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    Review of MOON CALED by Patricia Briggs (see her website)

    Ace Fantasy, February 2006

    Car mechanic and skin-walker Mercy Thompson is concerned when a new werewolf walks into her shop and asks for a job. Mercy suspects "Mac" will be dangerous--and that he'll cause troubles for her when the local werewolf alpha finds out he has an unregistered werewolf in the area, but Mercy enjoys pissing off alpha Adam. Games and car repair take a back seat, though, when Adam's home is attacked, his daughter kidnapped, and the werewolf himself left injured and near death.

    To save Adam, Mercy heads for the mountains where she was raised and where her once-boyfriend still lives. Samuel still has feelings for Mercy and things get complicated as Adam heals enough to stake his own claim. Mercy, though, isn't (much) interested in being either werewolf's mate. Instad, she wants to find out what happened to Mac, where the kidnappers have taken Jenny, and most of all, who would be crazy enough to attack the local werewolf alpha.

    Author Patricia Briggs (see more reviews of fantasy by Briggs) combines interesting characters, a fast-moving plot, and excellent writing to deliver a fast-paced contemporary fantasy that doesn't disappoint. Mercy is a sympathetic character and I found myself putting myself in her place, trying to figure out what the clues meant, who could be behind something as crazy as attacking a man who was not only the local head of the werewolf clan, but one of the most powerful weres in the country.

    Briggs' universe is interesting, with the lesser fae forced out of hiding by the Gray Lords, but the were, vampires, and the more dangerous of the magical still in hiding--but increasingly concerned that modern police forensics would eventually mandate their exposure. There's a lot of worldbuilding going on behind this story, but Briggs is careful only to give us what we need, teasing us with information to increase our interest. I hope Briggs writes more in this series--because I'd love to read them.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 7/31/05

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