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4.3 out of 5 stars70
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 8 October 2008
As werewolf novels go this one is a good solid read but it is by no means the best out there. The plot is well planned and well carried out but I was left feeling that it could have been so much more with just a little more effort. As the first Patricia Briggs novel I have read, the world she has created here is easy to pick up and you are not left feeling as if you are missing vital information from the book that introduced these characters originally - an anthology.

After 3 years of mistreatment at the hands of her own pack, Anna meets Charles. She learns that she is an Omega, and as such is entitled to a far more revered position within a pack structure. Not only this but he is her mate. After years of abuse and subjugation she is not so much reluctant, but wary and untrusting of her change in stature. Just as she is introduced to new territory, evidence of a rogue wolf turns up, prompting Charles and Anna to be sent to investigate. A dangerous task that will test them and their relationship to it's limits.

This book rolls along smoothly but it's not going to be a book you can't put down. The characters themselves are engaging and easy to like - aside from Charles's step-mom of course, she's not a nice woman, but that's intentional :) . One thing I would say though, for a paranormal romance novel it was very light on the romance. One particular tryst takes up a page and half at most while another barely gets it's own sentence. Not all paranormal romances need graphic scenes to grip you but the lack of them in this book makes it hard to understand the bond that grows between the central characters. Perhaps I am judging to harshly but I failed to find much chemistry between Charles and Anna because of this.

I will be reading more by Patricia Briggs. After a little research on Amazon I discovered that Anna and Charles's story starts in an anthology. I think this may be why I've missed the chemistry between them as I missed them meeting each other and discovering their link as mates. That part happens in another book.

Overall, this is a book I enjoyed, but it didn't make me love it. Let's see what else Patricia Briggs has in store in 'Moon Called'.
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on 13 September 2009
I love the Mercy Thompson books, and this one is a continuation/spin-off of that world. It is about Samuel's brother, Charles, and his newly found mate, Anna.

Since Charles lives in Aspen Creek, Montana, we get to learn a lot more about the Marrok, his home and his pack. I really enjoyed this, and look forward to reading more in the future.

However, I was seriously confused when I was reading the book. There are frequent, detailed, references to earlier events, and yet this is the first in the "Alpha and Omega" series. I even re-read the Mercy Thompson books (hardly a chore!) to see if I had missed the plot development there.

But my confusion may be solved. I think that Anna and Charles met and "clicked" in Patricia Brigg's short story, which can be bought in the "On the Prowl" collection of stories. I can only assume this from one of the detailed reviews written for Patricia Brigg's short story in that collection (thank you "clairefromwales"!). I have ordered a copy to check this, and will update this review once I have. {UPDATE - Yes, you should really read the short story first. The actions in the short story directly precede this book, and you are missing out on a treat if you don't read the short story first!}

So my suggestion - I think you should read that short story before this book. Having said that, even without having read the story of their meeting, I really enjoyed it and would definitely recommend it to all those who love the Mercy Thompson world (or, alternatively, it you have not read that series either, then check out at least the first Mercy Thompson book (Moon Called (Mercy Thompson)) before this one !)
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To be honest I'm a fan of Patricia's heroine Mercy Thompson however for some reason I really had a hard time getting to grips with her latest heroine set in the same world. She felt a little under whelming and whilst characters need vulnerabilities to keep the reader attracted to them, I was not sure that she was the right one for the role that was thrust upon her. Add to the mix a very possessive male principle protagonist who treated her a bit like a china doll and you can probably imagine how much I started to loath her.

That said however, the adventure that you get with Patty is always going to be something special as the scrapes really are close and she does play for keeps which always keeps me glued to the novel. Add to the mix an uncertainness in regard to the outcome or which way it is going to unfurl next and it's a magical mystery tour of an adventure. Don't get me wrong, Patricia's writing is still several rungs above a number of others within the genre today but I never lost that niggling feeling to do with the female lead and whilst she does emotionally grow within the context of the tale I do hope that she goes further next time to make her a character that I can not only respect but one that I can empathise with one hundred percent.
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VINE VOICEon 2 November 2009
Anna Latham, an Omega werewolf still adjusting to her status and history of abuse, has arrived in Montana with her would-be mate, Charles. Charles' pack is controlled by his father, Bran, the Marrok, or basically the alpha of all the werewolves. As Anna is adjusting to life in a new pack, with new trust issues, and a new mate that she has to get to know, trouble crops up in a nearby forest. Somehow, it's related to an extremely old werewolf in Bran's pack who believes he is going a little insane and needs to be put out of his misery. Charles and Anna must do their part to sort out the trouble before the public catches on to the werewolves' presence while adjusting to new life together.

