River Marked, book #6 in the Mercy Thompson urban fantasy series, takes place mostly during Mercy's honeymoon, which starts off wonderfully (I 3 Adam) and then goes south in a way that only Mercy's life can, with something very ancient, fearsome and hungry in the water It's worse than Jaws for making you afraid to go in the water.A fair amount of Native American mythology or Briggs' variation on it, anyway is woven into the storyline, along with the usual suspects (werewolves, vampires and fae) There's a fascinating revelation about Mercy's biological father And, briefly, about Max Schrek!It should come as no surprise to anyone to find out that Max Shrek really WAS a vampire I mean, duh. River Marked is a good book There's not really any reason to think otherwise.It follows on faithfully the tale of Mercedes Thompson through her marriage and honeymoon Fans of the series might be very relieved that this book's mystery doesn't deal with fae, vampire or pack issues unlike previous books.After a lovely wedding, Mercy and Adam head off on their romantic and sex fueled honeymoon The book is very light on any sexual descriptions, possably causing a number of frustrated groans from fans as they read When a man is found in a boat with a bittenoff leg and his sister missing, things start to get interesting This probably proves that either the universe hates Mercy or that she is on a onecoyote mission to prove that werewolves CAN age by giving Adam Hauptman prematurely gray hair.Briggs has been suspiciously closed lipped on my query emails about whether it is the latter.Nevertheless, Mercy has her opportunity to scare the shit out of Adam who should really know by now that she is not a normal woman but a superpowered space robot which is impervious to death.Actually, this novel addresses and finally resolves one of Mercy's big mysteries about herself and her past and it is done with such a lovely flare of American mythology that I found myself really enjoying the story and characters Though we are missing most of the usual cast apart from brief appearances, the standin cast is funny and very likable.But the book left me pondering a single question How muchdoes the Mercedes Thompson series have in it? A quick google search says it's a seven book deal, but whatdoes this story REALLY have to offer? Well, the first six books HAVE been painfully void of evil squirrels so I guess it's their turn nextI'm glad that there's only onebook in this series I enjoy the Thompson world, and I'm glad that Briggs has taken it up in her Alpha and Omega book series, but I'm honestly not holding out for any books that focus on Mercy and her crew I'm glad that it's coming to an end and hopefully the last book will maintain the same good quality as the ones that came before it. Favorite Quote: Adam didn’t approve of Walmart.Note: This is a spoilerfree review!I had not read any blurbs or spoilers for this book before I started it and let me tell you how surprised I was at the first few chapters in this one Yes, it tells the big surprise on the inside of the jacket cover – but since I am posting this review before release date, I don’t feel comfortable talking about it So I’m not going to talk a lot about the plot But I will tell you this.I read this series for two reasons One, I adore Mercy and Adam Both separate and together Mercy is such a strong, levelheaded heroine who can claim her independence while surrounded by pack, vampires etc, yet she is so polite and warm And Adam – well – he fulfills all my dirty needs when it comes to an alpha male In River Marked we get a lot of Adam and Mercy And by that I mean, almost the entire book is the two of them together I was shocked, and I loved every second of it We get a very intimate glimpse into their relationship We see another side of Adam, and wow What a sweetie I love him even .“No ma’am,” he drawled mildly, though I could see a dimple peeping out I loved his dimple – and I loved it evenwhen he dropped into the accent of his youth I especially loved the warm strength of him against me I was so easy.We also learn a lot about what Mercy is Her heritage is presented in much detail At times I found these parts to be very slow There is a point towards the middle that the pacing slows down so much I got worried for the rest of the book But then something big happens and the rest finished quite nicely.The second reason I read this series is for the amazing intricacies of pack life Patricia Briggs has created I love her wolves, and their politics How they live so closely as pack, yet are always on the verge of violence I adore their dynamics and how Mercy has come to fit in But – we don’t get that in this book Adam and Mercy are removed from pack (or as much as they can be) in this one I miss that I know I sound greedy because we do get awesome Adam and Mercy stuff, but I will be looking forward getting back to pack life hopefully in the next one.Overall I enjoyed this book Like I said, we see a side of Adam that made me smile Don't worry, he totally loses it a few times and his alpha, growly, wolf takes over But it is a very romantic, quieter side we see.He smiled at me “Go to sleep.” I waited three