Monday, April 4, 2011
River Marked by Patricia Briggs
The latest installment in the Mercy Thompson series was worth waiting for. As the novel begins, Mercy is getting serious wedding jitters, about the planning, not so much about being married to Adam. After they tie the knot, it's all good, and they head off with a monster RV on a honeymoon.
This is where it gets especially fun for some of us readers. Get your minds out of the gutter, people, Briggs doesn't get all graphic about the honeymoon, but if you're from the Northwest, you'll recognize the area where they choose to spend their time. It's in the Columbia River gorge, near the Dalles, and a place called Maryhill.
I've spent a lot of time traveling in that area, and have been to the Maryhill museum which she describes quite well, have visited the replica of Stonehenge nearby, which also plays a part in the story, so I was really able to visualize what was happening there above and beyond the descriptions Briggs provides.
Mercy and Adam run afoul of a monster out of Indian legends on the Columbia River, and join forces with some other "walkers" a shaman or two, a few ghosts and even a demigod or two in this tale. The monster has been eating people all up and down the river, and growing in size and power. The fae are peripherally involved, as they have resettled some otterkin (akin to kelpies) in the area where the monster lives, and the otterkin are apparently in league with the "river devil".
There's a lot of relationship development between Mercy and Adam in this installment, too. They learn how to work together more effectively, and begin to define the boundaries of their roles as husband and wife, which is entertaining as they're both seriously alpha material. Love conquers nearly all, in the end.
A skillful blend of ancient legend and modern trappings make this a truly enjoyable tale. If you're one of those folks who likes to peek at the last page or two of a book before you start, I'm warning you not to. You'll be seriously upset and worried, and won't truly be able to enjoy this fine bit of fun.