Shifting Sands by Patricia Briggs

Mercy Thompson World

Source: Purchased rating

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…

After reading the last Mercy Thompson released this year, which rocked, I was excited to see this anthology in the bookstore in the discount aisle. More Mercy? Check.

Unfortunately despite the promise of more stories from the Mercy Thompson world and the as-usual intriguing cover, I was bored with a majority of these stories. I'm one of those odd fans who doesn't prefer the Alpha and Omega series. In fact, I didn't even like the first book since it felt like paranormal romance overload to me. Most of the stories in Shifting Sands focuses on side characters (and I mean SIDE characters, those who only appear briefly for a season), and a majority of those are familiar to those who read the Alpha and Omega books. One story, Fairy Gifts, didn't seem to have anything to do with either series other than being set in the same world-building.

I'm a fan of Bran, who wouldn't be?, but overall there were only a few stories that pushed my reader's buttons.

Alpha and Omega was one I was curious about because I remember being put off by the fact the two main characters had already met and bonded before the series officially started. Apparently this short story is what introduced the pair, like a mini-prequel of what was to come. I was hoping I'd bond more with Anna and Charles seeing them meet and where it all started and went down Their bond felt too immediate, the shifting of point of view was too strong, and again it was a flat paranormal romance. On the plus side there was Bran goodness, yay.

Roses and Winter was relatively sweet, set in Bran's camp with Asil taking a young werewolf girl under his wing before they're forced to kill her. I remember her briefly from a Mercy book so this is her story of struggle, survival and acceptance. It's not riveting but it has it's endearing moments.

In Red, with Pearls was a delight because it was with Warren, who is a favorite of mine from the Mercy books. The tough, gay enforcer has a soft spot for justice and his friends. Here he and Kyle have to solve the mystery of a zombie being sent to kill the attorney in his office. There's a twist on who is behind what and the witches in the pack are brought into focus, which isn't usual for Brigg's stories. This probably stands as my favorite from the short stories.

Redemption was fun too because it showed Ben, who is another favorite. We learn about his back history and how dark it really is (poor thing!) It's in an office setting of all weird places though, and shows how he protects one of his own, even if he doesn't know he's claimed het yet. There's amusement with a cursing jar too. Recommended short for fans.

Hollow finally, finally gives us an actual Mercy story. She goes to solve a mini riddle and play cupid. It's an intriguing ghost story and kept me glued. I love the ghost stuff with Mercy. Either the first best or second, one of the top for sure. Can't get enough of Mercy, and Adam coming in at the end? *Heart thump*

Those are the stories I felt like reading/reviewing fully. The rest were little interest to me. Sadly the bulk of this anthology was found to be dull and distant, so not sure I'll pick up other Mercy anthologies. Briggs seems to shine more with her novels.

   Book Quotes:

“I'm a wolf ma'am. Not a cat. I don't play around with my prey.”

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