River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked (Mercy Thompson, #6) by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson #6
Published by Orbit on March 3, 2011
Genres: Paranormal, Werewolves
Pages: 290
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase on: Amazon// Barnes & Noble
Add to: Goodreads

Mercy Thompson: Mechanic, Shapeshifter, Fighter.
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. And she's never known any others of her kind. Until now.
As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, an evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River. Something deadly is coming, facts are thin on the ground and Mercy feels ill at ease. However, her father's people may know more. To have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need all the resources the shifters can offer. Or death will be the least of their worries.


If up until this point you were unsure whether Mercy Thompson was a series that was worth continuing, your doubts are completely obliterated and forgotten with River Marked. Easily the best book of the series so far. I could not believe Patricia Briggs was hiding this from us for so long. The skill at which the story is told is amazing and the understanding it gives us into Mercy’s background is everything one could want and more.

River Marked opens with a surprise wedding, followed by Adam and Mercy taking a trip out of town to a campgrounds Adam’s company completed work on. Things are fun and we see Adam and Mercy as we’ve never seen them before, comfortable and at ease with one another. They’re playful and finally at the point in their relationship that they understand one another and trust each other. So, of course something has to come along to rock the boat, so to speak.

When alone in the woods near the campground, Mercy has a vision of an Amerind (American Indian) man performing some sort of ritualistic dance. She recognises the man as her father, but is confused as the vision does not feel like a ghost. It would be great if that were the only thing she had to worry about during her trip there, but after a brief jump to conclusion between Adam and Mercy and a late night coyote/wolf run, they happen upon a boat with a cowering man terrified beyond belief. Mercy jumps in to help him, and is attacked by a mysterious unseen creature. The only fauna she can see in the area is a group of otters suspiciously swimming about the area.

This small act of kindness opens the door to learning about her background, about her father, and about her coyote abilities. This is where the story excels. Patricia Briggs does an amazing job bringing to life Amerind stories* and characters. Mercy’s background reveal was expertly done, as it could have easily pushed on-the-fence readers towards the wayside had it been crafted tactlessly. I am really hesitant to say anymore because it was seriously such a great read, I don’t want to ruin it for readers that have not yet given it a glance.

If you’ve been reading the series thus far, THIS is the book that will make everything you’ve read so far worth it. Just the absolute best Patricia Briggs has to offer and a definite must read.

*I am not an Amerind, and as such I cannot speak with any such authority as to the veracity of the stories only to say that within the context of the series and with the little bit of knowledge I do have regarding certain Amerind spirituality, it seemed well done and believable.


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