Welcome to this week’s “meeting” of the Preternatura Book Club! Today, we pick up chapter five of Moon Called, the first book in Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. I’m switching to one chapter a week from here on out with this book since the chapters are so long. This is one of my favorite urban fantasy series, and it’s fun to be reading it again!
MOON CALLED, CHAPTER 5
When we last left Mercy, the body of young werewolf Mac had been dumped on her doorstep, and she ran to Adam Hauptman’s house to find him in a big fight with another were. She kills the other wolf, but Adam is badly injured and his 15-year-old daughter, Jessie, is missing.
Mercy can’t follow Jessie’s trail, so she gets her old “Vanagon,” an underpowered old VW “Twinkie on wheels,” and manages to load Mac’s body inside, plus the injured and unconscious Adam, still in his wolf form. She’s taking them to Montana, to the Marrok, the only wolf strong enough to control alpha Adam while he heals. It’s a harrowing, mountainous drive in the underpowered van.
Before she leaves, Mercy gets her neighbors to look after her cat, and calls Zee, the former owner of her garage, to see if he’ll look after the place. This is our first vague intro to Zee, aka Siebold Adelbertsmiter, who is a gremlin—a rare member of the fae who can handle metals. Mercy doesn’t know how old Zee is, but he’s OLD. Let’s just say he remembers the Vikings. Next, she calls her vampire friend Stefan and lets him know she used his van to haul a dead werewolf in but had it cleaned up. Finally, she calls the witch Elizaveta and gets her to clean up around Adam’s house so no one will report the damage.
We don’t know the story with Mercy and Bran, the Marrok, yet—only that she was raised among his pack in Montana, then sent away.
Adam, being a dominant alpha, heals fast and he starts stirring way too soon. Mercy stops at a fast-food place, orders thirty burgers, and feeds him 20 of them. After he eats, he zonks out again.
Mercy finally arrives at Aspen Creek, Montana, home of the Marrok. It’s a small town, which we learn is a werewolf enclave plus the humans who live with them. Outsiders not encouraged. It’s clear Mercy has really mixed feelings about being back, and that there are lots of people who won’t be happy to see her. She stops at the small motel, which has a werewolf-safe room, but can’t get Adam out of the van by herself, so she calls Sam. We don’t know their history yet, but he’s the first one she thinks to call. When she can’t get him she tries another couple, and gets a man named Carl to come and help her. Bran, the Marrok, is in the woods, taking the new werewolves out on their first outing.
Carl arrives and helps Mercy get Adam into the room by taping his muzzle shut. Before they can leave, they hear Adam smashing against the door, so Carl reluctantly tells Mercy how to find the Marrok. Mercy shifts into coyote form and goes after them. She can scent Bran and his mate, Leah, as well as Bran’s sons Charles and Samuel. When the tracks split, Mercy decides to follow Samuel—she’s been in love with him since she was fourteen.
Before she finds Sam, she’s spotted by Leah—who obviously doesn’t like her. Leah gleefully howls, but it backfires when it alerts Sam, who’s nearby. He ends up intervening and his wolf backs Leah’s down, even though Leah should be dominant over him. Charles and Bran arrive in wolf form, and Charles shifts to human. Charles is half Salish Native American, and has magical powers since his mother was a witch. Mercy gives him a quick rundown, and Charles responds for Bran, who doesn’t shift—we learn that Bran can communicate with his wolves mentally.
Mercy and Charles head back to the hotel, where she gets a room. Samuel, a doctor, is on his way to treat Adam, and Charles leaves to do an autopsy on Mac and handle his burial.
That’s it for this week! Thoughts? I think one of my favorite things about this series—this book in particular, is weaving believable wolf behavior with the humans. I mean, Adam is still Adam, but he’s also a wolf who might rip her throat out if provoked. So he’s not just Adam in a fur suit. Which is cool.