The Mercy Thompson series is one of my all time favorites and this here is the first book in that series.
When I first saw it, I actually thumbed right past it to the next book after having seen the cover and read the blurb on the back. Something about it turned me off, making me decide that I wouldn't care for it.
I still kick myself for that, because I could have been reading Briggs's amazing series forever ago! When I finally bit the bullet and read the book, I couldn't put it down. I devoured page after page, enthralled by the intricate world that had been developed here, falling in love with the characters as they slowly introduced themselves and butted their way in. It's the first book that really made me realize that there's *good* stuff out there in adult fiction that isn't raunchy (which I can read sometimes, too) and is still just really well done.
Call me impressed.
Character development was awesome, pretty impressive considering there were a LOT of major players who showed up in this. But not all of them got a ton of screen time, and I think that's why it worked.
The intricacy and cohesiveness of the story was good, too. When you thought you had things all figured out, Briggs threw you a curve ball and I didn't necessarily see it coming with everything else that was going on (it also happened to tie in really nicely with a spin off series set in the same world. Go figure). An interesting story is important, and I was pleased to find it here.
There was still romance (which, I admit it, I love), but it wasn't so overpowering that I felt like I was just reading about a bunch of horny teenagers that really needed to get laid. It was hesitant, and tasteful, with some passion and intrigue and uncertainty all rolled together.
And finally, the werewolves were werewolves. I'll explain as best I can. They weren't a bunch of cute and cuddly pansies, but they weren't (necessarily) the villains either. They were... well, kinda like humans who got furry once a month. Some were more dangerous than others, but all had the capacity for violence without that capacity making them immediately evil. They had complex feelings and thoughts, making them very real characters despite being paranormal creatures.
Well done, Briggs. I've been keeping up with this series ever since I picked up Moon Called and this first book still ranks tops in my favorites list.