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Overall rating: 4.5-5 stars
This was a great group of short stories. I'm listening to the audio version of this (which is a total of 14 hours & 52 minutes long) so I will give lengths of each story as well a rating and short review.
This was a really good prequel type story. It was interesting to find out more about Bran and Samuel and how they escaped the captivity by the witch. I was actually surprised that the relationship between Ariana and Samuel was a lot deeper than I had expected and it's rather sad how they ended up split apart. I'm just glad they find each other again in Silver Borne. :D
This is a story of Thomas, a young Chinese man that lived in Butt, MT in the early 1900s. He was turned in to a vampire against his will and trapped in servitude. When he enters a bargain with a Fae, Thomas ends up getting more than he expected. This was a really interesting story. I don't recognize the characters from any previous stories so I'm hoping Thomas (and maybe Maggie) will show up in the series down the line.
Grey takes place in Chicago and is about a vampire named Elyna. She had been turned (against her will) years before and it caused her to loose everything. After finally gaining her freedom, Elyna was willing to do whatever was needed to be able to go back home. This was a touching story and I really liked how it turned out. I liked Elyna and wouldn't mind seeing her in the series in the future.
This was a very good story about the first time Tom and Moira (from Hunting Ground) meet. Tom comes to Moira for help when his brother comes up missing adn she has to face an old enemy in the process. I liked Tom and Moira in Hunting Grounds so I found it very interesting to see how they first met and the beginnings of their relationship. :)
Alpha & Omega
This is a great story. It's the intro story for the Alpha & Omega series which is great.
Anna is a werewolf and has been for 3 years. Unfortunately she was turned against her will and is part of a horrible pack that abuses her regularly. She has been struggling to get by but when she sees a news story about a young man that she know was in her Alpha's house she decides she needs to call in a higher authority, the Marrack (the leader of all the werewolves in North America). She's terrified because dominant wolves have always meant pain for her but she's determined to try to help the boy. When she speaks to the Marrack, she finds out he's already sent someone to Chicago and he asks her to meet his emissary.
Charles is his Father's (the Marrack) enforcer. He's an old and very Dominant. He's been sent to Chicago to investigate a few issues. He isn't expecting a last minute change in plans when he gets a message from his father to meet a female werewolf at the airport and keep her safe. He's also not expecting her to be an Omega (a rare type of werewolf that helps calm others) and that his wolf will immediately decide to claim her as his mate.
The story isn't long and only takes place over a little over a day. Charles and Anna discuss things and Charles finds out that some weird stuff has been going on in the pack (including the many instances of abuse and rape of Anna over the 3 years she's been in the pack). Things between Charles and Anna don't get much further than beginning interest (no insta-love) but it was done well and you can see the starting of a connection between them and Anna feels safe with Charles and that's something she hasn't had since she was turned. There are a couple encounters with some of the bad werewolves and a final confrontation in which the mystery is solved and the bad guys are taken out. The story ends with a possibility of a HEA (which will come about in the continuing series) as Charles asks Anna to move to Montana with him so they can explore a possible relationship together (their human sides that is, since their wolves are already there).
This is a great story. I love Charles and Anna. She's been through so much but yet is still has spirit and is willing to do what needs to be done to help others. Charles is so gruff and has to be hard in what he does for his Father but he finds in Anna, someone he wants to shelter and protect and that brings about soft feelings in him for the first time in his life (and he's had a long life so far). This story is a lead in to the series so I'd recommend planning to read the first book of the series Cry Wolf right after this as it starts immediately after this book leaves off. I'd recommend this story. 2 thumbs up!
The Star of David
This story is about David Christianson, a werewolf from Moon Called. David had a rough life and didn't chose to become a werewolf. When he came home from Vietnam changed and found his wife with another man...well lets just say things didn't go well and he has been estranged from part of his family since then. At the beginning of this story, David's daughter, who he hasn't seen for years, calls asking for a favor. She works as a social worker and there's been some trouble with one of her charges and she suspects supernatural things are in play. David agrees to help and things get figured out and fixed. The story ends with a sweet bit of Christmas cheer that gives it a happy ending.
I have to admit that I've been a little curious about David before so I was happy to get a bit of a peak in to his life. This was a great story and I was thrilled to see something good happen for David. I hope to see more of him in the future.
