Mercedes Thompson (Mercy Thompson)

Mercy Thompson Graphic Novel: Moon Called Vol. 2 – Eye candy extraordinaire

moon called volume 2, patrcia briggsIt took me a little while to get around to reading the second and final volume for the Moon Called graphic novel.  What with no bookstores nearby, I wasn’t totally sure if I wanted to pay for a comic that I couldn’t see.  The first volume was beautifully illustrated, but I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the story.  For me the Mercy Thompson series definitely suffers from FBS (first book syndrome), but seeing the story illustrated mitigated the experience immensely.

Volume 2 picks up directly after Volume 1. Adam’s daughter, Jesse, has been kidnapped and Mercy tries to help track her down.  She has to enlist help from her vampire friend, Stefan, whose camarilla may have information on where to find her.  She has to manage this on top of figuring out whose been experimenting on weres. Facing a lot of danger, Mercy has to work with vampires, werewolves and faeries while she tests her own boundaries to see where she fits into it all.

The comments from my first review remain steady when it comes to the artwork. If anything I think it’s even better than the first volume.  The story is the weakest part of this entry, but I can’t say if it’s because I was never really interested when it came to the written novels or if it was because it’s difficult to grasp the whole story when you’re limited to speech bubbles.  Sometimes it was hard to follow and I noticed a couple of continuity issues from frame to frame.  Even still, the art exceeded my expectations when it comes to this series.  I have a new way to imagine the characters.  I was really happy to see Stefan this time around and he has a significant presence. I feel like the illustrator probably liked drawing him. He’s quite the looker!  I like Mercy and Adam together, but I honestly wouldn’t have minded seeing her with Stefan in the books, and the graphic novel only makes it worse now, haha!

So all in all, I do recommend this if only to admire the beautiful illustrations, but you will definitely need Volume 1 as a companion to know everything that’s happened.



Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison Signing Seattle Q&A – In case you missed it…

You can still watch Wednesday’s hour long but very entertaining and funny Q&A for both of these wonderful authors. I’m not sure for how long Harper Voyager will keep this available, so make sure you catch it ASAP! And if you’ve already seen it, any thoughts?

The Hollows (Rachel Morgan) Digest – News and spoiler answers revealed!

Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs Signing Q&Q Questions and AnswersHi guys, since there’s a lot of new info with the book release, I decided to compile some Hollows updates.  First, Kim Harrison has posted an interiew about the book and the series. I thought it was quite insightful:
Also, I am hoping to watch a bit of the streaming of the Q&A and signing with Kim and Patricia Briggs on Wednesday, March 7 if anyone wants to join me. You can watch it here:

It starts at 7pm PST so don’t be late!

Feel free to post your comments here, but I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook as well. I may also open up a Goodreads thread if we want to make it a real party. I’m open to suggestions. I hope you guys can tune in! 

I’ve also decided to include some new facts that you guys might like to know if you already didn’t (Beware of spoilers):
1) A Perfect Blood hit #2 on the New York Times Bestseller list.  Pale Demon was #2 as well.  GO HOLLOWS!
2) Our beloved Algaliarept had a WIFE!! No joke! Ally Cakes was indeed a hubby! I am super curious as to when that will be discussed in the books. Here’s hoping we learn about it in Ever After (Book 11).
3) We should get to see Trent’s magic hut in the next book, Ever After (Book 11). 
3) Yes, Trent would get his pointy ears back after the transformation curse to restore his fingers (I promise you I asked Kim about this first–check March 8, 2011–muahahaha)
4) The anthology Into the Woods: Tales of the Hollows and Beyond with the Million Dollar Baby short story (Trent and Jenks bromace FTW) is available for pre-order. It’s due out in October and it will include 300 pages of new content, so you wouldn’t be purchasing it only for the short story. I’ve already got my order in!

Guess who’s going to San Diego Comic Con yet again?! It’s me! W00T

This means tons of coverage on TV series, movies, games, and AUTHORS. I met Kim Harrison and Patricia Briggs last year and we made the news!! That was a lot of fun. Kim won’t be there this year unfortunately, but there is so much to do there with so little time. I had an absolutely fabulous time and I’m looking for this year to be even better!

While last year’s ticketing experience was an absolute 3-hour DISASTER and I only got my tickets out of luck, this year they’ve implemented a new system that had me on my way in 10 minutes.  Of course the whole thing sold out in under 2 hours, but at least it was better organized.

