BY PATRICIA BRIGGS
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...
As much as it pains me to say this, I did not enjoy River Marked as much as I expected I would. I am a huge fan of Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, but this book did not fully satisfy my craving for the suspense and romance that the previous books contained. But please understand that I have formed my opinions by looking at the book as a part of a series. It was extremely difficult for me to review River Marked as a stand-alone book, and I felt that comparing it to the others in the series would result in a more valuable review for those who have also read the other books.
I appreciate Briggs’s integration of Native American culture and folklore into this story, but I feel that it would have had a greater impact on me if she had narrowed the focus on this particular theme. There were just too many details, and I quickly lost interest in the theme. I loved the new characters, especially Coyote, but after a while they were buried beneath all of the folklore.
Stephan’s reappearance at the beginning of River Marked was extremely interesting and brought a lot of mystery and thrill to the pages but ended a bit too quickly. I also missed the excitement of the urban atmosphere and the other major characters and was a bit disappointed by the absence of Adam’s Pack, the Vampires, Jesse, Samuel, Bran, and Zee, among others. One of the things I love most about this series is the uniqueness of the characters Briggs created, and I feel that the story lost the zest that the other books contained.
I won’t spoil the story for those of you who have not yet read River Marked, but I will say that the first major event in the book was absolutely beautiful and warmed my heart. What started out as a friendly relationship between Mercy and Adam finally evolved into a pure, romance. Although I missed the steaminess of their relationship, I also appreciated that Brigg approached their relationship from a deeper, yet gentler angle.