Patricia Briggs “Moon called”– After reading “Bitten ” and other books by Kelly Armstrong I was looking for other urban fantasy books. I read good reviews about Patrica Briggs so I reached out for “Moon called”. I could not stop myself from comparing Armstrong’s writing to Briggs. I have to say that so far, Armstrong’s “otherworld” series is better. Armstrong ‘s characters are more believable, I could actually imagine her werewolves living in today’s world and I like this type of UF writing.
The plot and story line in “Moon called” are great, the book garbed my attention from page one, but it went down from there. The characters in “Moon called” are just too “fake”, with all the werewolves, vampires, fae and witches; it was just too much magic for me. Marcy Thompson is likable but was making some strange decisions it was hard for me to follow her logic. She was sometimes acting like a teenager and her “toughness” was just her being stupid and carelessness. I did not like the extra powers of the wolves, for example: the alpha could suddenly create some extra ordinary power (in his mind) and all the other wolves in his pack were enchanted and came crawling to his alpha, or the ability of reading other werewolves minds. The dynamic of the wolves packs did not make much sense also, the “inside politics”, the biting , the mercy killing etc. I also kept wondering about this: how is it possible that some of the characters lived for 200 years, they were professors , lawyers , doctors and store clerks but still be a part of society and no one expected anything strange. If you apply for work , driver license , bank loan, you may need a social security or birth certificate ( maybe I am over thinking it but this puzzled me) . Mercy summarized it very well – ‘I don’t try to understand, it is just magic’. That is all fine, but I think that is what makes this novel more suitable to teenagers not adult who are looking for more mature writing. The end of the book was also disappointing, too many complications, the story went in few directions and the reason of the whole “mess’ in the werewolves lives was trivial.
After all my criticism I am planning to read more from Patricia Briggs , I think there is a potential in her writing and I want to see if it will get better. I think if you start reading “Moon called”, lower your expectation and you may enjoy it.
After reading “Moon called” and giving lukewarm review I was interested if the second book of the Mercy Thompson story would be any better. I think it was, but I also lowered my expectations. I think this is over all a decent story for anyone who is interested in the Urban Fantasy books, but I still feel that the Mercy Thompson saga in more suitable for young readers. I love UF books and over all science fiction novels , but for some reason Patricia Briggs books ( so far) are not on the top of my list. There is just too many inconsistencies that I cannot “sweep them under the rug”.
The plot is good- there is a crazy Vampire / Demon in the city who is killing people and the rest of the inhuman population is very concerned that these sadistic killings will bring too much attention to them ( they don’t care much about the people being killed), so they are trying to hunt and kill the creature. This is a fast moving book, Briggs stays on track, she does not introduce many secondary characters, and does not bore us with long descriptions or pointless conversations. The book is easy to read and makes you care about Marcy and her quest. However, there are few things that drive me crazy. First of all, Marcy Thompson a car mechanic who describes herself as not very powerful creature ( the only ability she has is to change herself in to a measly coyote). She is not very strong , does not have any magic and she constantly remanding us how weak she is in comparison to vampires and werewolves. But for some reason she is the only one who can track down and kill the Vampire / Demon combo , who is at the top of the food chain when it comes to the paranormal world. In her quest she does not have too much trouble killing the much stronger and bigger werewolves or fight with the vamps , who are almost indestructible.
Mercy’s character is hard to understand, she still trying to be the tough, independent women but many times she acts like a spoiled teenager, her tantrums sometimes are so childish that it does not make much sense, she is “rolling” with the top dogs in the paranormal world, stepping on everyone’s toes and she is still tolerated and unpunished. Not sure why? Maybe in the next book we will find out why she has so much leeway with everyone.
The other problem I have with the story is Mercy’s relationships. She is rolling half naked with Adam the Alpha of the local werewolves pack, then few minutes later she is kissing Sam her old boyfriend ( who now lives with her and is even more dominant werewolf than Adam). What the author told us in the first book and keep reminding us in the “Blood Bound” is that werewolves are extremely territorial, very aggressive and even small disagreements are resolved by violence. And here you have the two most dominant werewolves who are “sharing” the same female and they tolerate these arrangements while at the same time they punished others for not dropping their eyes during a staring contests with higher ranking werewolves. Marcy on the other hand needs to make up her mind, pick one or none; I think that love triangle makes no sense at all.
I am in process of reading the third book of the saga now and hope to have my reviews soon.
“Iron Kissed” the third novel of the Mercy Thompson story is probably the weakest book of the series. Mercy sets herself on the quest of freeing her friend “Zee” from prison for a murder he did not commit. If you did not read the first two novels the “Iron Kissed” would not make too much sense. Briggs definitely wrote the books as a continued story of Mercy Thompson and I like the connections. There is nothing new in this novel. Mercy is still a whining and very careless. She keeps talking about her being weak and powerless but she still continues to win every battle against much more powerful enemies ( this drives me crazy). She is putting her friends in danger and keeps complaining about it – (so stop doing it!) Her character is just strange – I am puzzled by so many high reviews for these books and the people who are fascinated by Mercy. She acts like a teenager, makes irresponsible decisions and what really irritates me is how she keeps talking about how much she does not want her friends to get involved and does not want to put them in the harm’s way, but she keeps doing to over and over. The one positive in this novel is that Mercy finally makes up her mind about her love life. I did not quite follow her reason for the decision and without disclosing too much about the book ,I think every guy who read the “Iron Kissed” was very puzzled about what Sam and Mercy decided to do with their relationship ( if you are not puzzled at least you will have a good lough). The book itself was slower than the first two and had more repetitions and boring monologs.
