Alpha & Omega #3
By Patricia Briggs
We received a copy of Fair Game from Penguin/ACE in exchange for a review.
AH, Erika, Michelle and Regina’s Group Review
[box color=blue]Synopsis from Penguin/ACE:
Patricia Briggs, the number #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, “always enchants her readers.” (Lynn Viehl, New York Times bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey…
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…[/box]
Regina’s Review: 5 Stars/Grade A+:
I freaking loved this book! I loved the mystery, I loved Charles and Anna! I loved the glimpses of Adam and the Mercy Thompson world. Bran was amazing and Briggs gave us a good amount of Bran.
Patricia Briggs has that special something that makes me feel so happy and contented to slip into her world and read any one of her books. The characters may be scary and the subject matter disturbing, but Briggs writes them in such a rich way that I wish I was there. The supernaturals in Briggs’ world are scary, not just spooky but frightening. They are strong, not entirely in control of their strength and quite a few of her supernaturals operate around a completely different moral compass than humans do. I love this about her books. The vampires are scary, the Fae are an unknown and usually powerful and scream-worthy and the werewolves? They are strong, beautiful, loyal but definitely not human. The Fae are not my favorite characters in Briggs’ books. Some of her past books have dwelt to heavily with Fae characters, in my opinion; Fair Game strikes the perfect balance. There is Fae intrigue but it takes place in the human world and involves human beings, werewolves and sociopaths. The focus of the story never strays from the werewolves and Anna and Charles are front in center.
Fair Game picks up a few years after Hunting Ground and starts right after River Marked. There are references to the resolution of River Marked, readers who have not yet read River Marked and plan to do so, be warned there are spoilers to the ending of River Marked in Fair Game. Based on the timing, Charles and Anna have been together a few years and Anna has been in Montana for awhile. Like any couple, there are issues and Charles and Anna are no exception. Unfortunately, their problems have more to do with Bran and the outside world.
Okay, so what about Charles and Anna? I have a strong preference for urban fantasy and fantasy with creative world building, intricate worlds and rich characters but if you throw in a romance, I will enjoy it. Well, Briggs does more than just throw in a romance, the story of Charles and Anna is not the driving force of these books – the characters, the world and the storyline are – -but Charles and Anna provide the structure and vehicle for telling the story. There would be no story without their relationship. Fans of Charles and Anna will not be disappointed, readers are treated with quite a few very sweet scenes and a few issues the couple has to work through. Maybe I say that too lightly – the issues facing the couple are dark, twisted and well, Briggs came up with a truly unique storyline of what was stressing Charles and Anna. Readers will not be left on a cliff wondering if Charles and Anna can resolve their problems though, Briggs wraps up these issues by the end of the novel.
The ending was fantastic. I loved it. Many writers in this genre put out installment after installment of books that do not push the story arc further or change the game at all. Fair Game is not like that nor is Briggs a writer like that. What Briggs does so well is to continue to develop her world, she doesn’t ever rest on what she has already written – -she pushes her world building and her characters. Readers learn more about the Fae and their crazy world, more about the werewolves — and the characters and the worlds come to a very dramatic ending that leaves off in a way that makes me beyond excited for the next book!
I have two complaints. First, I wish it was longer. Fair Game is a decent length novel, but I wanted more. Briggs definitely did not skimp on storyline or character development, I just am greedy and want more. Second, I fear it will be another 2 years or more until we get the next installment. Mercy Thompson #7 is due out Spring 2013, I guess I will have to be content with re-reading both Mercy and Alpha and hoping for some short stories from Briggs along the way.
Michelle’s Review: 5 Stars/Grade A:
Regina, you said everything so perfectly, I don’t have much to add. I do want to mention a bit more about Bran. I LOVED his concern for Charles. I think Briggs did such an outstanding job on showing not only the strength of Charles and Anna’s bond, but also the love that Bran has for not only Charles, but for Anna as well. The other high point for me was Anna. She was not only strong, but smart. I found myself thinking “You go girl”. Briggs has the ability to make a character shine without it being obvious and as a reader, you become emotionally invested in the character.
Like Regina said, the only problem I had in the book, I wanted it longer. The worst part- it ended.
Erika’s Thoughts: 5 Stars/ Grade A but…
Everything Regina and Michelle says is absolutely true. I loved Fair Game and I love the way Patty writes. She has such an easy style. It’s not overly flowery, it’s not excessive in descriptions, the balance is just right. I enjoy her werewolf depictions and I LOVED Charles and Anna.
Anna for me has grown so much since her first appearance. So has Charles. I hurt for them during Fair Game, and I wanted them to connect. Since Anna felt disconnected, I felt disconnected, but her spine in standing up for her mate was OUTSTANDING. I loved in the beginning when she faced down Bran <3
Finally…a sex scene in a Patricia Briggs novel (Thank you, werewolf gods!) I know the books shouldn’t be about sex, but damn do I like to read me some steam…that said. I was disappointed. I know, I know. I want my cake and ice cream. Here’s the thing… IT”S A SPOILER Hey people? This is a spoiler--Fair Warning!
The ending ROCKED. I Can’t wait to read the next installment. OMG The ending! That was fantastic and bloody brilliant!
AH’s Thoughts – Grade A But…..
I also loved this book and I agree, I wish it were longer. I love the world that Patricia Briggs created. She is a wonderful storyteller.
The author writes amazing werewolves. She integrates the wolf with the man so well. Charles and Brother Wolf are almost seamless. I loved how different aspects of the man/wolf appeared.
Anna has changed so much since the first book. She has confidence, poise, and an eerie calming influence on everyone. I think that she makes an excellent P.R. person for the werewolves.
I loved the introduction of Leslie and Beauclaire. I’d like to see them in subsequent books. Also could we please have some more of Asil?
The ending was awesome! Dramatic! Perfect!
Like Erika, I was excited about a sex scene in the book, but it was just in the wrong place for me. Don’t get me wrong – these characters deserve their sexy times, but it just could have been in a different part of the book.
Excellent book! Highly recommended.
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