Series: Alpha and Omega

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 18, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #2
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: August 25th 2009
Genres: Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 304
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Goodreads
four-stars

The first Alpha and Omega novel, Cry Wolf, unlocked the doors to a unique urban landscape in “a great…new werewolf series” (Darque Reviews). In Hunting Ground, #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs invites readers to follow her even deeper into that seductive realm of the unknown…

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son—and enforcer—of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be, either…

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan—and it seems like someone else might be, too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all—or risk losing everything…

I’m reading a lot of Patricia Briggs these days and I can’t say that I’m mad about it. I’m really liking the Alpha & Omega world and Briggs definitely kept the party going in Hunting Ground. Reading these books is like watching my favorite crime show every week. We get the same characters, living in the same world but they’re fighting through something different, fighting a new bad guy every week. I’m kind of addicted to this series.

This book follows Charles and Anna out to Seattle where they’re on business for the Marrok. The Marrok is bringing the werewolves out in the public and he’s the big boss so he can make those kinds of decisions. The Alphas from around the world are coming together in Seattle so that they can voice their concerns and vent their frustrations to Charles who is there on behalf of the Marrok. That’s a lot of Alphas under one roof and with that many dominant wolves together, you know there’s going to be drama.

Charles was prepared for the drama that came with a bunch of Alphas together under one roof. He was also prepared for all of the anger and frustrations about the werewolves coming out to the public. He wasn’t prepared for the vampire attack on Anna and then the other werewolves that followed.

Charles continued to make me all swoony with how Alpha and hot he is in this book and his love for Anna makes me want to hug him for the rest of my life. I adore seeing these two grow in their love for each other in small doses. They’re mated and they both love each other but they’re still learning new things about each other every day and trying to fix their issues …together. I really enjoy the sweet moments between these two because it balances the intense-ness of everything else going on around them.

I love how one moment Charles will say something like this:

“If it would benefit you, I would kill every wolf here. But there are things that you need to do — and interfering with that is not protecting, not in my book. The best way for me to protect you is to encourage you to be able to protect yourself.”

…and then he’ll make me laugh with shit like this:

“Your woman tells me you will hunt me down and eat my marrow while I live.”

“Did she?” Charles looked at her, and she saw the approval in his face. She doubted anyone else would have read anything at all. His voice was a caress, just for her. “Would you like that, love?”

Keeping the romance alive is real between Charles and Anna and I’m so here for that. I’m also here for everything else going on. I really enjoyed trying to figure out who was behind the vampire attacks and I’m happy to say that I knew early on who the big bad was. My senses were tingling from the first but I didn’t guess the motivations behind their actions so there was still loads for me to figure out. I liked how everything came together and I liked all of the new characters that we met in this one.

I’m trying to remember if there was anything that didn’t work for me in this book but I can’t think of anything. This book was another great addition to this series and I immediately started the next book in the series so Briggs did good with this one.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

Reading Order:

Seeing Eye
Alpha & Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

four-stars

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Review: Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs

Posted February 3, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Alpha & Omega by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Rowena
Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs
Published by Berkley
Publication Date: October 20th 2008
Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy
Pages: 86
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four-half-stars

In Cry Wolf, New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs started a new urban fantasy series set in the world of Mercy Thompson — but with rules of its own. Now, read "Alpha and Omega," the novella that inspired the new series, and see how it all began...

Anna Latham never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack... and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the Chicago pack, she's learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But when she discovers wrongdoing in her pack, she has to go above her Alpha's head to ask for help.

Charles Cornick is the son — and enforcer — of the leader of the North American werewolves. Now his father has sent him to Chicago to clean up a problem there. Charles never expected to find Anna, a rare Omega wolf — and he certainly never expected to recognize her as his mate...

This novella was originally published in the anthology, On the Prowl.

