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Publisher's Summary

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author - including four all-new, original stories from the world of Mercy Thompson.

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 fan favorites

"Fairy Gifts"
"Gray"
"Alpha and Omega"
"Seeing Eye"
"The Star of David"
"In Red, with Pearls"

©2014 by Hurog, Inc. “Fairy Gifts” © 2011 by Patricia Briggs. “Gray” © 2011 by Hurog, Inc. “Seeing Eye” © 2009 by Patricia Briggs. “Alpha and Omega” © 2007 by Hurog, Inc. “The Star of David” © 2008 by Hurog, Inc. “In Red, with Pearls” © 2011 by Hurog, Inc. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Malinda
  • 2014-11-02

Great compilation of stories from the Mercy-verse

Overall rating: 4.5-5 stars

This was a great group of short stories. I'm listening to the audio version of this (which is a total of 14 hours & 52 minutes long) so I will give lengths of each story as well a rating and short review.

Silver
Time: 0-2:36

4-4.5 stars

This was a really good prequel type story. It was interesting to find out more about Bran and Samuel and how they escaped the captivity by the witch. I was actually surprised that the relationship between Ariana and Samuel was a lot deeper than I had expected and it's rather sad how they ended up split apart. I'm just glad they find each other again in Silver Borne. :D


Fairy Gifts
Time: 2:36-3:38

4 stars

This is a story of Thomas, a young Chinese man that lived in Butt, MT in the early 1900s. He was turned in to a vampire against his will and trapped in servitude. When he enters a bargain with a Fae, Thomas ends up getting more than he expected. This was a really interesting story. I don't recognize the characters from any previous stories so I'm hoping Thomas (and maybe Maggie) will show up in the series down the line.

Grey
Time: 3:38-4:45

4-4.5 stars

Grey takes place in Chicago and is about a vampire named Elyna. She had been turned (against her will) years before and it caused her to loose everything. After finally gaining her freedom, Elyna was willing to do whatever was needed to be able to go back home. This was a touching story and I really liked how it turned out. I liked Elyna and wouldn't mind seeing her in the series in the future.

Seeing Eye
Time: 4:45-5:52

4 stars

This was a very good story about the first time Tom and Moira (from Hunting Ground) meet. Tom comes to Moira for help when his brother comes up missing adn she has to face an old enemy in the process. I liked Tom and Moira in Hunting Grounds so I found it very interesting to see how they first met and the beginnings of their relationship. :)

Alpha & Omega
Time: 5:52-8:05

4.5-5 stars

This is a great story. It's the intro story for the Alpha & Omega series which is great.

Anna is a werewolf and has been for 3 years. Unfortunately she was turned against her will and is part of a horrible pack that abuses her regularly. She has been struggling to get by but when she sees a news story about a young man that she know was in her Alpha's house she decides she needs to call in a higher authority, the Marrack (the leader of all the werewolves in North America). She's terrified because dominant wolves have always meant pain for her but she's determined to try to help the boy. When she speaks to the Marrack, she finds out he's already sent someone to Chicago and he asks her to meet his emissary.

Charles is his Father's (the Marrack) enforcer. He's an old and very Dominant. He's been sent to Chicago to investigate a few issues. He isn't expecting a last minute change in plans when he gets a message from his father to meet a female werewolf at the airport and keep her safe. He's also not expecting her to be an Omega (a rare type of werewolf that helps calm others) and that his wolf will immediately decide to claim her as his mate.

The story isn't long and only takes place over a little over a day. Charles and Anna discuss things and Charles finds out that some weird stuff has been going on in the pack (including the many instances of abuse and rape of Anna over the 3 years she's been in the pack). Things between Charles and Anna don't get much further than beginning interest (no insta-love) but it was done well and you can see the starting of a connection between them and Anna feels safe with Charles and that's something she hasn't had since she was turned. There are a couple encounters with some of the bad werewolves and a final confrontation in which the mystery is solved and the bad guys are taken out. The story ends with a possibility of a HEA (which will come about in the continuing series) as Charles asks Anna to move to Montana with him so they can explore a possible relationship together (their human sides that is, since their wolves are already there).

