Sunday, March 31, 2013

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

"I didn't realize he was a werewolf at first. My nose isn't at its best when surrounded by axle grease and burnt oil -- and it's not like there are a lot of spare werewolves running around."

These are the first two lines in Moon Called, the first book in an engaging urban fantasy series by Patricia Briggs. Mercy Thompson is a mechanic who specializes in Volkswagens. She is also a Walker, which means she has the ability to shapeshift into coyote form. When Mercy was born, her single, teenaged mother didn't know what to do with a baby who was sometimes a pup, so Mercy was shipped off to distant relatives and raised in a pack of werewolves.

Mercy learned her trade from a gremlin, one of her personal friends is a vampire, and her next-door neighbour is the alpha of the Tri-Cities werewolf pack. Is it any wonder that trouble seems to seek her out? Since it's Easter today, I'll share an excerpt related to this time of year.

"I don't like crosses. My distaste has nothing to do with the metaphysical like it does for vampires. I have a whole spiel about how sick it is to carry around the instrument of Christ's torture as a symbol for the Prince of Peace who taught us to love one another. Really though, they just give me the willies."

Mercy is preparing to face the Mistress of the local vampire seethe. Instead of wearing a cross around her neck as a symbol of her Christian faith, Mercy wears a lamb. She is teased by one of the werewolves about this. "I can see it now, Mercy holding a roomful of vampires at bay with her glowing silver sheep."

Kidding aside, Mercy commands respect because she earns it. She's a kickass heroine with a caring heart. Moon Called has a diverse cast of characters and a suspenseful plot, with enough intrigue to move things along at a fast clip.

I listened to an audiobook [Penguin: 9 hrs 14 min] narrated by Lorelei King. It was so good that I was reluctant to unplug myself from my iPod until the story was finished.

Readalikes: The Last Werewolf (Glen Duncan); A Discovery of Witches (Deborah Harkness); Sharp Teeth (Toby Barlow).

No comments: