River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6)
by Patricia Briggs
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Gayle Surrette
Ace Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780441019731
Date: 25 January 2011 List Price $27.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Mercy is getting married. She'd prefer to be stuck naked in a cage of hungry tigers rather than have to plan her wedding -- even with her mother's help. What's keeping her sane is knowing that Adam is planning a great honeymoon of camping and running wild in the forest. Weddings eventually lead to honeymoons and Mercy is surprised when it turns out that Adam's idea of camping in the woods differs from her's. The big RV was a clue, sort of like bringing your hotel room with you. But it was the news that their honeymoon was also part of a favor for a fairy to check on something that might be wrong in the river near a fairy owned RV park.
Adam should have known that you never, ever, do a favor for a fairy because what you agree to and what you end up doing are never, ever the same thing. Mercy is upset, in fact, more than upset and that was before she met Coyote.
Once at the campground, Mercy admits that maybe RVs aren't all that bad and the area is beautiful. It's the rumors of missing people and strange happenings along this area of the river that make a simple mission to check on some fey into an battle to save the world from destruction. It looks like an impossible tasks without either one or the other or both of them dying to do it.
I've been a fan of the Mercy Thompson since the beginning. Mercy is a character that a reader can believe in. She's tough, witty, savvy, and has a central core of integrity that makes her someone to admire. There's a large cast of characters, human, fey, and other that interact logically in this world. If the character is not human, Briggs has done a great job of seeing to it that they don't act as humans with other abilities or looks -- the fey and others are truly other. While the fey and others may seem to be acting as we'd expect, that's only because we don't really know why they are doing what they are doing and so we go on the appearance.
Two of Mercy's defining characteristics is her loyalty and sense of justice. In this book, Briggs tests Mercy's commitment to these traits. Many of us say we'd do anything for our loved ones but would we really? Would you really be willing to die for someone else if you had time to think about it? Some of the people you read about in newspapers say they didn't think they just acted and even they wonder if they'd do what they did if they'd thought about it.
This book is about family, love, commitment, and doing what needs to be done for the good of all. As you read River Marked, you'll laugh out loud, snicker, be surprised, and cry (real sobbing, not sniffing tears). So read this when you're at home and give it your full attention because you're not going to want to put it down. This is an urban fantasy where our everyday world is believably twisted into the world of fey, werewolves, vampires, and myths made real.