Fantasy Mystery Comics Non-Fiction Fiction

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Shifting Shadows: Stories from the World of Mercy Thompson (2014) Patricia Briggs

Interspersed with the novels, I read the short stories in Shifting Shadows. Patricia Briggs is quite good at writing short stories, which is why re-reading is such a pleasure.

Fairy Gifts (previously published in Naked City)
Gray (previously published in Home Improvement: Undead Edition)
Seeing Eye (previously published in Strange Brew)
Alpha and Omega (previously published in On the Prowl)
The Star of David (previously published in Wolfsbane and Mistletoe)
Roses in Winter
In Red, with Pearls (previously published in Down These Strange Streets)

The Mercy Thompson Timeline (from Patricia Briggs website)

Long Ago
Silver (novella)

-10 Years
HomeComing (graphic novel)

Any Time
Gray (short story)

-1 Year
Seeing Eye (short story)

Year 1
Moon Called (book)
Alpha and Omega (novella)
Cry Wolf (book)
Hunting Ground (book)
Star of David (short story)

Year 2
Blood Bound (book)
Iron Kissed (book)
Bone Crossed (book)
Roses in Winter (short story)
Silver Borne (book)

Year 3
In Red with Pearls (short story)
River Marked (book)
Fair Game (book)
Frost Burned (book)
Unappreciated Gifts (short story)

Year 4
Redemption (short story)
Dead Heat (book)
Hopcross Jilly (graphic novel)
Night Broken (book)
Hollow (short story)
Fairy Gifts (short story)
Fire Touched (book)

Silver tells of Bran and Samuel’s past, from Samuel’s point of view, telling how they were Changed and how Samuel met Ariana.

My father said a name that slid off my ears. He waited a moment, then said, “Samuel?”

I must have looked a little wild-eyed when I turned to him. “She stole my memories. Stole my name.”

He nodded once. “There will be a reckoning.”

“Do you remember them? My wife and children?” I asked. When he nodded again, my panic eased. “As long as someone does, they aren’t lost.”

“They are not lost as long as I live,” my father agreed. “I’ll remember them for you.”

Fairy Gifts is a particular favorite, and you don’t have to know anything of Mercy for this story, since it is set in Butte Montana, in the past and the present.

“It probably won’t surprise you to learn that all the fae don’t get along together, will it, Mr. Hao?”

“We vampires are the soul of brotherly love,” Thomas responded dryly. “I assumed that the fae were the same.”

This is one of my favorite stories.

Gray is completely outside the Mercy timeline, about a vampire who just wants to survive as best she can, and come to terms with the ghost of her husband.

“You don’t look like a vampire,” he said.

“I know,” she agreed. A stray breeze brushed a strand of hair off her cheek. “We’re like serial killers; we look just like everyone else.”

Seeing Eye is the backstory of two characters who appear in the Alpha & Omega series, and you need no background for this story.

Star of David is about David Christiansen, who appears in Moon Called. It’s a story of redemption and acceptance, and is one I particularly liked. “He’d thought you had to be bleeding someplace to hurt this badly.”

Roses in Winter is an Asil story, and gives us the story of Kara, whose father appears in Blood Bound, wanting help for his young daughter who was attacked and survived the Change.

He crooned a child’s lullaby his father had sung to him. It wasn’t Spanish, but African, a Moorish tune his father had learned from his grandmother. Like Asil, it was old and worn, the words in a language that no one, to his knowledge, had spoken for a thousand years.

Asil is one of my favorite characters, and I am always glad when he makes an appearance.

In Red with Pearls is a Warren and Kyle story, and as much as I love both of those characters, this story doesn’t do much for me.

Aside from the outtakes, you should be able to read these stories without having read any of the novels.

Redemption is a Ben story, and as much as I like Ben, and I like seeing his changes (which we do here) this isn’t one of my favorite stories.

But I do love various bits of this story.

Ben heard Rajeev’s unspoken dismay. What were they thinking selling this half-written spaghetti code to a customer who has never offended us?

“What I can’t fix is that the program won’t run unless the password is permanently set to PASSWORD and the username is permanently TEST. Since I’m working on databases that hold the US governmental secrets of the last hundred years, you’ll understand that is not acceptable.”

There was a long silence. Then Rajeev said, very carefully “Someone hard-coded the passwords.”

“That’s what I’m seeing,” agreed Ben blandly.

All the main servers had names. Most of them were references to the usual geek favorites: Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Dr. Seuss characters. The only server name that was out of the ordinary was the server someone had named Tree a couple of years ago. Word was that on the eve of transferring to Washington, D.C., a DBA who never read anything but nonfiction had named it in a fit of defiance.

Hollow is a Mercy story, and strangely, not one of my favorites, despite the bits I did like.

“It has always been an ambition of mine to serve as an object lesson for others.”

“Holy Roman Empire. What happened to my bedroom?”

Published by Ace

Categories: Anthology, Fantasy, Female, Re-Read, Steampunk, Supernatural     Comments (0)    

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