“Bone Crossed” the fourth book of the Mercy Thomson story is basically the “same ole – same ole” Marsilia the top vampire is trying to punish ( or is she?) Mercy for killing two vamps in the previous book. The story gets complicated because Mercy becomes part of the wolf pack and is now protected by the pack. This creates tension between vampires and werewolves. Meantime Mercy is trying to lay low and leaves town (leaving Adam to deal with Marsilia), to help her college friend to deal with a ghost , who is hunting her family. Of course nothing is like it seems. Mercy gets involved in a fight with the most powerful vamp in the area and as always we can guess the outcome of this contest.
I have been complaining about the Mercy Thompson story since I read “Moon called” mainly because I feel that these books are better suitable for young adults mostly because Mercy acts like a spoiled teenager , she makes stupid decisions and constantly complains about her decisions but keeps doing making them. The language and dialogs are pretty “shallow” and the story in very predictable. There is so much magic in Briggs’s writing that it is hard to follow the rules ( everything can be explained by magic), so it is like reading Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. However, “Bone Crossed” was my favorite book of this saga. Even though the action is slower, I felt that Mercy finally grew up. She started to think about the consequences of her actions and she committed to the relationship with Adam accepting his help without complaining too much ( most of the time). I wasn’t too crazy about the finally but I did not expect anything else.
“Silver Borne” the fifth book of Mercy Thompson started great. There is a power struggle within Adam’s pack of werewolves and of course Mercy is in the middle of it. I thought this would be the best book in the series. The fights between the wolves were great, the “political” moves inside the pack, the emotional attachments, and divided loyalty to the Alpha, it was a good read. Mercy was finally growing up and was starting to take the responsibilities for her actions, and this was all encouraging (that was one of the aspects of the series I was complaining for a while), The start of this book was going in the right direction, and appealing to mature readers. But then the book just went to “hell” – literately ( if you read it you will know what I mean). The second part was like reading fairy tales, Tinkerbelle or any other books for kids. There was so much magic that it was simply boring. I am so surprised by the many high reviews of this series. Briggs is mixing up adults stuff ( relationship between Mercy and Adam, sexual content , rape and violence ) with kids’ stuff – hocus pocus , I just don’t feel this fits well together. I know these books are urban fantasy, so some of it is expected, but I read other authors in this genre that do a much better job of mixing the fantasy works with the real life. I promised myself to finish the series but it is getting harder and harder.
“River Marked” – the sixth book of the Mercy Thompson story does not vary too much from the previous books. It begins with Mercy and Adam’s wedding- I liked this part, it was fun to read about how Mercy’s mother planed the wedding and how Mercy was trying to outsmart everyone. After the wedding Mercy and Adam went camping (in style) for their honeymoon and then the trouble started. Mercy fighting with a river monster and Adam is still handsome. There are far less old characters in this book than in the previous ones, but Briggs is introducing several new once. I had lots of trouble following who is who, and “who is on first” logic. We got a little explanation as to who’s Mercy’s father is or isn’t, the heritage story is quite confusing. This story develops very slowly (slower than other books). Overall nothing new or exciting, it’s a OK book to read for someone interested in UF literature, but you need to have a strong tolerance to mediocre writing.
“Frost Burned” the 7th book in the Mercy Thompson story is the best book of the series. I have been very critical about this series mainly because I feel the writing has been more suitable for teenagers and young adults rather than mature readers. I am a huge fan of UF writing but the Mercy T story has so many inconsistencies and poor logic that I have had a hard time truly enjoying it (more in info….). However, “Frost burn” is better. Adam’s pack is kidnapped and Mercy is trying to rescue them. Then Mercy and the “crew” are trying to figure it out who is behind this whole mess. To me this book felt more realistic and this is what I was hoping for while reading previous books in the series. I would be fine though without the ‘Sleeping beauty” angle (I think this was just silly), but the book kept me interested. I felt an emotional attachment to Mercy and I felt her pain and struggle when she found out what has happened to Adam. The ending was good, as in the other books the finale was a big fight and this time Briggs got it right.
“Night Broken” – the 8th book in the Mercy Thompson series wasn’t that good. After I wrote a good review on “Frost Burned” I was hoping that Briggs would continue with the same type of writing. Unfortunately, the author went back to creating the unrealistic world where the characters act like kids. Of course I am not talking about vampires, werewolves and other non-human creatures. What is driving me crazy in this series is the “human part”. For example: Christy ( Adam’s ex wife) moves back to Adam’s house and takes over the household, and seems like everyone is OK with it. Adam the big bad wolf is allowing Christy to humiliate Mercy and even manipulate the pack. It is just stupid.
The other issue I have, is the villain’s character. “Volcano God” – come on!!! Next time we will have Mercy fighting with Zeus and Poseidon! Where is this series going? The author introduced several types of characters from the “underworld” and when Mercy fought the River Monster in previous book, I was already getting irritated but the “Volcano God” was just way too much for me. At this point I read all the books in the series and I am glad it is over. I am really surprised that it got so many great reviews.
“Fire Touched” is just OK.
The negative: Like the previous books in this series, I have lots of issues with the stupidity of the characters , Mercy acts like a spoiled child, Christy is missing a chromosome ( or two) and Jesse is the most mature person in this group. Mercy, the weak link in the pack still kills the most powerful foe (again) while the mighty Adam gets he ass kicked.
The positives: nicely connected to the previews books, fast action, good humor, and I like the paranormal characters ( vamps , Zee is very cool )
I am confused with the Underhill and the 5 stars reviews!