So this was the introduction chapter into the Alpha & Omega series that I’ve been hearing nothing but good things about. I picked this book up because I started the Five Books Everyone Should Read challenge and this book was on Kaetrin’s list. This was actually my first book for the Five Books Everyone Should Read Challenge and I really, really enjoyed it.

So I guess I owe Kaetrin a big ol’ THANK YOU because right after I finished this book, I had to start Cry Wolf…and I’m not even a little mad about it. It’s been a while since I’ve let myself become immersed into a paranormal world or as this series would actually be catogorized as Urban Fantasy but whatever genre this one is, it’s been a while for me…but I really loved the world that Briggs has created for this series. It’s interesting and three dimensional.

Charles came onto the picture all hot to trot and Anna felt so small that I’m really looking forward to seeing their relationship and Anna grow.

One thing that impressed me with this short story was the punch that Briggs packed in such a short amount of page space. Reading this book didn’t feel like a short story and while it didn’t feel like a complete story either, I thought it was the perfect set up to the rest of the series. We got the cobwebs out as to who is who, we got the set up for Book 1 perfectly and the intrigue for the rest of the world was there as well.

In the short amount of time that it took me to read this book, I loved and I hated and when I closed the book in the end, I looked forward.

Kudos to Briggs on this one. It rocked my socks!

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

Reading Order:

Alpha & Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Review: Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 4, 2015 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Dead Heat by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #4
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Shifting Shadows, Hunting Ground
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: March 3rd 2015
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Urban, Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary, General
Pages: 336
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Goodreads
five-stars

Praised for being “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense, and paranormal,”* Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…   For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday at the big Scottsdale horse show. Or at least their visit starts out that way...   Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.   *Rex Robot Reviews

I came late to the Mercy Thompson world. I didn’t read my first Briggs book until 2012 and I started with the Alpha and Omega series. While I love Mercy, Adam, and the rest of the Columbia Basin crew, Charles and Anna are my favorites.

I knew I was in for a good story before I started, simply because it’s Charles and Anna. I had no idea I’d end up loving it as much as I did. This is, hands down, my favorite Briggs novel to date. The way Charles and Anna both grew in this story was wonderful and the external plot was engaging and interesting. While I’m not one who needs to read in order, I believe this series should be read from the beginning. The development of the relationship has been a slow and intricate thing, and many subtleties will be missed if you skip the earlier books (though I do not think it’s necessary to read the Mercy Thompson series in order to enjoy this one).

In the previous book, Fair Game, the Fae declared themselves a separate nation after one of theirs didn’t receive justice from humans. They retreated to their reservations and all but disappeared. They’ve been publicly quiet, though privately they’ve been trying to enter into an agreement with the werewolves to act as allies. It seems they’ve also been allowing some of the strongest, most evil of their species out to play.

Charles receives a call that his old friend is dying, and Charles uses Anna’s birthday as an excuse to visit, since he’d like to buy her a horse and his friend is a breeder. Charles hasn’t seen Joseph in many years, so the trip is meant to be about new beginnings and old goodbyes. Of course, nothing is easy when it comes to them, and right off they’re faced with a situation.

Joseph’s father ,Hosteen, is the local alpha. When Hosteen’s son, Kage, receives increasingly disturbing messages from his wife, Chelsea, indicating she’s in distress Anna, Charles, Hosteen and his son rush to their home to find she’s just barely stopped herself from attacking – and killing – her own children. It started  with a headache that came on while on the way home from picking the kids up at daycare, and turned into her having thoughts about harming her children.

These beginning chapters are what initially drew me in. Chelsea’s struggle to overcome the compulsion to hurt her children coupled with her frantic messages to her husband had my heart racing. I was crying by chapter two. I was extremely impatient when the chapters switched to Charles and Anna, which rarely happens. Slowly the two storylines (Ann and Charles and Chelsea and her children) merged and that’s when the story really picked up.

