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…
River Marked is the sixth novel in the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. Despite mixed reviews it was perhaps one of my favorite in this urban fantasy series. Unlike its predecessors most of the action takes place in the second half of the novel. Briggs brings us more of Mercy’s story and a captivating look at Indian lore. I consumed this in a single afternoon and loved every minute of it.
In this novel Mercy and her mate the yummy alpha male Adam are camping off the Columbia river, when they stumble upon a man injured on a boat. They soon find themselves dealing with a creature capable of living in this world and the next. They quickly discover it is feeding off humans and Mercy may be the only one to stop it.
What I loved about this particular novel was the character growth we see in Mercy. She has always guarded her heart, never allowing herself to get to close. Here she completely opens up to Adam. She accepts him as her mate and realizes the benefits of their bond and those of the pack. She acts as a mother figure for Adam’s daughter and seems to be more at peace. It was awesome to see Mercy rationalize things, to take a moment to figure out why Adam reacted to something. Previously she would react or shut down. To see her trust in him completely was refreshing. When faced with death, she is ready. She prepares letters to those she loves. The most difficult was Adam’s. I loved that at the end of the novel Brigg’s shared that letter with us. We get to see the softer side of Mercy. The one we all knew was there, under her kick-ass, never care attitude.
The battle they faced was intense. The last part of the book, had me turning the pages, and at times going back to make sure I completely understood what was happening. Through a ghost Mercy gains a better understanding of her father. We do not see all of the characters. Sam is absent, as well as most of the pack. This tale was really all about Mercy and Adam. I think that is one of the reasons I loved it so much. We have waited years to see these two sort things out and get together. To finally see them working as a team and gaining a more intimate knowledge of each other was delightful. Seeing Adam smile and goof off and hold hands was smokin’ hot.
I highly recommend River Marked and the entire Mercy Thompson series to fans of urban fantasy. The world Briggs has created is brilliant and I love revisiting it again and again. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series, Frost Burn with an expected publication date of spring 2013. In the meantime, I will be starting her Alpha and Omega Series and look forward to sharing it with you.
I gave this novel 4.5 coffee cups out of 5
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