This is a great story. I love Charles and Anna. She's been through so much but yet is still has spirit and is willing to do what needs to be done to help others. Charles is so gruff and has to be hard in what he does for his Father but he finds in Anna, someone he wants to shelter and protect and that brings about soft feelings in him for the first time in his life (and he's had a long life so far). This story is a lead in to the series so I'd recommend planning to read the first book of the series Cry Wolf right after this as it starts immediately after this book leaves off. I'd recommend this story. 2 thumbs up!

The Star of David
Time: 8:05-9:06

4.5-5 stars

This story is about David Christianson, a werewolf from Moon Called. David had a rough life and didn't chose to become a werewolf. When he came home from Vietnam changed and found his wife with another man...well lets just say things didn't go well and he has been estranged from part of his family since then. At the beginning of this story, David's daughter, who he hasn't seen for years, calls asking for a favor. She works as a social worker and there's been some trouble with one of her charges and she suspects supernatural things are in play. David agrees to help and things get figured out and fixed. The story ends with a sweet bit of Christmas cheer that gives it a happy ending.

I have to admit that I've been a little curious about David before so I was happy to get a bit of a peak in to his life. This was a great story and I was thrilled to see something good happen for David. I hope to see more of him in the future.

A Rose in Winter
Time: 9:06-10:32

4.5-5 stars

This was a great short story. It revolves around Kara, a 13 year old girl that was turned in to a werewolf (her introduction was in Blood Bound) and now is having trouble learning to control her change. She befriends Asil (aka The Moor) and he helps her in her journey to learn how to control her change. It's a really good story with some touching moments. I loved seeing more of Asil and Kara is a pretty cool young character. I hope to see more of both of them in the future (and maybe see something finally develop between Asil and Sage?!?!). :)

In Red, with Pearls
Time: 10:32-12:01

4.5-5 stars

I loved this story! It focuses on Warren and Kyle. A zombie is sent to kill Kyle and Warren has to find out who and why. I love Warren and it was great to see his PoV and get a glimpse in to his life. :D

Redemption
Time: 12:01-13:09

4.5-5 stars

This was a great short story. It basically revolves around Ben working at his job as a DBA (Database administrator). Since I work in IT myself I found the tales of his work antics funny and somewhat realistic (it's scary what code writers will do to a program...). What I really loved though was getting to see Ben start to grow. We get some insight in to Ben and get to see him realize what the true job of a dominant is and accept his instincts that tell him to do things he normally wouldn't do.

I've had mixed feeling about Ben in the past. He obviously has an issue with woman and there's an indication that he may have done some bad things in the past. In this story we do learn his background. It's rather horrifying and shows him as both the victim and person doing the victimizing which made me feel badly for him but mad at him. Ben had certain constraints that made it harder for him to do the right things and the fact that he made the effort (even if later than he should have) made it easier for me to accept his past. I like that in recent books he's been improving in attitude and such and this story really shows that improvement. I hope to see much more of Ben in the future. I'd love to see him in another short...maybe he'll eventually find love!?!?! Well, I can always hope. :D

Hollow
Time: 13:09-14:30

4-4.5 stars

This was a really good story. It focuses around Mercy with a bit of Adam thrown in at the end. Mercy is approached by a someone in need of her powers with ghosts. Mercy agrees to help and has a brief adventure while helping get rid of a pesky poltergeist. It's an interesting story and we get to see Mercy dealing with some of the stuff that took place during Night Broken and I liked the glimpse.

Silver Borne outtake
Time:14:30-14:44

This was a nice scene from Ariana's PoV that shows how she and Samuel reunited during the story. After reading their start in "Silver" it was nice to see their HEA come to life.

Night Broken outtake
Time: 14:44-14:51

This was a scene that didn't make it in to Night broken from Adam's PoV. It's basically just an interesting conversation between Adam and Coyote that takes place at the end of the story while Mercy is recovering in the hospital. I liked the scene but there's not much to it.

* note - I didn't rate the 2 outtakes separately because they're so short.

Overall, this was a great group of short stories. If you love the series already I'd definitely recommend picking this up. The stories are self contained enough that I think someone new to the series could read them without an undue amount of confusion so I'd recommend this to anyone really. :D

* note - Each story had a different narrator. All the narrators did a very good job.

53 of 55 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Tabatha
  • 2014-09-20

A joy to read

Any additional comments?

Wonderful to have all these short stories brought together, highlighting just how rich and splendid “The World of Mercedes Thompson” is, with extraordinary characters and beautifully layered intrigue.

