(Mercy Thompson #1)
Release: January 31, 2006
Mercedes "Mercy" Thompson is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will. Mercy's next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a bus for a vampire. This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy's connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water...
Review by Rose Red:
The Mercy Thompson series is one of the first urban fantasy series I discovered when I first started exploring the genre a few years ago. I couldn't stop myself from binge reading all the books that were out and I instantly pre-ordered the next book, River Marked, as soon as I finished those. I've read a lot more in urban fantasy since I first read these and in my opinion the Mercy books (and its companion Alpha & Omega series!) are some of the best books in this genre on the market. I've found that I can reread these books over and over again and never get tired of them.
The first book in the series, Moon Called, can be summed up literally as the girl-next-door gets involved in a bunch of werewolf drama. I absolutely adore Mercy! She's an extremely likable and unique character with a big heart and full of delightful snark. I love the diversity of the cast in all o Briggs's books and I love that Mercy is half Native American and a completely competent Volkswagon mechanic. She's owns her own shop! And it's also quite refreshing that she isn't a werewolf, but a coyote shapeshifter or "walker".
This book is what I have wanted other urban fantasy novels to be. The mistakes that other novels normally make in an urban fantasy are not made here: Mercy isn't so headstrong and independent that she doesn't know when to get help; she takes karate but isn't a black belt yet; her finances are not great, but they aren't poor either. It's a different take on the urban fantasy heroine and I've found it quite refreshing that Mercy has weaknesses. Don't get me wrong. She's a badass, but she's also semi-human and breakable.
The novel itself is almost nonstop action, but in the best possible way. The plot is fantastic, but since it is mainly a mystery, I don't want to say too much more about it. Just know that it is one hell of a ride. There is a slight element of romance in the book, but it is very much in the background. It's definitely one of those good slow burn ones. I love when the characters are allowed to get to know one another. There is something that resembles a "love triangle" but it never really struck me as one while I was reading this book.
Mercy's world has seen the Fae come out of hiding, so the populace knows that there is a little bit of supernatural in the world. But they don't know about people like her, the werewolves, and the vampires. They are all still in shadows and not really out in the public view. One of the interesting bits of the novel is the discussion of the implications of other supernatural creatures coming out like the Fae did. There's not a lot of discussion but it was refreshing to see the subject talked about as a present tense strategy than as a past tense "whee the world knows now!" thing.
One of my favorite things about this series is Briggs's writing style. It makes it so much fun to read. The witty banter and the first person narrative helps us get to know Mercy rather well while setting up the plot and introductions to all the characters. And there are a lot of characters (humans, werewolves, witches, vampires, and Fae) introduced in this book even though it isn't that long. Each character is well-developed without revealing everything there is to know about them. Even though most of them are some supernatural creature, Briggs made them human. It made it really easy to develop feelings for each one of them whether it be love, hate, pity, or disgust. You can't help but finish this book having a few favorites. I absolutely adore Warren and Kyle! I just want to be friends with them in real life. Also, I can't help but laugh at Stefan and his love of Scooby Doo!
Overall, Mercy's world is interesting, fun, dangerous, and makes for one hell of a setting. And it makes this book (series really) such great read! If you like Urban Fantasy, kickass heroines, and lots of action wrapped in mystery, this is the book for you. Trust me. You'll love it!
Recommended for fans of:
Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews
Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill