Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs ★★★★

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Alpha and Omega #1
Publication Date: August 2008
ISBN: 0441016154
Page Count: 310
Summary:

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 don't think anyone does pack structure and the dominance hierarchy of werewolves quite like Briggs. The subtleties in behaviour and body language she showcases are so incredibly well written and the depth of her research on wolf behaviour so evident, even from the very first page.

I've just re-read this, the first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series, and have upped my rating from 3 stars to 4. I think at the time of my original reading it paled in the shadow of the main Mercy Thompson series that I'd just finished. I found it lacking the humour and wit that I'd so recently fallen in love with in Briggs' writing. But now, having re-read it a good two or three years later, I have to once again applaud Briggs' writing of these supernatural creatures. Both in their animal natures, and their very human ones.

Anna is an almost broken character when we first meet her, having suffered terribly at the abusive hands of her former "pack mates". This back story all takes place in a novella, Alpha and Omega, and in that short story is also where Anna and Charles (Bran's son and Samuel's brother from the Mercy series) meet for the first time and realise their wolves have mated.

Now, this is something that I feel should have been handled better because if anyone wasn't aware of the novella, and that it's essential to read it first, their enjoyment of this book is really going to suffer. I really am not a fan of series' starting with a novella unless the story is optional. In my opinion, if you are going to start with a short story it should just be a teaser, an example of writing style for people that actually like buying anthologies. Not a necessary read in terms of plot and character development. Me, personally, I can't be doing with anthos so I am a bit disappointed that something so vital as your main couple meeting, was covered in such a way.

Anyway, they meet, and their wolves mate. This is the exact opposite of how the mating bond is supposed to work. It's meant to be that the human side chooses a partner, and the wolf then decides to accept, or not. Doing it this way around means the pair to have to deal with an instant bond with a complete stranger. Add into that Anna's recent abuse, and Charles' "I am an island" mentality, and you've got the recipe for some great scenes.

Charles is a gentle giant of a wolf where Anna is concerned, which I found incredibly endearing. Considering he is also the Marrock's enforcer/executioner, the fact that she brings out this gentler side of him, and his child-like excitement over the newness of it all, is just too cute. He delights in little things such as making her walk with a bounce in her step. Making people happy is not normally part of his day to day life, given his job. I really think they were perfectly suited characters and Charles is probably the only one who could have helped her overcome her past demons in such short a time. He was so patient with her, even when his own inner wolf was screaming at him to make her his.

The plot after this point wasn't the strongest I've ever read from Briggs, but it was interesting enough and lay a great foundation for Anna and Charles to spend some quality time together, getting to know one another and exploring their new bond.

Overall, I still prefer the Mercy series, but I would urge anyone that hasn't already to give this spin-off a try too. Even if just for the incredible insights you will get into Bran's character!!!!

4 Stars! ★★★★

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