I am always eager to return to the World of Mercy Thompson and was thrilled to see that all the shorter stories were pulled together in one volume along with several new ones. I love how each story has an introduction to the author explaining background, where it originally appeared or even how the story came to be. This was almost the worth of a new original story. As I do with most anthologies, I’ll make a note of each story individually.
First up was Silver, a never before seen story that is a prequel of sorts as it tells the story of Bran, Samuel and Ariana long ago. It’s an origin story of sorts and it is a tale of sadness, pain, hope and love. Surprising details that were not known from the earlier written books were just an added bonus. Definitely a hit involving favorite series characters.
4.5 Stars #.1 Mercy Thompson
Fairy Gifts was a lovely bit of surprise about a Chinese vampire who was turned during the height of the mining days in Butte, MT. An encounter with the fey leaves him with an interesting gift and many years later it is his turn to return the favor. Story is told in flashbacks and present day bits all from the vampire Tom’s perspective. Fantastic twist at the end.
Gray took me up by my emotions and even wrung some tears from me. The author doesn’t sugarcoat the transition people go through when they suddenly become one of the monsters. In this case, it is the story a woman’s tragic life when she is changed to vampire. She leaves her Seethe behind to return to the place she thought of as home even if it meant returning to the territory of a powerful vampire seethe leader. Just maybe she will regain some of the humanity and the spirit of the love she lost in her old home.
Seeing Eye is an older novella that was produced for an anthology introducing the witch Moira and the werewolf Tom who also appear in Alpha and Omega’s Hunting Grounds with Charles and Anna. It was an engaging story as the two warily team up to search out Tom’s brother and save him from the local coven to which Moira has an unfortunate connection.
4 stars #.6 Alpha & Omega
Alpha and Omega also appeared as a novella in an anthology as the prequel to the Alpha and Omega series introducing Charles and Anna. It is exciting and suspenseful, but it also builds and interest to read on in the series for what is the come after.
4 stars #.5 Alpha & Omega
The Star of David was the Urban Fantasy version of a feel-good for a secondary character from Moon Called, the werewolf David. I enjoyed the holiday mission he was on for his daughter and hope to encounter more of him in further books.
4 Stars #1.5 Mercy Thompson
Roses in Winter was just captivating as it follow-up on the little girl werewolf Kara, Asil and Bran. My heart went out to all three as Kara’s struggles to learn how to be a wolf might force Bran into a hard decision. I love how the author infuses something tragic with hope and triumph.
4.5 Stars #5.5 Mercy Thompson, #2.5 Alpha & Omega
In Red, With Pearls- Warren is the main character!!!!
Oh, guess I need to say more, but seriously this was like a special treat that I wasn’t expecting. I’ve loved this character in the Mercy Thompson series and it was a blast having him solving a mystery. If Patricia Briggs ever decides to write a mystery, I think it will sell big.
4.5 Stars #6.5 Mercy Thompson
Redemption featured Ben the werewolf from Adam and Mercy’s Pack. I enjoyed this short story from his perspective that gave more details of his life before coming to Adam’s pack and the character growth he undergoes in this story.
4.5 Stars #7.5 Mercy Thompson
And she saved the best for last in Hollow being an actual Mercy story. Mercy is left deciding what to do about her demolished garage, but in the meantime she is offered a ghost hunt to keep her busy. Nice little tide over until the next book.
4.5 Stars #8.5 Mercy Thompson
Two outtakes from Silver Bourne and Night Broken were cool extras at the end.
All in all, this was a fantastic anthology for fans of the author, but also Urban Fantasy readers in general though I would definitely advice the reader to get this anthology after starting the Mercy Thompson books so the people and world building can be appreciated better.