seconds “Are we there yet?” His smile widened, and the last of the usual tension melted from his face For a smile like that I’d….do anything.The mystery and conflict are interwoven into Mercy’s ancestry and I think this look at who Mercy is and where she comes from really makes you understand Mercy better.This book is definitely one of theromance oriented books in the series While I don’t think a sex scene in every book is necessary for this series, I do think this book really could have benefited from at least one You can think me shallow for saying that – but once you read this book you might understand why I say that.Patricia Briggs continues to write one of the best written urban fantasy series out there If you don’t read this series, pick up Moon Called immediately You will not be disappointed.Rating: B Still loving this series! (view spoiler)[I'm a bit disappointed the actual wedding ceremony wasn't detailed beyond the set up and reception Also I would have likeddetails on the first night of the honeymoon ;) (hide spoiler)] I consider this the Mercy installment written for the romance fans When I first read it in 2011, I felt like the pacing was awkward but overall appreciated and enjoyed the story, particularly the exploration of Mercy's heritage Rereading confirms the overall issues with the series Silver Borne/series review but it remains an enjoyable installment.It begins with Mercy rescuing a male friend from himself, followed by prewedding jitters, encouraged by Mercy's mom now including butterflies and balloons There's a wedding, and all the important men are there, along with Mercy's two sisters Adam and Mercy then hitch up a camper and head to a private campground along the Columbia River where they have lots of tastefully alluded to sex in between eating hot dogs and going for runs Mercy and Adam are innocently playing along the river when they discover an injured man in a boat Not long after they pull his boat to shore, his family comes looking for him.The setting for the book is lovely, with the affection for the area shining through Mercy's narrative is interrupted by an alternate viewpoint dream sequence Plotting is decent The wedding and initial parts of the honeymoon were enjoyable, and a payoff for the ups and downs of their relationship Mercy and Adam choose to fight the river creature because of altruism, not because someone is kidnapped (although it's noteworthy that a kidnapping helps engage Mercy's personal resolution to fight) One of the plot lines has to do with Mercy finding outabout her own heritage/history, moments that cause me mixed emotion out of amusement, enjoyment and eyerolling that Briggs just couldn't resist the lure of the SuperSpeshulSnowflake I enjoyed the inclusion of the Native American folklore, although I will note that it made me both a little uncomfortable that Native lore might be being coopted and that everyone involved insisted on calling themselves 'Indian.' The villain was intimidating and creepy, and powerful enough that winning felt somewhat questionable.As a complete aside, I'll just note here that there's a bit of obsession with going 'decently clothed,' although from book one, Mercy assures the reader she doesn't have any nudity hangups It's just that now she's married to Adam And she doesn't want anyone seeing his marvelous body either I'll attribute this to the romance novel tradition, because I can't think why else we need to go on so much about states of undress if everyone's all copacetic about body image I feel like Briggs' own issues are showing again.Once again, almost every introduced is male, except for the villain, a trio of Native avatars, and one injured guy's wife in a hospital scene at the end.Ms Briggs, we need to talk.Three and a half stars, rounding down because that's what I do for this series.read July 2011reread May 2016 Reread for a 3rd time April 23, 2020I findto love after every reading!Reread March 27th 2017****Spoilers if you haven't read the previous books.****Adam and Mercy go on a luxury camping honeymoon, and trouble and excitement follow, because nothing can be simple or boring in Mercy's life River monsters, psycho otters, other shifters and Coyote show up to make things interesting Love Adam and Mercy together! They are definitely a power couple Lorelei King's narration as usual was amazing! February 2018 Reread Buddy read with Sarah and EricaFebruary 2017 RereadJanuary 2016 Reread: Buddy read with Sarah Next to Iron Kissed, I think this is the most emotional book for me We get a LOTtime with just Mercy and Adam A lotinsight into Mercy's heritage And a lotemotion throughout it all I became very quickly attached to characters we just met, and love Adam and Mercy eventhan I ever have Original Review:Mercy's going crazy And it's not the fae, wolves, or vampires that are scaring her this time It's her wedding More specifically, planning it with her mother Who apparently thinks doves, pigeons, and butterflies would be a wonderful addition to the day She's ready to elope The honeymoon should make up for it all though, and be just what she needs Just her, Adam, a camper and no one for miles for ten days Bliss.Unfortunately things