Read a full summary of Moon Called, the first book in the Mercy Thompson series, now! This page is full of spoilers, so beware. If you are wondering what happened in Moon Called by Patricia Briggs, then you are in the right place!
We’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ to our guest blogger Jenni, who put so much work into this recap! Want to be friends with her on Goodreads? See the link a few paragraphs into her recap.
The Mercy Thompson Series
#1 Moon Called
#2 Blood Bound
#3 Iron Kissed
#4 Bone Crossed
#5 Silver Borne
#6 River Marked
#7 Frost Burned
#8 Night Broken
#9 Fire Touched
#10 Silence Fallen
#11 Storm Cursed
***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****
What happened in Moon Called?
A newly formed werewolf shows up at Mercedes “Mercy” Thompson’s garage. Mercy recognizes the teenager as a runaway. He introduces himself as Mac and asks Mercy for a job. Mercy agrees to let him work for her. She notes to herself that this is a bad idea because while she understands how newly formed werewolves should adjust to their wolf side, she is not an alpha werewolf who can guide Mac through this transition in his life. In fact, she’s a coyote skinwalker of Native American descent. She sends Mac to go clean himself up and eat.
Before she can return to her current project, a regular customer named Tony shows up. Tony is an undercover cop with a talent for disguises who has taken a liking to Mercy because she can see through all of them. She doesn’t have the heart to tell Tony it’s because she’s supernatural. Tony tells Mercy that he has a lady friend who’s been having car problems that no other mechanic can seem to diagnose without a hefty bill. Mercy agrees to look at the lady’s car and says she’ll even call the previous shop owner, Zee, to get a second opinion on the diagnosis since he’s a Fae who specializes in metal and mechanics.
Mercy and Mac finish up the day’s work, and Mercy tells Mac he’s welcome to come back for more work. As she heads home, she frets about what to do for Mac. She doesn’t know Mac well enough to bring him home, especially considering her backyard neighbor is the local werewolf pack’s Alpha. She hopes that by having Mac work in her garage, she can gain enough of Mac’s trust to introduce him to Adam, her backyard neighbor, who can then help Mac adjust to being a werewolf.
That Sunday, Mercy goes to church. The church’s usual pastor is out sick and the substitute pastor decides to use his time to preach against the Fae, who came out of hiding about 30 years ago. While Mercy considers the Fae the least worrisome of the supernatural creatures, she makes it a point to be nice to the pastor because she knows the rest of the supernatural communities are considering how they, too, should come out of hiding.
Mac shows back up for work after taking the weekend off. Mercy’s suspicions about him being a runaway are confirmed when he makes a phone call to tell a family member that he’s alive and that he didn’t kill a girl who also disappeared with him though she is dead. Mercy takes a risk and tells Mac that she knows of people who can help him with his problems. Mac brushes her off, and she kicks herself for jeopardizing his trust in her.
Mercy considers further how to help Mac when she gets home for the day. She decides she’ll tell him of a VW bus that’s currently awaiting parts at her garage. To make sure there are no surprises, Mercy asks Stefan, the vampire who owns the vehicle, if she can offer his bus to Mac for temporary housing until the parts to fix it come in.
She decides she’ll make the bus more tempting by getting a blanket for it. Forgetting her wallet, she stops by the shop after hours. She witnesses an interaction between Mac and some unknown characters, one of which is also a werewolf. Before she can decide on the best course of action, the werewolf confronting Mac decides to attack. Mercy leaps into action, biting the throat of the werewolf as a coyote. If the attacking werewolf had been aware of his advantage, he would have used his transformation to heal the bite on his throat before chasing after Mercy. Unfortunately, he doesn’t and winds up dying from blood loss. With the werewolf dead, the human runs off, leaving Mercy and Mac with the body of the dead werewolf.
Mercy reveals herself to be a skinwalker to Mac, and we get Mac’s full backstory. He’s from the suburbs of Chicago, and he and his girlfriend were attacked by a rogue werewolf and sold by one of Chicago’s alphas to some sort of experimental program trying to “cure” the werewolf “curse.”
Mercy calls Adam to let him know about the dead werewolf. The first person to arrive for damage control is Elizaveta Arkadyevna, the witch of the Tri-Cities who does all the magical clean up. She was driven out there by her grandson, Robert. Elizaveta tells Mercy she’s not happy with being called out on such short notice but quickly dismisses Mercy back into the garage so she can do the magical clean up outside.
Mercy and Mac continue to wait for Adam and to keep Mac’s attention off distractions that may make him lose control of his wolf, Mercy tells him her backstory.
