Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Can't Say That I Was Moonstruck

Moon Called

by Patricia Briggs

Published by Ace

2 Out of 5 Stars

Move on. Nothing new to see here.

That's my biggest complaint about Moon Called. For someone new to the fantasy/supernatural world, it's probably entertaining enough but it definitely has the smack of "been there, done that" for the seasoned genre reader. I would have loved it 10 to 15 years ago.

Moon Called does have a few things going for it, especially the fact that too often books like this are just an excuse to have "things that go bump in the night" bump uglies in the middle of the night (*cough* Sookie Stackhouse *cough*). Usually they're just sex with fangs and fur--and nary a plot in sight. Not so in Moon Called. Nothing throbs, nothing is exposed, and there is a plot, albeit a fairly standard mystery.

The other thing the novel has going for it is the addition of Native American mythology to the supernatural genre. Sure, there are werewolves, vampires, gremlins, witches, and all the standard *yawn* European characters, but Mercy Thompson provides an unexpected dash of something new. Part Blackfoot Indian, Mercy is a skinwalker, a shapeshifter who can take the form of a coyote. So many possibilities here for something unpredictable and refreshing and . . .

That leads me directly to the other letdown of the novel. Mercy could be so bad ass, so awesome and instead she just serves as the observer through which we see the werewolf and vampire culture. It's possible to go entire chapters and forget how extraordinary she should be. Her character serves to provide info dumps on the supernatural world around her and, no matter how many times she claims to be her own agent and not a part of the werewolf pack, she sure seems like their bitch. Mercy's an in-the-wrong-place-at-the-wrong-time character, seldom shaping events or making choices on her own.

I do respect some of the choices made by Briggs and there are a few interesting spins on some fairly standard world-building, but in the end it's not enough to make me sign on for such a lengthy series.  

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