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Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs {4.5 Stars}

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs is a collection of short stories from the world of Mercy Thompson, but most of the stories are about and from the point of view of some of our favorite secondary characters. I don’t normally like to read anthologies of short stories, but Shifting Shadows was everything I could want from an anthology and made me fall in love with both the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series all over again. The short stories in Shifting Shadows are all a bit darker than the main series, but also deeply moving because they are about Sam and Ben and Charlie and a little child turned to a werewolf at the youngest age in living memory. Don’t worry, Mercy also makes an appearance ;-). Also, even if you haven’t read all the way through Night Broken, you can safely enjoy most of the stories because there are warnings before each of what spoilers a story contains.

Note: I received a copy of Shifting Shadows from the publisher. This does not affect my review.

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs {4.5 Stars}

Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson)
Published by Ace on Sept. 2nd, 2014
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Page Length: 450 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
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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…
“Silver”
“Roses in Winter”
“Redemption”
“Hollow”

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

4.5 Stars

Strengths:

  • Because Shifting Shadows contains stories from lots of viewpoints other than Mercy, we get so much more information about the world in which all of these characters live. Turns out there are even more supernatural critters than we thought! We also find out a lot more about vampires and a bit more about a certain beautifully broken Fae girl.
  • I loved the variety of viewpoints that we get in Shifting Shadows and that most of the stories occur between books. It is obvious in Shifting Shadows that Briggs thinks hard about what can be told from Mercy’s perspective because it turns out there was a lot more going on behind the scenes.
  • There are these great intros to each story by Briggs that give context and a bit of insight into her writing process. You also don’t have to worry about accidentally being spoiled because she is very good about stating when in the series a story is occurring. If you are an aspiring writer, I would definitely recommend Shifting Shadows just for the cool peek into a successful writer’s process ;-).
  • Every time I started a new story I felt compelled to go back and reread all the Mercy Thompson books because I deeply miss these characters. I wished that every story was a full book just so that I could spend more time with the characters. I pretty much never reread books, but Shifting Shadows made me fall in love with Mercy and her friends all over again.
  • Shifting Shadows surprised me a bit by being a tad darker than the main series. A lot of sad and difficult things happened to many secondary characters, especially the really old ones, and Shifting Shadows starts by telling those stories. We all know I’m quite a wuss and can’t read horror, and Shifting Shadows got right on the edge of what I can safely read in bed before going to sleep. I might have stayed up way too late a few times just to finish the story and get to a happier one before trying to sleep >.>.
  • At the end of Shifting Shadows there are two outtakes from two of the later books and they do a great job of lifting you back up after the darkness of the first stories. These two outtakes moved me to tearing up with the love and devotion of Sam and Adam, my two favorite werewolves!

Weaknesses:

  • There were times when starting a story in Shifting Shadows that I really struggled to remember what happened in the book right before the story. I’ve read all the Mercy books as they’ve come out, so it has been a long while since I read some of them. If you’re a fan of rereading, you’ll probably be tempted to reread some of the books before or after reading Shifting Shadows.
  • While I did love the additional information about Mercy’s world, the addition of zombies and wizards felt a little strange since I don’t remember them ever being mentioned before. I’d think that at least one of the secondary characters would have encountered most of the supernatural possibilities aside from one-of-a-kind gods and such.

Summary:

Shifting Shadows is a must read for fans of the Mercy Thompson series. That doesn’t mean that if you don’t read these short stories you won’t understand the main books, simply that if you can’t wait until the next book comes out, these stories will be a wonderful thing to tide you over until Dead Heat comes out ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

 Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

© 2014, Anya. All rights reserved.

Comments

  1. It sounds good, but I’m guessing it’s best read by those who know the Mercy Thompson series?
    Kel @ Booked til Tuesday recently posted…Stuck in a Good Book Giveaway HopMy Profile

    • I think you wouldn’t love the characters as much, but it would give you a good idea of the deeper world, you’d just want to skip the last couple since they would spoil books ;-)

  2. *happy dance* I preordered this, despite it costing $21 because I just adore this world and these characters. I probably will have the same problem with remembering the details because I’ve read all the books as they’ve come out too – maybe I’ll reread my reviews (for the ones I have reviews) to help refresh a bit. Great review!
    Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun recently posted…Teaser Tuesdays | Austenland TeaserMy Profile

    • Oo good idea about rereading the reviews, kind of wish I had done that! But yes, totally worth it for all fans of the series :D

  3. Patricia Briggs is one of the only authors who can make me excited about a short story collection. So far I’ve only heard people say good things about this one! I’ve always been really interested in Zee’s past so I’m hoping we get a peek at that! *fingers crossed*

  4. Currently reading this now, and I see what you mean about showing the different perspectives of the other characters in the world of Mercy Thompson. I’m actually not sure how much I like that (some of these people I don’t even know who they are!) but I’m still in the first third, where all the stories so far are set before the events of Moon Called. I’m sure once I get further into the timeline and into familiar timeline, the stories will grow on me more.

  5. WOOT! This is on my audio list. I am usually not a reader of the short stories but I have heard nothing but good things about this :)
    Felicia the Geeky Blogger recently posted…#LoveMyLibraryCard Guest Post: My Library by BlodeueddMy Profile

    • I’m right there with you, I just skip more novellas, but these were so much fun and it was a great way to read all the older shorts that she published.

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