Synopsis according to GoodReads:
“Mercy Thompson is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. And she’s never known any others of her kind. Until now. As Mercy comes to terms with this new information, 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.”
River Marked is the 6th in the Mercy Thompson series, an urban fantasy that takes place in the Pacific Northwest (mostly). And the first of the series that I read. As you might imagine, it was a pretty straightforward story, so I’ll break my review down for simplicity:
- Mercy’s voice was snarky without being annoying, and I appreciate the Coyote personality traits she has.
- There was a nice amount of exposition for a first-time-reader like myself, without the story getting bogged down in it.
- The dynamic between Mercy and Adam felt natural and nicely balanced.
- It takes place on the Columbia River, and there were references to areas of Eastern WA that I got a kick out of.
And Not So Much
- Patricia Briggs doesn’t believe in contractions. All of the dialogue felt stilted and forced, and it was borderline racist that no Native American character ever used a contraction in conversation, despite the fact that they’re speaking English in 2010. Listening to the audiobook, this drove me nuts.
- Speaking of listening, the narrator kept squeezing her voice into a girlish flatness at the end of her sentences- it was super distracting and annoying. Open your throat, Lorelei, and speak like a narrator.
- Honestly, while some parts were fun, I didn’t feel invested in any individual character, and the life-and-death stakes fell flat because of it. Kind of trope-ish, really.
- All the potential emotional impact was basically undone at the end. I’m not a huge fan of wrapped-up-happy-endings.