Mar 21, 2011

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

This is book 6 in the Mercy Thompson series. Therefore there are MAJOR SPOILERS in this review for the series. You have been warned.

Mercy is no stranger to trouble. It seems to follow her everywhere she goes. Even, on her honeymoon. After barely surviving some serious fae magic, Mercy & Adam, the Alpha of the Columbia Basin Werewolf Pack, decide that it is time to take the next step in their long-awaited romance & get engaged. Mercy is in the midst of wedding planning, with everything really starting to get to her when Jesse, Adam's underestimated teenage daughter, innocently suggests that they get hitched early. After this "elopement," the happy couple decide to camp in a newly established, but not yet open to the public, campground to test it out for the fae owner.

Of course nothing could be that simple in a world where vampires love Scooby Doo motifs & fae can be mechanics. On the very first day they notice that something is different. Mercy sees her father's ghost dancing on their campground & they save a terrified man from the "monster" he has been injured by & is currently hiding from. It turns out that this man is not the only to fall victim to the river. Something is stalking & killing people with no real pattern. The police are stumped & the Native Americans aren't really talking. Striking a cord with the newlyweds, they embark on a turbulent journey filled with revelations about local Native American powers, what one will really do for life& love, & how much of who you are is determined by your family.

I love this series so much! Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman has to be one of my all-time favorite characters. Between her demeanor, her sass, her humor, & her complete dedication (to a number of things) she just rocks my world!

All that being said, I must admit that this is definitely not one of my favorite books in this series. This being the sixth book, I honestly felt like it was a filler story. There was very little personal action taking place to move the story forward, but at the same time the action wasn't directly related to the characters' actions. This time the trouble came looking for them & they did something about it. It was engineered action that felt kind of forced, although it allowed the reader to gain a deeper appreciation & understanding of Mercy's family history & why she is what she is.

The writing was definitely on par for what you expect in a Mercy novel (witty, pointed, & metered). There was a bit of disappointment, this being a honeymoon and all, that the romance was almost non-existent. It practically pulled a Breaking Dawn on the reader. Granted, there has been a lot of romance between these two characters in some novels (enough to make even a married woman blush) & that I did appreciate it being toned down. I guess it's just a balancing act.

Overall, as always, a fun, light read. P.S. The best part about these books are that they are stand alone novels. You don't necessary have to have read the others to understand what is going on in this one. All the background is provided. I highly recommend Bone Crossed. It remains my favorite of the series.

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