TITLES: Alpha & Omega, Cry Wolf (Alpha & Omega, #0.5 & #1)
AUTHOR: Patricia Briggs
GENRE: Paranormal Fantasy
AGE RANGE: Adult
Anna Latham never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the Chicago pack, she’s learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But when she discovers wrongdoing in her pack, she has to go above her Alpha’s head to ask for help.
Charles Cornick is the son — and enforcer — of the leader of the North American werewolves. Now his father has sent him to Chicago to clean up a problem there. Charles never expected to find Anna, a rare Omega wolf — and he certainly never expected to recognize her as his mate…
ALPHA & OMEGA (#0.5)
This is a really short novella and it does fly by, but I was impressed by how much world-building is packed into so few pages. Patricia immediately builds up a lot of depth surrounding the Chicago werewolves and even gives us more back story on the Cornick family, plus we get to meet Anna, who is instantly such a likable character. She’s been through a lot (major trigger warnings here for mentions of rape and abuse), but she’s got a fighting spirit left in her and she really develops it quickly in these 61 pages.
The only reason this is getting 4 stars instead of 5 from me is probably more of a “me” thing than this book, because it’s something I know is common with werewolf fantasy books: Charles’ level of dominance was fine, but the way he acts regarding the whole “finding his mate” arc was frustrating and overly pushy at times. Here’s a woman who’s just been through hell at the hands of a ton of terrible men, and Charles comes in to “save” her, but is still kinda pushy and intrusive. It wasn’t awful, but it made it harder to enjoy watching their relationship form.
MOON CALLED (#1)
“Tis the gift to be gentle, ’tis the gift to be fair,
’Tis the gift to wake and breathe the morning air,
To walk every day in the path that we choose,
Is the gift that we pray we will never never lose.”
After reading a couple of novels, a few novellas, and a graphic novel by Patricia Briggs, Cry Wolf was what sealed the deal for me: this author has earned herself a new long-time fan, because I cannot get enough of the world she’s created or these characters. She is so incredible at writing characters that I can’t help but adore and treasure and want to protect, and storylines that keep me on the edge of my seat, unable to put the book down until it’s done.
She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.
As I mentioned before, it’s crucial that you start with Alpha & Omega, which I enjoyed, but found myself struggling slightly with at times only because the whole werewolves finding their “mates” theme can throw me off at times. That said, any ounce of doubt in me was wiped out pretty quickly in Cry Wolf, because I genuinely can’t imagine not rooting for Anna and Charles. They are so precious together, and even though there are some reservations (Charles worrying he’ll scare Anna off or ask too much of her, Anna worrying that she’s hindering Charles or unworthy of his love) and the occasional misunderstanding, watching them slowly come to trust and learn each other is so damn rewarding.
“I hope this means you’ll quit asking me to kill you. It gives me indigestion.”
Of course, when they aren’t being swoon-worthy as hell, or going off on an adventure to scare me half to death with rogue werewolves and ancient enemies, these books are so freaking funny. I don’t even know where Patricia Briggs comes up with some of these one-liners, but they literally made me laugh out loud so many times. I love some of the side characters tremendously (especially Bran — I’ve adored him since the moment we met him and I need more of his character!), and they offer so many fun, interesting, and exciting moments.
“Sometimes I have the urge to conquer large parts of Europe.”
All in all, Cry Wolf was my favorite installment in the Mercyverse thus far. Speaking of, I also loved the little nods to Mercy’s side of the story, and I really recommend reading these series intertwined in the author’s order listed below, because it’s so much fun to get little hints as to what’s going on with Mercy, Adam, and Sam, while it’s happening. I can’t wait to pick up the next book in the series, and I have high hopes that it’s all just going to keep getting better and better from here!
In case you were curious, I’m reading the Mercyverse books in the order recommended by the author! Not including the novellas (aside from A&O), this is the order I’ll be reading in:
1. Moon Called (review)
2. Alpha & Omega (review)
3. Cry Wolf
4. Hunting Ground
5. Blood Bound
6. Iron Kissed
7. Bone Crossed
8. Silver Borne
9. River Marked
10. Fair Game
11. Frost Burned
12. Dead Heat
13. Night Broken
14. Fire Touched
15. Silence Fallen
16. Burn Bright
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