Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Review: River Marked by Patricia Briggs

Click here for the book description.

Available at Amazon, Book Depository, Penguin.ca

Per my usual method, this is the first book in The Mercy Thompson series that I have read. So, why did I want to read it? Well, I've heard great things about the series and I was completely intrigued by a female mechanic as the main character. All my life, I've been around mechanics and this seemed like something I might be able to relate to.

The story starts off with Mercy's concern for Stefan, the vampire, which I can only assume was how the last book ended. From that part of the story to her impending marriage to Adam, I did feel somewhat out of the loop. Fortunately, I think, Ms. Briggs does a good job of filling the reader in on what's happened up till now without being overwhelming (the whole how much is too much in back story has become my latest obsession.)

I enjoyed the serious versus humourous elements in the story. It appears Mercy has been through a lot in her life and this proved no exception in River Marked. It felt, initially, that it was going to be a slow go throughout, as there was more talk of the wedding than anything else. But, this changed quickly and it became full of intense action.

As for the story being relatable to me, turns out it didn't really apply: while Mercy is a mechanic, she's also a "Walker", having the ability to shift into a coyote (neither I nor the mechanics I work with can do this, to my knowledge). This story element immediately brought about (for me) an association with the Native American deity, Coyote, whom I had read about in other works recently. And yes, Coyote makes an appearance here. I really enjoyed the parts of the novel that focused on the Native American mythologies. I am a big fan of learning about other cultures and beliefs, so this was something relatively new and informative for me.

But will I read more about Mercy Thompson after reading River Marked? was the big question I posed to myself when I finished. I can't say that the characters really did much for me, but, again, this may be because the character building had been established in previous novels. I enjoyed the action but found Mercy a little repetitive in her ideas, about her past, about Adam, that it started to grind a little. I think if I were to go back and read from the beginning it would be Mercy's propensity for getting into trouble that would be the convincing factor. While the characters were a little flat for me (I did like Calvin, Gordon Seeker, and Coyote), the action was the definite winning ingredient in my enjoyment of this book.


Mel (He Followed Me Home) said...

hmm, I don't think this one is for me. I am intrigued by the idea of incorporating NA myth though.

Jackie said...

I think for me, it comes at a time when I've had my fill of weres, vamps, and fairies, unfortunately. But I did really liked the NA myth part :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Gaaaa, this is another series I have the first book for and want to give a go. But sounds like the series has gone far enough and is starting to repeat itself. Hmm, thanks for the review.

Jackie said...

@Melissa - I think this is one time that coming in late in the game may have affected my overall enjoyment of it. I've heard good things about earlier books, and there was no lack of action in this one. I would add the rest in to my "one day" category :-)

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