Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson (Mercy Thompson) by Patricia Briggs

Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Source: Library
Author Links: Goodreads | Website

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…
A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…
Includes the new stories and reader favorites.

I'm biased.
Mercy is my favorite urban fantasy heroine, and Patricia Briggs is my favorite UF writer.
Just a bit biased...
Still, I think this is the best collection of short stories I've read so far, and that's saying something. The price tag for this little beauty on Kindle is $10.99 right now, and I'd have to say it would be worth every penny for fans of this series. 
Once again, you can tell that Briggs is an author that cares about not only her readers, but the characters that she writes about. 
Each story is complete (except the outtakes, naturally), well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Of course, I loved some more than others, but none of them were less than 4 stars, in my opinion.
Anthologies are hard to review, so cut me some slack, and I'll try to do my best...

Silver: 5 stars

Ever wonder how Bran and Samuel became a werewolves? Or why Bran is so darn special?
Well, here's where you find the answer to that question.
Not only does Silver give the background to both of their origin stories, but it also tells the story of how Samuel and Ariana met, fell in love, and why it went wrong the first time around.
Although, to find out how that love story ended up, you'll have to read the Outtake from Silver Borne
*insert big cheesy grin here*
This one is easily worth the 5 stars I gave it!

Fairy Gifts: 4 stars

It's been a while since I've read some of the older Mercy books, and to be very honest, I couldn't remember who Thomas (the vampire) was, nor Margaret (the fae).
But this is the story of how their friendship came to be, along with the backstory on how Thomas became such an unusual vampire.
The twist at the end was something I didn't see coming, and since this was a shorty, I really appreciated the thought that Briggs put into it!

Gray: 4 stars

This one is an unconventional love story about a vampire named Elyna, and takes place before the events in Moon Called. Again, I have no idea if I've ever seen this character in any of the other stories before, but it was a lot of fun to read.
Most of the vampires in the Mercy Thompson series are pretty evil, so this was an interesting peek into the life of one of the good ones.
It involves a Haunted House, a lonely 'woman', and a few unlikely friendships.
The ending got me a bit misty-eyed....

Seeing Eye: 4 stars

Remember Tom (the werewolf) and Moira (the White Witch) from Hunting Ground?
Well, I only sorta-kinda remembered seeing them, but this story made me want to go back and revisit that book.
This is the story of how they originally met, and is also featured in another collection, Strange Brew.
Very well done!

Alpha and Omega: 4.5 stars

This is one of those Must-Read stories, if you plan on delving into the Alpha And Omega series.
And I would definitely recommend you DELVE!
Oddly enough, you really need to this prequel in order to fully understand what's going on in the first book, Cry Wolf
This is the story of how Anna and Charles met, fell in love, and killed off a few problem wolves.
The story intersects with the problems Mercy is having in Moon Called, just like the other Alpha and Omega books do, but (like them) this story can also be read independently without any other knowledge, and still make sense.
I've read this one a couple of times before, but it was still fun to get a reminder of how far those two have come!

The Star of David: 4 stars

I had forgotten about David, the lone wolf mercenary from Moon Called. You know, the one that was Adam's old war buddy?
A werewolf, a wizard, and a social worker walk into a bar...
And a vampire tries to kill them!
Sort of.
Here Briggs tells a nice Christmas story about family, forgiveness...and evil vampires.

Roses in Winter: 5 stars

This is plugged as Kara's story, but (to me) this was Asil's story. 
Kara, if you don't remember (and, of course, I didn't) was mentioned in Blood Bound as the 13 year old girl whose father begged Mercy to help, because she was bitten by a werewolf.
The shocker was that she survived.
Asil has been one of my favorites for a while now, even though he's rarely mentioned. He's almost as old as Bran, and totally convinced that at any moment he's going to go crazy.
Personally, I think Asil will be with us for a looooong time, and that's one of the reasons that this story was one of my absolute favorites.
Bran (because he's BRAN) seems to know just how to help all his wolves find exactly what they need.
Maybe what Asil needs is to find a kid who needs him to care about them?

In Red, with Pearls: 4 stars

Warren gets a story! He's Adam's best friend, and the only openly gay werewolf in the Mercy series. This revolves around his job working with his mate, Kyle (a lawyer), as his private investigator. Kyle gets attacked by a zombie (yes, zombie), and it's up to Warren and Elizaveta's niece to figure out who's after him.

Redemption: 4 stars

I have always wanted to know more about Ben. He's not a nice guy, but you can tell it's because he's pretty damaged. So what in the world happened to him? And why did he have to leave London?
Well, you get a lot of those answers in Redemption. The actual story takes place at Ben's workplace, when he finds himself defending a woman that he hates.
Or does he really hate her?

Hollow: 4.5 stars

This one is a Mercy story! And you better be caught up on this series, because it takes place after Night Broken, so there might be some spoilers for those of you who haven't read it yet.
Mercy is called in to get rid of a ghost, and maybe help another couple realize they're in love.
Loved it!

Outtake from Silver Borne: 4.5 stars

It's only a few pages long, but it's the HEA for Samuel and Ariana. 

Outtake from Night Broken: 4.5 stars

This is a scene from Adam's point of view, when Mercy is in the hospital. It explains how severe the situation was, and, as a bonus...Coyote shows up! 

Highly Recommended for fans of Mercy!


Melanie Simmons (mlsimmons) said...

I loved this book. Getting a glimpse into the lives of some of the secondary characters is wonderful. I'm listening to Otherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong and it is basically the same thing. Anyway, my favorite story in this book was Rose in Winter. I just loved seeing this side of Asil. I can't wait for Dead Heat.

Stormi Johnson said...

I haven't read this author but she is on my must read author list of 2015. :) I have the first in the Mercy series, so I hope try this author soon. :)


Bookworm Brandee said...

Woohoo! I'm glad this was a winner! I'm a huge Mercy fan too. And I'm hoping to get to Shifting Shadows soon!

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