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4.4 out of 5 stars60
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 20 March 2011
I sadly have to agree with most of the other reviews- this latest installment was a disappointment.

I think it's safe to say that I, like most other fans of the series, was really looking forward to this book and expecting great things from it. In the end, it didn't *feel* like all the other Mercy books and couldn't keep my attention.

I felt the book was short and rushed- especially at the beginning when a whole lot of things happened in the space of a chapter or so.

All my favourite characters were hardly in it: Stephen, the pack, Jesse, Zee etc. It was basically just Mercy and Adam the entire time. Perhaps that was the problem: even although she's the leading character, maybe Mercy can't carry a book on her own, and needs the secondary characters.

As I mentioned before, Mercy's "voice" seemed different as well, which was distracting. Her and Adam's relationship has changed IMO and I don't like it.

I did quite enjoy the ending which redeemed the rest of the book a little bit. But it was a shame I was so bored and restless with the first 3/4. It just wasn't doing anything for me.

It was also interesting finding out more about Mercy's past, and especially meeting Coyote (who I loved and hope to see again).

Fans of the book...well, it's a must read, but be warned not to get expectations too high. Hopefully the next one will be better.
New Comers: I suggest starting with the first novel in the series Moon Called: Mercy Thompson, book 1. You'll like her if you enjoy such authors as: Ilona Andrews, Kim Harrison, Kelley Armstrong, Charlaine Harris.
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I have to disagree with some of my co-readers. I liked the fact this book was chock a block full of native american mythology linked into Mercys apparent heritage. it all has to do with the fact that when you're born to parents of different nationalities or tribes, then you don't really belong to either, because the people of both reject the part/nationality that isn't their own. I found the subliminal message interesting. I agree I have difficulty accepting how the strong female becomes submissive under the dominant male, I suppose it depends on whether you read it from a werewolfs point of view or todays society. The only complaint I have is the coyote/old joe storyline. I was confused to say the least. Is he, isn't he her father? Other than that it was an enjoyable read, and I would always recommend her series and can't wait for the next book.
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I've recently reread all the previous books in both the Mercy Thompson and the Alpha & Omega series and I've loved them all as much, if not more, than the first time I read them. I can't tell you how much I love the world that Patricia Briggs has created and it's been like taking the time to catch up with old friends. As much as I've enjoyed rereading the earlier books I was excited to get to River Marked though, I never got this far when I read the series for the first time so I was looking forward to that exciting first read where everything is new to you and I have to say the author didn't let me down and this is another fab instalment in the series.

I have loved watching Mercy and Adam's relationship grow throughout the series, I just love the way Adam totally gets Mercy and has never once tried to change anything about her. She might drive him crazy with the way she always manages to get into trouble because his instincts are to protect her and keep her safe but he understands her need to take care of the people she loves and he supports her in that which is something I really respect him for. He's also been so incredibly patient and supportive of her as she recovers from the ordeal she went through in Iron Kissed, it's not something she'll ever completely forget but she has come a long way down the road to recovery and that is in part because of Adam. Anyway, I don't want to say too much about what happens between them in this book but I will tell you that the first few chapters were so good that I had tears of happiness in my eyes as I read them. In fact, they were so good that I had to reread them before I could continue with the rest of the book! It's absolutely fantastic to look back at how far they've come as a couple but I also loved seeing Mercy realise how many other people love and care for her. She's always felt like she was alone and didn't quite fit in anywhere so it's wonderful to see her look at her friends in a new light.

A lot of this book is spent with Mercy and Adam away from their home and I have to admit that I did miss spending time with the side characters I've grown to love. It wasn't quite the same without Samuel, Warren and Kyle or even Zee and Stephan but we do get to meet some interesting new characters and we get to find out more about Mercy's Walker heritage which I really enjoyed. There is one new character in particular that I really hope we're going to end up seeing a lot more of as the series continues - he has the potential to become a new favourite! As much as I missed the other characters I did really appreciate getting to spend more time with Mercy and Adam, seeing them grow more comfortable as a couple and start to really figure out how to communicate properly, in fact just seeing how much they mean to each other was brilliant.

Only Mercy could go on holiday to the middle of nowhere and find herself facing an enemy that not even Adam can help her with so of course it's not long before she's up to her eyes in trouble. She may have found some new allies but she's got to face this one alone to a certain extent and it's not going to be an easy task. There are some brilliant fight scenes towards the end of the book and what turns out to be quite an epic battle which had me on the edge of my seat. River Marked had a slightly different feel to it compared to the previous books but it made a nice change and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
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on 9 March 2012
I don't know why anyone wouldn't love this book, I have just read the first five and thought this story about her back ground was really needed. I disagree that it lacked anything because it was mostly based around mercy and Adam , I felt the other characters in the back ground all the time and enjoyed finally finding out where she was from etc. can't wait for the next book I hope!!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 September 2015
Mercy manages to land herself in deadly peril again when she and Adam head off for their honeymoon. On the plus side, she meets other Walkers for the first time and uncovers more about her deceased father.

