Why are all the good books such quick reads? Why can I finish a book I love in no time at all and then have to wait a year, or more!, to read the next installment? Why can't the authors of books I love focus only on the series I enjoy and crank out book after book all year long? This is how I feel about the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. (Although, to be honest, I also enjoy Briggs' Alpha & Omega series, so she'll need to start splitting her time between the two :)
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6) is a book I'd been waiting to read for quite a while. It had been almost a year since Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, Book 5) and I was dying to catch up with Mercy, Adam, Stefan, Zee and the Pack. Things open with Mercy under considerable stress regarding her impending wedding. Her mother's continued outrageous suggestions leave Mercy crying for, well, mercy. She decides that she and Adam should get married right away, before the planned wedding, without all the bells and whistles. Mercy's simple ceremony turns into a rather pleasant surprise provided by her family and friends--OK, maybe that was a bit of a spoiler, but I didn't tell everything. The real action starts when Mercy and Adam leave for their honeymoon--outside forces have even managed to manipulate where they honeymoon, but Adam assures her that they are in the area for a reason and that the reason will show itself soon enough and, sure enough, it does. At least they get a few days of peace before Mercy finds herself facing a Native American river monster that is terrorizing the area. She and Adam connect with a very interesting group of Native Americans to try and set things right.
What I liked most about this book is that Mercy finally connects with her father's side. She finds out a lot about her father and gains some powerful allies in the Native American world. This is the first time the reader really gets to see this side of Mercy, where her magic comes from and where her roots lay. I also really enjoyed the bond between Mercy and Adam. We get to see them as a couple, without work or pack business getting in the way. Their relationship is explored and explained on new and different levels and they really hone their communication skills. The story is great--lots of action and magic involved, including new magical elements for Mercy to explore. Overall, I really enjoyed River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6), it's a great addition to the Mercy Thompson series. I hope Patricia Briggs is busy writing the next Mercy Thompson book because I can't wait to read it!!
For anyone out there unfamiliar with this series, start with Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, Book 1). Once you've started the series, you won't be able to put it down! Also, check out Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, Book 1), a companion series to the Mercy Thompson series which focuses on one of Mercy's pack mates from her childhood.