Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

"Charles Cornick is his pack's enforcer and lives a harsh life, doing jobs other wolves can't - or won't. And his most recent task was rescuing Anna Latham from a life of brutality. This leaves him shot and wounded, but he's happy to pay the price. Charles is strongly drawn to Anna, and her growing 'Omega' powers will see his people through dangerous times. Anna desperately needs her new mountainous home to be safer than the life she's left behind. But when a rogue werewolf starts murdering hikers, Charles and Anna are sent into the winter forests to investigate. Charles is still weak and will need Anna's strength as they discover a web of witchcraft that could drag down the whole pack. Including its leader Bran, Charles's father, head of a vast network of wolves. And if Bran weakens, dark madness could run like a fever through half a continent."

Cry Wolf is the first Alpha and Omega book, which is the spin off series to Mercy Thompson. It picks up directly after the short story, Alpha and Omega, which appears in the anthology On The Prowl and really, you need to read that first to really understand what's going on.

The time line starts somewhere in the first Mercy book, so it's almost like taking a step back in time if you read this after reading more than the first Mercy book. It gives readers a much better look at Bran, the Marrok Alpha of all North America werewolves, and his second son, Charles as well as how the Marrok's pack works.

Unlike the Mercy series, this series is written in third person and follows a couple of different points of view. Predominantly new wolf Anna and her mate Charles, but there are little bits from Bran and two other characters as well. I don't always get on with multiple POV's, but here, it works very well. It doesn't switch too frequently and the amount we see of each fits with the story being told. It's not been balanced so everyone gets the same page time, but balanced so the story is told well from the POV most relevant at the time without jumping around.

Anna is a very different character to Mercy. New to the werewolf world and treated badly for most of it, she wishes she was anywhere else. But instead, her wolf has decided Charles Cornick, son and enforcer of the Marrok, is her mate and Anna has to stay. Out of the city, away from her old pack she fights to find security and safety to regain her lost confidence.

Charles does his best to help her, and prove that as an Omega wolf she's something rare and precious to be treated with nothing but respect and care. But when he has to go hunting for a rouge, as being enforcer entails, he knows he runs the risk of scaring her off. But an Omega wolf could be just the thing he needs to help with this rouge, so Anna gets to go along too and they soon find themselves facing something much bigger and darker than Charles could have feared.

Cry Wolf is a fantastic start to the series and I really loved it. Having read Mercy books 1-4 and seeing a little of Bran, it was nice to see more of him, how he works, how he thinks and find out more about who he is. Anna and Charles were both good characters to get to know as well. And you can't help but feel for both of them seeing both sides of the relationship. Like when Anna walks away at one point, she feels one thing and Charles assumes it's completely different. You're willing them to just talk and deal with it, but there is too much else going on. I can't wait to read Hunting Ground and see how things develop!

Rating: 8/10

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