Sunday, March 20, 2011

Review: River Marked

River Marked
Patricia Briggs
Urban Fantasy
Mercy Thompson/Book 6
Berkley/March 1, 2011

*Spoilers for previous books*

From the inside cover ~

Coyote shifter Mercy Thompson knows that life with her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will never be boring, but even their wedding doesn't go as planned. Nevertheless, a ten-day honeymoon camping on the banks of the Columbia River, alone, just the two of them, should make up for it. But the trip - and the pimped-out trailer they're using - is courtesy of the fae. And nothing from the fae comes without strings attached...

Being a different breed of shapeshifter - a walker - Mercy can see ghosts, but the spirit of her long-gone father has never visited her. Until now. An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River - and their presence known to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil...

Mercy Thompson is one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series, heck, one of my favorite series period. I love the world that Briggs has created. It's such a full, rich world with the primary and secondary characters multi-dimensional with all their own quirks, flaws and strengths.

Mercy is staying busy with her work and her wedding coming up. She's also worried about her vampire friend Stefan. We get to see how Mercy, Stefan, Warren and Kyle spend movie night. This is an example of what makes this series so wonderful. Those moments of normal interspersed with scenes of fighting monsters bring it all together to make the unbelievable, believable. Even though she's marrying a werewolf, her friend is a vampire and Mercy herself is a shapeshifter, when you get down to it, she still faces many of the same problems any of us might have - minus the claws and fangs.

There is a lot of Mercy and Adam time and I loved it! We get to see them in this very domestic setting away from the pack. I will admit that I missed the pack - Samuel, Warren, Darryl, Auriele, even Ben, who is growing on me. Along with Julie, Kyle and most definitely Stefan. We do get to see them at the beginning, at Mercy and Adam's wedding. The pack may be close but not close enough to join Adam and Mercy on their honeymoon. Since it is their honeymoon, along with searching out and finding the monster, there are some sweet and sexy scenes with Mercy and Adam. I love seeing them tease each other, still learning their way around each other. They've known each other for 10 years and yet they still have things to discover about one another.

River Marked starts as a road trip story. It's a short road trip but it does put Mercy and Adam in new surroundings. Along with those new surroundings are quite a few new characters. It took a little work for me to keep everyone and their relationships straight. These characters help Mercy learn more about her Native American heritage. It's this information that leads Mercy and Adam to discover what the creature in the river is and what it wants. In reading about Mercy's heritage, watching her uncover more information about her father and sharing that with Adam we get to know Mercy better. She knew some of her heritage but still had much to learn. Adam is right there with Mercy, supporting her while still trying to give her room. His trust in Mercy's safety is tested but he continues to seek that balance of overprotective alpha and 21st century forward thinking husband.

The are moments in River Marked that are so profoundly sad. It has it's lighter moments but there are some very dark, very scary beings in Mercy's world. There were scenes when I knew bad things were going to happen, that there wouldn't be a happy ending to what was playing out before me. And I got why it had to happen that way but that didn't stop me from wishing someone or something would swoop in and save the day. I think the way Briggs has created Mercy's world reminds us that for humans and supernatural beings, life can be fleeting, unfair and justice is not always swift. So appreciate what and who you have in your life.

River Marked goes down as another exceptional addition to the outstanding series that is Mercy Thompson.

Rating: A-

Books in this series ~

Moon Called
Blood Bound
Iron Kissed
Bone Crossed
Silver Borne
River Marked

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Leslie ;) I did enjoy this book a lot, but I thought some of the pacing and actions were off :( I also wished we've seen more of the Pack... but overall, just happy that we found out more about Mercy :)