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Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #3)

Format: paperback

First Published: March 6, 2012

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads): They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

Review: 

This book takes place just after the events of River Marked (Mercy Thompson #6) and a few years after Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2). In the time that has passed since the last book in the series, Charles has become more and more affected by the job he does for his father – enforcer and assassin. He is withdrawn and even becoming neglectful of his mate and wife, Anna.

After discussion the problem with  Anna and Asil, Bran decides to send Anna off to collaborate with the FBI on a serial killer case in Boston – with Charles along as her body guard. They discover that the serial killer who has recently been targeting Werewolves has been operating for decades – and his targets are not that of the human variety. Fae have been disappearing for dozens of years with none of the supernatural world investigating. Now, with Anna and Charles on the case – with the assistance of a few local werewolves and FBI agents – the killer will be stopped. One way or another…

For me, this is a very hard book for me to review simply because I loved it. I don’t want to come across as a babbling fan girl but I’m afraid I might.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again – I love how Ms. Briggs tortures her characters. Just because she’s let Anna and Charles get mated and married does not mean she’ll let them have an easy time of it. They’re both hurting. Charles especially – not wanting to let the spirits that haunt him to taint Anna but because of this and his pulling away from her, he’s hurting her more than ever.

I love Anna. And I love Charles. But I think what I love most about them is how they love each other. It’s evident in everything they do and how they interact. I think it’s really beautiful and a testiment to Ms. Briggs’ writing that she can write a fairly gritty urban fantasy novel where romance is very much in the background, and yet their love for each other is so prevalent.

The supporting cast in this book were brilliant. I loved the different government agencies and the feelings of forced co-operation between them. I have no doubt that the government would create a new paranormal agency just to handle new issues that would come to light with the werewolves and fae coming out into the world. I also really liked Isaac – the Alpha of the Boston pack. He gave a new insight to a different kind of alpha – you don’t need to be an old wolf to be a good alpha. Alistair Beauclaire also interested me. I feel like if Ms. Briggs ever wanted to write another spin-off with the Fae in the forefront, he would be a great character to have in it. Either as a main or serving a similar role to the one that Bran holds in this series. The fae are so interesting! All their magical powers and unspoken rules. I really would love to get a closer look at them. And the witches? I’m rather glad I’ve never had an encounter with one of Briggs’ witches…. they be crazy!

Pace wise, there was a lot of groundwork laid at the start of this novel. It did feel a little slow to begin with but after things got moving, I never felt like it was rushed. Everything felt like it was at a natural speed.

I loved the action. And I liked that the action scenes showed how Charles has grown as a person since the beginning of the series. He will always be there for Anna – but he now realizes that more importantly for her, she needs to be there for herself. They’re so perfect for each other… *dreamy sigh*

The wait for the next book is going to be painful for me! I might go into withdrawal! At least I have the other books in the series as well as the Mercy Thompson books to go back and re-read whenever I need my fix.

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback)/ Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Read  my review of Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs here
Read my review of Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs here

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Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #2)

Format: paperback

First Published: August 25, 2009

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads)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…

Review: 

Anna is really finding her feet! In this book Charles and Anna represent the Marrok at a werewolf convention. With all the alphas running about the place I was slightly worried for Anna but I shouldn’t have been. She more than managed to hold her own against the century old strong and dominant wolves. I love the characters in this series. Charles is used to being his father’s assassin and because of this he has always been wary of being overly friendly with anyone outside of Bran and his brother, Samuel. Briggs doesn’t forget the history she’s created for Charles (or Anna either for that matter). Charles has many things he has to overcome and in his new relationship with Anna, he has many struggles. I love that. I love that just because he has found his mate and fallen in love with his wife it doesn’t stop his former nature from showing at inappropriate times.

Anna, too, has to overcome her past in order to be with Charles. The problems they’ve both faced (separately and as a couple) are just one of the things that I find unique and refreshing with this series. The author doesn’t gloss over the hideous nature of the beast nor does she simply apply the notion of love overcoming everything. Despite the werewolf and supernatural nature of this series the character I’ve read in this book are more real to me than in so many other novels.

It was nice to see some more interaction between the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series – this time being in the inclusion of Fey and Vampires. The blending of the two series whilst still keeping things interesting and new is very well done. The things that we know about the Fey and the vampires already from Mercy are consistent with what Anna discovers in Hunting Ground. 

