River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Just finished reading River Marked by Patricia Briggs which brings to us the sixth in the Mercy Thompson series of books.

Before I start with this review it is possible that there will be spoilers.

River Marked has a different feel from the other books in the series, it’s not as fast paced, gritty or, frankly, urban.  I guess this isn’t too much of a surprise as we virtually start the story with Mercy and Adam finally getting married and going off on their honeymoon.  Of course, we know that everything isn’t going to be as rosy as that, this is Mercy after all, and sure enough a new and frankly rather horrible monster is lurking in the Columbia River, eating happy campers and attracting the attention of the FBI who believe a serial killer may be on the loose.

This is a strange book to review.  It was a quick read and, to be honest, I didn’t dislike it.  The pages turned swiftly and before I realised I’d read about two thirds – but, there wasn’t to be honest a great deal of plot to this story.  We were introduced to a new cast of characters as the old familiars took a back seat and we found out a little more about Mercy’s heritage.  But, this particular installment didn’t have the tension of past books.  I think we seriously miss the other characters who form such a big part of Mercy’s world.  I mean, I know they were on their honeymoon but it just felt too isolated.  The whole honeymoon in a trailer on a totally deserted campsite was also a bit of a stretch for the imagination.

So, I did like this book, it was interesting, but, it wasn’t what I was expecting and it made me think at times that Mercy has changed.  There’s still a lot of talk about things will never be dull with Mercy around, etc, etc, but she definitely feels as though she’s been tamed.  She’s never been unrealistic about her own capabilities but she seemed to spend a lot of time in this book stroking Adam’s ego or working out how to not rile his inner wolf or mediating for his daughter or worrying about somebody or other.  The thing is, there’s nothing wrong with this style of Mercy in itself or even this style of story it’s just that it wasn’t consistent with previous books and not what I’ve come to expect of Mercy.

Now, all that being said, and it does sound more criticial than I intended, this is still a good read and I will certainly have no hesitation in picking up the next – I just hope that in the next novel we don’t find Mercy wearing an apron and in search of the perfect meatloaf recipe to satisfy her man!  But the fact is, I’m invested in these characters now, I can take a bit of a break – almost a bit of an in-between, filler, book, because I do want to read more.  So, whilst this might not be my favourite of the series I’m still a big fan of Patricia Briggs and I love this world she has created.  I think Mercy is an amazingly strong character with a really well written supporting cast.  I would definitely recommend reading this series as they have just been so good to read.

Rating -B

River Marked

River Marked

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