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Monday, September 12, 2011

Moon Called by Patricia Briggs: A Reread for Readers and Writers, Chapters 13-16



Here is the fifth and final segment of the reread of Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. In the last few weeks, I’ve covered the rest of the book, focusing on my impressions as a reader and a writer. If you’d like to read over my comments on the other chapters, check out chapters 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.

Enjoy!

SPOILERS!

Chapter 13

Mercy returns home where she’s attacked by a werewolf, David Christiansen, Adam’s old army buddy, and two humans. Once they get her pinned, they explain themselves. They’ve realized they’re working for the wrong side and want to help get Adam and Jesse out, but Adam won’t trust anyone now. Since David found a picture of Mercy in Adam’s bedroom, he thinks she’s the only one who Adam will allow near his daughter.

Reader Comments: A good chapter. This is where things start to fall into place. I like David and pretty quickly decide, with Mercy, that he isn’t a bad guy. I also particularly liked the touch of Adam keeping a picture of Mercy in his room that she didn’t even know about. Hm, I won’t what that implies.

Writer Comments: This chapter is extremely important. It is a major shift in the story, the final turn in the road before the black moment and climax, so to speak. While Briggs introduced David’s existence earlier, he felt a bit like a dues ex machina, which I’m not a big fan of. But she pulls it off well enough for it not to turn me off from the story. At least, David came asking for Mercy’s help, and Mercy is the linchpin that holds the whole rescue together, for without her, they cannot trust that Adam will cooperate.

Chapter 14

An intense chapter. In coyote form, Mercy sneaks in to where the villains are holding Adam and Jesse. Her mission: to get Jesse and Adam, who’s heavily drugged on silver and tranquilizers, ready to go when Christiansen and his men arrive. But enemy guards and the fact that Adam releases a massive surge of alpha power that every werewolf in the area can feel when he wakes up complicates their problems dramatically.

Reader Comments: Fun, tense chapter. It will be very interesting to see how this comes down. At this point, it’s more a matter of which part of the plan blows up in their faces first.

Writer Comments: The tension in this chapter is very good. Briggs balances all Mercy and the other good guys’ plans on the head of a pin, and we know it’s just a matter of time before something falls and everything else comes tumbling after.

Chapter 15

Adam sweats out the silver invading his system, a very cool feat. He stares into Mercy’s eyes to help pull himself out of it, a good sign for the potential romance front. But before Adam can fully recover, one of the enemy guards comes in and the sound from David’s man shooting him means they have to move faster than expected.

Reader Comments: I really liked the suggestions in this scene about a little something between Mercy and Adam. Mercy even quotes Lancelot at Adam, a fact that lightens his mood a little during the painful experience of healing from all that silver.

Writer Comments: What can I say? Briggs does a superb job in this scene of combining tension, emotion, and shoving Mercy’s plans off the track.

Through a gunfight and the awesome power of the werewolves and Mercy’s apparent special resistance to magic, Adam, Sam, and Mercy win the day against the real villain, Dr. Wallace’s son, and his wolves.

Reader Comments: I really enjoyed how this fight was interesting and tense but remained from Mercy’s perspective. Briggs didn’t make her super powerful and invincible. In fact, she breaks Mercy’s arm at the beginning of the fight.

Writer Comments: If you’re looking for a shoot ‘em up, this isn’t the climax for you. If you want some fun and impressive use of werewolf powers, it certainly is. However, there was one major flaw in this section. Gerry Wallace’s motivations for doing everything he’d done fell flat in comparison to all the build up and excitement to their revelation. As a reader, I skimmed over this and mostly ignored it, content enough with the characters I’d learned to love to still enjoy the book.

Chapter 16

As a thank you for rescuing them, Jesse and Adam decide to take Mercy out to a very nice dinner. Only, Adam is the only one to show up, and Adam and Mercy’s first date begins. They share their first kiss after on Mercy’s front porch, and Samuel, Mercy’s new roommate until he finds an apartment, interrupts and starts the polite on the surface, deadly beneath, subtle territorial argument with Adam over Mercy.

Reader Comments: Ah, just as good the second time through. This was a very satisfying last chapter. For a guy who I thought was a complete jerk at the beginning of the book, Adam really turned into someone I’m totally rooting for to get Mercy.

Writer Comments: This chapter ties this story up well but leaves enough clues about conflict to easily segue into a sequel. Adam and Samuel obviously are going to have issues about Sam living with Mercy and Adam dating her. Mercy and Adam aren’t even a true item, yet something new and delicate now exists between them, and Briggs left just enough small hints, like the vampires perhaps not being totally honest about the werewolves’ whereabouts when they gave Mercy the address, that potential plot hooks abound for future stories.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this reread of Moon Called by Patricia Briggs. Even though now you know how it ends, I encourage you to read it for yourself. There is a lot I left out for the lack of time and space. If you like werewolves, love triangles, vampires, walkers, or urban fantasy in general, it’s a great read.

What are your favorite urban fantasies?

3 comments:

  1. What a great idea! Glad I found your blog.

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  2. You've sold me. I'm going to check out the series.

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  3. Thank you, Rebecca. :)

    Jessica, I'm so glad you're interested in Briggs now. She really is one of my favorite authors.

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