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328 of 346 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new, dark urban fantasy heroine
Authors the likes of Tanya Huff, Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris have successfully peopled our modern world with vampires, lycanthropes and other supernatural beings who, to some extent, coexist politely among us mere mortals, living within complex hierarchies, bureaucracies and clan protocols.

Add Patricia Briggs to the list. In Moon Called, she gives...
Published on May 24, 2006 by Tom Knapp

versus
79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great heroine, total gabfest
Patricia Briggs has talent - a lot of it. Her character Mercy is tough, smart, and capable - but savvy enough to know her own limitations. She's a skinwalker - a coyote - and inhabits a dangerous world of weres, vamps, "faes", witches and other supernaturals, managing to navigate them all without getting herself killed.
Mercy is great. This book however, is a case...
Published on May 24, 2006 by Jeffrey R. Hammond


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328 of 346 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new, dark urban fantasy heroine, May 24, 2006
This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Authors the likes of Tanya Huff, Laurell K. Hamilton and Charlaine Harris have successfully peopled our modern world with vampires, lycanthropes and other supernatural beings who, to some extent, coexist politely among us mere mortals, living within complex hierarchies, bureaucracies and clan protocols.

Add Patricia Briggs to the list. In Moon Called, she gives us a world where lesser fae beings such as brownies have "come out" to an incredulous public -- were forced out, more accurately, because of increasing advances in technology and forensic investigations -- while the greater fae and supernatural buildings -- werewolves, vampires and such -- remain hidden from popular view. Briggs, best known for high fantasy, makes a smooth transition to its dark, contemporary counterpart with this novel.

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Moon Called focuses on an apparent clan war among werewolves, and Briggs outlines a creative, highly detailed society in which they live. The focal point, however, is Mercy Thompson, auto mechanic and shifter.

Most of the fae population originated in Europe, emigrating to North America along with colonial settlers. Shifters, however, have their roots in Native American traditions, and their powers don't always work by the same rules. Mercy shifts at will to and from coyote form, and even in human form she has enhanced senses and speed.

Mercy becomes involved in the story when a teenager walks into her garage looking for work. She gives him one -- warily, because her senses tell he's a werewolf, and he's not from the local clan. But all too soon, men and werewolves come looking for him, the local Alpha has been attacked in his own home, and a dead body has been left as a warning on Mercy's front porch. The action just heats up from there, as the local seethe of vampires and at least one local witch take an interest. Fortunately, Mercy is quick on her feet and has a keen, analytical mind when it comes to sorting out conspiracy theories.
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718 of 796 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything that LKH's books should be... but aren't., January 24, 2006
This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Great mystery. Plenty of red herrings and twists to keep on interested. A great feel for werewolf, vampire, and fae politics - without being preachy.

The heroine is very likeable. Tough without being a "Mary Sue". Smart without feeling a need to make the men around her feel stupid. Funny without being camp.

All in all, a very good read. None of the so called "erotica" that Laurell K. Hamilton insists on brow beating us with, but lots of romantic interests and possible future romance.

I particularly like that this heroine is a self confident business owner, who accepts what she is. She recognizes her limitations of size and strength (against both men and wolves), and accepts that it's okay to leave the fight to others every once in a while.

I will definitely be reading this author again.
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140 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gutsy, believable preternatural thriller!, January 20, 2007
This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Mercy Thompson is a new entry in the tough-chick, alternate universe, preternatural fantasy/thriller genre. In a world where vampires, the fae and werewolves co-exist with humans, Mercy straddles the line as one of the few remaining "walkers" from a Native American magical bloodline whose scions can shift at will into the shape of a coyote.

As a child, Mercy was orphaned and was raised by a pack of werewolves. She ran away from the pack and an early marriage in her teens. Now she lives alone, the owner of her own car repair shop. When Mercy takes in a newly made teen werewolf she unwittingly takes on a whole world of hurt from those who are performing experiments on werewolves. She seeks refuge in her childhood pack and gets to the bottom of the evil cabal preying on young shapeshifters.

Blood Bound is a tautly written action thriller in a believable alternate universe. Her characters are well written, sympathetic and entertaining. Briggs manages to convey the intricacies of this alternate universe without long detailed explanations. There is some romantic tension between Mercy and her old flame, but in mercifully small doses. Very enjoyable and looking forward to the next installment in the series!
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It made me a Briggs fan, August 23, 2006
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This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the least-crappy light/pop werewolf-based novel I have ever read. That is to say, it's GOOD.

