Saturday, June 12, 2010

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

So, I might not have mentioned that it's been several months since I've taken any vacation time from work.  I'm surprised that people at the hospital didn't clue in on the underlying seething, tormenting frustration, the burn-out, or maybe they haven't heard the less than tasteful things I've muttered under my breath while in their presence.  Frankly, I'm surprised.  To say that this vacation is sorely needed is an understatement.  Honestly, as fast as I accrue paid time off, you think I'd use it more frequently.  I've wanted to stockpile all of my vacation time with my wedding coming up and a hopeful trip to D.C. later this year, but my PTO clocks in at just under 360 hours and, really, I'm over the need to hoard it all.  This week I'm borrowing Wendy's use of the word Staycation, because the next (now) six days are mine and mine alone.
I've started off my week of freedom the right way and am reading my second book, SWORN TO SILENCE by Linda Castillo.  Earlier this week I finished MOON CALLED by Patricia Briggs, and that's basically why I'm here on Blogger at o'dark hundred in the morning.  I've got to write this review up because it might curb my need to scream, giggle, squeal, and go all fan-girly on Ms. Briggs. 
Normally I'd quote the back blurb, but I don't think it really does the book justice in this case.

MOON CALLED is the beginning of Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, and while I've balked for a looong time to try one of these books, I've honestly been doing myself an injustice.  In MOON CALLED, we meet all - or at least most - of the major hitters in a series that features not only werewolves, but shifting coyotes, vampires, fae, and walkers, one of which Mercy is.  Oh, she's a shifter, but in the beginning we see that the only magic she believes she holds is taking the shape of a coyote.  As the book goes on, it becomes quite obvious that Mercy has much more in her magic arsenal of tricks and we only get the tip of the iceberg in the first book.

One day when Mercy is working in her garage, Mac, a teenager who she senses is a newly turned werewolf, hesitantly asks her for work.  Seeing that he has a wealth of things to learn, Mercy tasks him with work for him to earn money enough to eat.  What she doesn't know is that meeting Mac is only the beginning in what will eventually turn into a turf war between rogue weres, vampires, and others who will savagely guard the secrecy of the werewolves' existence against the human race.  It becomes obvious that Mac is in danger when men - one human and one werewolf - come looking for him and make no secret of the fact that they'll do what it takes to cage him.  It seems that they've been using him for experimentation with drugs and who knows what else. 

In the course of MOON CALLED, Mercy calls on the help of the local Alpha were, Adam, and a few of her other friends, vamps, fae, and werewolves alike.  Mac is not pack, but Adam agrees to take him on until the teen can gain control of his inner wolf and not kill anything in sight during the change (a problem common in new werewolves).  When dead bodies start piling up and Adam is gravely injured and his daughter kidnapped, Mercy must do what she's always avoided and rely on help from sources she'd normally stay away from.  Danger lurks, and it's only beginning...

What I loved about MOON CALLED is Mercy's tenacious hold on beliefs and routine that are inherently human.  While she's a shapeshifting coyote, she's been raised by werewolves and humans alike, and has an interesting blend of the belief systems from both races.  So, she goes to church, she has a cat, she likes to bake cookies, and she believes that humans can be good, but she also thrives on the change and freedom she feels when in the coyote form.  The other thing I liked was that although she considers Adam and another werewolf from her past, Samuel, as...well, for lack of a better word, friends, she knows she cannot fully trust them in the animalistic sense.  Oh, she knows they'd lay down their lives for her, but werewolves are not cuddly pets and they're very territorial, but she's attracted and afraid at the same time.

For years, I've felt a sense of ennui for anything paranormal in fiction.  Sure, I've been entertained by Gerry Bartlett, who writes a comedic vampire series, and I cut my teeth on Linda Lael Miller's classic vamp series, but the glut of paranormal on the market is staggering.  Patricia Briggs' MOON CALLED woke me up, made me pay attention, and two days later, I had burned right through it.

My only question is, why has it taken me so long to start a series that many have raved about all over Bloglandia?  I've only got to get a shower and get dressed before I plan out rushing out this morning to pick up BLOOD BOUND, the next in the series.  Folks, I have found a new author to glom.  And that's a good thing.           


Blodeuedd said...

Love, love, love. I guess the answer why you didn't pick it up might be simple. There are so many books out there that people rave about, so how do one know?
I am so glad I started this series :D

Amy said...

I'm still having a hard time getting this book out of my head! Trust me, not good for the current book I'm reading...LOL