River Marked takes what we’ve seen in the previous 5 Mercy Thompson books and turns it somewhat on its head. Previously, we’ve had interesting but not entirely unbelievable versions of werewolves, vampires, ghosts, and fae–all with a distinctly Old World influence on them. This time around though, we finally dig a bit into Mercy’s father’s family and get a big nasty beastie from the Americas.
On one hand, it’s nice to get a bigger world to interact with. I’ve read fewer books than I’d like dealing with non-European myths and legends, so it’s a good thing to scratch that particular itch. On the other hand, the way it’s introduced in this story makes for a rather abrupt ‘power level’ jump. We’ve already seen centuries (millennia?) old vampires and (possibly) wolves and the Gray Lords are nothing to sneeze at, but this is perhaps the first time that literal gods takes the stage .
It’s unclear if they’re actually that much more powerful than the other beings we’ve seen before, but they feel like (and are described as if) they’re living in a world completely apart. It makes for a different feel for River Marked compared to any of the previous books and I’m not sure what I think of it. For the moment, I’m cautiously optimistic, but I did personally enjoy the other books more.
Back to the plot for a moment, Adam and Mercy finally get married. It takes up a good chunk of the first part of the book, and I actually enjoyed reading about it surprisingly. It’s nice to have something good happen to them after all they’ve been through over the past few years. Then they go on their honeymoon and … fade to black . We’re certainly getting more of the romance aspects of these books than there were at first, but still next to nothing actually happens on screen.