Mercy is the lovechild of her biological mother’s teenage romance with a Native American cowboy from Montana. One day when Mercy was a baby, her mother came back to the crib and Mercy had transformed into a coyote. Mercy’s mother tried to find the father’s family but couldn’t get in touch with anyone. However, she did manage to find a werewolf on her side of the family and talked him into telling her where the werewolves gathered. Mercy was fostered by a couple in a pack run by Marrok, the Alpha for all of North America.
Adam arrives, angered by Mercy’s antics, but Mercy manages to calm him down enough that he takes Mac under his wing. In order to take control of Mac’s wolf, though, Adam needs Mac’s real name; Mac says that his real name is Alan MacKenzie Frazier. Adam borrows Mercy’s camera to take photographic evidence so he can do further investigations on the attack. Mercy gets a few tough warnings about getting into trouble before everyone leaves for the night.
Everyone goes home. Mac goes home with Adam. When Adam takes the footage off Mercy’s camera, he sends the camera back to Mercy with his daughter, Jesse. Mercy and Jesse discuss the troubles of a human girl among werewolves, including a reference to Ben, a recent transfer from the London Pack. After the pack meeting at Adam’s house, Ben drops by Mercy’s place to let her know he doesn’t appreciate her gossiping about him. Darryl, Adam’s second, stops Ben with a warning that it’s not an appropriate time. Everyone goes to bed.
Mercy wakes up the next morning to Mac’s dead body on her porch. She goes over to Adam’s place to investigate and finds Adam in a fight with three werewolves. Although Adam managed to take out two of the three werewolves by the time Mercy arrives, he’s having enough trouble with the third that Mercy has to use her training from her foster father to shoot and kill the last one. Adam’s hurt enough that Mercy tries getting in touch with Darryl until she remembers Darryl’s words to Ben and decides that Darryl might not be a trustworthy person. Instead, she tries to make sure Jesse is safe. Unfortunately, Jesse has been kidnapped, presumably by the humans who confronted Mac the night before. Meanwhile, Mercy needs to get Adam to someone trustworthy who can control him while he heals.
While Mercy drives Adam up to the Marrok’s pack, she calls four people. First, she calls her neighbors to take care of her cat. Then she calls Zee, her old boss, to see if he can find out anything about Jesse using his connections among the Fae. He also agrees to tend to the shop while she’s away. Then she calls Stefan to give him a brief rundown of what’s happened with his van. Finally, she calls Elizaveta to let her know there’s more clean up that she needs to do for Adam’s house.
When she arrives at the small town that’s home to the Marrok’s pack, there’s an eerie feeling of isolation. She didn’t necessarily leave the town on the best of terms and had made enemies just through the nature of what she is. Still, enough of the town has remained the same that she has a relatively easy time getting Adam into the Marrok’s safe room before she runs off to find the Marrok. When given a choice between following Bran, who is the Marrok, and his three new wolves or Bran’s son and her childhood crush, Samuel, Mercy winds up choosing her childhood crush. This gets her to the Marrok’s other son, Charles, the only natural born werewolf. Charles takes her back to town so he can tend to Mac’s dead body.
Samuel is the one tending to Adam’s wounds because he’s the doctor of the Marrok’s pack. For the first time in her life, Samuel snaps at her. Eventually, after he’s finished tending to Adam, he comes back to Mercy’s hotel room and they talk a little about her last day in the Marrok’s village. Mercy apologizes for not telling Samuel that she wasn’t going to run away with him when she made the decision to go live with her biological mother. Samuel tries to explain his side of the story. They don’t really come to any sort of a resolution or closure.
After some time, Bran comes to visit Mercy. He discusses with her the infertility of werewolves and the toll it’s taken over the course of Samuel’s life. She already knew that her ability as a skinwalker might give her the ability to bear natural born werewolves as well and that Samuel had seen her as a means to an end. Bran also mentions that Samuel had already bonded with her as a mate. So when he disappeared, he was acting as though he had lost his mate. When they finish their conversation, Bran tells her to stay until after lunch the next day so she can take Adam back with her.
While Mercy packs up to leave town, she runs into Carter Wallace. At first, she doesn’t recognize him because he’s no longer as aged as she remembers from her childhood. Some years ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and finally agreed to let his son, who had become a werewolf, turn him into a werewolf to cure the cancer (with the quick healing abilities of the werewolf). Unfortunately, Carter isn’t enjoying being a werewolf because the instincts of a wolf do not fit with the peaceful life he lived as a veterinarian. Mercy reflects that if Dr. Wallace doesn’t embrace his wolf soon, Bran or Gerry might have to kill him so his wolf doesn’t wind up taking control and hurting people.
Bran, as the Marrok, tells Mercy he’s sending Samuel back with her and Adam. During the drive, Adam reveals that one of the werewolves who attacked him was his old war buddy, David. Because Samuel is still attached to Mercy as his mate, he acts possessive of her with Adam. Mercy tries to drill it into Samuel’s head that they are not romantically connected anymore.