My favourites are “Silver” & “Roses in Winter”

1. “Silver” (Bran Cornick & Samuel Cornick origin story with Ariana) – ★★★★★
2. “Fairy Gifts” – ★★★
3. “Gray” – ★★★½ Stars
4. “Seeing Eye” (Tom Franklin & Moira Keller meet) – ★★★★
5. “Alpha and Omega” (Charles Cornick & Anna Latham meet) – ★★★★
6. “The Star of David” Book 1.5 (David Christiansen’s story) – ★★★½ Stars
7. “Roses in Winter” (Based in Aspen Creek) – ★★★★★
8. “In Red, with Pearls” Book 6.5 (A Warren Smith & Kyle Brooks Story) – ★★★★
9. “Redemption” (A Ben Shaw Story) – ★★★★
10. “Hollow” (A Mercy Thompson Story) – ★★★★

Out take from Silver Borne Book 5 - Samuel & Ariana
Out take from Night Broken Book 8 - Adam's POV

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Barbara
  • West Fargo, ND, United States
  • 2014-09-03

Loved the new content!

Love the new content. It's a tossup which is my favorite...the story about Ben, Kara, or a new vampire, but I won't give any spoilers. The funniest scene in the entire anthology is at the end of Ben's story. (I wish there had been new Charles and Anna content.)

The old content has all been re-performed. I couldn't get very far into Alpha and Omega, always a favorite of mine, because as much as I love Lorelei King, it just seems wrong to have her perform it. They should have re-used the Holter Graham performance because he's the true voice for Charles and Anna. (That's no criticism to the narrator...I think I'd be equally unhappy if Holter Graham read a Mercy book. They each have pronunciations and voices associated with the characters, and it's inconsistent and kind of wrong to switch.)

"In Red with Pearls", the Warren and Kyle story, was also reperformed, still with a male narrator. I liked the way this guy did Spanish accents much better, but mostly he's just too wimpy to be Warren. In the scene in Kyle's office after Kyle has been attacked by the zombie, and Warren uses that dominant werewolf voice to command Kyle to "Stay Still," the original narratorkind of shouts it out, giving the words true power, while Alexander Cedese doesn't alter his tone of voice at all. I think if Alexander was a fan he might have done better with the book, but I really prefer the narration in "Down These Strange Streets" better. I don't remember the name of that narrator but he just nailed Warren.

I don't think I've heard "Star of David" or "Seeing Eye" performed before but they were fabulous. Love those stories.

The whole thing is a Must Listen if you're a Mercy fan.

16 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Annett Conner
  • 2018-10-03

Need a better narrator

The monotone voices made it really hard to listen and stay focused on the story. Reading this book was intensely better than listening to it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah
  • 2016-05-31

Didn't care for this one.

I liked all the other stories but I didn't care for this one. I just don't care as much about Sam and Ariyana.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • KayGlobal
  • Kansas
  • 2015-03-19

Not sure I will continue with the seires

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not really, It gave me insight on people I did really care to know more about. Like Sam's love. I did however like getting to know Ben more. I like Ben so that was a treat for me.

Would you recommend Shifting Shadows to your friends? Why or why not?

I suppose it depends on the person asking for the recommendation.

What does Alexander Cendese and Lorelei King bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

nothing

Any additional comments?

I have invested in both the Alpha and Omega series and the Mercy one, and I can say I prefer the Mercy one more even though I like knowing more about Charles, his Dad and the Moore. It's just I don't feel the relationship between Charles and Anna is real. When they have silent thoughts about each other they are never anything but perfect thoughts about the other and that's not real. Even people who adore one another don't see the other as absolutely perfect. And Anna is suppose to be this “Omega” that everyone WANTS to talk to, but she is growing more into a know it all who is kind of pushy and nosy, and who thinks she knows better than someone who has lived for hundreds of years. Also Mercy is suppose to love her husband so much and hates hurting him but she never gives a second thought before running into something stupid, not even to think of a better way to accomplish the same goal without making people worry. I think I will pick something else until the next Yellow Rock book comes out.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Malcolm
  • 2015-01-31

Misleading description

Not as described. Mercy is in 1 story. I found most to be luke-warm; enjoyed the latter stories that featured Ben and Mercy and one of the early stories that featured Charles. The others featured characters I have no investment in and I found I was easily distracted and uninterested.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • Livingston, TX, United States
  • 2014-10-05

A comfortable read...

