I’m on horrendous deadlines this month that’s cutting into my reading time, so some awesome author friends have volunteered to step in and do occasional book reviews. Up today is author Margaret Fieland, who’s reviewing River Marked, the newest book in one of my all-time favorites, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series. Some info on Margaret, and giveaway details, at the end. Take it away, Margaret! For years I told myself I didn’t like vampire books. Then I started reading Laurell K. Hamilton and got hooked on the idea of vampires, werewolves, and the like with legal rights.Then I read a couple of other authors. Soon, instead of automatically avoiding the urban fantasy novels at my local library, I was picking them up and reading them. So when I came across Patricia Briggs’ Silver Borne I checked it out and read it. And I fell in love with Mercy Thompson.
But I needed to know more, specifically, all of the backstory that I would find out by reading the series from the beginning, so late one night I downloaded the free Kindle app to my laptop and bought the first book in the series in ebook format from Amazon, mostly because I couldn’t wait to read it. By morning I’d finished it, but fortunately the library and the bookstore were now open. I quickly blasted through the rest of the series, and was thrilled to learn that the newest book in the series, River Marked, was only days from release. I managed to wait until the weekend to buy it in hard copy at my local Borders (alas, soon to be no more).
Mercy, in case you don’t know, lives in a world where vampires, fairies, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures are real. Fairies have been “out” for a goodly number of years. Werewolves go public in book four, I think, and vampires are still in the closet. Mercy is a Native American shape changer called a walker, and she shifts into a coyote. In book six, River Marked, she and her mate, alpha werewolf Adam, are on their honeymoon, camping on the banks of the Columbia River. They are camping in a super-duper suped-up camper on loan from the fae, and it comes with strings attached. Something is killing the tourists, something evil, and Mercy and the other walkers she meets have to get rid of it.
This is the first book in the series to really go into any detail about walkers, about Mercy’s father or, indeed, any of her relatives. This one does. I loved this book, but I loved it partly because it filled in the background that was missing about Mercy’s heritage–and, hey, I was interested enough in all the details to go back and read the series from the beginning. Yes, it’s possible to pick up this book and read it as a standalone novel. It’s probably more self-contained than a lot of the others, since many of the continuing characters in the series have only minor roles in this one. And that’s the good news and the bad news. I did miss seeing more about the characters I’ve learned to care about in the previous books, most especially Samuel, who figured very prominently in Silver Borne. Still, this one is just a un-put-downable as the other books in the series, just as readable, and Mercy is just as contrary as ever.
So should you buy this book? If you’re a fan already, I’m preaching to the choir. Run out and buy it. If not, run out and buy the whole series. You won’t be sorry.
Thanks, Margaret–and I couldn’t agree more! This is just a wonderful urban fantasy series.
Now, a little about Margaret: Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life. She is an avid science fiction fan, and selected Robert A. Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky for her tenth birthday (now long past). In spite of making her living as a computer software engineer, she turned to one of her sons to format the initial version of her website, a clear illustration of the computer generation gap. Her poems have appeared in journals such as Melusine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. Her book, The Angry Little Boy, will be published by 4RV Publishing, LLC, in early 2013. Visit her website at http://www.margaretfieland.com.
THE CONTEST: Want to win a new hardback copy of River Marked? Just leave a comment and tell me your favorite character in the Mercy series if you’ve read it. If you haven’t, I’ll give you the choice of winning the first book in the series instead! As always, +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for a Tweet or Retweet.