Friday, October 10, 2014

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


Title: Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson

Author: Patricia Briggs

Rating: 4 Stars

Shifting Shadows is a definite must for fans of Mercy Thompson--no doubt about it. It opens with a relatively long tale--nearly novella length--which covers the initial meeting between Sam and Ariana. While it is often difficult for readers (at least myself) to tear away from the perfection that is Adam Hauptman, I truly adored the fact that this collection dares to give us the back stories of characters we've been curious about. Sam and Ariana's tale, though not one I'll likely ever find myself re-reading, is a powerful story with unexpected depth. Much later in the anthology, we re-visit this couple and understanding their past gives their present a rich undertone.

With the exception of "Silver", the majority of my favorite short stories from this novel are ones that have been published elsewhere. "Alpha & Omega" is stunning, as always, especially upon re-read. Tom's story with the blind witch (whose name I'm blanking on at the moment, sorry!) is just as compelling in its subtleties as I remembered. Of course, Kyle and Warren's story is unforgettable (that cowboy line though!). The last three short stories surround Mercy herself. Shortly following Night Broken she finds herself on a mission to dispel a ghost--and what a creepy ghost it is! I didn't expect to enjoy this tale as much as I did but, naturally, even the short presence of Adam Hauptman made my day.

Speaking of our resident werewolf, Adam's appearance in the last two tales--outtakes from Silver Borne and Night Broken--were utterly rewarding. It's often difficult to situate a reader in an isolated outtake, especially as I've read the majority of this series quite awhile ago, but Briggs manages to involve her reader completely in the world, time period, and situation she creates. Moreover, it would be remiss of me to ignore the brilliant and to-the-point synopses Briggs provides readers in the beginning of each short story. Not only does she inform us of where in the Mercy-verse each story falls, but she also gives us insider information on the creation of the novellas, which I always enjoy.

Shifting Shadows would not be the strong volume it is without the presence of Asil thrown cleverly into the middle of the anthology. While I'd have cherished a tale of Asil's mate, I grew to thoroughly enjoy the tale Briggs weaved for him and found myself missing it when it finished. Ultimately, this collection is full of depth, character growth, and back stories that only enrich our understanding of the world Briggs has built. If nothing else, it enables us to see that the extent of Briggs's imagination has only briefly been touched and that, as readers, we are still in for such a treat regarding future Mercy installments. I, for one, cannot wait. (I already need more Adam Hauptman in my life!)

14 comments:

  1. I love the author and I'm really curious to try this one, I keep hearing great things about it! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  2. YAY!!! I so enjoyed this anthology as well Keertana! I had read Alpha and Omega before, but it still stood out to me in this book even knowing how everything plays out for Charles and Anna. It made me want to read the first book all over again:)

    And yes to Adam. Anytime Adam appears on page, I'm a happy woman!

    ReplyDelete
  3. So many have loved this! I really need to get caught back up on this series. I can't even remember where I left off. I "think" Adam and Mercy where just finally getting together...or something like that!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't read anything by this author, but this sounds like a nice mix of stories about some of the best characters. I'd love something like this from some of my fave authors.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Eeeek, want want want! One day, when it's out in pb :/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes! I wanted this ever since I saw the cover. So glad that is is good and I will get it when I start catching up to this series. You said it was a must and I totally believe you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm two books behind but I do have them at the ready. I think I've been stalling because I'm dreading them drama from Christy (that's Adam's ex-wife's name, right?) I know we get in one of the those books. I'll be sure to pick this up, too. Wonderful review, Keertana! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I totally agree - the Asil story was awesome! It was so wonderful to read something new about him and see the potential for him. Hopefully he'll make more appearances soon. Good review!

    Jessie@The Bathtub Reader

    ReplyDelete
  9. I struggled with this series, to be honest. So I'm not at all familiar with the characters you just mentioned (apart from Mercy and Adam, that is).

    Great review, Keertana!

    ReplyDelete
  10. i always have a problem with anthologies, they leave me wanting more but I am glad you really liked this one. I guess it's a good ways to fill small holes in books?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I loved rereading the old ones and I absolutely adored the new stories! Silver was a bit hard for me, but Asil's story, and Warren and Kyle's just thrilled me. And you're right, a glimpse of Adam, no matter how brief, is always absolutely enchanting.

    ReplyDelete
  12. If you recall, I haven't read any Urban Fantasy, like ever. If I take the plunge and try this genre out, it'll have to be a series that's considered short for its class. You gave me recommendations before. Anne Aguirre comes to mind and so does Anne Bishop, but anyway, this series, though lengthy and intimidating, sounds awesome! I don't know if I'll ever get to it. I would love to! Maybe when I'm old and gray and find myself with a lot of time? Ha! Who knows, but I'll definitely let you know if I ever get around to it sooner. Anyway, I'm glad you find this series so enjoyable, K! I hope this story keeps going strong!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

    ReplyDelete
  13. I said this the last time you posted a PB review, but I NEED TO GET CAUGHT UP ON THIS SERIES. Jeez.


    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    ReplyDelete
  14. If you are looking for an excellent contextual advertising network, I suggest you check out PropellerAds.

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from my readers and I read, reply, and appreciate every one of the comments I receive!(: If you're a fellow blogger, please leave a link to your blog - I'd love to drop by!

Unfortunately, this is now an award-free blog. I simply do not have the time to respond and forward on the award, but I truly appreciate the nomination regardless.