Sunday, May 1, 2011

Family Ties: River Marked

cover imageIn River Marked ,Patricia Brigg's next installment in the life of mechanic Mercy Thomas, the part-time coyote, full-time professional mechanic marries werewolf Adam and explores her old family as she works on building her new one.  The love between Mercy and Adam is a bit cloying but leavened with maturity; it's nice to have paranormal heroes emotionally in their thirties instead of the late teens.  They test the bounds of trust and faith in each other -- how much risk can they tolerate the other accepting? What limits are fair?

Meanwhile, Mercy looks backward to her mother and her father.  The beginning of the book plays with the mother/daughter bond in the ridiculous wedding Mom threatens, and then the middle of the book concerns itself with Mercy's unknown father, and the Indian cultures he comes from.  Mercy has always felt alienated from her father's people, since her dad died before even knowing her mom was pregnant.  She never found anyone to help her with the more unusual parts of her ancestry (the whole turning into a coyote thing).  Now she finds people who expect her to value her father, and to know more about her heritage.  It's a good combination of fun characters, active combat, and rich themes --all this discovery takes place while a giant river monster threatens everyone in contact with the Colombia River.

One complaint -- they camp on the Washington side of the river, which means I can't really claim this as an Oregon book, despite the restaurants they visit over there.  B+

1 comment:

Christine said...

I enjoyed this latest installment, too. I liked the balance of action, mythology and family ties. I also liked being able to identify with the Columbia Gorge region as I vacationed in the area last summer. I was excited to read that Mercy and Adam hiked Multnomah Falls and Larch Mountain. My family did that, too!