Friday, August 22, 2008

“Cry Wolf” by Patricia Briggs

FROM THE BOOKCOVER:
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…
This is a really terrific story set in the Mercy Thompson universe. Anna was first introduced to us in a novella called Alpha and Omega that appeared in the On the Prowl (2007) anthology. This picks up immediately after the events of that story, but while it might be nice if you have previously read the novella, I don’t believe it is necessary to fully enjoy this new tale, in fact the cover blurb pretty much recaps the highlights of the original story.

Cry Wolf is a voyage of discovery for the abused Anna as she leaves her Chicago home with Charles, the Marroks’ son, for the pack home in the wilds of Montana. Briggs’ portrayal of Anna is pitch perfect. Anna is desperately trying to figure out what all of the changes in her life mean—her role as Charles mate, being an Omega werewolf and fitting into the new pack. The wild swing of her emotions and reactions is almost palpable as the story unfolds. Charles and Anna’s deepening relationship is wonderfully nuanced and above the traditional fated mates love story.

We also get to see and learn more about the secondary characters featured in the Mercy stories including Bran (the Marrok), Samuel and the pack in general. As always Briggs’ action sequences are suspenseful and plentiful. What starts out as a routine search and recover mission for a rogue werewolf, ends up leading Charles and Anna into a perilous adventure that threatens not only their lives but the future of the entire werewolf nation. The major plotlines are satisfyingly concluded without loose ends or major unanswered questions.

Anna is a unique werewolf and very different from shapeshifter Mercy. It will be interesting to see how she fits into future plans and appearances in the Mercy Thompson universe. Recommended.

Read the first chapter of Cry Wolf.

Read an excerpt from Alpha and Omega.

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