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Reviews of books in a series, with a focus on urban fantasy.
Other genres include mystery, paranormal romance, and crime thrillers.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6) by Patricia Briggs


River Marked is the sixth Mercy Thompson book, and after finishing it I'm salivating for the seventh.

All in all, River Marked is a happy book. Mercy and Adam are getting along, they are there for each other, and they are both adults working to make their relationship work. It's not perfect, in real life there are arguments. And in real life both people talk and find a middle ground.  Don't get me wrong, some bad things happen, but Mercy and Adam deal with everything as it comes up. Together.

Once again, Patricia Briggs finds ways to insert humor, sometimes in the oddest places. And it works. Mercy and Adam are sitting around roasting hotdogs in the campfire, having a pretty serious conversation, when Mercy casually interjects a "your hotdog is on fire" into the conversation.

Also, once again this world comes alive with the senses of someone who has supernatural hearing, and who can smell things humans have no clue about. Beautiful worldbuilding. Not only in the sights and sounds and smells and emotions and thoughts... but also with the ability to bring ancient myths and legends forward into the present day.

Here is the blurb:

Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any others of her kind. Until now.

An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River-one that her father's people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help...

I loved getting some details about Mercy's dad. She's finally learning more about who her father was, and thus a little more about who she is.

I also spent some time looking up the pictures of the places Adam and Mercy went, and the things they saw. She Who Watches is real, as is the petroglyph of the River Devil, and Stonehenge, and the Mary Hill Museum.

As for the writing elements - the plot had depth and substance and really kept the story moving right along. The pacing was perfect. Prose and dialogue were craftily woven together.  Character development was stellar, even for some of the minor characters. World-building continues to be top notch in this series.

For those familiar with the Monkey King in Chinese lore, I would love to be able to wax philosophical for a bit about the similarities, but I can't do that much right now or I will risk giving spoilers. Still, it's a lot of food for thought, the way certain kinds of archetypes show up in different cultures.... different and yet the same.

This series has been a 10 of 10 for me in the past and will remain so. River Marked is easily a 10 of 10.
  • Book Rating: River Marked: 10 of 10
  • Series Rating: 10 of 10

  Mercedes Thompson Series 
1. Moon Called (2006)
2. Blood Bound (2007)
3. Iron Kissed (2008)
4. Bone Crossed (2009)

5. Silver Borne (2010)
6. River Marked  (2011)

Alpha and Omega Series:
 . On the Prowl (Anthology)
1. Cry Wolf (2008)
2. Hunting Ground (July 2009)
3. Unnamed third book (January 2011)

1 comment:

  1. I need to hit the download key for that on my Nook, as soon as I finish my current read. Glad to hear it's so enjoyable. I'm sure I'll find the setting interesting, as I've been to Maryhill Museum, Stonehenge, and other places along the Columbia, living in Boise.