Cannonball Read IV: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
In terms of the actual plot, Mercy is a 30-ish mechanic who has a particular and unique skill - she can shape shift into a coyote. She's part Indian but her father died before she was born so her human mother gave her to a werewolf pack to be raised once it became clear that Mercy had this unique ability. As a result, Mercy is very comfortable with werewolves, but has never been accepted by the insular pack (just as real coyotes are treated in a decidedly unfriendly manner by wolves). Anyway, a young werewolf shows up at Mercy's front door with trouble on his heels and she is forced back into the world of pack politics that she'd turned her back on.
I absolutely love the various threads Patricia Briggs weaves through this series. The fact that Mercy is part Indian and shifts into a coyote is definitely dealt with (that's for you fans of Native American mythology). The setting (the Tri-Cities area of Washington state) is familiar to me as a resident of Idaho and Washington and I think Briggs does a good job of portraying the geography and culture of that area. (And what a random place to choose to write about - it seems like every other urban fantasy series is set in Louisiana or Atlanta.) Briggs has clearly done her research into wolves and coyotes and that scientific knowledge informs the series, grounding the werewolf mythology in a way that so few of the werewolf books I've read have seemed to do. All of the research that Briggs has clearly done informs and deepens her books while still never weighing down the storyline in any way. She is no Michael Crichton - she will not spend pages and pages on wolf morphology. She simply uses the facts here and there to add color and depth and as an aspiring novelist I am in awe of her elegance and minimalism in her descriptive passages. (This review is ten times clunkier than her prose.)
I really loved this series and highly recommend it.
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