The new characters introduced in this novel delighted me. The slightly odd Arthur who believed he was the reincarnation of King Arthur, the blind witch, the Beast of Gévaudan as well as another Omega wolf and a whole range of other wolves were all brilliant. There were so many personalities and little stories playing in the background that there was always something to keep me interested.

I loved this novel. I loved the drama and the outcome. Most of all I adored the evolution of Anna and Charles’ relationship. I find it refreshing that one novel isn’t enough for one couple to go from meeting to happily ever after. This has been my favourite novel I’ve read so far this year. I can’t wait till the third in the series comes out next week. Expect to see a review of it very soon. 😉

Rating: 

5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond

Read  my review of Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega #1) by Patricia Briggs here

Three Books Being Released in March 2012 that I Can’t Wait to Read!

Happy Feburary 29th everybody!

As the end of a month is here I’ve decided to mention the three books that are being released next month that I’m most looking forward to.

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #10) by J.R. Ward (release date March 27)
– The BDB is possibly my favourite series. It’s a mix of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Ward has created an incredibly parallel universe – Modern day Caldwell, New York but with supernatural beings. Vampires who have to fight bad guys and look great in leather whilst doing so.

Lover Reborn is Tohr’s story and one that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time! Lover Unleashed (BDB#9) was my least favourite in the series so far so I hope that this latest instalment lives up to my expectations.

 

Fair Game (Alpha & Omega, #3) by Patricia Briggs (release date March 6)
– I’ve just finished the second book in this series and loved it! (I’ll post my review later today or early tomorrow). I can’t wait to see what happens to Anna and Charles next.  The blurb for Fair Game is very short and not very informative but I’m hoping that’s a good thing – less chance it can ruin any major plot points. It has a lot to live up to and only a week to go!

 

Goddess Interrupted (Goddess Test, #2) by Aimee Carter (release date March 27)
– This one I’m less excited about but still looking forward to see how Kate spends her time outside of Eden and without Henry.

 

 

Book Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Book Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #1)

Format: paperback

First Published: July 29th , 2008

Genres: Urban Fantasy, Shifters, Paranormal

Synopsis (from Goodreads)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. 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.

Review: 

I feel I should start this review by saying that I love Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series and because of this, I was thrilled to learn that this series was a spin off and concentrated on the wolves from Bran’s Montana pack. I’d often wondered what he got up to when he wasn’t busy trying to fix up Mercy’s mistakes.

The start of this book picks up directly after the novella Alpha and Omega (from the anthology On the Prowl) but it’s not necessary to read the prequel. I enjoy Briggs’ writing and her characters. She’s not shy about putting them through the wringer. She tortures them and makes them relive their nightmares and this only makes me like her stories more. I’m not sadistic but I like how real it makes her characters to me. The bad parts of life aren’t glossed over but rather highlighted in a way that can make me feel very uncomfortable at the brutality. At the same time I appreciate that for all the supernatural elements of her novels, it’s a vivid representation of human nature. Bad things do happen and Briggs addresses that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.

Anna’s introduction to the supernatural world has not been an easy one. She was raped repeatedly by those in her pack who were supposed to be family and the ones to protect her from such a violent life. After three years of such treatment she meets Charles Cornick – the Marrok’s youngest son- and things change even further. She’s told that she’s his mate and that she needs to accompany him back to his pack.  And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a rogue wolf in pack territory that needs to be taken care of. Oh Anna… what have you gotten yourself into?

Throughout everything, Anna has a spirit that I greatly admired. She wasn’t without weakness but she persevered and when push came to shove, she did what she had to do to protect what was hers. Charles was just as likeable. I like that the characters in the novel weren’t two-dimensional. They all have flaws and problems but they’re dynamic in the sense that they’re willing to change for the ones they love. It was an interesting ride to see Charles have to cope with Anna’s past and trying to help her despite it being a completely unfamiliar situation for him that went slightly against his Alpha nature.

I like how consistent Briggs is with her world. The mating bond, the pack bonds and the way wolves behave is all consistent with that of the Mercy Thompson series which is set in the same universe as Alpha & Omega. I loved the way that all events that occur in this novel happen in a way that feel planned for. The new characters and supernatural happenings feel perfectly natural happening in this story. That’s not to say that there are no surprises – there are many surprising actions and plot points that occur. But they are not just thrown at the reader – they feel appropriate and logical and exciting.

I really enjoyed this book. I can’t wait to read the next in the series. I’ve already bought it and am just waiting for it to arrive.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository / Amazon / FishPond