Ben (a major character in the Mercy Thompson series) is not good with people, particularly women, but he’s become strangely protective of a young lady in his office. This story was originally published in Shifting Shadows.
Ben is intriguing from his very first appearance in Moon Called. Although, not exactly all that attractive. Just… interesting. Yet, as the series progresses, he becomes a fair more enjoyable and beloved character. One that I constantly want to hear more and more about as the insanity of the storylines unfolds… so I was more than a little ecstatic when I found out that there was a short story solely based around Ben…
One of my favourite things about this short story is that it
highlights the fact that dominance isn’t just about being bigger, tougher and
stronger than everyone else. Rather, it is also about the willingness to protect
and care for those who are weaker than you. And, since Ben is starting to grow
up in this series… he is finally beginning to understand this! And understand some
of his horrible past.
This might not be a truly feel good story, especially since
it touches on many issues from his past, but it is a really good one. It lets
you get to know a character that I completely adore. And it also allows you to gain
further understanding into the structure of the wolf packs.
Originally published in the anthology Down These Strange Streets and included in Shifting Shadows. This story features a gay werewolf, Warren, (a main character in the Mercy Thompson series) in his new job as a private eye.
Warren gets his own story! I feel like that is almost enough to say that this is an amazing short story. After all, who couldn’t love Mercy’s best friend – the gay, cowboy werewolf?
But, since I do like to carry on a little, I will share why I thought that this was such a great story. For starters, Warren is always viewed in this series through Mercy’s eyes. Which really doesn’t paint him in a very cut-throat, tough light. After all, he is always saying cute things like “Shucks”. But, seeing the lengths to which he’ll go to protect Kyle… you can see why he survived for so long and is so high in the pecking order. The fact that this story also brings to life (so to speak) zombies, and the resident Russian witch just makes it all the more enthralling.
It actually took me two reads to realise why this story is called In Red, with Pearls – that’s what the zombie and killer are wearing at different points throughout. The fact that this involves a very misplaced crush, and an underestimated villain… it’s just beautiful. And brings karma to the annoying neighbours…
A short story whose main character originally appeared in the Mercy Thompson series. Secondary characters appear in both series. Kara Beckworth, a young lady turned to a werewolf far too early, is trying to learn control with the help of a very old and scary wolf, Asil. This story was published in Shifting Shadows.
The idea of a child werewolf was first introduced in Blood Bound. And it was certainly an interesting concept, especially since in the world of Mercedes Thompson, not many survive the change. Especially the young. Which has always kind of left me wondering – what happened to her after she went to live with the Marrok? We all know that it worked out well for Mercy (in a manner of speaking), and it has always been interesting to see what happened to a young thirteen-year-old, experiencing hormones, new powers and the urges of a werewolf. Roses in Winter gives us that tale. And also brings Asil’s current experiences to life.
Roses in Winter not only investigates what happens when werewolves first change, and how Asil, is, in fact able to bond with others, but also the ways in which werewolves are changed and the culture of Thanksgiving. This is all obliquely mentioned in Moon Called, but the dangers and the strict rules are really enforced in this short story when Kara struggles to make the change on her own. Asil’s willingness to help and nurture her through the difficulties of life as a, maybe not so fierce predator…
The imagery of the rose oasis in the middle of the snow is kind of beautiful. It is first bought about by the very title, but is bought far more beautifully to light when Briggs describes Asil’s greenhouse. The secret home away from home that features so heavily in Kara’s desire to control her wolf, and eventually, their battle to save her from those who wish her harm…
Centers on David Christiansen, who was briefly mentioned in Moon Called. It’s a heartwarming story of how murder and deception can bring a family together.
For me, Christmas is all about family and love. It is about gathering together and being grateful for each other’s’ presence in our lives and hearts. And there are a lot of Christmas tales out there that focus on this, there are also a lot who focus upon the Christian understandings of this celebration. Briggs’ Christmas tale focuses on the aspects of Christmas that I love the most – love, family and reconciliation.
