Title: Cry Wolf
Author: Patricia Briggs
Page Count: 310 pages
Publisher: Ace Fantasy
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Copy for review was one I owned already
50 words or less: After suffering horrible abuse at the hands of her old pack, werewolf Anna goes with Charles, who claims to be her mate, to Montana, where they have to catch a killer, navigate the Aspen Hills pack, and maybe, just maybe, fall in love.
Prologue: Cry Wolf is the first book in the Alpha and Omega series, which is in turn a spinoff from the Mercy Thompson series. There are a few references to characters and goings-on from the other series but it's entirely possible to read and enjoy this book without having read any of the other books. I do recommend reading the short story in the On The Prowl anthology first, as it gives a good introduction to the characters and events that are so important to this story.
With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed Cry Wolf in every respect. I'm a sucker for a good shapeshifter story anyway, but this one was thoughtfully crafted and emotionally nuanced, with characters that were realistically drawn and likeable on a variety of levels.
Anna is a heroine who brings new meaning to the concept of having a troubled past. In the span of like, a week, she goes from being a submissive with no value or standing to her pack in Chicago to not only being the mate of a powerful werewolf in Montana, but also an Omega wolf, which is basically an Alpha who's not annoying. She is a pearl without price in her new pack and she finds that incredibly hard to comprehend. She's also only been a werewolf for three years; to say that life has taken a turn for the weird for her would be something of an understatement.
Charles, on the other hand, is over two hundred, and hadn't really given a lot of thought to what being a werewolf means to someone who just became one. He's an assassin for his father, the Marrok (leader of the leaders) and keeps telling himself he's okay with being alone and having everyone afraid of him. When he meets Anna, he can't tell himself those lies any more.
Charles and Anna are in the very, very beginning stages of a relationship at the start of the book; Anna has a lot of misgivings about moving in with Charles in Montana but, let's face it, suffers from a distinct lack of other viable options. Cry Wolf is as much a story of moving past pain and loss into something better as it is a story about werewolves solving a supernatural mystery.
Normally I find an overload of emotional pain to be a detractor from a book; in this case, it really added something to the story. Everyone is working off of partial information and is trying to feel the way to a successful ending. Everyone makes mistakes and feels appropriately bad for them. Feelings get clarified; emotions get stronger; Anna comes into her own as an Omega while Charles starts to realize the implications of having an Omega for a mate. Neither of these characters thought there was someone out there for them- they were definitely wrong about that.
If I have one criticism of the book, it's that the ending seemed rushed- I was so engaged in reading about Charles and Anna's blossoming relationship that it seemed like the resolution to the rogue wolf and murder mysteries kind of sprang up out of nowhere. That's not a big deal, though, as everything did get resolved by the end, which was in and of itself very sweet.
I freely admit that other than the story in the On the Prowl anthology I haven't read anything else by Patricia Briggs. Now that I've enjoyed not only that story but Cry Wolf as well, I'll have to do something about that. I have the first three books in her other series on my shelf, so I'm planning on reading them in the near future. New (to me) authors are such fun.
Overall Grade: A
Welcome to WBiT!
Hi everyone! This blog is updated occasionally as the need to talk about awesome books strikes me. Check back to see if there's anything new- or use the subscription options and never miss a post! See you around in 2013!