Confession: I tend to shy away from paranormal books. Not because I am afraid of the content in them (monsters and such; because I am a BIG BABY. Everything scares me), but because I’m afraid I will love them.
Not love like I LOVE Illuminae. No, love in the sense of gobble down an entire series of urban fantasy in a weekend and wonder where my time went. Well, my time went into some literature I don’t know if I’ll ever really be able to talk about with others. The important fact is that it’s just fluffy and fun and a good momentary escape.
Moon Called was recommended to me by a friend who tends to also devour urban fantasy novels. When a second avid-reader recommended the series, I knew I had to read it. This series ranks pretty high on her list of fun fluff, so it’s been on my own TBR list for a while. When the first book came in from the library, I admit, I was excited. There were 45 people ahead of me on the wait list! Plus, they’ve already created graphic novels of the series. That can’t be a bad thing.
Mercy Thompson is a mechanic in Washington state. She happens to be a Walker, or shape-shifter. In particular, Mercy changes into a coyote. Super cool. She was, due to a strange and complicated back story, raised by the premiere werewolf pack in the United States. So, she has werewolf connections. Mercy also happens to live next door to the Alpha of her local pack (for those not in the paranormal know: The Alpha is the pack leader). Mercy bought her current shop from a gremlin, a metal working fae, and Mercy is working on repairing a vampire’s Mystery Machine replica van. So, she’s in with the “others” crowd, to say the least.
As can be expected with you run with this sort of crowd, Mercy gets accidentally tangled up in some otherworld drama and thus we experience Moon Called.
There is a lot that is predictable about this book. A love triangle, multiple types of paranormal characters, politics, drama, adventure, fighting. Standard paranormal activity and species-wars. Also, predictable turning points of the book. But that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. What did detract from my experience was the complete lack of emotional depth to our characters. Also, the 99% male cast. I really hope this series takes a turn like the Sookie Stackhouse novels and introduces more female characters down the road.
There were times I didn’t care about the otherworld politics. Yes, werewolves and vampires and fae don’t get along. Yes, all these groups also have their own intense infighting. Blah, blah, blah. The world building was occasionally distracting as well. It was inconsistent and told through strange backstories Mercy shared. I also felt like some scenes were unnecessarily complicated. In the end, a lot of those details weren’t necessary and had me skimming to get to the meat.
But that doesn’t change how much I enjoyed the book. Mercy is a strong female character who recognizes her strength. She is tough, but not invincible. She is brave, but not stupid. She is caring, but not a fool. She is smart, but not a show-off. She wants to stand on her own but knows her limits. She is incredibly likable, and also fairly believable (for a Walker).
Most of the time, characters in these series are either horribly flawed or far too perfect. She isn’t swooning over any of the men, but she allows herself to look. Her relationships with the other characters are complicated, but not overly intense. And her voice is just the right kind of sassy.
I will definitely be reading more of this series. I might not be completely smitten, but I really do enjoy these. Reading these books are my equivalent of sitting down and eating an entire bag of Doritos. I’m so happy when it’s happening… and I start to question my decision making as soon as I’m done reading.
Plus– there is so much more to learn about these characters and their world.
Bring it on.