Another great short Holly & Andrew story, but this time, it’s their relationship that is tested. Hanging on to life for the sake of someone you love is admirable, but it also means that there can be some pretty severe consequences if something goes awry. Caine uses Holly’s Balm to test the limits of love and trust in a uniquely trialled way.
The overarching message in this short story is that love can conquer all – even death. That is, if you have enough power to try. The concept and the story itself is incredibly sweet, and enough to make anyone believe in true love again.
Fairy Gifts is a really good mix between an origin story and a modern tale of caution against the fae. Although Thomas Hao doesn’t appear in the Mercedes Thompson books until much later in the series, Hao is a bit of an enigma when he eventually does – so discovering more about his past and the source of his unique condition was a thoroughly enjoyable journey to be swept away with.
Although vampires have been quickly rising in popular culture, I’m still not 100% sold on the idea of a good vampire. One of the many reasons why I love the Mercedes Thompson series – the vampires aren’t purported to be anything but blood-sucking creatures that must kill humans to survive; regardless of their friendliness and moral compass. So it was a stark change of pace to read a short story where Briggs promotes sympathy for one of the living dead.
This is an amazingly sad and sweet tale set in the Mercy-verse. I would recommend reading this after reading Silver Borne, although chronologically, it occurs before. But the true impact and power of Samuel and Arianna’s story is so much more potent after the events in the fifth Mercedes Thompson book. Or at least, it was for me – so powerful in fact that I wept throughout the entire short story.
Rereading scenes from the first four books from Curran’s point of view is one of the most exciting things that I have done in a while. This also happens to be the first eBook that I have ever read (a little behind the times, I know). A great experience, and I was actually a little disappointed when the short stories ended.
Curran and Kate start a new life and a new era is ushered in with the beginning of Magic Shifts. Their new life embraces their love and small family – which you quickly realise is much bigger than just the three of them. Having a family away from The Pack was an incredibly new dynamic and one that just feels so right within their lives.
This isn’t the last book in the series; luckily. However, it acts as a bit of a midway point, a mid-end to the series. It ties up some character arcs and storylines and answers so many questions that it is actually a really safe place to pause reading the series in. Not that I would recommend pausing this series, but regardless, it is a great way to neatly tie up some lose ends. Andrews also managed to seriously surprise me with the way in which they did this – the conclusion was startling and took a turn which I never expected.
Revisiting Dali and Jim is always a pleasure, and this novella was no different. Dali and Jim’s relationship is so much more subtle than the other relationships in the Kate Daniels series, but no more passionate. Dali’s strikingly different attitude and outlook on life is so refreshing, and I am really hoping that more of her stories will be told as the series continues.
Kate and Curran are truly tested in Magic Rises. This is the most heart-stopping and gut-wrenching tale of the Kate Daniels series so far. At least for me, I cried at multiple points throughout the tale, and just couldn’t put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. Part of that was also the very frustrating relationship between the two primaries – a few times I was even torn between throwing the book across the room after Curran and Kate’s pigheadedness, and ripping through to the next page to hope that they would fix up their many blunders.