Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Book Review - Patricia Briggs' Alpha and Omega

On the Prowl by Patricia Briggs
Published by: Berkley
Publication Date: August 7th, 2007
Format: Paperback, 352 Pages
Challenge: Shifter Challenge 2011, Horror and Urban Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★ (Alpha and Omega only)
To Buy
The cat needs to be fed. Anna may be dead tired after a long shift at work, but that doesn't mean she'll forget her neighbor's cat. All she really wants to do is curl up and go to sleep, but a promise was made to Kara. Even if the cat hates Anna, not surprising, seeing as most cats hate werewolves. But she'll calmly sit and read the newspaper till Mouser is done, because in that way of all cats, he has an idiosyncratic habit, his is needing someone around while he eats. But everything leaves Anna's mind when she sees a picture of a young boy in the paper, Alan MacKenzie Frazier. Alan has been missing for two months... but Anna saw him in a cage at her Alpha's house being prepared for sale quite recently. Times are tough for a werewolf, and very tough if you belong to Leo's pack with Justin as his second. The 40% tithe is nothing compared to the beatings and rapes that Anna has had to endure. But Alan, Alan is something new and she dares to call the Marrok in Montana, the Alpha of all Alphas. As it turns out, Bran is aware of the peculiarities happening in the Chicago packs and is sending his son Charles, who is enforcer and executioner in one. Anna goes to the airport to meet Charles's plane and they have an instant connection. Charles's wolf feels immediately that he has found his mate and it is his duty to protect and care for this underfed and abused redhead. But there's something more about Anna. Something that everyone in the pack should have noticed and respected. She is an Omega. She is not submissive, she is not lowly, she is magical and has the ability to sooth the savage beast as it where. With Anna at his side, Charles vows to get to the bottom of the mysteries in the Windy City, and if he's not wrong, which he seldom is, there will be blood shed and death.

This little short story in the On the Prowl anthology sets the stage for the Alpha and Omega series that Patricia Briggs has written. But more than that, it also fills in some blanks from the first Mercy Thompson book, Moon Called. Moon Called starts with the appearance of Alan MacKenzie Frazier in the Tri-Cities in Washington State. He has bad tidings from Chicago, but before they can get the truth out of him he is killed. We then follow Mercy on her mission out west. But we only hear a little about the mission in the heartland that Bran sends Charles on. Turns out it was quite interesting, what with love at first sight, Greek food and silver bullets, not to mention a crazy rapist or two. Seeing as this is a prequel and is setting the scene for a new series, how important is it that you hunt down a copy of this before jumping into the world of Charles and Anna? I'd say pretty important. After having read Cry Wolf, I think you might be lost jumping into this world without the back story. And the back story here is quite important. But it's a quick fun read with an even better book to follow.


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