River Marked by Patricia Briggs ****1/2

River Marked is book six of The Mercedes Thompson Series.  Can I just start of by saying, check out that cover.  I adore it.  I think Mercy looks fabulous and the colours are perfect with the hint of blues in the jeans and earrings, splashes of hues in the tattoos, and the mixture of browns throughout. 

This book, is kicked off with a surprise wedding (betting is apparently a popular past time in Mercy’s family, whether you are a werewolf or a human).  After that, they honeymoon in a park near the Maryhill Museum, the replica of Stonehenge, and some gorgeous waterfalls.  When I saw the map stating where they were going to be in this book I was tickled.  I almost did a little happy dance.  Then we finally, got into some more of the Native American mythology and I did do the happy dance.  Coyote, Coyote’s four sisters, Snake, Thunderbird, Otter, and Wolf just to name a few show up and play major parts in this book. 
We find out that Mercy is not alone.  There are other walkers in the Native American tribes in the area.  This story is about Mercy coming to know who she is, who her father was/is, and solving the murders going on in the Colombia River.  We learn why chaos follows Mercy (hint, she turns into a coyote).  We learn a little bit of the history in that area.  I learned about Bag Balm (On an aside, it’s seriously cured my elbows—which are known to be so rough and dry that they catch on clothing, crack, and bleed normally.  I’ve been using it for two days, once a day, and they already feel like normal people elbows.  If you have horridly chapped skin, use it).
Mercy gets marked by the river monster, not surprisingly, and it tortures her with deaths, making her feel guilty that she could not protect the people involved.  The odd thing to me was that the Otterkin were evil.  I love otters.  I think they’re adorable.  I, however, got the feeling that Briggs hates or is scared of them.  You’ll have to read to see what I mean.
I found this book to be fun.  I like the new characters and hope that they show up in book seven.  However, other than really briefly showing up for the wedding and a phone call from Jesse, we had no interaction between the regulars.  I missed Stefan, Ben, Samuel, Jesse, Kyle, Warren, Darryl, Bran, and Zee.  Heck, I even missed the trouble Marsilia always causes even though I rather hate the woman.  What I’d love to see is the mix of the Native American Indian characters and the regulars so that all sides of Mercy come together in the next book.  I trust that Briggs is setting something up for the next book (as she always does), I’m just curious to see what it will be.

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