Anna and Charles come to realize the compulsion Chelsea was under is a result of Fae magic. While investigating the source, they discover many missing children, or ones who are acting in a very strange way. A powerful Fae is stealing the children and replacing them with simulacrums. Though it’s too late for many, they’re soon racing against the clock to save one in particular.

On the personal front, Anna has been considering a way to get Charles to agree to give her a child. Werewolves can’t have children – the change is too hard on them and they always miscarry – but Charles is a born werewolf. Anna is convinced his magic, combined with her Omega status, will allow her to carry to term. But Charles’ mother went mad from not changing and died shortly after giving birth to him. He refuses to lose Anna, and can’t even consider letting her try to become pregnant. They don’t really talk about the issue, but they’ve both been thinking about it. The resolution to this thread (which has been woven throughout the other books as well) was the most satisfying for me. In the end we saw growth and acceptance from both Charles and Anna, which gave a polished, well-rounded shine to their relationship.

There’s also the familial connection with Charles’ old friend, an old flame of his and a horse show to put together. Briggs works these threads seamlessly into the tapestry of the story. While it could have been clunky or too busy, instead it felt as if we were immersed in their daily lives.

Charles has always been something of an enigma. Though I feel like we have a good sense of the person he is, based on his thoughts and Anna’s perception of him, we don’t know a lot about his past. Seeing his old friend opened up a whole new side to him. He became more relatable, more human even. His humor is more evident in this book, which I loved. Most importantly, though, I felt like he finally saw himself through Anna’s eyes. Not that he’ll necessarily feel any different about himself, but seeing her perception of him was enough for now. He’s always seen himself as a hired killer and nothing more, but Anna sees him as a protector of those unable to protect themselves, herself included.

Charles put his lips against Anna’s ear. “He’s very dead.”
She nodded jerkily. “Sorry.”
“No,” he said, his breath warm against her neck. “Don’t be sorry. Just know if anyone ever tries to hurt you again— they will be dead, too.”
And some people had tried, hadn’t they. And yes, she realized, they were all dead. Charles was a big warm presence at her back, better than a solid wall or bars.
She picked up her fork and took a bite of brisket. “Okay,” she told Charles. “Deal.”

One of the best things about Charles and Anna is how they work as a partners, both in a romantic sense and out. Charles wants – needs – to protect Anna, but he realizes he can’t smother her or treat her like a child. In fact, teaching her to protect herself is one of the best gifts he has given her. Similarly, Anna brings out a lighter side to Charles.

He felt Brother Wolf’s joy in his mate and shared it. He would never take the gift of her presence in his life for granted. He’d been alone so long, so certain that there would be no one for him. He scared even other werewolves. And a part of him— of Charles, not Brother Wolf— hadn’t wanted to find anyone. He’d understood that caring for another person the way he cared for Anna would leave him vulnerable. His father’s hatchet man could not afford any weaknesses. And one day, there she was, his Anna: strong and funny despite the harm that had been done to her. She had tamed Brother Wolf first, but before he’d been in her presence ten minutes, he’d known that she would be his. That he needed her to be his.
“You’re growling,” she said, a smile in her voice. “What are you thinking?”
“That I love you,” he said. “That I am grateful every day that you decided to let me keep you.”

I’ve been wondering when Anna’s past would come up again. She was mistreated by her former pack – before Charles mated with her – and she carries some trauma from the abuse. I never felt like it was swept under the rug or not dealt with, but we didn’t see a lot of side effects in the previous two books. A few small things here and there, but mostly she was growing as a werewolf and becoming stronger as a human. Here she was confronted with her past in a way that left her vulnerable and scared, and really showed her trauma. Yet she triumphed. Not because she miraculously overcame her past, but because she embraced her weakness and rose above it.

Prior to the end of the last book, the Fae have been rather docile creatures. Their power is alluded to, we saw hints of it here and there, but they were more like fairytales used to keep children in line; Scary, but easy to brush aside. That changes here. It’s clear that the Fae have been holding back, and now the gloves are off. It will be interesting to see what other creatures they release from Underhill to terrorize the humans.

