Rating: 3 Stars ★★★☆☆
I didn’t realize he was a werewolf at first.
Mercy Thompson makes her living as an auto mechanic. She’s also a shapeshifter, able to change her form into that of a coyote effortlessly. She tries to stay out of other preternatural creature’s business. It’s not always easy when her neighbour’s a werewolf, her former boss one of the fae and she fixes cars for vampires.
When an inexperienced werewolf shows up at her doorstep, she finds herself more entangled with the supernatural community than she was bargaining for – particularly in the affairs of werewolfs.
Here’s the thing about Moon Called: It’s a really enjoyable Urban Fantasy, but, at the same, time, it is also a little forgettable. Mainly because it is very similar to many other Urban Fantasies: We’ve got our tough heroine, the alpha werewolf/magical creature, the obligatory romance and of course, a mystery.
That doesn’t make it a bad book. Mercy is a fun, likeable heroine. She is the only shifter known: she can change her shape into that of a coyote with very little effort. Unlike the werewolves. They get the added bonus of a very long life and accelerated healing but the change is painful for them and not everyone survives it.
“I forgot to tell you that I joined the secret society of villains while I was away,” I told Samuel, exasperated. “I am now trying to put together a harem of studly, musclebound werewolves.”
The mystery and the pacing are also good. Someone is making werewolves, caging them and experimenting on them.
The worldbuilding in general is good. We’ve got the werewolves, struggling to stay hidden in a world of ever-improving technology. There are fae, of which the lesser ones have been forced to go public, which leads to some tensions between humans and the supernaturals.
The biggest weakness with the worldbuilding is that we get long passages of info-dumping. More annoyingly, however, are the times we get information after the fact. It feels a bit deus ex machina at times.
All I coul do was throw myself in front of the spell, just as Ben had thrown himself in front of the dar.
I don’t know why it worked. Someone told me later that it shouldn’t have. Once a spell is given a name, it’s sort of like a guided missile rather than a laser beam.
Mostly, however, the book is about werewolves. Mercy grew up among them, but she’s not one of them. I liked Adam and his pack. Adam is the alpha of the pack in Mercy’s area and of course, one of the love-interests (what’s a book without a love triangle…). I liked the wolves and their power dynamics.
At the same time, they were also terribly annoying and incredibly sexist. There are fewer female werewolves than males and they rank lower in the pack. In fact, they get their rank from their mate. How shitty is that?
Women’s liberation hadn’t made much headway in the world of werewolves. A mated female took her pack position from her mate, but unmated females were always lower than males unless the male was unusually submissive.
And there aren’t really any other women in the book that could compensate for the shitty rendering of the female werewolves.
Mercy is the only female that has some sort of agenda of her own. We’ve got a few (very few) female werewolves and then there’s Adam’s human daughter, but she’s only there to be rescued.
All the female werewolves hate Mercy because – and here’s the kicker – they can’t have children (they die during the Change), but Mercy could have children with a werewolf.
The portrayal of women in this book was really weak. I hope it gets better in the next books, because overall, I enjoyed Mercy and her world.
A good start to an Urban Fantasy series, with a likeable heroine and an interesting supernatural world.