Genre: urban fantasy / paranormal romance
Cover: nice. Of course my ARC has no cover, but it does have a signature which is even better.
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"
Shapeshifter Mercy Thompson has friends in high places – and in low, dark, scary ones. And in this must have collection of stories, you’ll meet new faces and catch up with old acquaintances – in all their forms.
In a time of fresh starts, Mercy is asked to use an old talent – ghost hunting – in the all-new story Hollow. You’ll learn what happens when an ancient werewolf on his last legs befriends a vulnerable adolescent (“Roses in Winter”) and how Mercy’s friend Samuel Cornick became a werewolf (“Silver”). The werewolf Ben finds “Redemption”, and Moira, a blind witch, assists on a search in “Seeing Eye”.
From Butte, Montana, the copper-mining town that vampire Thomas Hao calls home (Fairy Gifts), to Chicago, where the vampire Elyna buys and renovates the apartment she lived in while human (Gray), you’ll travel the roads that originated with Mercy Thompson in the fertile imagination of Patricia Briggs. Roads that will lead you to places you’ve never been before...
This is an anthology totally worth your money if you love Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson world. Patricia does a lovely little foreword before each story, telling how it came to life, and why. I enjoyed that a lot, and I think this collection really enriches the Mercy world.
The book starts with Silver, the story how Samuel met Ariana. And how he and his father Bran were turned into werewolves and forced to work for an evil witch for centuries.
Aurian: I really enjoyed this peek into their past. It broke my heart when I found out who the other werewolves were. But I loved the time Samuel spent with Ariana and Haida. What did you like the most in this story, Maia?
Maia: In other books there were hints about this story, so it was good to find out what happened, even though it was heartbreaking at times. It gives background to Bran’s motivations and choices.
The second story is Gray. In which the vampires Elyna goes back to her human roots in Chicago.
Aurian: I have to admit, I can’t remember if she ever popped up in another book of the series, but I liked getting this peek into vampire life and how she meted out justice. Do you remember her from another book, Maia?
Maia: No I don’t. I know it was previously published in another anthology, but I didn’t read it then. It feels like a stand alone story. I liked it, especially the interaction with the construction guys/cops.
Aurian: I really liked the ghost angle, and how he decided on the decoration of the apartment he and Elyna live in.
The next one is “Alpha and Omega” and we both have read it multiple times already. It is the starting point of the spin-off series we both really like.
The fourth story is “Star of David”, featuring David Christiansen and his family in a really nice Christmas story. He first appeared in “Moon Called” and was not such a bad guy after all.
Maia: It’s a story about making choices, about family and about forgiveness. A real Christmassy story. It gave more depth to this character, who started off as the bad guy, but redeemed himself beautifully.
Aurian: I liked how David never forgot his daughter. He respected her wishes not to have contact, but he came to her aid, when she asked for it, immediately. And how Stella after finding more about her father and what being a werewolf implies, finally accepted him.
The next one is “Roses in Winter” starring the ancient werewolf Asil and teenager Kara.
Maia: Always when Asil appears in the series, he intrigues me. I loved to see more about him and his interaction with Kara. He is an old wolf, but in spite of his willingness to die, helps Kara to live against all odds. What did you think, Aurian?
Aurian: I enjoyed learning more about Asil and his past. I only wish ancient werewolves would look at least middle aged, instead of early twenties. But perhaps that’s my age. I liked his patience with Kara, and how he taught her how to control her wolf. This story sure had its sweet moments.
Story number six is “In red, with pearls”.
Aurian: This is a story about Warren and Kyle and it sure was full of surprises! Sullivan, you will especially love this one, as it has a zombie in it. I liked how Warren as a private investigator, found out the real culprit, who wanted to kill his boyfriend. I also enjoyed the part with the witches, as I like to read about witches.
Maia: Warren is one of my favourite secondary characters, and his relationship with Kyle is great to read about. Gay werewolves are rare but Warren is tough and can fight against all prejudices. The more I read about them, the better! I didn’t expect the person who really was behind it all, Patty got me there.
The next story is “Redemption” which is Ben’s background story.
Maia: This one was my favourite new story. I’m a bit of a geek myself, so I loved reading about his work and the way he started to protect his colleagues. Even though he was never taught that in his last pack, he learned and developed himself.
Aurian: I’ve always been intrigued by Ben and his rude behaviour towards women. I enjoyed learning his background story and how he found out that there was a lot of werewolf behaviour he didn’t know about and how he surprised himself. I never expected him to be a geek, though; he is a bit too alpha for that.
The last short story is Mercy story: “Hollow”. It takes place after “Night broken”.
Aurian: Finally a Mercy story! Mercy’s garage is in ruins and she has to decide to rebuild it or taking it all down. Which is a hard thing to think about. While she’s doing that, a woman asks her help in exorcising a ghost. She doesn’t really want to, but Hank Redtail tells her to try. And as this is a Mercy story, there is more than “just” a ghost behind it all. I enjoyed those twists.
Maia: Actually, this was one of my least favourite stories. It was too short and I would prefer it to be a part of a longer story, interwoven in a full length book. I wanted to know what happened to Rick and Lisa next. I hope they get some “screentime” in the next novels.
Lastly there are two outtakes from “Silver Born” and “Night Broken”. These scenes really add something to the books, and we both liked them very much.
I absolutely loved this book, it contained some really nice stories I will certainly re-read.
I am not usually a fan of anthologies, or the really short stories, but having read and loved all the books in the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series, I enjoyed this very much indeed.
© 2014 Reviews by Aurian