Patricia Briggs' site
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Copy obtained: bought, hb
Publisher: Ace (US), Orbit (UK)
Released: March 1st (US), March 3rd (UK)
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 shape shifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She's never known any other 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 love the Mercy Thompson series, it is easily one of my all time favourites. It's got very well developed characters, engaging storylines and each book brings something new to her world. And Mercy herself is one of my top favourite characters. So it goes without saying I was very excited to get my hands on River Marked, and it did not disappoint at all!
River Marked sees us, and Mercy, learning a lot about her Native American background and what her being a coyote shifter means. It also sees Adam and Mercy mostly on their own, away from the pack, dealing with a river monster, a creature huge and deadly, that some how connects with what Mercy is learning about her heritage. While in some ways I missed seeing more of the rest of the pack and the other excellent side characters, I really enjoyed seeing Adam and Mercy more on their own for once and getting to meet some very interesting new characters. I thought before hand that I'd like getting in to Mercy's heritage and learning it alongside her, but I actually loved it! I really enjoyed the direction the book took and how the plots twisted together.
Mercy has changed a lot over the course of the series, and it really shows in River Marked. I love how she's changed, through her relationships with Adam, the pack and her other friends like Stefan, and also by the events she's been through. River Marked shows us a more emotional side of her than we've really seen before, and also shows the strength of her relationship with Adam. And while we don't see too much of the rest of the beloved side characters, they still have some little developments going on in the back ground. I'd be very surprised if Stefan doesn't end up playing a more central role in the next book with some of the snippets we have here.
Overall, River Marked has to be my joint favourite of the series alongside Iron Kissed. It's much softer than IK in some ways, but it's still got a lot going on, plenty of tension and an ending I thoroughly loved! I found River Marked very difficult to put down and easily read it in a day. I'm now just very sad it's going to be roughly a 2 year wait for the next one! Though I'm certain it'll be worth it, I shall have to cope with it by lots of rereading. Slipping back in to Mercy's world is like putting on that favourite comfy hoodie, or pair of jeans, or whatever, and catching up with old friends and learning their latest adventures. Fantastic, gripping storytelling and a wonderful new edition to Mercy's series!