Next, I'm going to mention Moon Called
by Patricia Briggs.
This is the first book in the Mercy Thompson series. It tells a complete story but leaves plenty of obvious room for the characters to go on and do more.
This is another of the currently burgeoning genre of werewolves, vampires, and such creatures poking around at the edges of our present day society. There's nothing highly original about this world, but it's fairly well handled, using the method of not going into much detail about how the supernatural stuff works. Most of us don't go into a werewolf novel in a very skeptical mood anyway; as long as an author doesn't deliberately rub our noses in something too jarringly bogus, we can go with the flow, and that's just what Briggs does here. Just enough detail about the wider world to support the personal story about the characters we meet, and those characters are compelling. At least, they compel me. I find that a couple of paragraphs introducing a character sympathetically, plus telling me that the character is a werewolf, is enough to leave me ready to take a bullet for that character. Bad things happen to minor characters to advance the plot, and I measure how strongly I'm pulled into the world by just how much pain I feel for them.
I'm still thinking about these characters and their ethical choices after several days and a fair bit of other reading. I don't think it's a perfect book, but it's damn good. 9 out of 10.( quick plot summaryCollapse )ETA:
Crap, I meant to say something about the cover (on the 2006 Ace mass market paperback), and I just realized that I'd posted without it. I seldom pay much attention to cover art. Covers often have nothing to do with the book, and I just roll my eyes about it. But the bimbo on the cover of this book has just enough to do with the Mercy in the story that the wrongness is really grating. The text is not porn. The cover is. I don't have anything against porn, but I actually felt just a teeny bit uncomfortable about reading a book with this cover picture in the doctor's office -- because while *I* don't have anything against porn, other people aren't so enlightened. I could go on, but I hope I made my point.