These days, I’m trying to read more. Unplug myself from the electronics, and just take some time before I go to sleep to read for at least 30 minutes…except it is almost never only 30 minutes. I love getting lost in a good book.
My favorites are generally fantasy or science fiction novels, but I’m a sucker for a good story, no matter what genre. Lately, I especially love authors who take the world we live in and twist it just a bit. I’ve got several favorite authors who do this, but I’ve been re-reading Patricia Briggs’s series about Mercedes Thompson. The first book in the series is titled Moon Called, and I highly recommend you check it out.
Some of my favorite fantasy books are based on stories handed down for generations, and Patricia Briggs draws on the lore of several different cultures to build Mercy Thompson’s world. Mercy lives in the Tri-Cities area of Washington State, and in her world the fae have come out of hiding, werewolves, vampires, and walkers are real. Mercy changes into a coyote. She’s a walker. In the books, she’s quick to point out that she’s not a were…anything. Nothing attacked her to turn her into a coyote. Doesn’t wear the skin of an animal to take it’s shape either. This is magic she was born with.
Mercy isn’t just a coyote. She’s also a VW mechanic who lives in a mobile home on land adjacent to the local werewolf pack’s Alpha, Adam Hauptman. She was raised in Montana by a werewolf pack. Mercy bakes when she’s stressed out, and keeps a junker car behind her house in plain view of the Alpha’s windows. When he tries to order her around…she adds graffiti the car, removes a tire or three (never all four) just to let him know she doesn’t appreciate his high-handedness. It sounds like something I would do…not that I actually know much about cars, but I like the sentiment.
This series ticks all the right boxes for me. Briggs’s characters have depth. They’re relatable. They feel like they could be real people, and it’s easy to get invested in their lives. The stories have a good quick pace, and rarely lag. Briggs masterfully weave in the right kinds of real life experiences to make is easy to suspend the readers’ disbelief in things that go bump in the night and allows us to believe in her world while we’re there. These books are filled with well fleshed-out characters, action, and sometimes tear-jerking reality…yes, even in a world filled with vampires, werewolves, and faeries.
I’m a bit obsessed with this series right now. My 30 minutes of reading time a night to help me sleep doesn’t work so well when I’m blowing through a book every day or two, because I’m so engrossed I don’t see the chapter breaks. Moon Called is the first novel in the series, and I’m one book number six…or maybe seven. I stopped counting. Last night I made myself put my book down after the one chapter I limited myself to (so I would actually sleep) and stayed awake until 2am…mostly wondering what was going to happen next…maybe I’m going to need to find something else to help me sleep. Or maybe I should have just turned on the light again and kept reading.
If you’ve got any good recommendations for book series, please let me know! I’m always looking for new worlds to lose myself in. As always, you can comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Til next time,