I haven’t read a book by Briggs I didn’t like (though I like some more than others), but I’ve yet to read one that grabbed me like this one did. I was smiling so wide as I closed the book my cheeks actually ached. I loved everything about it. Briggs really knocked this one out of the park.

5 out of 5

The Series:

Alpha and Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

five-stars

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Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 10, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega, Mercy Thompson
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega, Hunting Ground, Night Broken, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Collections & Anthologies, Urban
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…
A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…
Includes the new stories…“Silver”“Roses in Winter”“Redemption”“Hollow”
…and reader favorites“Fairy Gifts”“Gray”“Alpha and Omega”“Seeing Eye”“The Star of David”“In Red, with Pearls”

This is a collection of short stories set in Briggs’ Alpha and Omega/Mercy Thompson world. There are four new, never-before-published stories and six reader favorites. Of the six previously published stories, I’d read one; Alpha and Omega, the companion novella to Cry Wolf, is a personal favorite. I skimmed over that one here, since I’ve read it numerous times.

I don’t recommend reading this collection if you haven’t read at least the first few books in the Mercy Thompson series. These stories aren’t meant to stand alone. Each one includes a forward by Briggs with little details about how or why she wrote each story, and where they fall in the series, which I thought was a nice touch.

Of the new stories, the two I enjoyed most were Silver and Roses in Winter.

Silver is written mostly from Sam’s point-of-view and tells the story of his first meeting with Ariana. It’s set during the time when Bran was still ensnared by his mother, the witch. It wasn’t a light read, but I loved it.

Roses in Winter is the story of the young girl whose father asked Mercy for help in Blood Bound (for those who don’t remember, he was the reporter whose daughter was turned when she was ten. For three years they kept her caged during the full moon, but she was becoming too strong. They sent her to Bran to help her learn to control her wolf). Interestingly, the story is told from Asil’s point-of-view. He unexpectedly befriends Kara, but he’s afraid he may lose her as she isn’t able to control her shift. Asil is a character I’ve been interested in since he was introduced in Cry Wolf, and I really enjoyed this story. I’m glad we got to see what happened to Kara.

This is an excellent collection and definitely worth reading. Having all the novellas in one place is great, and each story brings the characters to life. I’m going to grade the collection as a whole, rather than each individual story separately.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Lightning Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Posted November 5, 2012 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Lightning Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega #1
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Shifting Shadows, Dead Heat, Hunting Ground
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: 2008
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Contemporary, Epic, Paranormal
Pages: 310
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Now Briggs begins an extraordinary new series set in Mercy Thompson's world--but with rules of its own.
INTRODUCING THE ALPHA AND OMEGA NOVELS...

Anna 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. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member--and as his mate.

Though this is labeled as the first book in the series, I would recommend reading the companion novella, Alpha and Omega, before starting this as it sets up the story/characters. You can download it here or here.

Anna has been brutalized by her pack for 3 years. Though she gains some confidence in this novel, I like that Briggs didn’t make her well overnight. It takes time to overcome something so traumatic. Her relationship with Charles is one that moves slow. Normally that’s something that would bother me, but Briggs does a good job of balancing the outside plot with the internal story, so the story wasn’t bogged down or slow. Because of Anna’s past, it makes sense that they would take things slow and have a lot to learn about each other. That Charles is a closed off person doesn’t help. He’s used to being alone and doesn’t know how to open up to Anna, even when he wants to.

The witch storyline was interesting, but I felt the final resolution was almost anti-climatic. I expected more bang. The cast of characters is interesting and I really like the world Briggs has built.

I’m hooked. Thank goodness she has a large backlist…

4.25 out of 5

Alpha and Omega
Cry Wolf
Hunting Ground
Fair Game
Dead Heat

This book is available from ACE. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars

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