Book Review: Patricia Briggs’ Shifting Shadows

Posted January 27, 2015 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Patricia Briggs’ Shifting Shadows

Shifting Shadows


Patricia Briggs

It is part of the , , , , , , , , , , , , , series and is a urban fantasy in eBook edition that was published by Ace Books on September 2, 2014 and has 464 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include When Demons Walk, Steal the Dragon, Home Improvement: Undead Edition, Fair Game, Frost Burned, Night Broken, Dead Heat, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked, Hunting Ground, Iron Kissed, Cry Wolf, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen

A collection of ten short stories that weave in and out of Mercy Thompson’s World, an urban fantasy based in Washington state and revolving around a VW mechanic who happens to shift into a coyote and has ties to the Marrok in Montana.

On a very positive note, Shifting Shadows holds every short story Briggs has published so far in the Mercy Thompson series (two are in the Alpha & Omega series) PLUS four new ones! Briggs has also included a couple of outtake scenes. If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the blended Alpha & Omega and the Mercy Thompson books on my website.

Mercy Thompson Series:
“Silver” (NEW; centuries before Moon Called)
“Roses in Winter” (NEW; MT 4.5; A&O, 2.5)
“Redemption” (NEW; 7.5)
“Hollow” (NEW; 8.5)
“Fairy Gifts” (about a century before Moon Called and only connect to MT because there are fae in it)
“Gray” (before Moon Called and only connected to MT because it has vampires in it)
“Alpha and Omega” (Mercy Thompson 1a; Alpha & Omega, 0.5)
“Seeing Eye” (a year before Moon Called, so 0.75??; only connected to MT because it involves the Emerald City Pack in Seattle)
“The Star of David” (1.5; a fellow vet and friend of Adam’s)
“In Red, with Pearls” (6.5)

The Stories

Silver” is the first half of Ariana and Samuel’s romance. How they met and why they parted. It’s too sad, but incredibly detailed with back history on Samuel and Bran and how they came to be wolves because of Bran’s black witch of a mother. This tale continues in Silver Borne, 5 (MT) 7 (overall).

Fairy Gifts” takes place in an abandoned copper mine in Butte, Montana. It’s a clever story in many ways with Briggs not telling us what Thomas is until the end. It’s a twice-needed rescue for Margaret Flanagan and gives Thomas the greatest gift. A gift for which he is so very grateful.

It’s an interesting story but convoluted. You’ll need to pay close attention to this.

Gray” is such a sad love story about a vampire who finally wins free to seek her old love. I absolutely adore it even as I cry.

Seeing Eye” is an odd alliance of werewolf and white witch as they hunt for the wolf’s missing brother and do battle against an evil coven. There is such a wealth of history in this one, and so much sadness as well. Yet it does end on a note of hope.

Alpha and Omega” is one that I adore. It’s Charles’ meeting up with Anna and is so romantic — werewolf-wise, lol. It takes place in Chicago when Charles is forced to clean up an insane mess. We also get the background on why Charles was born and why his birth makes him so special.

Star of David” is a Christmas side story about David Christiansen, a survivor along with Adam of the attack in Vietnam that turned them both into werewolves. It’s sad and fascinating as David’s estranged daughter contacts him for help for one of her foster kids. Yet another indictment of the fostercare system. The title is about Stella, the daughter David has always called his star.

Roses in Winter” is an odd partnership of Asil and Kara Beckworth, the young girl who was attacked and whose parents have been trying to keep her safe and alive. It was her father in Blood Bound, 2, who had approached Mercy about his daughter. This short story provides a peek in at the rules that bind the werewolves, the Marrok, and Asil’s past and sense of honor.

Asil speaks to Kara of his mate whom he had loved enough to want to destroy the world. I love that his memory of her is roses. That “roses smelled like happiness … [and that every time] … she smelled a rose, she thought of the day we met.”

I love that Asil is so supportive of Kara and that comment he makes to one of the alphas made me want to cheer: “You are so anxious to kill her that you cannot wait ten minutes?”

In Red, With Pearls” is a real twister of a story that starts with a zombie assassin after Kyle. Naturally Warren is very concerned and learns all sorts of things about those who might want his lover dead. Loved all the deductions Warren made!

Redemption” is just too funny as it opens with Ben talking to a tech support guy in India about their lousy software. It’s funny on so many levels what with Ben not being able to swear (and Briggs does a great job of making us feel Ben’s efforts, lol) and Rajeev frustrated over the “half-written spaghetti code”. It’s ins and outs of geekery with the humanizing efforts the geeks include for their servers as well as the advantages some programmers try to take. Oh, boy.

It’s a tale of harassment that forces Ben into greater personal growth, forces him to understand what truly makes a wolf dominant.

Hollow” is a sort-of ghost exorcism as Mercy helps a couple of strangers get rid of an unexpected ghost haunting a man. There’s also a quick bit in here about Mercy’s decision to not rebuild her garage after events in Night Broken, 8.

An outtake scene from Silver Borne that relates to Samuel and Ariana’s story during the rescue of Mercy from the fairy queen’s Elphame when her mate bond with Adam was broken. Of Samuel’s despair and Ariana’s fear.

An outtake scene from Night Broken that Briggs simply couldn’t work into the story and comes at the very end of Night Broken when Mercy is dying in the hospital and Coyote saves her.

The Cover and Title

The cover has a blue sky background with snow-covered mountain peaks angling across the bottom with a profile of a busty Mercy caught between thin golden rails one of which includes a loping coyote within a semi-circle, perfectly replicating the coyote at the top of her bicep tattoo. She’s wearing a form-fitting black tank top, her hair in braids, wearing long feather earrings, and appearing to be lost in thought as she looks downward.

I’m thinking the title reflects Mercy’s world of Shifting Shadows for shifters keep within the shadows to protect their secrets.