Reviewed by Heather C
Title: Shifting Shadows: Tales From the World of Mercy Thompson
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega
Genre: M/F Urban Fantasy
Length: 464 Pages
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Available at: Ace, Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
About the Book: A compilation of 6 old and 4 new stories from the world of Mercy Thompson plus 2 outtakes.
I’ve been looking forward to this book for over a year! I had previously read only two of these stories (Alpha and Omega and In Red, with Pearls). All the others were new to me and if I would have known that some of them already existed, I would have gotten to them sooner. One thing that also makes this collection so great is that the author has written and little introduction for each story giving a brief background or where the idea derived from.
Silver (new) – This tells the tale of Samuel and Ariana and is just as bittersweet and tragic as I expected; good thing there is a sweet scene of them in one of the outtakes at the end of the book. It brought back one major detail that I had originally forgotten: Bran and Samuel were changed at the same time…making Samuel nearly as old as Bran! I loved how parts were told in first person from Samuel’s POV, and the rest in third from Haida and Ariana. Sadly, this wasn’t one of my favorite stories in the collection because I was really confused with what was going on in several places and found myself re-reading several scenes to make sure I understood it correctly. But what’s important…this was a nice story and I’m happy to finally know the real history between Samuel and Ariana. Now I believe their love is real, where I wasn’t so certain before.
Fairy Gifts (Previously published in the anthology Naked City) – This is the story of two characters that haven’t yet been introduced in Mercy Thompson or Alpha and Omega series. It’s set in past and present Butte, Montana and involves the story of a vampire and a fae. Not the most interesting…maybe because I wasn’t familiar with the characters and I didn’t feel any connection between them. Plus, there were no werewolves.
Gray (Previously published in the anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition) – Another story of a character that hasn’t been in the main series and tells the story of Elyna, a vampire, and everything she lost when she was changed. For a sad story, this actually turned out to be very sweet. I don’t want to spoil anything but there is a semblance of a HEA here.
Seeing Eye (Previously published in the anthology Strange Brew) – I loved this one about Moira and Tom! It tells the story of what brought them together…and what really happened to Moira’s eyes!! It was very sweet and there is a really good witch/werewolf fight at the end.
Alpha and Omega (Previously published in the anthology On the Prowl) – This is the opening novella in the Alpha and Omega series featuring Anna and Charles. It’s a bit depressing and just as heartwarming as I originally remembered. It’s a must read before continuing on with the A&O series.
The Star of David (Previously published in the anthology Wolfsbane and Mistletoe) – This one is set during Christmas time and is about the werewolf David (from Moon Called) and his relationship with his long-lost daughter. I could not remember David AT ALL and had to ask a friend about his role in the Mercy books. It certainly doesn’t have any romance in it but it was sweet and heartwarming…filled with reconciliation and forgiveness. Oh, and there was a werewolf, a vampire…and a warlock!!
Roses in Winter (new) – This was my favorite story!! It’s about Kara, the young werewolf girl that was introduced in Blood Bound and what she goes through when she gets to Montana. It’s completely told from Asil’s POV…and OMG it was beautiful!! Old wolf and young wolf so this definitely wasn’t a romantic love story, but about the friendship that blossoms and ultimately saves Kara’s life…and probably Asil’s as well. I even cried!! Very heavy on the pack politics here, which one of the things I love about this world.
In Red, with Pearls (Previously published in the anthology Down These Strange Streets) – I loved this story about Warren and Kyle and it is the second and only other story in this compilation that I had previously read. I loved hearing Warren’s voice and getting to see Kyle through his eyes. I wish I could read more about these two. There’s also a good little paranormal mystery.
Redemption (new) – I’ve always wanted to know what happened in Ben’s life that made him hate women so much…well now I finally know and it is worse than what I ever expected. I was worried at first when I realized that his story takes place later in the series, long after he has joined Adam’s pack, but current events happening in Ben’s work life is bringing Ben’s past to the surface. There were no explicit details…but there was enough that wasn’t said to know what happened to him. On a happy note, it was interesting to see the changes that Ben has made within himself that will directly affect his future place in the pack. Plus, there was a nice scene with Adam.
Hollow (new) – This was my second favorite story!! Of course it was Mercy’s story and Adam made a brief appearance. It takes place not long after Night Broken: Mercy’s employment is a bit in limbo after the last showdown in her garage. And with nothing more pressing to do, she agrees to go on ghost hunt and takes Zach, the newest pack member, along as her bodyguard. Poor Adam should know better than to let Mercy go off on her own…it always turns into a dangerous disaster. Intriguing little mystery and I liked how it was told form alternating POVs.
Outtake from Silver Borne (new) – A sweet scene between Samuel and Ariana when they were looking for Mercy. There was even some sexual tension!! After reading Silver, it was nice to see something happy happen between these two.
Outtake from Night Broken (new) – This takes place just after the final scene in Night Broken while Mercy is still in the hospital and is from Adam’s POV. *sigh* I had chills.
I always find it difficult to rate anthologies; there were some stories I loved and a few that I didn’t. But overall, this is a must read for any fan of the Mercedes Thompson or Alpha and Omega series.
Overall Impression: I Loved It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*