I've long been a fan of werewolf mythology -- they always seemed cleaner (morally if not physically; predators instead of sociopaths), wilder, more "natural," and less... well ... pretentious than their vampire counterparts. (Plus, there are far fewer writers doing werewolves, so they're fresher. Even though vamps will always have their Goth-y charm, for me.) But all too often, unless we're talking "literary," Samuel Delaney-esque sci-fi (or something by Dennis Danvers, try "Wilderness," it's BEAUTIFUL), what I've actually seen most often is thinly disguised, substandard romance, Harlequin-book-of-the-month style.

I was expecting what the genre all too often presents, which is a scant excuse for forced, clunky, fanfiction-y erotica. This book was different -- it was engaging and charming, with just enough "sexy" thrown in to be a seasoning to the tale, instead of "trying too hard." What we have here is essentially a murder mystery -- a detective story. (It's what I love about fantasy/sci-fi/spec fic in general -- you can take any genre and hang it upon the supernatural framework: two for one.) Twists and turns and people who you think are going to live...

I bought the book for the most flighty of reasons -- because of the cover. The woman depicted on the front struck me as extremely atypical. Not your normal hot, big-eyed, busty, bookcover material. She's rangy, and tough, and it takes you a long while to decide if she's pretty or not. But she looks like there might be some depth to her, something unexpected. She's obviously thinking, but you're not sure what. Funnily enough, this has wound up being the pretty much the same opinion I have of the book itself. It's pithy and spare, the prose is strong, and it has a couple of new ideas up its sleeves to boot. There is no sap here.

I love the idea of Native American "walkers" (coyote-shifters) being as strong as, and standing in opposition to, the standard Euro-mythological werewolves. I'd love it if Briggs revisited the concept of these walkers in subsequent novels.

After I bought this book I started looking up everything Briggs has written. Really, the woman has a gift. The best I can explain it is, she manages to write "light," fast-paced, easy and quick to get through books without them being dumb. I read this book (and then immediately after, "Dragon's Bones," which... oh, Oreg breaks my heart!!) and felt like they had actually tried to teach me a little something about humanity, something real about people and their psyche, rather than just diverting me for a couple of hours. (Or titillating me to distract me from the lack of plot and logic.) There's real soul here.

I'd say this one's a four-star plot (it IS pop after all), with five-star characters and prose, and knowing more of Briggs now, I'll definitely call her a five-star author. Her characters give you something to hook your heart onto, something to love about them, a reason to root for them, without that feeling that you've seen their type a thousand times before. Briggs is, at the heart, a true storyteller. It's pop with a brain.
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79 of 88 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great heroine, total gabfest, May 24, 2006
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This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
Patricia Briggs has talent - a lot of it. Her character Mercy is tough, smart, and capable - but savvy enough to know her own limitations. She's a skinwalker - a coyote - and inhabits a dangerous world of weres, vamps, "faes", witches and other supernaturals, managing to navigate them all without getting herself killed.
Mercy is great. This book however, is a case of a superior character inhabiting a so-so story, way too talky and plodding. In the last 100 pages I found myself foundering on every other page keeping all the characters straight, and having to do so because very little happened a lot of the time except endless discussion of were politics. The dialogue is good, don't get me wrong - but the action was pretty lacking and just had too many characters of lesser importance to track. I want better for Mercy in the next installment - more balance of action and dialogue that's worthy of a great new heroine.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great world-building, good characters but disappointing plot, January 6, 2009
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This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
First, let me confess that it was the cover art by Daniel Dos Santos rather than the book's description that was the deciding factor in my buying Patricia Briggs' Moon Called. After reading the book, I'd have to divide my opinion into three categories. The best thing about Moon Called is the world-building. While it is obvious that Briggs was heavily influenced by White Wolf's World of Darkness, she has done an excellent job of making her own distinct world for her story to take place in, doing very interesting things with the various supernatural communities that exist in it. Her vampires, werewolves, fae and other denizens all have their own unique little twists in their natures, their social structures and even their politics that set her world a quantum level above the ones usually found in the dark fantasy genre, so I give her very high marks in this regard.

The character-building is almost as good. Mercy Thompson is engaging as a protagonist; there's just something about a smart, strong-minded shifter girl who's also a top-notch mechanic that just naturally appealing. Nearly all of the characters in Moon Called come across as flesh and blood while remaining a different flesh from our own. That said, though, one does get the feeling that you've seen them before in any number of well-written dark fantasy novels. It's a tough thing to accomplish, given how well-traveled the DF road is, and Briggs does do a good job of it -- you never get bored by them. But at the same time, you're rarely surprised by what they do because they are so familiar.

