Title: Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Mercy Thompson World #0.1, #0.5, #0.7, #0.9, #1.2, #1.8, #4.5, #5.5, #7.4, #8.5
This collection includes stories about characters in the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha & Omega series. I have included when the stories take place in the timeline of the Mercy Thompson series.
Trigger Warnings: Torture, death of wife and children mentioned, grief, gore, violence, death
This story takes place long before the events in Moon Called.
“I will carry you in my heart until it beats no more,”
This is the story of how Samuel first met Ariana’s. This is also basically Bran and Samuel’s origin story. It shows how violently they were turned and imprisoned for centuries. Ariana was trapped and tortured by her father in order to make an artifact, which appears in the book Silver Borne. This was a very emotional story, filled with loss and regret. I am glad that Ariana and Samuel found each other again though, even if it took centuries.
Trigger warnings: abusive father, drug use, kidnapping, death
This story takes place before the events in Moon Called.
This is Thomas Hao’s backstory. It was quite fascinating and depressing. Thomas ends up rescuing a far child after he is turned and she gifts him with the ability to be in the sunlight. Centuries later he saves Margaret again.
Both of these characters had terrible things happen to them and suffered greatly from it. I do hope this means they help each other heal and potentially are a couple.
This story takes place before the events in Moon Called.
This was a very interesting story about Elena, who is a vampire, and a ghost. I really enjoyed it. It shows that love can last forever.
Trigger warnings: abusive father, cult like group, death
This story takes place about a year before the events in Moon Called.
This is how Tom and Moria met. These two were introduced in Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega #2). I find Moria fascinating because she has hurt herself to help people. Also because she is the only white witch, I think, that has been discussed in this series. I really enjoyed the beginning of their relationships, especially since she doesn’t let Tom push her around.
Alpha and Omega:
Trigger Warnings: Anna was turned against her will. She was also beaten and raped repeatedly. A suicide attempt is briefly mentioned.
This story takes place during the events in Moon Called.
This is a prequel novella for the Alpha and Omega series. It’s the very beginning of Anna and Charles’ story. The moment Charles meets Anna his wolf decides that she is his mate. This is extremely unusual for werewolves because usually it takes years before a wolf will accept the human partner. Charles is an extremely protective alpha male who is used as the pack executioner. He never expects to find a mate, especially one who has been emotionally and physically abused. He has to slowly win Anna over and teach her she can trust him. I really liked Charles and can’t wait to learn more about him in the future.
We see very little of Anna’s wolf in this novella, but we do get a few glimpses of how powerful and strong she will be in the future. As to the romance part of this book, it is very minimal. They do share a few kisses after Charles makes his intentions to woo her clear but that is it. The rest of their relationship will develop over the next few books.
The Star of David:
This story takes place the Christmas after the events in Moon Called.
This is a story about David Christianson getting a second chance with his estranged daughter, Stella. I enjoyed it and hope we potentially see Devonte in the future because I want to know more about wizards now.
Roses in Winter:
This story takes place between Bone Crossed and Silver Borne. .
This is about Kara, who we never meet in the books but she is referenced in Blood Bound, when her father is trying to find a werewolf to help his 10 year old daughter. This is her struggle to accept what has happened and learn to control her wolf. Also, I loved how Asil was with Kara. Asil is my favorite wolf in the Marrock pack and I want more stories about him.
In Red, With Pearls:
This story takes place between Silver Borne and River Marked.
We finally get a story from Warren’s POV!!! Warren has just started as a private detective and has been working for Kyle’s company. He ends up stopping a zombie that is after Kyle, which leads him to become a detective for a few days to figure out who is after Kyle. I really love that we are finally getting a glimpse of Warren’s mind. I love seeing his feelings for Kyle and his ruthlessness when needed. Also, Elizaveta just has a terrible time with apprentices.
Trigger warnings: child abuse, sexual harassment in the workplace, violence, murder
This story takes place between Frost Burned and Night Broken.
A story about Ben!!!! I am so glad we get to see inside his head. I loved that he was trying so hard not to curse because of a bet. It was very hilarious. Ben has grown so much since he was first introduced. He is dealing with his past and becoming a better person and wolf. I really hope we continue to see his development as the series progresses.
This story takes place after the events in Night Broken.
Trigger Warnings: death of parents by suicide, death of a spouse,
And of course we end this collection with a Mercy story. And a ghost story at that. This was a fascinating ghost story. The ghosts in this world just keep getting more interesting.
Outtake from Silver Borne:
This happens between the 14th and 15th chapters.
This is a scene from Arianna’s perspective about looking for the fairy queen’s Elphame to rescue Mercy. It’s the start of Samuel and Arianna getting back together. I love that they found each other again after all these years, even if it is painful for them both at first.
Outtakes from Night Broken:
This outtake happens at the very end of Night Broken.
We get another scene from Adam’s POV!! I wish that had been in the book but I do understand why Briggs didn’t include it. This is a conversation with Adam and Coyote while Mercy is in the hospital. I hate seeing Adam so emotional after Mercy endangers herself but I still appreciate that Adam never tries to change her.