Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cry Wolf By Patricia Briggs

Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #1)

Review of Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

I truly enjoyed Cry Wolf, the first book in Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series. (Technically, Cry Wolf is a continuation of her “Alpha and Omega” novella found in the On the Prowl anthology. Definitely read the novella prior to beginning this series.) The story is set in the same world as her Mercy Thompson series, but on a slightly earlier timescale. If you are planning on reading both of these, I suggest you read the Mercy Thompson books first, then immediately continue with the Alpha and Omega series. The overlap in characters was very interesting – some were briefly mentioned in one series then became the main characters in the other, and vice versa.

**Contains Spoilers
A little info from the “Alpha and Omega” novella:

The story begins with a young woman, Anna, who never knew werewolves existed before she survived a violent attack three years ago and changed into one. She had been at the bottom of one of the Chicago werewolf packs since her change, tortured, raped, and taught to fear dominant males. She was truly a useless, submissive wolf, or so she thought…
The Marrok’s enforcer and youngest son, Charles, was sent to Chicago to investigate some allegations against the Chicago pack’s alpha that Anna, among others, have brought to his attention. Upon meeting Anna, Charles is completely taken with her, something that no other female wolf has ever done to him throughout his long life on earth. He soon discovers that Anna is not the submissive wolf she thought she was – she is an Omega – a rare and highly valued member of werewolf society.

There are a few more details that occur in the novella, but I’ll leave them for you to find out on your own.
Cry Wolf begins after the events in Chicago, and turns into a beautifully written paranormal romance centered on Charles Cornick and the new apple of his eye, Anna. Their story is one of compassion, trust, and depth – a genuine love story. I appreciated the sweet, gentle actions that Charles performs for Anna, something that you wouldn’t expect from a man whose primary job is to enforce werewolf politics and execute those who refuse to comply. And I empathized with Anna’s character, a woman whose life had been taken away from her, her dignity and spirit crushed. The calm that surrounded her life prior to her change is only a memory as she now fears any male who looks her way, a result of the Chicago pack’s brutality upon her. She’s then uprooted and has to adjust to an entirely new environment, and she once again feels that she does not belong. Briggs does a wonderful job of developing these two characters. They definitely fit the cliché “opposites attract” – Anna brings calm and companionship to Charles’s life, and his wolf, and Charles brings experience, stability, and strength to hers.

I loved the way this story develops Bran’s character. You get a glimpse into the Marrok’s life in the Mercy Thompson series, but he is a much more central part of the Alpha and Omega books. Facts about his childhood and early life are brought to surface, and you now understand the “real” Bran, who is much different than the image he somewhat hide behinds. This story also revisits the immortal aspect of life as a werewolf, but on a much deeper level. Several characters tell stories of how difficult it was to go on living after having lost their one true love, one true mate, as well as how difficult it was to adjust to the changing times.

I also enjoyed the theme of magic in this book. Charles has been given a subtle gift of magic from his mother, a medicine woman, who died shortly after his birth. He isn’t capable of any spectacular magic, but the magic he possesses gives him a very unique “spirit”. I love the way this book brings to light the different types of magic –some influence the natural world, others influence non-living things, while witches influence the mind and body, which can be a very dangerous thing.
Lastly, this book focuses on the depth of relationships – the relationship between father and son, husband and wife, wolf and mate, as well as the bonds between members of a pack. This theme illustrates the difficulty for werewolves to achieve balance in their lives, since they are often pulled in many different directions at the same time, as well as the difficulty keeping one’s “wolf” and “man” in harmony with one another.

Overall, I give Cry Wolf a 4/5. It brought the life of a werewolf into a new light. I just started reading the second book, Hunting Ground, and I am loving every page.  


Archimedes said...

I love the Alpha and Omega series too! I am DYING for the next one to come out!!

Mandy Lum said...

I just finished Hunting Ground - it was absolutely amazing! I'm not sure which series I love more, Mercy Thompson or Alpha and Omega??? Can't wait for both of the books to come out!

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