... but not up to the standard of the main series. These are side- and back-stories, and don't have the depth and richness of Briggs' principal work.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Skipper
  • 2014-09-05

Pricey but entertaining

3.5 stars for entire narrated anthology, with some 5-star selections. A mix of old and new material. I didn't like paying again for stories I've already bought and read -- and even listened to some cases -- in order to obtain the new stories.

Unlike many listeners, I'm not nuts about Lorelie King. Her voice gets a bit abrasive after awhile, and she doesn't differentiate enough from when Mercy is thinking to when she is speaking. The male narrator was fine.

Below, the title and my rating for each story. The story synopsis comes directly from the author's website, patriciabriggs.com.

Previously Published Stories
Alpha and Omega. 4 stars. Good story, but I liked Holter Graham's narration much better. From Briggs: The first novella about Anna and Charles, which led to a whole spin-off series.

Gray. 3 stars. I'm simply not a big vampire fan, unless it's Stephan. Briggs said: A vampire buys the home where she lived with her husband, which has fallen into disrespair. She begins remodeling the place, only to find that old and beloved ghosts still linger.

Fairy Gifts. 3 stars. Not a vampire fan. From Briggs: Mining towns are rough and human life is cheap. In the turn-of-the-century Butte Montana, a young man, turned to a vampire, struggles with his nature and eventually finds a measure of redemption in an unlikely place.

Seeing Eye. 5 stars. A scary and slightly heartwarming story. From Briggs: White witches are rare, and seldom as powerful as their morally-compromised counterparts. In this story, a blind witch teams up with a werewolf on a mission.

The Star of David. 5 stars. Great Christmas story. From Briggs: Being a werewolf can wreck havoc on family relations. This is a story of how murder and deception can bring a family together . . .

In Red, with Pearls. 4 stars. Interesting, with surprising plot twists, and intimate scenes with Warren and Kyle. From Briggs: Warren is a werewolf, and a private detective. This is a noir-flavored story about some truly terrible neighbors and why you should always treat a werewolf nicely.

New Stories
Silver. 4 stars. A bit long, but it served the purpose of laying the foundation for Samuel and Arianna. Cool Hobgoblin, Haida. Sorry to say that we didn't get to see Bran go Berserker. From Briggs: This is probably the only depressing story I've ever written, and it was a hard story to write. This covers how Bran and Samuel were first made into werewolves, and how Samuel first fell in love with the Ariana. Of course, as we learned in Silver Borne, things have to take a tragic turn.

Outtake One, from Silver Borne. 3 or 4 stars. Well written and poignantly sweet, but so short. From Briggs: After the tragedy of Silver, I had to remind myself that with long life comes the opportunity to overcome the past, and forge a better future. Samuel and Ariana have another chance at love, and they're determined to make it work. This is an outtake from Silver Borne

Roses in Winter. 5 stars. Brava to Azil and young Kara. Plus, glimpses of Bran and Charles. From Briggs: A young girl survives a werewolf attack, and is transformed into a werewolf. When she wasn't able to control the wolf, she was moved to Bran's pack. The law is absolute: if a werewolf cannot learn to control the wolf, they must be destroyed for the safety of all. With hope fading, Asil intervenes.

Redemption. 2 stars. 14 women?? Really??? As written, I cannot quite buy into Ben's characterization or his redemption. Too simplistic. And for limited space, far too much text is wasted on IT / technology filler. From Briggs: Ben's got a quick temper, and a quicker tongue. He's also made a bet that he can stop swearing for a week, and it just might change his life.

Hollow. 4 or 5 stars. Good little ghost story, suitably scary and sweet. Briggs: A wealthy recluse is haunted by a terrible ghost, and asks Mercy for help. What could possibly go wrong?

Outtake Two, from Night Broken. 3 stars. Nice enough. Very short. Nothing too surprising or especially memorable here. From Briggs: A bit that I wrote in Adam's viewpoint for Night Broken.

18 of 24 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Sugarpucker
  • 2014-09-10

Great stories for Mercy-verse fans

All the stories were great. This is definitely a compilation for those who have read the Mercy books. My only gripe was with the narration. Both narrators were great, but sometimes personalities, accents, and pronunciations lacked continuity with the rest of the existing series. This was a minor annoyance, and is a common problem with short stories set in an existing story-verse. Nothing that should stop you from picking this up if you are a Mercy fan.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful