Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
Source: Finished copy from publisher for review
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
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
“Alpha and Omega”
“The Star of David”
“In Red, with Pearls”
In many cases, anthologies or collections of short stories end up being the perfect way to get a feel for the writing style of either a single author or many different contributors, allowing readers the chance to see if they might find a new favorite in the mix. Shifting Shadows is not that type of collection however, the ten stories splashed across the pages more for dedicated fans of the Mercy Thompson universe rather than series newcomers; little peeks at the beloved secondary characters who never fail to enrich Mercy's world and bring a smile to our faces. For those who stare mournfully at a calendar bemoaning the slow speed at which time seems to travel in between installments though, Shifting Shadows is a true and utter treat.
This collection gives us glimpses of both prominent secondary characters whom we've met repeatedly as well as lesser known characters, but for me personally, the strongest stories were those with familiar friends at the forefront.
ALPHA AND OMEGA
This tale is perhaps the one exception to the aforementioned not-for-newcomers label, the first meeting of Charles and Anna (protagonists of their own Mercy spin-off series) beautiful in the raw emotion that immediately smacks us in the face upon meeting Anna. After being Changed against her will, she endured the unfathomable for three long years, but though her experiences clearly left scars not visible to the naked eye, she refuses to let her fire be starved by those who have her at their mercy. Charles, for his part, is the kind of protective we can't help but swoon over, rising up in Anna's defense while still granting her the freedom to save herself.
Their story continues in a series by the same name and is definitely one that should not be missed.
ROSES IN WINTER
"Roses in Winter" is a sweet story depicting the friendship between a very young wolf struggling to control the animal inside her and a very old wolf who sometimes finds himself fighting the same battle, and while their unlikely affection warms our hearts, their tale is also a painful reminder of how brutal this world of werewolves can be. The safety of the many is often preserved through the sacrifice of those few who are emotionally or physically unequipped to handle life as a wolf, and nowhere is that concept more gut-wrenchingly apparent than with Asil and Kara.
"Redemption" grants us a little time with Ben, one of the far less agreeable members of Adam and Mercy's pack, but someone who has been there for Mercy unfailingly and unflinchingly in her darkest moments. Because we know him to be as a true a friend to her as they come, we look upon his complete disregard for the art of tact as charming rather than offensive, smiling uncontrollably as he lets anyone and everyone know just what he thinks of them. We also get a brief-but-sickening look at what landed him on Adam's doorstep in the beginning of Mercy's series, and that taste of his darkness only makes us want to hold him tighter even though we know he would recoil in horror if he knew the direction of our thoughts.
Overall Rating: 4/5
This book was sent to me by the publisher free of charge for the purpose of a review.
I received no other compensation and the above is my honest opinion.