Sunday, October 5, 2014

River Marked, by Patricia Briggs

Yes, this was supposed to be out yesterday. I wrote too much ( is there such a thing?) and I read until the wee hours. Are my words blurry to you too? No? Okay, coffee then Briggs.

First, let me say that I'm a Mercy Thompson fan. She's one of my favorite heroines and Briggs is one of my favorite writers. There's a divide in the fan base on this one. This is either your favorite Mercy or you think something felt a little, well, off.

I'm in the latter camp. Don't get me wrong, picked it up and read it straight through, but measuring Mercy against Mercy, River Marked had a palatable aura of change to it. There were some interesting non-paragraph breaks in this book that were out of character and therefore stood out as well. You can almost split this book into two parts; before the monster appears and after. On to River Marked.

Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has finally nailed down her werewolf Alpha Adam Hauptman, or should I say he finally nailed her down. Mercy was the one heading to the altar with lukewarm feet. Not because she doesn't love Adam, and certainly not because he isn't worth it, but because she's always felt a little bit outside of things and being this included sends the hairs on her neck rising. Mercy Thompson is independent, strong, and having grown up in a pack, knows exactly how possessive and dictatorial things can get.

In River Marked she makes it down the aisle. We get snippets of the ceremony in flashbacks while she and Adam are on their honeymoon in the Columbia River Valley, as isolated from the chaos that is their lives as they can get. But Mercy being Mercy, the tranquility doesn't last for long. She has a vision of her dead father, a character we knew existed - he's the one that she inherited her coyote from - but so far in this series we hadn't met.

Until now. The first part of this book was all about Mercy and Adam, and yet I still got a sense of distance between the two characters. That disappears after an ancient River fae starts killing innocents and Mercy and Adam jump into action. These two simply are not meant to be on vacation. As an Alpha, Adam makes a pretty good sidekick. This leads us into the second half of the book, the typical Mercy story we all love.

Protecting people on the Columbia River leads Mercy on a journey into her past and the past of her father's people. That's what I loved about this book. We're well into a series and we're still learning who this character is and why. So is she, and that's part of what makes Mercy so darned interesting.

The next book in the series, Frost Burned, is on my TBR shelf. If you're new to this series, Moon Called is the first book, and I highly recommend all of them.

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