don't go quite as planned and when they find a person with his foot bit off, Mercy's suddenly thrust into a mystery that brings her into much closer contact with her own personal history.I loved this book Loved it I think that most fans will either love it, or not like it It takes us away from all the secondary characters that we love in the TriCities for most of the book, and focuses on Adam and Mercy, and Mercy's roots.For 5 books I've been waiting to get someindepth alone time with Mercy and Adam I think that this book really solidifies what they are to and for each other and I love that they fit so perfectly We meet some new characters, and one, in particular, is a favorite He's fabulous, funny, smart, and just a little bit crazy And learningabout Mercy's past things she didn't even know is fun and extremely entertaining.There is a thing with these books that bugs me a bit It doesn't bug me until I'm finished, but it does bother me Near the end, when Mercy and Adam are getting ready to fight the big bad Adam's always, ALWAYS, knocked out of the fight somehow There's something that prevents him from being there to help and mostly this is probably because he'd wipe the floor with anything that was trying to hurt Mercy and Mercy needs to be the one that saves the day/herself/others etc I get that, and I like that Mercy saves the day, but I wish this could be handled a bit differently in the books A good example is Kate and Curran Curran (Magic Bites) is obviously stronger, but Kate's essential and strong too They work together to get what needs to be done, done Anyway Like I said, a minor bother, but I did want to bring it up.Great book though Strong interpersonal relationships, strong mystery storyline (with some great emotionally charged moments) and fantastic characters This continues to be one of my favorite series, and Patricia Briggs a favorite author. Mercy is back ~~ sassier than ever and with her classic ability to find trouble basically anywhere “I start to think he hates me, and he does something nice, like save my life or give me a cool pep talk” We meet some new enemies and allies, see old friends again~ all just a great big Tahitian love festI love how she thinks both saving her goddamn life and getting a pep talk are both equal lolol “You quenched Lugh’s walking stick in the blood of an ancient Native American monster?”“I screwed up?” um no? Nice Mercy, gotta make any situation worse—eh i’d do the same thing probably “I didn’t do it on purpose,” I wailed miserably “I didn’t want to almost die.” Hospital Mercy Back in Action When he blames you for almost dying because he just pissed you fought without him, hahah I love Adam “He lifted his head “You are going to be the death of me.”I sucked in my breath The sudden surge of fear I felt at that thought broke through the happy glaze I’d been enjoying “Don’t say that Adam, don’t let me do that.”“Shh,” he said “I’m sorry Don’t cry It’s all right.” He rose to kneel beside me, wiping my cheeks with his thumbs.” I love Adam so fucking much this character just ughh fuck yes so much love Long Live the Mercy Series (Seriously y’all imma fall apart when I finish, its gonna hurt like a motherfucker) Welcome to Patricia Briggs's world, a place where witches, vampires, werewolves, and shapeshifters live beside ordinary people BooklistCoyote shifter Mercy Thompson knows that life with her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will never be boring, but even their wedding doesn't go as planned Nevertheless, a tenday honeymoon camping on the banks of the Columbia River, alone, just the two of them, should make up for it But the tripand the pimpedout trailer they're usingis courtesy of the fae And nothing from the fae comes without strings attachedBeing a different breed of shapeshiftera walkerMercy can see ghosts, but the spirit of her longgone father has never visited her Until now An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia Riverand innocent people are dying As other walkers make their presence know to Mercy, she must reconnect with her heritage to exorcise the world of the legend known as the river devil Patricia Briggs has this amazing ability to keep this series feeling fresh Unlike other longer series (for example, the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries) the plot lines never feel contrived or forced River Marked is the epitome of Brigg's ability to tell a story that feels so real, despite the fantasy Whenis revealed about Mercy's background it seems authentic, not like Sookie's fairyblood, which seemed pulled out of Harris' ass The new supernaturals fall flawlessly into their place in Brigg's world because they flow from her great grasp of real myths and legends If that weren't enough to make these books truly special, the subplots actually advance in this series (shocking I know!) There isn't the constant will they/won't they The continued growth and development of Mercy and Adam's relationship is one of the things that keeps bringing me back to these novels And although there is always conflict or a challenge in the novels it seems to evolve naturally from the world and the character's position in that world.