Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

October 3, 2009 Review 5

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Book Blurb: Now Briggs begins an extraordinary new series set in Mercy Thompson’s world—but with rules of its own. INTRODUCING THE ALPHA AND OMEGA NOVELS…
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. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member—and as his mate.

 


Review: While this is officially the first book in the Alpha and Omega series, There was an earlier short story that appeared in the anthology On the Prowl called Alpha and Omega that occurs chronologically before Cry Wolf that introduces the main characters and details the circumstances surrounding Anna’s becoming a werewolf.  Briggs does, however, do a good job of bringing new readers up to speed on her character’s back story, so even if you didn’t read the short story first (like me, though it is on my TBR pile) you won’t feel completely lost.

That being said, I wasn’t super excited to read this book for a three reasons: one, I kept wishing that Patricia had written another Mercy Thompson book instead and I half begrudged the time she spend writing Cry Wolf as opposed to more Mercy; two, the werewolf society in Montana had been among my least favorite aspects of the much loved Mercy Thompson books; and third, this book was being considered more of a paranormal romance than an urban fantasy.  And while I like paranormal romances, there is no way of knowing before hand just how much of the book will be devoted to paranormal elements and how much will be romantic elements.

So that was my mindset when I started Cry Wolf.  What was my mindset when I finished?  I still don’t think Patricia Briggs can write a bad book.  I’ve read and loved all the Mercy Thompson books, and an early straight fantasy called The Hob’s Bargain, and now Cry Wolf. Not a bad one in the bunch.  The character of Anna, I think, is going to be hit or miss for a lot of people.  Some might find her too weak and timid to be likable. I was worried myself for awhile as I watched her cower and defer to everyone around her (remember I hadn’t yet read the short story that explained Anna’s history).  But the more I read, the more I saw that Anna possessed a quiet strength that allowed her to survive with the other werewolves and even benefit those around her.

Speaking of those around her, I have always thought Patricia’s world building to one of her best strengths as an author, and even though Anna’s world will be familiar to any of her Mercy fans, there is enough new this time to necessitate paying her that compliment again. The invention of Omega wolf is the best example.  I found the idea of a female counterpart to an Alpha wolf to be fascinating both in concept and execution.  The two compliment beautifully in Patricia Briggs oh so talented hands. And while this book does devote a substantial amount of attention to romance, it is not at the neglect of the paranormal elements.  So while Mercy still occupies the chief position in my heart, it turns out I have more than enough room for Anna.

Sexual Content: Nothing graphic. A brief sex scene is vaguely described.

5 Responses to “Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs”

  1. Lexie

    its so weird, I think I'm the only person I know who's read both Mercy and AlphaΩ who prefers Anna and Charles to Mercy. Something about Mercy bugs me, but I can't really think of what it is. Anna though, I really like Anna.

    ::shrugs:: I'm a weirdo I suppose?

  2. Abigail [All Things Urban Fantasy]

    You're not a weirdo, but you are the first one I've met 🙂

    Is it the emphasis on the romantic elements that you like? I think I can see why you prefer Anna. She was normal most of her life, so in that sense it is easier to relate to her. Whereas Mercy has never been normal. She tries, but I don't think she even knows what normal is.

  3. Lexie

    That may be why. While not all the characters I like the most start out as such, the vast majority of them do seem to unless its high fantasy (that tends to be a mixed pot as far as what I prefer).

    And I do like the romantic elements, its more intriguing for me to see Anna and Charles's relationship evolution since it did happen so fast and they obviously have deep feelings for each other, but they have to take the time to understand and feel comfortable with each other.

    I've never really been one for 'omg I love you so I'll just get over my discomforts and past traumas immediately!' that whole belief that 'true love' washes away all fears immediately is kind of distasteful you know?

    Ah I'll be breeching into spoiler territory for book 2 if I say too much more on that, but suffice to say I find it refreshing to see that Anna clearly evolves as a person not because she has Charles love, but because they are both making a concerted effort to heal the other's wounds and understand what the other feels.

  4. Lexie

    ps: I am so a weirdo, but that's okay I wear the badge proudly! (I really do, whenever I go to conventions XD)