01 April 2012

Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Author: Patricia Briggs
Title: River Marked
Series: Mercedes Thompson #6
Published: March 1, 2011

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...

It feels really blasphemous to be rating a Patty Briggs book so low, and to be fair, I liked it a lot more than many books I've rated three stars. However I rated Bone Crossed for stars and I liked that one much better than this one. So I am rating in comparison to the other books in this series as opposed to the book on its own merit, if you get what I mean. That's said......

I liked the story. It was a good something. But for me it lacked the draw that other books in the series have had. I didn't care much for the first book in the series, but every one after that has held me spellbound until I finished it. This one I found hard to get into from the beginning and had to put it down for awhile. When I came back into it, it hit its stride and I rolled with the story until the end, but it was still lacking in Patty's usual subtle oomph for me. 

I think a part of that could be attributed to the new setting. The story takes place away from the pack, and the usual supporting cast, and has a slew of new characters. They were interesting to read about, and I really liked to see Mercy 'explore' her Native American heritage; it was also moving in parts - especially the scene where she saw her father's ghost dancing and the scene where Coyote explains that dance to her. But it still lacked the magic of previous books, the cohesiveness the Columbia Basin support cast brings. 

And this one is my fault. You know how people read to see their favorite characters - like how most people will read to see Mercy and Adam again? Well, my favorite character is Samuel, and I sorely missed the glimpses of him I usually get. I mean, it's not Patty's fault that I had the bad taste (well. it's good taste IMO, LOL!!!!) to fall hardest for a side character, but it is what it is.

And this part is a little ranty. You can skip it entirely, as I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the only one who feels this way :)

For the first time, Mercy and Adam really got on my nerves. Adam with his posturing and yellow eyes....yes sah! We get it. She's your wife, your mate, she belongs to you, no one can hurt her, blah blah blah. Enough already. Adam used to be both possessive and sensible; in this books he was not sensible, and I wanted to smack him on the nose. I felt more than a share of malicious glee when Wolf got his own back on Adam. In that scene especially I felt his behavior was uncalled for, so I was glad he was 'put in his place', so to speak.

And Mercy going on and on and on and on ad nauseum about not being a fragile flower, and not needing to be protected and how Adam was her mate.....we get. We really do! We've been rooting for you guys all along. Now we don't need to be reminded every two pages. The Lady and the Gentleman doth protest waaaaaaaaay too much. Okay, rant over. 

It was a good book, a solid book, an enjoyable book and I have no doubt many, many people will love it. It just didn't pack the punch for me Patty's books usually does, and so I was disappointed. The whole was less than the sum of its parts, for me.

1. Moon Called - 3/5
2. Blood Bound  -5/5
3. Iron Kissed - 5/5
4. Bone Crossed - 4/5
5. Silver Borne - 5/5


  1. I have to agree with you on this one. I LOVE Mercy Thompson. This is one of my auto buy series. But River Crossed was not one of my favs. In fact, it was least favorite in the bunch. I liked that we learned more about Mercy but this one felt a bit forced to me.

    1. I agree, Lee. It is also my least favorite and it did feel forced.


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