Mercy calls Zee as soon as she has enough service. Zee chastises her mildly for doing business with a vampire and tells her of Tony’s lady friend’s car issues. Adam reassures Zee that his pack keeps an eye out for her. Zee says one of his contacts may have some sort of an idea where Jesse is but wants to meet Mercy first. Samuel says she can’t go alone but someone must be with Adam. Because Mercy is mistrustful of Adam’s pack in general, they decide to call on Warren, the one gay wolf in Adam’s pack. Because werewolves are generally homophobic, none of Adam’s pack really interacts with Warren except by Adam’s orders.
They arrive at Warren’s house where we get to meet Warren’s lover, Kyle. Kyle mistakes Samuel’s disapproval for homophobia, and Warren tells Kyle he’d be better off staying away from Warren for the next couple of days. Mercy advises that Warren should be allowed to tell Kyle that he’s a werewolf. When she’s turned down, she rides off with Kyle and tells Kyle about werewolves. Kyle accepts this truth fairly well and plans to have a private discussion with Warren. Then she gets the callback from Zee to arrange a meeting time and place with Zee’s contact.
Mercy heads back to Warren’s place and gets chastised for telling Kyle about werewolves. However, Adam admits that since Mercy did this, Warren is free to have that discussion with Kyle without breaking any werewolf laws. She and Samuel go to a Fae bar to meet with Zee and his contact.
When they get to the bar, Zee’s contact tells them that the local vampire seethe received a significant donation recently. Mercy calls Stefan and gives him permission to inquire about it for her. Stefan winds up insisting on bringing Mercy and Samuel to meet the Mistress of the local seethe.
Stefan, Mercy, and Samuel go to the local seethe. Zee lends Mercy his old blade and makes sure both Samuel and Mercy have holy items on their persons. Mercy doesn’t wear a cross; she wears a sheep. So when they go to the seethe and an attendant insists they remove all holy items, Mercy gets to keep her sheep. They are briefly entertained by a touched vampire named Lilly who, after trying to snack on Samuel, plays music for them until the Mistress’s personal attendant tells them they’ll be meeting in her quarters.
When they meet in her quarters, she winds up trying to feed on Samuel, and Stefan intuits that the whole meeting was meant to be a trap for the Mistress. Before the Mistress answers any of Mercy’s questions, all the vampires except Stefan disappear.
Mercy, Samuel, and Stefan leave the house. Samuel is in pretty bad shape as he’s still recovering from the vampires’ influence. Before they leave, another vampire passes the answers regarding the newcomers in town along to Mercy and warns Stefan that he should have told the Mistress about Mercy being a skinwalker. When Mercy questions this message, Stefan explains that skinwalkers used to hunt vampires. This creeps Mercy out enough that she packs up Samuel and leaves without Stefan.
On the way back to Warren’s place, Samuel starts changing involuntarily because his body is under so much stress. Mercy pulls to the side of the road. In the middle of Samuel’s involuntary change, Warren calls to tell Mercy that she and Samuel need to get back ASAP. Mercy helps Samuel regain control by pretending to submit to his dominance.
Mercy and Samuel arrive at Warren’s house with the pack surrounding it. Darryl, Adam’s second, has interpreted Warren’s secrecy as insubordination. Mercy manages to get in the house and Samuel wakes up Adam who tells Darryl enough to calm him down. Mercy gives the pack the information she got from the vampires, and Adam sends her home to sleep.
The next morning, Mercy goes to her garage and tries to figure out the underlying mystery. She figures out that Adam is 4th in line to be the next Marrok and is the only one not directly related to the current Marrok. She figures out that the entire hullaballoo is about usurping the Marrok. Mercy calls Bran, the current Marrok, to let him know, and while Bran doesn’t agree on the details, he tells her he thinks she’s on the right track.
How did Moon Called end?
Mercy heads home and is attacked by Adam’s old war buddy and his grandsons. They briefly overpower her enough to get her to listen to them. David explains that Gerry Wallace didn’t want the Marrok to reveal the werewolves to the world like Fae, so Gerry recruited David to talk to Adam to convince him to challenge the Marrok. When things went awry, Gerry kidnapped Adam’s daughter, and David realized that he was on the wrong side. Samuel shows up, and that tips Mercy off that Elizaveta is also in on Gerry’s plans. Samuel explains everything to Bran, and Mercy agrees to help David extract Adam and his daughter from Gerry’s clutches.
Mercy, David, Samuel, and David’s grandsons all go to the warehouse where they’re keeping Adam and Jesse. Mercy and one of David’s grandsons get her into the room where Gerry is holding Jesse and Adam. Because Gerry can’t trust most of his wolves with a captive 15 year old girl, he uses David’s men to guard. This gives Mercy and company an advantage in the rescue. Mercy hides in the room while one of the guards who isn’t loyal to David is on duty.
