Title: River Marked
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Orbit (UK)/ Ace (US)
Release Date: Feb '11
Notes: book 6 in the 'Mercy Thompson' series - review may contain spoilers for earlier books.
Description: Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known she was different, and not just because she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Marcy is a coyote shapechanger, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. And she's never known any others of her kind - until now.
As Mercy takes in this new situation, 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.
My thoughts: This is a series that I've enjoyed a lot so far, and I've been looking forward to reading this book. It's a little bit different from some of the others in that there's a lot of Mercy & Adam on their own, and not so much of the pack, or other groups of people that we've come to know, like the local vampires or fae. I know some people were a bit disappointed by this, but having finished the book now, I'm actually ok with what we do get. The very start of the book sees Mercy arriving at Stefan's house to find out why he hasn't been returning her calls, and to drag him to 'Bad Movie Night'. Stefan is having a hard time from what Marsilia did to him in the previous books, and we only see a little bit of him in this book, but I think it's something that needs a little while to develop - Stefan needs time for things to change, and these books often only last the space of a couple of weeks, so although there isn't much development of 'what's-up-with-Stefan' in this book, I think that's much more realistic.
The movie night gave me just enough of my Kyle & Warren fix to get by - I absolutely love the interactions between those guys, Mercy, and the pack.
Avoiding major spoilers, we get to see some of Jessie's scheming (I love that kid!) before Mercy and Adam head off on their own for the rest of the book, bar a couple of chapters at the end and the occasional phone call. I really liked getting so much of Mercy & Adam together. One of my favourite quote from the book is between them:
"Argued with your back fence neighbour," said Adam, his voice very gentle.
"And watched him when he wasn't looking," I agreed. "Because every once in a while, especially after a full moon hunt, he'd forget that I could see in the dark, and he'd run around naked in the backyard."
He laughed silently. "I never forgot you could see in the dark," he admitted.
This book sees a lot more about the native american side of Mercy's heritage. I felt like the plot was a little bit slow sometimes, but it was very interesting. People keep going missing near the Columbia River, and Uncle Mike wants Mercy & Adam to have a little look, and find out more. I thought it was an interesting 'bad guy', but not as good as ones from previous books.
My overall feeling for this book is that it was really good for showing us more of Mercy and Adam learning to live together as a mated couple, and the challenges that involved. They still have a lot that they need to accept about each other's personalities, and this story gives them a chance to do that to some extent. I wasn't as keen on the mystery side of the plot, but it was still a very good book overall. For the next book, I hope there is more time with the pack, and maybe how it's influencing them to have Mercy there too.
I think I'll give this book 8 stars over all - a bit slow sometimes, but I really liked it!