The enemy that Mercy faces in this book is probably the biggest so far in this series. She's got some powerful help in the forthcoming fight; many of whom are new characters introduced in this book, who will make equally impactful but brief appearances in later books (yes I've already read books 7 and 8). Again expect a ridiculous amount of action, plenty of fights, and an impending battle led by one of the feistiest and stubbornly loyal heroines you'll ever come across. This series just continues to get better and better.
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on 4 March 2011
Firstly I adore the Mercy series, it's different, lots of great characters, I love the pack, stefan and of course Zee :)

Unfortunately they weren't in this one, it was based around mercy's origins, which was great, but I missed the others, it didn't seem as interesting and was a bit of a chore to get through, however if you like the Mercy series then give it a go, still well written and I'll certainly be reading the rest but this didn't quite have me chomping at the bit to find out what happened!

There were a few new characters, I loved Coyote and am looking forward to seeing him in more books, but bring back the pack please and the beloved VW's! :)
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on 11 February 2012
Well after reading the majority of reviews I was prepared for disappointment but wanted to stick with the series. It therefore was a pleasant surprise to find I thoroughly enjoyed it! For me the storyline progressed and expanded instead of following a similar and potentially repetitive pattern adventure. New and different characters were introduced, and my interpretation of `MercyWorld' expanded in interesting ways as a result.
I want more.
I look forward to the next one with a good deal of interest and am sorry there is a long wait for it ...
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on 8 July 2011
Before I start my actual review I'd like to mini rant about publishers changing book covers during a series. River Marked has a completely different cover from the rest of the series and the book is also a different size. The overall size of the book is bigger and so is the writing. I hate when publishers do this, there was nothing wrong with the size of the writing before now. Why do they feel they have to make it huge all of a sudden? Do they feel they need to pad the book or something? Just annoys the crap out of me!

Anyway, rant over, now onto the actual review.

I liked reading more about Mercy's Indian/Coyote half, even though it was still only a little and it was kind of far into the book before you found out anything. This book helped with my Adam likeage as well, as I said in my previous blogs about the Mercy Thompson series I was never a huge Adam fan until the last book.

A lot of the other characters are only in this book for a short time, it's very Adam and Mercy based. As much as I enjoyed the storyline in this book, it's nowhere near my favourite of the series. But still a must read for any Mercy Thompson fans.
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on 12 March 2011
As others have said this is not the most engaging of reads. The character of Mercy Thompson has been consumed by Adam and any other male that comes near her; where is the kick ass Mercy I love?! Most of the story is about Mercy finding her roots and near the end there is a battle, oh and Stefan is mentioned briefly. My feeling is that the author has domesticated Mercy to the point that she almost becomes a peripheral character. Mercy Thompson has become quite passive and no longer proactive. Every male tells her what to do and she just does it!! Briggs is a very good story teller and she writes characters very well but this story is a dud. The seventh book in the series will not be out until spring 2013 as Briggs has the paranormal romance book in the Alpha Omega series due Jan. 2012 (info from her website). I hope the seventh installment in the Mercy Thompson series is worth the very long wait. I will stick with the series and hope it gets better; if I were Briggs I would put all my effort into the Mercy Thompson series and forget about anything else.
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Mercy Thompson is one of the few urban fantasy heroines who isn't all lily-white -- she's half Amerindian, from whence her coyote shapechanging comes.

And Patricia Briggs' sixth urban fantasy "River Marked" delves into that oft-neglected side of her heroine. The plot is patchy and rather meandering at times, but Briggs keeps it moving with her strong earthy prose, likable characters, and some new insights into the world of shapeshifters. It's nice to get away from the Tri-Cities area!

When her mother starts overplanning her wedding to Adam (doves! Balloons! BUTTERFLIES!), Mercy decides to have a small, intimate ceremony instead. And they immediately embark on an idyllic honeymoon in a remote canyon on the Columbia River. But Mercy soon stumbles across some connections to her long-dead father -- other Amerindian shapechangers, ghosts, and true dreams.

As she searches for connections to others of her kind, Mercy stumbles across something much nastier, when she is "river marked" while rescuing a wounded man (who was bitten by something barracudaesque). The secret to dealing with the river creature will send Mercy back through ancient lore -- and the discovery of her father's true identity...

The previous five Mercy Thompson books all took place in the same general area, so it's a little refreshing to get out of town in "River Marked." Oh, the regular supporting cast makes appearances -- from the mopey Stefan to Mercy's cutthroat mama -- but most of the action takes place in the rugged canyons and murky rivers.

The biggest problem is that that the plot is pretty patchy. The main focus is on Mercy's search for her roots, so the river-monster and otterkin subplots sometimes get shoved to the sidelines. But Briggs' prose is strong and earthy, with some warmly snarky moments ("You stop baiting him -- or I'll call my mom") and some otherworldly ones (Mercy's talks with Coyote).

And it's good to see more exploration of Mercy's roots -- we know she was raised by werewolves, but Briggs really delves into her mystical, mysterious heritage here, and it adds a new dimension to her without seeming Mary-Suesque. Almost as important: she and Adam are now a full-fledged couple in every sense of the word, but they still have some wrinkles to iron out.

Patricia Briggs' "River Marked" is light on plot, but heavy on atmosphere, characterization, and a suitably monstrous magical foe. It's not the best of the series, but it's a powerful book.
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