After that guard finishes taking care of Jesse and takes his position outside of the room, Mercy releases Jesse from her bonds and begins working on Adam. The dagger Zee lent to Mercy can cut through anything, although it will heat up the more difficult it is to cut through. By the time Mercy manages to release Adam from his bonds, Adam goes into some sort of a magical state where he commands the wolves around him. David does what he can to make it seem like he’s causing that state when one of David’s men, Shawn, takes over guard duty to help Mercy, Jesse, and Adam escape.
Adam seems to start shifting into his wolf form to heal faster from the tranquilizer. Mercy calms him down, so he doesn’t shift and cause the silver in the tranquilizer to poison him more. As she helps bring him to his senses, she fills him in on the situation. Due to the amount of silver in the tranquilizer, Adam starts sweating it out. Mercy and Shawn do what they can to clean off the silver and end up donating parts of their outfits so Adam has clean clothes to wear during their escape.
As they’re discussing what to do, an enemy wolf comes into the room, and Shawn shoots him. Adam gives them orders to leave as many alive as possible. Mercy, Adam, Shawn, and Jesse head out of the room and make their way out of the warehouse. As Mercy kept watch for everyone else, she thought about Gerry’s overall plan and realized it didn’t make sense.
If Gerry had wanted to avoid the Marrok’s attention, he wouldn’t have allowed the bloodbath that happened at Adam’s place. Gerry paid the vampires a suspicious amount that would have been easily noticed by the Marrok during even a cursory investigation. If Gerry wanted to stay on Adam’s good side, he wouldn’t have kidnapped Jesse. If Gerry wanted Adam to win against the Marrok, he wouldn’t have weakened Adam so much. Basically, Gerry was being too obvious with his actions not to get caught and stopped.
Unless…the point wasn’t to have Adam challenge the Marrok.
Another werewolf attacking interrupts Mercy’s revelation. He disarms Mercy and breaks her right arm. A red wolf comes to the rescue long enough for Mercy to kill the attacking werewolf with her other gun. Adam showed his control over the rescuing wolf and recovers using the power of his pack. The rest of the pack show up, and Adam directs Warren to go back to his place with Mercy and Jesse. Mercy leads them back to the old truck that Shawn said would be easy to hot wire and hot wires it for them.
Mercy senses a sudden wave of magic and tells Warren to take Jesse home. She runs off to warn Adam of the witch. A shot rings out, and the red wolf that rescued Mercy earlier takes the hit for Adam. It turns out that the red wolf is Ben. Adam uses his Alpha powers to call all the werewolves to him.
Mercy feels another wave of magic building power with Adam’s name. She throws herself between the source of the power and Adam. While she shouldn’t have been able to do anything, she somehow managed to take the spell on herself. As she started to collapse from the effect of the spell, she recognized the witch was not Elizaveta but Robert, Elizaveta’s grandson. With great effort, she manages to tell Samuel of Robert, and Samuel runs off to take care of Robert. Somehow, Samuel manages to stop the spell from killing Mercy.
Adam takes control over all the wolves in the area except for Gerry, who belongs to the Marrok’s pack. Samuel calls Gerry for Adam.
Gerry didn’t care about Adam. What Gerry wanted was for his father, who had been struggling with his wolf, to challenge the Marrok so his father could embrace his wolf. By setting things up the way that he did, he’d simultaneously proved to the Marrok that he was behind it but to his father that Gerry couldn’t possibly have been a part of it. Gerry’s ultimate plan would be to have Robert do something to ensure Dr. Wallace’s victory.
Samuel quickly exacts justice by snapping Gerry’s neck.
In the end, as expected, Bran goes out for a hunt with Dr. Wallace and comes back alone. Samuel turns Robert over to Elizaveta and decides to stay in the Tri-Cities as Mercy’s roommate until he can get a place of his own. The Marrok brought the werewolves out into the light using David as the poster boy.
Because Mercy doesn’t have the healing abilities of a werewolf, she’s left with a slow recovery for her broken arm. Zee continues to help at her shop. Tony’s lady friend’s son shows up and Mercy shows him the bill and how much he’ll be working to pay it off. Jesse stops by the shop to invite Mercy on a date with Adam.
Mercy goes home to get ready for her date. Samuel questions the validity of the date as her temporary roommate.
Her date with Adam goes well, and they share their first kiss outside her house. Samuel exits the house to invite them for cocoa, and he and Adam discuss the logistics of his remaining in Adam’s pack’s territory as a lone wolf. Mercy changes into something more comfortable and leaves Samuel and Adam to their discussion before calling Stefan to tell him that his parts are in.
There you go! That’s what happened in Moon Called, the first book in the Mercy Thompson series!
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