My more serious problem with Moon Called is the plot. Within the DF genre, Moon Called falls into the mystery-novel subgroup. Without giving anything away, the heart of the plot is this: one character gets killed, another is attacked, and yet another is kidnapped, and Mercy must find out by whom and why. My problem is that, in my opinion, Briggs uses what I consider a mystery plot cheat - concealing the identity of the perpetrators by using minor characters whom you almost never see until the end, and concealing their motives for why they did what they did by making the reasons so convoluted that not only could you not see them coming, when they are revealed you just don't believe them. In this regard, I found myself more than a little disappointed.

Overall, I found Moon Called a better-than-average dark fantasy/mystery novel, and if you like the genre it's worth reading. I may try reading the next novel in the series, but my hope is that Briggs will do a better job with the plot.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Story gets buried in details, sub-plots, side-tangents, and "cross vs lamb" monologues, June 15, 2011
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M (ASHBURN, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm really surprised by all the 4 and 5 star reviews. This book is s-l-o-w. At first I thought it was just because it was the beginning of the book and the author had to spend time giving background history and world building. (The world is interesting enough- the Fae have just come out to humans and we are in the middle of an integration period, but werewolves, vampires, and shape-shifters still exist in relative secret.) But even after the first few establishing chapters, the writing style remained extremely tedious. The author gives way too much detail and over-explains the simplest activities. Here's an example:

"I checked my messages and my cellphone. There was a call from Zee asking me to check in, but that was it. I called Zee back and left a message on his machine. I called Adam's home phone, his cell phone, and his pager. Then I called Warren's home number, too. I looked Darryl's number up in the phone book and called him, writing down the other numbers his machine purred at me. But he wasn't answering his cell phone either. After a moment of thought, I turned the TV onto the local station...."

If that's the kind of writing you enjoy, then you'll love this book. If, like me, you started skimming after the 3rd sentence, you may want to pass on this book.

In addition to the boring minutiae, the story suffered from numerous random side-tangents and a plethora of non-significant minor characters. For instance, at one point Mercy decides to "out" her werewolf friend to his gay lover, even though the alpha wolf's daughter has just been kidnapped and her father found half-dead. It just struck me as strange timing to start playing matchmaker, especially since that relationship had no bearing whatsoever on the rest of the story.

Another thing I found odd was how the author repeatedly censored her characters, cutting them off or chastising them for using even mild curse words. If you're going to use foul language, then use it. If not, then don't use it at all. But don't try to do both. Briggs has her characters hushing and shushing each other up several times throughout the story for the mildest of infractions. Mercy herself flinches when somebody sighs, "God." Even a mercenary interrupts a cursing colleague with a "Ladies present" warning. That kind of silliness just rips the reader right out of the story.

On the up-side, Mercy Thompson is a fairly strong, independent female character that seems to be well-respected by her male peers. She runs a garage, works as a mechanic, and looks out for her friends. She's a good role model of a faithful friend. And I can't see anything in this book that would be inappropriate for teen readers. The violence is extremely mild and there is no foul language. There isn't any sexual content either, that I could see, although the topic is briefly mentioned in the last chapter (she assures the reader that she will abstain until she is sure about things). Honestly, the most provocative thing about this book is the cover art.

I give this book 2 stars for it's plodding writing style, random sub-plots, and too many minor characters. I will not be reading the rest of this series.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Over The Moon Classic, January 31, 2006
This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
If I could give this book ten stars, I would. This book was a smattering of 'Kitty and the Midnight Hour', a dollop of Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan books, a dash of Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake novels and a sprinkle of 'Urban Shaman'. This book had everything I could possibly want and more: great characters, a wonderful story and enough intrigue to keep me wanting more.

Moon Called is about a new breed of shapeshifter who has the ability to turn into a coyote. Her name is Mercedes 'Mercy' Thompson. She owns and runs her own garage in The Tri-Cities, Washington. Our story begins when a runaway werewolf, Mac, finds himself at Mercy's garage looking for work for a few bucks. When another werewolf accompanied by a human comes trailing after Mac, Mercy learns that Mac was drugged, encaged and sold to another Alpha Male of another area. That's when the trouble starts. Soon Mercy is involved in a scheme to have the Marrok (The Ulrfic or Werewolf King, for better terms) killed. Who also just happens to be her foster father.