David Christiansen is a bit of a sad character in Moon Called – he was changed in the worst circumstances, and struggles constantly to accept his new place in life. The horror of his past constantly taints his future, and, through the incredible short story, The Star of David, you discover that he has lost not only his humanity, but also a part of his family. The resonating loss in Devonte’s position as a foster child in hospital at Christmas drives home the pain of this and the need of everyone to be constantly be surrounded by people who love and cherish you.
The spirit of Christmas hovers over the whole story, and the final, closing scene is a beautiful way in which to highlight the uplifting and beautiful message within this story. A great short story to read over this Christmas break, something that will make you happy and hopeful as you navigate the most hectic time of year.
The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack – and inspires a power in Anna that she’s never felt before.
Anna is one of the sweetest literary characters that I have read in paranormal fantasy in a long time. Her introduction in this short story bought out a new aspect of the Mercedes Thompson universe and ran beautifully alongside Moon Called.
And then there is Charles… I love Adam and Samuel, but I still think that Charles is my favourite werewolf. The mixture of his position as werewolf assassin and Native American medicine man (for lack of a better term) leaves a strong and intriguing character. Within the first few paragraphs, he leaps off the page and his silent presence engulfs you. Anna’s sweet vulnerability is a beautiful contrast to both his overbearing presence and unemotional role within the Pack is one of my favourite dynamics in Briggs’ books.
The idea of an Omega is something that I had never considered before, but there are certainly those that seem to fit this bill in our everyday lives. The idea of somebody who is protective, but not violent; dominant, but doesn’t require followers is a great change from the general leaders and followers structure of most societies and social systems.
In “Seeing Eye” by Patricia Briggs, a blind witch helps sexy werewolf Tom Franklin find his missing brother–and helps him in more ways than either of them ever suspected.
A great and fascinating short story – and a wonderful pre-introduction into the Alpha & Omega series. Moira and Tom’s meeting is a great way to not only introduce new characters into the Mercy-verse setting, but also provide more information to the world of witchcraft. The idea of White and Black Witches is a complex issue that is introduced in Cry Wolf, and, although the terror of a Black Witch is beautifully displayed, the ability of a very powerful White Witch such as Moira was a great new angle with which to explore Briggs’ intense and intricate world.
I love that both Moira and Tom are physically scarred and, to most, terrifying on the eyes – but, their ability to look past that (at least in Tom’s case) was incredibly sweet. This ability to love and care for one another in spite of all fits in beautifully with the rest of this series. I am actually disappointed that thus far they haven’t played a larger part in the Mercy-verse series – maybe something that will be rectified in the future.
Fairy Gifts deals with a vampire who finds some measure of redemption in the mines far below Butte, Montana.
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 this story is primarily about Hao and his honouring of a debt of gratitude, Briggs also beautifully highlights just why the fae can’t be trusted. Their ability to use half-truths and twist the facts to suit their means is emphasised, and even Briggs’ own words will lead you down one path, while you really walk up another.
I loved this short story, not only for the insight gained into Hao’s life, but also because it managed to surprise me at every turn. Which is something I always appreciate in a well-written story.
A vampire returns to her first home, and finds more than the memories she was seeking.
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.
Like Silver, Gray is an origin tale about somehow loosely connected to the Mercedes Thompson universe. Elyna’s traumatic turning, her love and burning need for revenge illuminate a dark and twisted side that harms even those who achieve vampiric immortality. Her love is a constant flame that keeps hope and a little light shining throughout the tale, and although this is very much a tale about lost love and finding a new beginning, it is her love that will leave you with a small, hopeful feeling when you turn the last page of this story.
The tragic story of how Samuel and Arianna first met.
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.
Not only is this story about Samuel and Arianna, but it is also a sort of origins story for Bran and his eldest son too. Finding out more about their background and Bran’s unique type of power was an amazing adventure and helped to fill in some of the minor details that surround such enigmatic characters.
I loved this sad and bittersweet love story, not only did it help to fill in some gaps about the Mercy-verse as a whole, but it was also an amazing tale that left a feeling of hopelessness.