Review: River Marked

River Marked by Patricia Briggs


Car mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has never known any others of her kind. Until now. As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River–and if Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, are to have any hope of surviving, they will need all the resources the shifters can offer.

River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6)
Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Publication: January 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural, shifter
Personally purchased title

Locate: amazon | b&n | worldcat
Rated: ★★★★

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

If up until this point you were unsure whether Mercy Thompson was a series that was worth continuing, your doubts are completely obliterated and forgotten with River Marked. Easily the best book of the series so far. I could not believe Patricia Briggs was hiding this from us for so long. The skill at which the story is told is amazing and the understanding it gives us into Mercy’s background is everything one could want and more.

River Marked opens with a surprise wedding, followed by Adam and Mercy taking a trip out of town to a campgrounds Adam’s company completed work on. Things are fun and we see Adam and Mercy as we’ve never seen them before, comfortable and at ease with one another. They’re playful and finally at the point in their relationship that they understand one another and trust each other. So, of course something has to come along to rock the boat, so to speak.

When alone in the woods near the campground, Mercy has a vision of an Amerind (American Indian) man performing some sort of ritualistic dance. She recognises the man as her father, but is confused as the vision does not feel like a ghost. It would be great if that were the only thing she had to worry about during her trip there, but after a brief jump to conclusion between Adam and Mercy and a late night coyote/wolf run, they happen upon a boat with a cowering man terrified beyond belief. Mercy jumps in to help him, and is attacked by a mysterious unseen creature. The only fauna she can see in the area is a group of otters suspiciously swimming about the area.

This small act of kindness opens the door to learning about her background, about her father, and about her coyote abilities. This is where the story excels. Patricia Briggs does an amazing job bringing to life Amerind stories* and characters. Mercy’s background reveal was expertly done, as it could have easily pushed on-the-fence readers towards the wayside had it been crafted tactlessly. I am really hesitant to say anymore because it was seriously such a great read, I don’t want to ruin it for readers that have not yet given it a glance.

If you’ve been reading the series thus far, THIS is the book that will make everything you’ve read so far worth it. Just the absolute best Patricia Briggs has to offer and a definite must read.

*I am not an Amerind, and as such I cannot speak with any such authority as to the veracity of the stories only to say that within the context of the series and with the little bit of knowledge I do have regarding certain Amerind spirituality, it seemed well done and believable.

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About Lulu

Thirty-something year old educator based in New York, Lulu loves books, blogging, gaming, and her pom son Frodo Barkins with whom she shares her life. Book reviews specialize in all kinds of fantasy, some YA, some romance, and some contemporary, especially in the gothic genre.