of an idea who is behind it Mercy turns to the vampires for help….
This is the best vampire book I’ve read in ages (well - a couple of months but it feels like ages!) which is strange because the vampires are not the main focus of the story. They have a supporting role in Moon Called, although there are hints that in the future Mercy could have more of an involvement with them.
The vampires in this book are all quite unpleasant apart from Stefan who is Mercy’s friend. It will be interesting to see how the author develops the vampires in later books, because although Moon Called is a stand alone story there are more books planned with Mercy as the central character.
Moon Called is written in first person from the perspective of Mercy. She is a most likeable character, strong and yet strangely humble at the same time (which probably comes from her being a coyote who hangs with wolves.)
There are many other interesting characters in the book and plenty of male interest from Adam and Samuel (her first boyfriend who she meets up with again after not seeing him for several years) - potential boyfriend material for later stories perhaps? There are also several witches and assorted fae creatures to add interest to the plot.
Mercy is obviously the focus of the story and although she isn’t a werewolf, she is tied up with the werewolves so closely that it almost feels like Moon Called is a book about werewolves. In best fantasy fiction tradition there are a few hints that Mercy might turn out to be a more powerful character in the future but we will just have to wait and see….
I recommend this book for its fast paced exciting adventure story line as well as its well written characters. Anyone who likes fantasy fiction set in an alternative present day setting with a strong female lead character will love this book.
LoveVampires Review Rating:
The Mercedes Thompson novels by Patricia Briggs are published in the UK by Orbit (UK covers pictured above) for release June, July and August 2008.