Moon Called - Patricia Briggs Rating: 4 solid starsMy opinion: Oh, man. It had been so long. So, so long. I mean it. It had been so long since I read a Urban Fantasy that I feel like the comeback should have a soundtrack. I'm coming hoooooome! Actually, it's only been a month and a half, but it was my first genre and all times favorite, so it was a long time! I'm glad I expanded my wings and even discovered I liked Paranormal (which is not the same as Fantasy) better, but it's good to be home. Nothing like good old heroine fighting evil and batting her eyelashes at hot guys in a world we all wished to live in at some point. The question is, was Mercy Thompson the right choice for my return? Honestly, I can only describe this book with one word. Solid. But I'll be back to that a little further on this review. First, let's discuss the details. In any kind of book the protagonists are obviously important, but I feel like this particular genre relies on them more than others. The way I see it, there are several things a UF must have. Taking into account the readers it attracts, a swoon-worthy love interest is necessary. But let's not forget that this isn't a paranormal/historical/any kind of romance and therefore all that sexual tension we love isn't supposed to be the main priority. It's hard to find the right balance, and I strongly believe very little authors manage to achieve it. First point for Patricia Briggs. We are presented with two candidates for our lovely Mercy: Samuel, a healer, son of the ultimate Alpha of the States, and in possession of a long story with our female lead, and Adam, a control freak, strongest Alpha in America other than Samuel's daddy, and in possession of a hot temper and an incredibly sexy body. You see, I hate love triangles. They're meant for suffering, even when you get what you want. Satan said "They have great hair*, I must give them something that will make them take their eyes off it!", and this is how the first love triangle (Adam, Eva and the freaking Apple) was created. This is the official version, and I will accept no other. Send your complaints to Hades, I'm just a messenger. Anyway, I might have been bothered by the Unnameable Thing, but DAMN, DID MERCY HANDLE IT WELL. Whenever one of the guys (Samuel!) got all possessive and asshole-y, she put them (him!) in their (his!) place. I know this may eventually make me hate Patricia Briggs, but it didn't just yet and this review is for the first installment. Moving on, another thing a good UF has is a comprehensible yet at least semi-complex world-building. Honestly, the whole shapeshifters thing isn't new, but it was enjoyable. I liked reading about the wolves' laws, the vampire's "kiss" and the fae coming out of the closet. And talking about coming out of the closet (except it has nothing to do with it but whatever), this book has incredibly entertaining secondary characters. My personal favorites—Jesse, Kyle and Warren, who are totally waiting for the Adam/Mercy ship to sail, and Stefan, a vampire with a very healthy Scooby Doo and Buffy love. I say we give them all a spin-off, or at least more ink in Mercy's books. There's also this one kiddo that appears at the end of the book and I'm very much interested about his future and his relationship with another awesome character, Tony. Don't let me down, Briggs. Obviously, all books should have an interesting plot, otherwise they'd be, well, boring. If you add some nice unexpected twists and a fast pace, I'll probably love it. Moon Called had all this, surprisingly. And I used that last word because sometimes this kind of series tend to fail with at least one of these in their first installment. I was honestly interested in finding out what happened next. That's a win in my book. Back to my initial point, the main character in this particular genre is especially important. Why? Because it's their story. Let me explain. There are books where you can absolutely hate the leads and yet fall in love with the story, the message, the writing, whatever. I don't think I could like a Urban Fantasy where I *hate* the character whose adventures we're reading about. We're supposed to root for them, celebrate their achievements and believe in them even when everything seems to be lost. You can have a hot love interest, funny secondary characters and a well-written villain, but if you don't want the one who is telling you their story to win the fight of living then you can't completely enjoy the book and you'll probably end up being disappointed. All this said, I had so much respect for Mercy. I couldn't relate with her sometimes, wanted her to make different decisions, consider other options, and so much more. But I can say that I not only understood but supported to a certain level every one of her choices, or at least never resented her for making them. And she's not the "chosen one" or something like it, at least for now. Werewolves were physically stronger than her, witches had more power, vampires could control her. This would make you think weak, but no. She has a strong will and a great instinct. Her strength didn't come from something supernatural but the very core of her personality. Ladies, gentlemen and children (although I don't think very young kids should read it because THERE BETTER BE HOT, CRAZY MONKEY SEX IN THE NEXT BOOKS), this is how you create a protagonist, a character you want people to cheer for. Fucking respect. You may ask, why did you give it four and not five stars if you loved it so much, Camila? Was it the love triangle? Was it bitchy Samuel? Not at all. Like I mentioned at the beginning, this book is solid. Problem is, it was just it. There wasn't something that absolutely stood out for me. I respected Mercy, but she didn't become my favorite female lead of all times. The plot was very interesting, but I wasn't dumbfounded. The world-building was very good and made sense, but it wasn't new. I think that what all this lacked was its own essence. You know, that thing that will always belong to the series, what it makes it unique. Karen Marie Moning makes you re-think your life with Mac's raw reality, Ilona Andrews makes you laugh your ass off with Kate's thoughts and comments, Nalini Singh makes her characters unforgettable with their different roots and cultures. Maybe it's just me, but I can't catch what makes Mercy Thompson completely different from the other books. It doesn't even have to be something really cool or deep. After all, Gossip Girl may have sucked, but I will never forget that everyone called each other by their initials. I will totally continue reading the following books, but if I'm being honest I expect to find some kind of special touch. Maybe a catch phrase between Mercy and Adam? Something? P.s.: I didn't dedicate a whole paragraph to the character I absolutely hated, but I think I made clear my opinion. * For those who are unaware of it, I have a huge obsession passion when it comes to hair. I'm proud of my hair fetish.“Humans, werewolves, or, apparently, vampire, it doesn't matter; get more than three of them together and the jockeying for power begins.”- Alive or Undead ~ 2013 -