A Rose in Winter
This was a great short story. It revolves around Kara, a 13 year old girl that was turned in to a werewolf (her introduction was in Blood Bound) and now is having trouble learning to control her change. She befriends Asil (aka The Moor) and he helps her in her journey to learn how to control her change. It's a really good story with some touching moments. I loved seeing more of Asil and Kara is a pretty cool young character. I hope to see more of both of them in the future (and maybe see something finally develop between Asil and Sage?!?!). :)
In Red, with Pearls
I loved this story! It focuses on Warren and Kyle. A zombie is sent to kill Kyle and Warren has to find out who and why. I love Warren and it was great to see his PoV and get a glimpse in to his life. :D
This was a great short story. It basically revolves around Ben working at his job as a DBA (Database administrator). Since I work in IT myself I found the tales of his work antics funny and somewhat realistic (it's scary what code writers will do to a program...). What I really loved though was getting to see Ben start to grow. We get some insight in to Ben and get to see him realize what the true job of a dominant is and accept his instincts that tell him to do things he normally wouldn't do.
I've had mixed feeling about Ben in the past. He obviously has an issue with woman and there's an indication that he may have done some bad things in the past. In this story we do learn his background. It's rather horrifying and shows him as both the victim and person doing the victimizing which made me feel badly for him but mad at him. Ben had certain constraints that made it harder for him to do the right things and the fact that he made the effort (even if later than he should have) made it easier for me to accept his past. I like that in recent books he's been improving in attitude and such and this story really shows that improvement. I hope to see much more of Ben in the future. I'd love to see him in another short...maybe he'll eventually find love!?!?! Well, I can always hope. :D
This was a really good story. It focuses around Mercy with a bit of Adam thrown in at the end. Mercy is approached by a someone in need of her powers with ghosts. Mercy agrees to help and has a brief adventure while helping get rid of a pesky poltergeist. It's an interesting story and we get to see Mercy dealing with some of the stuff that took place during Night Broken and I liked the glimpse.
Silver Borne outtake
This was a nice scene from Ariana's PoV that shows how she and Samuel reunited during the story. After reading their start in "Silver" it was nice to see their HEA come to life.
Night Broken outtake
This was a scene that didn't make it in to Night broken from Adam's PoV. It's basically just an interesting conversation between Adam and Coyote that takes place at the end of the story while Mercy is recovering in the hospital. I liked the scene but there's not much to it.
* note - I didn't rate the 2 outtakes separately because they're so short.
Overall, this was a great group of short stories. If you love the series already I'd definitely recommend picking this up. The stories are self contained enough that I think someone new to the series could read them without an undue amount of confusion so I'd recommend this to anyone really. :D
* note - Each story had a different narrator. All the narrators did a very good job.
45 of 46 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Wonderful to have all these short stories brought together, highlighting just how rich and splendid “The World of Mercedes Thompson” is, with extraordinary characters and beautifully layered intrigue.
My favourites are “Silver” & “Roses in Winter”
1. “Silver” (Bran Cornick & Samuel Cornick origin story with Ariana) – ★★★★★
2. “Fairy Gifts” – ★★★
3. “Gray” – ★★★½ Stars
4. “Seeing Eye” (Tom Franklin & Moira Keller meet) – ★★★★
5. “Alpha and Omega” (Charles Cornick & Anna Latham meet) – ★★★★
6. “The Star of David” Book 1.5 (David Christiansen’s story) – ★★★½ Stars
7. “Roses in Winter” (Based in Aspen Creek) – ★★★★★
8. “In Red, with Pearls” Book 6.5 (A Warren Smith & Kyle Brooks Story) – ★★★★
9. “Redemption” (A Ben Shaw Story) – ★★★★
10. “Hollow” (A Mercy Thompson Story) – ★★★★
Out take from Silver Borne Book 5 - Samuel & Ariana
Out take from Night Broken Book 8 - Adam's POV
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
I was drawn in from start to finish and listened to it back to back over a couple of days. I expect some people won't like the stories told by the male narrator ,Alexander Cendese especially as he is a little bit weak on the female voices but I enjoyed them. Lorelei King's performance was brilliant, she's up there with Khristine Hvam as a favorite narrator as far as I'm concerned, you forget you're even listening to an audio-book. Some of these stories have appeared in anthologies before but I still think it's worth the credit for the new stuff. If you haven't already got it don't waste your money on the Alpha and Omega novella, as it's contained in here. I think everyone will know that this isn't the Mercy Thompson book to start with. Although the stories are complete in their own right, they contain massive spoilers for Mercy Thompson and there are even a couple of excerpts for book 8 at the end, which is why I'm not saying much about them. Patricia Briggs fans aren't likely to be disappointed. If you haven't read her yet I'd say that she's likely to appeal to people who enjoy Anne Bishop, Faith Hunter, C E Murphy and possibly Mercedes Lacky.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I got this as I am a huge Mercy Thompson fan, but I have to say I wasn't that impressed. Some of the stories were good, but overall I didn't really feel this book added anything to the previous books. I didn't like the male narrator all that much, and the female narrator is good but her accents need work. Some people will really love this, but for me it was all just a bit pointless.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful