oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

Briggs, MOON CALLED

Patricia Briggs' Moon Called seems to be part of a trend in fantasy/paranormal romance, in which the romance continues over several books and its outcome is uncertain, as in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Once the situation is resolved and a definitive pairing is established, though, different techniques come into play to maintain the readers' interest, as in J.D. Robb's In Death series, or Eileen Wilks' paranormals. The Briggs book had a satisfyingly complex plot, which I think bodes well for the series.

I am only guessing that Briggs' series is going to follow the first pattern; it might well follow the second. The romance is very low-key in Moon Called; Mercy's first love reappears, and another love interest looms nearby. It would be fun if she ended up with neither one. An added complication is her species--she's a changeling coyote, but not a werewolf, which means she has advantages werewolves don't but are very interested in, for example fertility.

The worldbuilding is fairly dark. It's set in contemporary America, in which the fae have only recently "come out" in public, and the werewolves and vampires are poised to do so. Werewolves in this world are made, not born, and a large percentage of those who attempt the change, usually young teenagers who are the children of werewolves, die. Their overall fertility rate is also very low. This could lead to some interesting plot complications down the road, given that Mercy and her first love are both different enough from most changelings to avoid most of their problems.

Werewolves in this world are not like real wolves. Their aggression, even in human form, is a powerful impetus to their behavior and is another reason newly-made werewolves might not survive (if they can't control themselves, they are killed by their alpha). In animal form, the werewolves are huge and more agile, strong, and fast than a normal wolf. They're organized into packs, each one under an alpha (we only see male alphas) and those overall beneath a head alpha, also male. Again, this doesn't follow the pattern of true wolves, whose alphas may change frequently, and might be female depending on the circumstances. But it makes an opportunity for commentary on gender roles in human society.

Though the book started a little slowly, I was soon involved in the complex plot. It really took off when Mercy had to drag herself out of the shadows and take charge, which she did in a very realistic and satisfying fashion. I've put the remainder of the series on my list to read.
Tags: books, paranormal, romance, sf/f
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