May 24, 2012

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs review

Cry Wolf coverAnna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she'd learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer- and son- of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna's inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf- a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

From Goodreads

First & foremost, while you can completely understand what is going on in the story without preamble, I think it is in your best interest to read the short story Alpha & Omega in On the Prowl. It's a compilation book including Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, & a few other authors. This is Anna's true introduction & beginning in the werewolf community. It details her life, her infection, & her subsequent new life among shapeshifters. It leaves off where this one picks up.

While both Anna & Charles may be a little confused as to what exactly Anna is, their wolves have no doubt. She is an Omega, often mistaken for a lowly, weak wolf, an Omega actually has the power to calm other wolves without being seen as a huge threat. Charles' Alpha wolf may have spotted her out right, but he's not so sure what to do with the fragile semi-shell of a woman he sees in front of him. We begin to learn more about their world (partially introduced by the Mercy Thompson series) as we watch their relationship grow. They can't fight the mating match their wolves have introduced, but that doesn't mean the human halves are 100% certain about the other party.

Naturally there is some dangerous villain trying to hurt the wolves & that's when we get to see what the Alpha & Omega relationship is really all about. By the time the book is through you'll have a better comprehension of werewolf nature, the fluctuating status of the wolves in society & a respect for this couple's determination to find out what's best for them & their pack.

I really loved this book. After being introduced to this world via the Mercy Thompson novels I was ecstatic to read another character's perception of this dynamic group. While the diversity of fictional creatures is diminished in this novel compared to the sometimes over-populated storylines of Mercy Thompson, I found the focus on the wolves necessary. This whole book is about discovering who the main characters are at their essence. It is only fitting that the character list be centered around a major part of their essences.

The humorous nature & witty banter that I have often enjoyed in these types of books is just as prevalent here, lending a light-hearted hand to some otherwise heavy situations. I personally enjoy the time spent further developing the book's world. It may be set in the present day, but the structure & interactions of the wolf world are beyond our everyday experiences. By spending the extra pages working on that development, the reader gains a better base for the future of the series.

One of my new favorite urban fantasy series, Alpha & Omega is off to a great start with Cry Wolf.

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