Fair Game

 With the werewolves ‘out’ in society, the time has come for them to start integrating, to show they aren’t monsters without restraints or morals.  When a serial killer is on the loose in Boston, targeting werewolves and fae, the FBI turn to Bran as The Marrock for help.  As the ultimate head of the American werewolves, he sends Anna and his son Charles to help.

Considering that this successful set of books developed out of a short story that was set in the world of the author’s main series, it’s a pretty amazing feat.  That it’s also eminently readable and enjoyable with characters I’ve loved since that short story, is nothing short of amazing and a testament to the writing skill and imagination of Patricia Briggs.

Fair game is book three in the Alpha and Omega series and despite the two year gap in time between the release of Hunting Ground and Fair Game, the flow, writing and characters remained consistent.  I’d been hoping she would return to the characters of Anna and Charles, as they have become as dear to me as Mercy Thompson.  While you do get mentions of the others from time to time, I would dearly love to read a book that had them all in, now that would be heaven!

Anna has come a long way from the mentally and physically abused wolf we first met in Cry Wolf.  She is married to Charles and understands her role as Omega much more.  In fact it was a treat to see her confident and using the power she has grown into.  Charles I adore and want to smack in equal measure which for me, is about the right tone for an alpha male; dominant yet endearing.  I really felt for the problems they had between them, with Charles being his father’s enforcer, carries out the Marrock’s justice.  I don’t know how anyone could have carried that weight around without it affecting them and it was sad to see it causing a rift between them.

I loved the plot of Fair Game, it actually felt more like a supernatural mystery than traditional urban fantasy and a really good one at that.  The interactions of Anna and Charles with the FBI and the police were sometimes very funny, and Anna’s instructions on how to deal with an Alpha werewolf were well done, even if people then chose not to follow them.

These books are just so easy to read, entertaining and engaging that I before I started Fair Game, I actually read the previous books again right from the short story.  It only took me a couple of days and confirmed how much I love them.  As with all series I love, I just want more and I’m hoping that the consequences of the ending means there will definitely be more coming.

Fair Game is a wonderful read that charms and entertains while sneaking ever more into your heart.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Patricia Briggs
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Hunting Ground

Following on from Cry Wolf, Anna is still coming to terms with her past and being married and mated to Charles.  She is now firmly established as Omega in the Pack and learning about her new status.  Bran as Marrok continues his plans of bringing the American Werewolves out into the public world.  He sends Charles and Anna to Seattle to meet with international Alphas to settle any concerns they might have and has the meeting arbitrated by one of the Fae.   The French Alpha, after provoking a fight ends up being murdered and all evidence seems to point to Charles.  Knowing he’s innocent, Anna sets out to discover who is responsible for both the murder and framing Charles.

I read this book straight after Cry Wolf and it was a very smooth transition, just sucked me right back in as if I hadn’t switched books.  The plot was a bit more complex this time but didn’t detract from the heart of the book, the characters of Anna and Charles.  Her growth from being a submissive victim to a more confident, loving and protective young woman has been really well done.  The development of her human side was well written, and the werewolf aspect almost secondary.  On the opposite side, seeing Charles becoming more relaxed, getting used to having a mate and having to be softer with Anna has been just as good.  Even with the bond they have as mates, communications still get mixed up and it can sometimes be amusing as they sort it out.

There are a lot more characters in this book than the last and it was interesting to see how Charles and Anna interacted with them all both as a couple and separately.  I didn’t predict the ending at all which surprised me, the clues I spotted led me in a completely different direction and I thought it was cleverly done.

It was a good second book, as easy to read as the first and I fell in love with Anna and Charles all over again.  I really hope there are more to follow!

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Patricia Briggs
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

Cry Wolf

For Anna being a werewolf was about pain, torment and submission.  Even after she was rescued by Charles, the Marrok’s enforcer, and claimed as his mate, she expected more of the same.   Finding it hard to believe not all werewolves were as sick and brutal as the ones she left behind, she reluctantly journeys to Montana with the wounded Charles and learns she is a special type of wolf – an Omega.  Neither submissive nor Alpha, she has the power to soothe the savage beast within others and as such should have been a much valued member of the pack.  Her wolf side was all for the mating with Charles but the human side is too scared to let go and trust another person, even the one she was meant to be with.

Anna and Charles first appeared as minor characters in the Mercy Thompson books and then had their own short story told in the ‘On the Prowl’ Anthology.  I’d read those and thought they were interesting characters and was happy to hear they had been built on and now had their own book.  I didn’t really have many expectations as it doesn’t always work and sometimes it is best to leave well enough alone.

Having just finished the book my impression is of having read a very touching story of survival and cost, and learning to trust again.  Familiar themes within urban fantasy but as with the Mercy Thompson books, Patricia Briggs has a fluid and easy to read way of writing that drags you into the story.  I loved the characters of Anna and Charles, Anna being very sweet and likeable, Charles being an Alpha and dominant wolf but tempered with intelligence, his position within the pack and his obvious love for Anna.

From the start the empathy with them returned, pretty much picking up where the short story ended and I liked that.  The original tale was quite brutal and I needed to know that for Anna it was starting to work out – and this book delivers on that front.  The plot was good, not very complex but since the book is character driven, it didn’t need to be and by the end I was firmly in love with these characters.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Book Information
  • Author: Patricia Briggs
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)