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

October 10, 2014 Review 2

Review: Shifting Shadows Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia BriggsShifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson
Published by Ace on September 2, 2014
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romantic, Urban Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 450
Source: Publisher
Sexual Content: Kissing, references to sex, child abuse, and rape.
Reviewed by: Julia
4 Stars

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…
“Roses in Winter”

…and reader favorites
“Fairy Gifts”
“Alpha and Omega”
“Seeing Eye”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”

Ardent fans of Patricia Briggs may have already pieced together parts of this collection, housed in beat up paperbacks and anthologies already published. To have these existing stories and more gathered and carefully arranged by series timeline, makes this lovely hardback a treasure for any collector to have on the shelf. From a pure reading perspective, "Roses in Winter", a glimpse of the child survivor mentioned in BLOOD BOUND, made this book worth the price of admission for me, all on it's own.

It is not only avarice that makes me call SHIFTING SHADOWS "a collector's treasure".  Normally not a fan of short stories, anthologies that contain Patricia Briggs or Ilona Andrews find their way to my shelf alongside their full length companions, as both authors breathing life and magic into even the briefest pages. SHIFTING SHADOWS offers several existing shorts that, while familiar, never made it into my collection.  "The Star of David" brought tears to my eyes all over again, and reading "Seeing Eye" sent me back to re-read the entirety of the Alpha & Omega series, just to see Tom and Moira together again.  Much as "Alpha and Omega" was a favorite long before Charles and Anna had their own series, "Roses in Winter" introduces Kara in a way that begs for a spin off all of her own. The only werewolf centric stories that were a tiny disappointment were "Silver" and "Redemption".

For Samuel and Ariana, so much of their relationship has taken place "off camera", and I was looking forward to a long, satisfying glimpse of their beginnings. As with all requests involving fae, I should have been careful what I asked for. The very nature of Samuel and Ariana's separation means "Silver" is a story that won't have a happy ending for hundreds of years, and other than the brief outtake from SILVER BORNE, we still have not seen much of Sam and Ariana together and happy. In Ben's story, "Redemption", the supernatural aspects of his character growth was wonderfully written, it was the defining of "IT" and other tech related terms that seemed distracting and forced. This only impacts the opening of the story, however, and may have been caused by my own familiarity with that field.

And if you come to SHIFTING SHADOWS for the werewolves, stay for the two lovely glimpses of vampires included as well. SHIFTING SHADOWS is a thoughtful offering from Briggs' to her fans, well organized and complete. Whether reading these stories for the first time or revisiting old friends, this is the best possible way to gather them in and enjoy.

Series Titles:
  1. Moon Called
  2. Blood Bound
  3. Iron Kissed
  4. Bone Crossed
  5. Silver Borne - 4/5
  6. River Marked - 4/5
  7. Frost Burned - 4/5
  8. Night Broken - 4/5
More Reviews: Similar Titles:
  • For an anthology that offers glimpses of many different Urban Fantasy world's, try KICKING IT.
  • For an anthology where authors rewrite and claim familiar stories as their own, try RAGS & BONES.

2 Responses to “Review: Shifting Shadows Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs”

  1. Melanie Simmons (@mlsimmons)

    Samuel and Ariana’s story was a tough one, but I enjoyed seeing a younger Samuel and Bran and how things between them and the fae started. My favorite story in this book was Asil’s, followed by Ben’s. I love that we get to learn more about these secondary characters. Great review.