Next up is the hotel lottery.  I won’t even get into the issue last year…okay I totally will. Being the Comic Con virgin that I was, I had no clue about waiting until their hotel lottery, so I tried to be an eager beaver and book a backup room in December with hopes that the significant con discount could be applied later after badge sales (because I sure as hell wasn’t trying to pay the whole unreasonably inflated price). I booked by phone and specifically confirmed with the associate that my room would not be charged right away and I could cancel up until 2 days before the con. I asked her several times and she said “YES”.  One month later, I see a $2,200 charge on my credit card. I’m of course scratching my head and looking at my calendar because I could have SWORN that the con wasn’t for another 6 months! So I called them up and they give me the spiel that when I booked I agreed to paying the full non-refundable rate.  HA!! So getting that straight (because I refused to take that laying down) took up the better half of my January. Moral of the story…book everything online where you can read the fine print and you have written proof >_>.  SDCC 2012 here we come!

If any of you guys plan to go, please keep me posted! I’d love to meet even more of you.

Graphic Novels + Poll

So I’m not sure how many of you enjoy reading graphic novels, but volume 2 of Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson is out and available (forgive me for being a couple of weekend behind).  I have volume 1 myself which I enjoyed a lot, but now is the time that I wish I had a physical bookstore nearby so that I could thumb through this new one. I’m curious as to how Stefan will look. I met Ms. Briggs at San Diego Comic Con last summer and she said that we’d finally see him in this volume.

Of course it made me think a bit about graphic novels in general.  I honestly don’t think I am a huge fan of it in most cases.  Usually the characters for the series I read are set in my mind and someone else’s interpretation can’t capture it for the better, especially not something in comic book format.  There were only a couple of instances where it has been right on and so far it’s only been through fanarts.

Take Rachel Morgan and Trent Kalamack:

Let’s also forget how nice it is that Trent is coincidentally facing her.

Or Anita Blake’s Jean Claude (too many good ones to pick out, so you all can have at).

I can guarantee that they don’t look nearly as great in the graphic novel or even the world book, but these artists make them look even better than I’d imagined (well, Trent at least. Rachel is spot on).  So I just wonder how you guys feel as  readers when it comes to changing mediums.  Television/movie adaptations are a whole other can of worms altogether that I won’t discuss at this time, but I have pretty strong opinions there too. Either way, nothing feels quite as rich as its written novel counter parts and I think I’d prefer that the authors keep writing more books than to take that valuable time away to branch out to the graphic novel realm.

I used to be an avid reader of Japanese manga, but I guess I didn’t mind it there because that was that is how we’re usually introduced to the characters (not to mention the Japanese attention to detail and making the characters look attractive are bar none).

So what do you guys think?

Mercy 2 Finds a Groove

Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson Book 2) by Patricia Briggs

The second installment of the Mercy Thompson series shifts focus from the werewolves to the vampires.  This time her vampire friend, Stefan, decides to call in a favor from Mercy.  She risks life and limb to thwart an evil sorcerer-turned-vampire (as if vampires weren’t evil enough on their own) causing numerous deaths all around the city.  The supernatural cream of the crop are all involved to take this sucker down, from head vampires to head werewolves.  And even still,  somehow Mercy’s abilities prove useful to help save them all.

While I’m still not totally hooked, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.  This book is a lot better in terms of action and the characters are more established, so I could relate to them a bit more.  The love triangle (or maybe quadrangle?) is definitely kicked up a notch and confirmed here.  Adam seems to be becoming my Were of choice, but there is enough argument for her other suitor(s?) as well, so I will just see how Mrs. Briggs decides to develop that angle. I liked the incorporation of ghosts this time around, and their use is quite intuitive and sensible.  The vampire politics are somewhat more interesting than the first book since I didn’t find myself zoning out quite as much.

Stefan, has potential to be an extremely interesting character as the series progresses.  It’s hard to tell what motivates him which will only keep everyone guessing.  That’s a good sign of complexity considering that vampires are inherently evil in this series.

So all in all, it was certainly better than Moon Called, but I don’t really have the urge to want to inhale it like I’ve had with some of my favorites. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing since I can be a much more productive human being, but this doesn’t necessarily need to be shot up to the top of your TBR list, even though it’s a decent read.  I am still interested enough to want to continue and see what unfolds for Mercy and her friends, so that’s a good thing. Onto Book 3!