More is the fact that the night that Mac turns up dead on her porch, her sexy neighbor Adam, who is the local werewolf Alpha, is attacked by unknown visitors. Mercy, going with her gut instinct, takes Adam on a roadtrip bleeding and wounded to get help, traveling to her old hometown where she grew up and facing memories she would rather forget, namely a studmuffin werewolf by the name of Samuel.

As the story winds along, Mercy ends up seeking the help of her old boss, Zee, who you learn is a metalworking goblin. (The fey make appearances in this book, just so you know, but only as a shadowing part of the story) Mercy also ends up seeking the help of her vampire friend Stefan. She then finds herself toe to toe with the Mistress of the local vampire sithen, and not in a good way when the mistress tries to take a bite out of Samuel. Wait, there's more.

Just when you think Adam's pack is behind his attack, all the peices start to fall together and you learn the enemy is a little closer to home than you think.

This was an awesome read, one that I know I will read over and over. If Patricia doesn't make a series for Mercy, I think alot of fans will be more than just a little disappointed. She has to! Mercy's character was everything I was hoping it to be: down to earth, couragous and powerful in her own right. Hands down, I can tell you this character is going to give Anita Blake a run for her money! (Much like C.E Murphy's Joanne Walker aka Siohban Walkingstick) Since I had never read any of Patrici's work before this, I was very impressed. Excellent job!

I'm always on the look out for new authors and different perceptions on the whole werewolf/vampire world. Patricia's perception was refreshing and totally captivating. If you are looking for something new in this type of genre, I recommend picking up this book. You won't be disappointed. I promise.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay book, the characters fell flat for me though, June 25, 2008
This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
This is another new series that I picked up to read. I have read a lot of preternatural series and I was hoping this would be a good one. I know Patricia Briggs has written a lot of fantasy in the past and I was curious about what she would write for this alternative reality-type series.

This is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Mercy is an auto mechanic who is also a walker. As a walker she can change into coyote shape. She was raised by werewolves and does a lot of auto mechanic work for the preternatural community. When a boy shows up on her doorstep looking for work at the garage, Mercy finds out he is a new unclaimed werewolf. From there on everything gets complicated and dangerous.

There were somethings I liked about this book but more things I disliked. I liked the fact that it is hinted that Mercy's walker powers are not yet fully discovered. I liked Mercy's honest character and her tough girl facade. I also liked that Mercy knew where to draw the line most of the time. If she knew a situation was out of her league she usually admitted it. I also like the addition of fae into the novel and I especially enjoyed Mercy's old teacher Zee. I liked that the novel was fast-paced and fun; it was easy to read too.

Unfortunately there was a lot I didn't like. The whole situation between Mercy and Samuel echoes the situation between Anita Blake and Richard a bit too much for my comfort. I found that I didn't really like any of the main characters all that much; most of them fell flat for me. There wasn't anything all that special about the writing either. For the most part the book was written in a straightforward style with little description; the book never really grabbed me and made me desperately want to finish it.

All in all I liked this book better than the recent Anita Blake books but I liked it a lot less than the Kim Harrison Hallows books or the Jim Butcher Dresden books. The book was okay, just nothing special to me. I already bought the next two books in the series (I found then for cheap used) so I will probably read the next one and see if I get more into this world and the characters. I was a bit disappointed that this wasn't something a bit more special.
karissabooks.blogspot.com
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Had given up on vampire/werewolf/elf books...., December 25, 2006
By 
Ravencatt (Portsmouth, OH USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) (Mass Market Paperback)
I'd pretty much given up on this genre. The last half dozen or so authors of this type that I read gave me characters that were unbelievable, worlds that were unbelievable, both, or seemed more interested in how erotic they could write rather than how well (not that I mind romance, but I do like it to be well written and I don't really need a sex manual thank you). But I was between books by my 'regular' authors and needed something to read so I decided to give MOON CALLED a try.

I'm very glad I did.

Once started, I had trouble putting the book down. P. Briggs is definitely on my 'regular' writers list. MOON CALLED weaves actual myths, our present reality, and a touch of fantasy to tie it all together; and it uses characters one can accept and care for as it does it. The characters make believable decisions based off the circumstances they are in. There are no super-powered "I can rebuild the world overnight while I am also seducing half the town" characters, nor is the world the book is set in one that has the voice in the back of my head screaming "I know it's fiction but there has to be some iota of believable or logic here!"

I highly recommend this book, and recommend checking out other books by this author.
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Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1)
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) by Patricia Briggs (Mass Market Paperback - January 31, 2006)
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