Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review & Giveaway: RIVER MARKED by Patricia Briggs

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.

39 comments:

  1. So I haven't read this series but will totally have it on my piled up to read books :)

    do I still have to do this? xD

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  2. I'd love to read this latest installment!

    +1 for blog follow
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    aikychien at yahoo dot com

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  3. +1 comment
    +1 blog follow
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    +1 retweet: https://twitter.com/#!/SPAZinOL/status/55647844786384896

    I've not yet read this series, so should I be lucky enough to win, I'd love to swap out for the first in the series.

    Thanks for the giveaway and chance to win!

    *fingers crossed*

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  4. Mercy Thompson is my fave adult series. I think I like Adam the best. His emotions are always close to the surface for Mercy, yet he remains stoic in his alpha position.
    jennifer
    kjovus(at)gmail(dot)com
    +1 follower
    +1 comment

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  5. I have not read this series yet but I've heard good things of course. I love all the paranormal myths so please count me in for the first book. I'd love to start a new series. Thanks!
    +1 comment
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  6. Mercy herself is my favorite but there's also something about her vampire friend Stefan that I love as a character; he's very interesting with motives I'm never sure of! And rather I enjoy that:) Makes for more exciting read n mystery.
    -Bella@BeguileThySorrow
    bellsDOTfrancoATgmailDOTcom
    +1 comment
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    http://twitter.com/#!/BellaFranco/status/55688777699573760

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  8. I love this series, and I'm sad I haven't gotten the chance to read River Marked yet!

    I really grew to love Adam after the "incident" in Iron Kissed. Definitely Adam

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    +1 Twitter follower- MommyRebel

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  9. Love this series, my favorite character in this series is Stefan.

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    van
    Littopandaxpress(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  10. Love this series. Adam is my favourite in the Mercy books and Charles in the linked alpha and omega set.
    +1 comment
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    1+ twitter @poodle666

    irgl7(at)bonzo15(dot)plus(dot)com

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  11. I have never read them but I would love to. Always looking fir new authors to read

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  12. This series has been on my wish list forever. How do I politely tell friends & family to only buy what's on my wish list!!??

    +1 comment
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    jennhutson3128 at yahoo dot com

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  13. "I’m on horrendous deadlines this month that's cutting into my reading time..."

    Gee, Suzanne, you almost make it sound like you should be feeling guilty for taking time off to write. I for one can't wait to get a hold of a copy of *Royal Street*. No, this time the ebook won't be enough. I want a real, dead-tree book with "Suzanne Johnson" embossed on the cover. Lucky you to have the same number of letters in both your names!

    Margaret -- great review. You bring up something that I always find a dilemma: what to do when a series author fills in essential backstory later in the series, or circle back and start writing prequels. My policy is to read books in published order if I can. That way I can follow the writer's conception of the world and characters as it grows. Judging from the author's website, the first book in the Mercy Thompson series would be *Moon Called*.

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  14. I haven't read this series yet so I would love to have a chance to read the 1 st book.

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter follower @Brittleblue

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  15. +1 for comment
    +1 for blog follow
    +1 for Twitter follow
    +1 for a Tweet or Retweet. http://twitter.com/#!/KimboSliceAus

    Adam's daughter is my favourite. :)

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  16. Unfortunately this series is new to me, but I do love learning about great book series to read!

    kimbers10[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  17. +1 for the comment
    +1 I'm a blog follower!
    +1 I follow via twitter
    +1 I tweeted this on my twitter!

    twitter.com/kdaze10
    kimbers10[at]yahoo[dot]com

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  18. I'd love to win a copy of the first book in the series. Great giveaway!

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    marieimy (at) gmail (dot) com

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  20. I love Mercy! She's so tough and smart.

    I'd like to win River Marked cuz I haven't read it yet.

    +1 comment
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    +1 twitter follower (@lyssad87)
    +1 retweet

    =4

    lyssad87(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Matt -- I'm with you. I like to read things from the beginning.

    I also always used to start with "A" in the video store, but when I noticed I'd missed a number of favorite movies in the latter half of the alphabet, I started alternating starting with "Z" and working backwards ...

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  22. I'd love to try reading this series - I read Cry Wolf and really liked it. The first book would be great.

    +Comment
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    mjoneswrites [at] gmail [dot] com

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  23. Honestly... Mercy is my fave character. I love her sass. I totally want to be her friend. :) Of course Adam isn't too bad himself. *fans self*

    gfc follower
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  24. I'm actually on book 3 right now and loving it. I think Mercy is my favorite character, she is so strong and independent.

    comment
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  25. I haven't read the series before :)

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    uniquas at ymail dot com

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  26. Briggs is brilliant. That is all.

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  27. is this a good series? haven't read this yet

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    email: shinja_yin@yahoo.com

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  28. I'm a member of Savvy Authors. Thought I'd drop a comment about this wonderful series.
    I love this whole series. I really enjoyed River Marked. I know this sounds weird but I rather liked Coyote. I think Briggs wrote him well.I hope we get a chance to see him more in her upcoming books.
    BTW, I also wrote a review about Mercy's biracial heritage in River Marked on my blog. I'm glad to see people excited about Brigg's work. She's a great author and this is an exciting series.

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  29. Thanks for all the comments, and thanks for the review, Margaret!

    If you've read this blog very long, you know I'm pretty passionate about this series. It's just so very, very good!

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  30. I am a huge fan of this series. And I am dying to read this book.

    Favorite character, well there are so many to choose from. I of course adore Mercy. I also like Adam and his daughter. I guess my favorite is Mercy. But there are so many other characters that are just as awesome. I would definitely recommend this series. Love it.

    +1 comment
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    http://twitter.com/#!/jlkalman26/status/55991031283462144

    jennifer.kalman at gmail dot com

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  31. I haven't read any of the previous books but they've been on my too read list for awhile now so put me down for book 1 please.

    +1 Twitter follower Ash131618 (gaulkegirls@hotmail.com)

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  32. I heard so much about this series I just haven't had a chance to start it. Would love to win the first book, thanks for the chance

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    june111(at)att(dot)net

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  33. I love that this series continues to get better and better.
    +1 commented
    +1 GFC follower-Lisa Richards
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    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  34. Bad girl who has not YET read the series, even though I heard great things about it!

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    alisagirl at libero dot it

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  35. I haven't started this series, but it is on my wish list.

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    heatwave96(at)hotmail.com

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  36. I really like Adam.

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    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  37. i have heard so many good things about this series I would love to read it
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    eva.s.black[@]gmail[.]com

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  38. I haven't read the first book yet, but I would love to know more about the series. The reviews really spiked my interest. :)

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    kah_cherub at hotmail dot com

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  39. I have not read it, but I feel pretty content of the story. So I will try to read. By the way, thanks to continued placement reviews.

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