This series may need to grow on you

Moon Called (Book 1 of the Mercedes Thompson Series) by Patricia Briggs

Moon Called is the first book to kick off the very successful Mercedes Thompson series. While it follows the urban fantasy formula through incorporating vampires, shapeshifters, fae, and ghosts, it has the opportunity to differentiate itself with high quality world-building.

The main character, Mercy, isn’t the prissy princess nor is she the leather-clad potty mouth badass. She works as a mechanic, getting her hands dirty the blue-collar way. She’s not quite human though. From her Blackfoot Indian heritage she has inherited the ability to shift from human to coyote. The official term is a “walker”, but she likes to keep this knowledge low-key as there are very few of her kind left.

Unable to care for her as a newborn, her mother turns her over to a werewolf family to raise her. While she shares certain similarities with their kind, she isn’t quite as bound by their laws which makes for and interesting slippery slope as she works together with them throughout this series. In this particular book, the Were community runs into significant problems as someone is illegally creating new werewolves and performing experime

nts on them. Mercy calls upon the help of all of her supernatural friends to get to the bottom of it, so we learn a bit more about the vampires, fae, and were alike.

Overall, I started out really interested and then my interest sort of waned and it really began to slow down. Surprisingly enough, I was more engaged with development of the Were community instead of the vampires, though the vampires certainly seem to have their own qualities to stand apart from other series. I hope that I am more interested in the future books.
Even with Mercy’s sort of bland personality, I think there’s definitely potential for greatnes

s. The ingredients are all there, especially a good supporting cast. I can see myself becoming a fan of the local Alpha, Adam Hauptman. Some of my favorites series start off with less than stellar beginnings, so that won’t keep me from giving the next book a read.

This, my friends, is how you do a graphic novel adaptation

Moon Called (Mercy Thompson Volume 1) by Patricia Briggs

I originally read this comic as an ARC and then decided to purchase it immediately before I even finished it. Since I was reading the series via ebooks, I wanted something for Ms. Briggs to sign for when I meet her at San Diego Comic Con this July. I was going to try to get through the ebooks as fast as I could so that I could then also purchase a paper copy of my favorite installment. After seeing this comic, there’s no longer a need. And even better, it fits in with the theme since it’s about the comics at Comic Con (well, it supposed to be anyway). I’m now super excited so I can spaz to Ms. Briggs in person about how wonderful of a job the artist did. I can already tell this is one of the best. Talk about doing a series justice!

No doubt this graphic novel adaptation accomplishes the most important goal of all; it’s very visually very pleasing to look at! That’s the point of a graphic novel at all, right? I actually enjoyed the comic much more than the actual book. The book comes off as somewhat bland in parts (though the series gets better with every book), but seeing the action come to life on the pages gets my adrenaline pumping. The drawing style is fabulous and not over the top. I love the coloring and shading and spent a few panels simply admiring the images. I feel like it truly captures the Mercy Thompson world. Mercy’s gorgeous, Adam’s sexy, and Sam actually looks much better than I assumed he looked in the books. I thought the artist was very good with expressing the characters’ emotions as well. A few of the transformation scenes were a little awkwardly drawn, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.

I like that it’s close to the book. I think that made me read it much faster. Unlike the book, it kicks off with action to draw you in. It was a nice technique to keep it engaging. I felt the pacing was just right. There wasn’t a moment where I was bored and yet it stayed true to the plot.

I always have this trepidation of looking at fictional characters outside of the reading medium. 9 times out of 10 it just doesn’t capture the images I’ve conjured up in my mind. I am so pleased that’s not the case here.

We get a bonus section that’s by a completely different artist. It’s a completely different style that doesn’t portray the dark urban fantasy feel, so I didn’t really connect to it as much. Also, some of the proportions and angles were off. I recall at one point a character was drawn cross-eyed.

It ends with short of a narration of the panels to see how the artist conceptualized the panels. It was pretty cool to see their process, but not really necessary. My biggest enjoyment was in the meat of the story. I wish we could have seen Stefan, Warren, and Kyle in this volume though.

Because these look so good and flow so well, I plan to follow the comics for this series in conjunction with the books, as long as Ms. Amelia Woo continues to illustrate. It’s very rare that I can say I prefer any other medium to the original, but in this case I very much prefer the comic to the novel.

(ARC provided by NetGalley)

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