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#26 River Marked by Patricia Briggs

This review has spoilers for previous books in the Mercy Thompson Series (mainly in regards to romance).

After a unique wedding with alpha werewolf Adam Hauptman, Mercy Thompson is ready to settle down for a nice relaxing honeymoon near the Columbia River. The only problem with that is there's more than fish beneath the water's surface. Mercy soon finds herself caught up in a world of Native American gods and fae magic, causing her to more fully examine her heritage, and the father that left her long ago.

River Marked is the sixth Mercy Thompson novel. It has a decidedly different feel than the two previous Mercy novels (Silver Borne and Bone Crossed). While those novels were rather complex, developing or resolving multiple existing plotlines, River Marked is refreshingly straightforward. It's focuses on two things: the problems that arises at the Columbia River, and Mercy and Adam's changing relationship. As a result, the novel has a stronger romantic lean than previous Mercy Thompson books, making it feel more like an Alpha and Omega novel, which I didn't mind. River Marked is able to stand alone better than Silver Borne and Bone Crossed. Sure, it addresses previous plot lines (such as the sorry state of Stefan the vampire), but for the most part it leaves most of the series's large cast at home, and focuses on Mercy and Adam's current story. I missed some of these secondary characters, but I found that I enjoyed the tighter focus of the novel, as it reminded me more of the earlier books in the series.

There's a lot to like about River Marked. I enjoyed exploring Mercy's American Indian heritage, something the series hasn't touched on too deeply until now. I liked getting to meet the different Native American gods, especially Coyote. I also like how Briggs is developing Adam and Mercy's relationship. Having a equal marriage can be difficult when one member is, by his nature, dominant, and the novel addresses that. Like previous Mercy novels, River Marked reads very quickly. One thing I really appreciated was the ending, which isn't always the case with Briggs's novels (she tends to rush the end). I found it to be very suspenseful and exciting.

River Marked is the most satisfying Mercy Thompson novel since Iron Kissed. It makes me a little sad that we will not be seeing another Mercy novel until 2013, but I eagerly look forward to the next (and maybe last?) Alpha and Omega novel, set to come out early next year.

Rating: four and a half stars
Length: 324 pages
Source: Lewiston Public Library
Similar Books: Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld Series, and Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville Series. Also Check out the Alpha and Omega Series, which takes place in the same universe as the Mercy books
Other books I've read by this author: Moon Called, Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed (my review), Silver Borne (my review), Homecoming (my review), Cry Wolf, Hunting Ground (my review), and The Hob’s Bargain (my review). I’ve also read the novella Alpha and Omega from On the Prowl.

Next up I will be reviewing Glimpses by Lynn Flewelling and the audiobook version of The Ask and the Answer by Patrick Ness

xposted to temporaryworlds , bookish , and goodreads


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 26th, 2011 04:25 pm (UTC)
I just can't take those "Sex me, sex me good!" covers seriously.

So, which Native American gods does Mercy meet? Or is Mercy just a generic "Native American"? I mean, Coyote exists in the legends of many tribes, but it's not like everyone on the continent had the same pantheon.
Apr. 26th, 2011 05:10 pm (UTC)
Haha. Yeah, this cover is a little much.

Mercy is half-Blackfeet, although while staying at the Columbia River she meets individuals that belong to another tribe (I would look them up for you, but I just returned my copy to the library), including one who shares stories about Coyote. The god she has the most contact with is Coyote, as they have quite a connection, and other gods play various smaller roles (most only appearing for a scene or two). Mercy encounters Coyote's three sisters while in a trance-like state. There is a scene where she encounters multiple gods at once (such as Hawk, Wolf, and I believe Thunderbird) but the only one we see significant interaction with is Wolf (which makes sense, given that Adam was there).

Hope that helps!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 26th, 2011 09:57 pm (UTC)
Hmmm. It's not really brought up that I can recall, but when they physically describe Mercy, she doesn't really sounds that way.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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