Mercy (Mercedes) Thompson is a mechanic who specializes in German automobiles (because if your name is Mercedes, you’re either a trust fund baby or you fix Bavarian cars). She lives in the Tri-Cites of Richland, Pasco and Kennewick at the neck of the Snake and Columbia rivers in Washington State and just happens to be a "skinwalker" capable of changing into a coyote with a preternatural nose for magic and scenting other creatures.
In a world that is aware of the existence of lesser fae, but unaware of vampires and werewolves (or shapechangers) Mercy is very firmly in the closet. The magical beings that are known live out their lives on reservations, and the werewolves in the nation are on the verge of making themselves known if they can figure out how to "come out’" on their terms.
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) begins with a young werewolf named Mac asking Mercy for a job. Knowing she should send him on his way but feeling sorry for him, Mercy gives him one. Mac has apparently escaped from a lab where he was being experimented upon. The laboratory wants him back and sends men to retrieve him. After Mercy kills one of these men, she knows that the only person who can help Mac is her next-door neighbour, Adam, who’s the local werewolf Alpha.
Mercy must go to Montana after finding a surprise on her doorstep and barely saving a severely beaten Adam. Adam’s fifteen-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, but before searching for her, Mercy knows that the only place Adam can be healed is in the hands of the werewolf clan that raised her: the clan of the Marrok, the Alpha of all North American werewolves, and where her first love Samuel is.
Ms. Briggs's humour is what keeps this story from falling into the trap of being bogged down in the shear numbers of supernatural creatures in Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1). The story is laid out well but is complex, nevertheless. You can definitely tell that there are more books in the series from the amount of story that is introduced in the first Mercy Thompson book. Ms. Briggs deftly transports you from scene to scene, and how smoothly she accomplishes this shows you what talented storyteller she is.
Fans of Sookie Stackhouse, novels will enjoy these books. Not only for their supernatural-meeting-the-real-world roots, but also for the humour shared between the two. This opening novel in the series has something for every fan of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance genre: Supernaturals (Skinwalkers, Werewolves, Vampires, Witches, heh…Gremlins), beginnings of a love triangle (Mercy/Adam/Samuel) and a plucky heroine (with the best tattoos in the genre).
If you’re looking for a great series to start, (and a personal favourite) Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) is for you. With the release of book four, the Mercy Thompson series shows no signs of stopping.
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1) rightfully receives a Classic rating from me: 4 out of 4 Stars.
Ms. Briggs second book in her Alpha & Omega series Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, Book 2) is due August 2009.
Please make sure to visit her website.