Mercy Thompson's life is not exactly normal. Her next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she's fixing a VW bus for a vampire. But then, Mercy isn't exactly normal herself.
Having just finished Moon Called, which by the way, I hate the fact I waited this long to pick it up. Especially when I recall, distinctly, picking up subsequent books in the series and biting my lip, contemplating and yet never indulging. I loved the covers, and each one seemed to call to attention the series, they belonged to one another. But I never did. Mostly because I have this really annoying habit of finding series in the middle, and while so far (knock on wood) its been pretty easy on me, the reviews and tweet of mouth, err, fingers? made me not want to do the tried and true method.
And while my TBR pile is really a mountain (or a mountain range as it were), I finally caved. Border's gifted me (as it does on a weekly basis) with a fabulous offer. Home Moon Called came (say that three times fast!)...
Let me tell you, a little vitamin d time and some Mercy make for an enjoyable afternoon...with no where to go save the cooler.
As I read, I felt a little biased. I checked out my fellow bloggers reviews (mostly on goodreads) and saw that a few thought it started a little slow. Perhaps a little long in explanation about Mercy? But, I found I liked that. It wasn't slow to me, more like an introduction. Of course, it was just enough in my eyes to allow the rest of the tale to fill in the spaces in between.
As a heroine, Mercy isn't your typical female, at least not at first glance. A tomboy mechanic who specializes in foreign (read mostly German) autos, she's independent and not afraid to get dirty. And she knows more than a walker (read, coyote) should about werewolves given that she's not. Especially since the area alpha lives right behind her trailer in his rather nice (hmm) abode. (It tickled me how she loved to push his buttons...three wheels, a little graffiti perhaps?) She had strong character but, unlike how some stories tend to make their female character either entirely strong willed and loud mouthed or simpering and obedient, Mercy knows how to handle a situation both politically and to her advantage. Its kinda refreshing.
The fabric of her world is woven in such a way that the story, like previously mentioned, fills in the details, at times with Mercy herself or just the situation she faces. Subtle and yet at times, kind of a here ya go. The distinction between the preternaturals was presented in such a way that really, it wasn't like you need an extra in the back of the book to keep everything straight.
The werewolves alpha in town gets attacked (and a lone wolf that Mercy took in gets killed), all in a tangled web of mysterious druggings, changings, and downright messiness. Oh, yeah, and his human daughter gets kidnapped. Mercy somehow gets herself wrapped up in this (but lets face it, the girl has great extincts combined with fierce loyalty and protectiveness so its not a surprise).
***Possible Spoiler in next paragraph***
Adam is badly hurt, possibly by a member of his own pack, that Mercy takes him to the only other alpha she knows that is more dominant to control the wolf (who wants to be dinner when you're trying to help?). Her old pack, whose alpha is the Marrock, Bran. The leader of all packs on this side of the ocean. With all the old baggage that comes with going back home (read sexy dominant first crush, and all that extended family fun). All the while, knowing someone deliberately attacked the area alpha...and there may be more beneath the surface.
Okay, you're good to go now.
As I read and finished my first Mercy Thompson Novel, I recalled how I felt when I read Guilty Pleasures for the first time by Laurell K. Hamilton. (But in that case I had in fact, my in tradition, started at Cerulean Sins...I'm a sucker for a stiletto.) Anita became a strong character who likewise didn't mind getting dirty. The beginning of series can do one of two things, I believe. It either makes you like it, care enough for the characters to want to see more and hope the next one is better. Or it begins the series in such a way that just itch to get the rest. Right then and there. And Guilty Pleasures was the latter for me. Eagerly, Moon Called also fits into that category.
If I had any complaint, its that for a late comer like me (in this and any series), I need a reading order folks. Sometimes you can't rely on the info on the first few pages. So I've taken to previously logging on Amazon or the authors site to get a reading order and making myself a nifty little list. Now, I have it at my fingertips (love you, my smart phone.)
Here's a link to help with this little annoyance!
And now, I can proudly say I am now on the Mercy Thompson Express. Or something not so cheesy sounding!
Post a comment below to enter to win a copy of Red Fire by Deidre Knight...The first in the Gods of Midnight Novels, so you can start out right!
1.) In your comment, tell me what series you've discovered and loved, yet you seemed the last to be in the know! (It's okay, there are like three I've found and about two more that I have to get a move on!)
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Good Luck! Contest ends Friday July 23rd....Good Luck!