Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Spoiler-Free (rambling) Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked
~Patricia Briggs
Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Ace Books

Publish Date: March 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0441019730
ISBN-13: 978-0441019731

From Goodreads:
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…
This is going to be another one of those rambling reviews where I just throw all my thoughts in the air and let them fall were they may. I can't seem to get them to form into any coherent form:

There are mysterious deaths and disappearances in the Columbia Gorge area, which is "coincidentally" where Mercy and Adam are going camping for 10 days. A few days after they get there, they find an injured man in a boat. His friends, who are Native American, show up to help get him to the hospital. They know Mercy is also Native American, and she gets a mysterious visitor who knows who and what she is. As they piece together what's going on in the water, Mercy also learns about her father - who and what he really was.

Thoughts: I love this series! Let me say up front that I don't think this book would make a good stand-alone. I think you could do it, but I wouldn't recommend it.

I loved seeing Mercy and Adam interact in River Marked. The wolf/coyote nuances, signals, and feelings that they deal with, showing their feelings beyond just saying "I love you" or "I'm upset right now". I like that their bond doesn't just automatically make things perfect between them, that there are issues they'll have to work through, just like any other couple (okay, maybe not just like any other couple, lol).

I liked that Mercy got some insight into her heritage as a Native American and as a Walker. She doesn't see herself as such, but it was a fun twist that in River Marked, Mercy was more accepted and Adam was the outsider. The Native American lore was interesting, although I was frustrated that a running joke was that several of the stories supposedly had a naughtier version, and when Mercy was finally told the naughty versions, the reader was not privy to the stories. I felt like I was missing an inside joke. The scene in mini-Stonehenge was fascinating on so many different levels.

The villain was pretty bad. Like creepy bad. And cruel. The fact that the victims walked
complacently to their deaths made it worse. Mercy's tough decision regarding the girl and her brother was heartwrenching to read.

Confession: I've been fascinated with Mercy's "pimp stick" since the day it appeared. I love that it has been a constant through several books and am intrigued by the potential changes to the stick in River Marked.

I want more Stefan!!! I'm frustrated that we didn't see much of Stefan in this book or the last. The end of River Marked left me feeling hopeful about Stephan - both that we'll see more of him in the next book(s) and that things are going to work out for him.

I would have also liked to see more Warren/Kyle...I was glad she was able to work in the few scenes they did appear in.

All in all, I couldn't put it down. It will be a long, long wait until 2013 for the next book!

My Rating:


  1. Yay for the Warren and Kyle novella. And what?! 2013?! When did she say we'd have to wait that long? I said that this book will "satisfy" me for quite a while...but 2013?! *gulp*
    Nice review Patti!

  2. Great review! Are you serious, there isn't another book til 2013?! That's shocking! I still haven't bought this one yet, really should since it's on sale and everything, but I have so many books in my TBR pile right now. Maybe I can try to wait for the pb.

    And Stefan wasn't around as much?! I looooove Stefan! He is so my perfect vampire! He loves Scooby-Doo just as much as I do!

  3. Awesome review!!! 2013 is sooooo far away! not cool!

    cant wait for the next Alpha and Omega book though! =D

  4. *bites nails* I had plan for my mum to "give" this to my on my nameday..but that is in April first. ok ok I can wait.

  5. Great review and I so want to read this book even more after reading this!

  6. I loved the first few chps in this book - le sigh!

  7. Julie: She said she's only going to do one book a year, and she's got an Alpha & Omega book coming out in Jan 2012.

    Jessica: I know, it's a long wait! (I heart Stefan too!)

    Larissa: I'm looking forward to more Charles and Anna :)

    Blodeuedd: I have to know - what's "nameday"?

    PandRS Reviews: Thanks, it was a great read!

    Mandi: Me too! Adam is still firmly cemented on my Book Boyfriend list :)

  8. Yes!!! Love your review.

    I was totally in the dark about the Native American X-rated vs PG-13 storytelling and the rude 'berry sisters'. Ummm... WTF? I loved the emphasis on myth and reality and the earthly setting, but these stories were a little odd for me.

    I loved that this was a Mercy/Adam story, and that Briggs took everyone out of the equation so we could see these two as husband and wife.

    That being said, I also want Stefan/Kyle/Warren in the next book. And Samuel. And Bran!

    2013 is sooooooooo far away. I love 'Alpha & Omega' in the meantime, but I'm so used to 1 Mercy a year, it's going to be hard without her in 2012.

  9. P.S. - how did you get 'Bite Club'?!? OMIGOD! I want! You lucky chicky!