Series: Mercy Thompson #1
Published by Penguin on January 31st, 2006
Number of Pages: 324
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Purchase: At Amazon
Mercy Thompson's sexy next-door neighbor is a werewolf. She's tinkering with a VW bus that happens to belong to a vampire. But then, Mercy Thompson is not exactly normal herself...
Mercy is a shapeshifter, and though she was raised by werewolves, she can never be one of them, especially after the pack ran her off for having a forbidden love affair. So she's turned her talent for fixing cars into a business and now runs a one-woman mechanic shop in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State.
But Mercy's two worlds are colliding. A half-starved teenage boy arrives at her shop looking for work, only to reveal that he's a newly Changed werewolf -- on the run and desperately trying to control his animal instincts. Mercy asks her neighbor Adam Hauptman, the Alpha of the local werewolf pack, for assistance.
But Mercy's act of kindness has unexpected consequences that leave her no choice but to seek help from those she once considered family -- the werewolves who abandoned her...
Mercy might be a skinshifter, able to change into a coyote almost instantly, but she isn’t invincible. A lot of series I’ve gotten into have the main character end up as some kind of super-woman because of having to keep up with the vampires or shifters in her life. Not Mercy. She isn’t as strong as a werewolf, she’s only slightly faster than one as a coyote, and she knows it.
I like the way the pack dynamics are explained in this world, and while Mercy is an outsider, she was raised in the pack of what amounts to the head Alpha of the U.S. So she understands how it works, and how to work the system. Even though she still occasionally messes up, that just helps to show that she isn’t all-powerful and can make mistakes.
There also isn’t the heavy emphasis on sex and romance that I’ve seen in a lot of series like this. Even though I don’t mind that one way or the other, it does help that it isn’t overt. The mystery and action is more center-stage that way. There IS a thread of romance in the book, don’t get me wrong. But it’s faint, and you can tell the author is working on character and plot more than anything else. And it was done really well!
There are vampires and fae, as well as witches and werewolves in this book. I really like Stefan, the vampire who likes Scooby-do so much, his van is painted to look like the Mystery Machine. Adam, the local pack’s alpha, has a 15 year old daughter who is human. I really liked her as well. She seemed true to life, and her actions and emotions fit well.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and plot with their paranormals. It reminds me just slightly of what the Anita Blake books used to be before all the sex came into them.