I can't really imagine reading this book without having read the short story "Alpha and Omega" in the On the Prowl anthology (my review). It picks up directly afterwards and I can imagine the reader feeling lost without having already been acquainted with Anna and Charles and all that had happened. Similarly, someone who hadn't read the Mercy Thompson series would have missed out on the connections between books. I don't know how well this stands alone, but as someone who is a fan, this is a great start to a spin-off series.

It's not quite as engrossing; Anna is not nearly as compelling as Mercy, for one thing, and Charles still feels a bit stiff. But it's easy to warm to these characters as they warm to one another, and Anna's ongoing struggle with her past is handled in what I considered a believable way. Anna has to learn to trust Charles and he has to learn not to do anything to betray that trust. I really felt that they both grew in this novel, so even though they're not my favorites, they are still likeable and convincing.

The plot itself is a bit of a race to the finish; there is hardly a dull moment and a lot is packed in here with the mystery, resolution, and the relationship drama. The story itself is not really much of a mystery, but more as a way for Anna to develop while providing a bit of suspense outside of love. A lot of the book also fills in pack dynamics which are missing more from the Mercy Thompson series; for example, the concept that the inner wolves mate choose mates without the human side's consent. This is what happened with Bran and his mate Leah, something I had wondered about, and happens with Anna and Charles almost instantly. Luckily for the latter, their human sides fall in love too, but it's interesting that this isn't always the case.

Anyway, I really enjoyed Cry Wolf .* Perhaps not great literature and I wasn't immediately racing to read the next one, but I'm looking forward to it.
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on 30 September 2009
I absolutely love the Mercy Thompson books so was thoroughly looking forward to this spin off: but what a disappointment. First, as the previous reviewer mentions, there are loads of references to the short story published elsewhere, which is really annoying and I don't see why the book couldn't have started with it.
That aside, or possibly because of that, I found both Anne and Charles uninteresting and unconvincing characters. Mercy Thompson and the crowd of characters who surround her all leap off the page at you and sparkle. Anne and Charles are just dull, dull, dull.
On the bright side, there is interesting pack stuff, such as the role of an Omega, and the witch stuff, especially in relation to Bran's past, is interesting. So I will try the next one, to see if Patricia Briggs can bring them up to scratch, but I am not holding my breath. On the whole I would say borrow it from a library or buy a second hand or sale copy, don't rush to get it at full price (unlike the Mercy Thompson series, which I would highly reccommend!!!!)
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on 2 March 2012
I don't think anyone does pack structure and the dominance hierarchy of werewolves quite like Briggs. The subtleties in behaviour and body language she showcases are so incredibly well written and the depth of her research on wolf behaviour so evident, even from the very first page.

I've just re-read this, the first full-length novel in the Alpha and Omega series, and have upped my rating from 3 stars to 4. I think at the time of my original reading it paled in the shadow of the main Mercy Thompson series that I'd just finished. I found it lacking the humour and wit that I'd so recently fallen in love with in Briggs' writing. But now, having re-read it a good two or three years later, I have to once again applaud Briggs' writing of these supernatural creatures. Both in their animal natures, and their very human ones.

Anna is an almost broken character when we first meet her, having suffered terribly at the abusive hands of her former "pack mates". This back story all takes place in a novella, Alpha and Omega, and in that short story is also where Anna and Charles (Bran's son and Samuel's brother from the Mercy series) meet for the first time and realise their wolves have mated.

Now, this is something that I feel should have been handled better because if anyone wasn't aware of the novella, and that it's essential to read it first, their enjoyment of this book is really going to suffer. I really am not a fan of series' starting with a novella unless the story is optional. In my opinion, if you are going to start with a short story it should just be a teaser, an example of writing style for people that actually like buying anthologies. Not a necessary read in terms of plot and character development. Me, personally, I can't be doing with anthos so I am a bit disappointed that something so vital as your main couple meeting, was covered in such a way.

Anyway, they meet, and their wolves mate. This is the exact opposite of how the mating bond is supposed to work. It's meant to be that the human side chooses a partner, and the wolf then decides to accept, or not. Doing it this way around means the pair to have to deal with an instant bond with a complete stranger. Add into that Anna's recent abuse, and Charles' "I am an island" mentality, and you've got the recipe for some great scenes.

Charles is a gentle giant of a wolf where Anna is concerned, which I found incredibly endearing. Considering he is also the Marrock's enforcer/executioner, the fact that she brings out this gentler side of him, and his child-like excitement over the newness of it all, is just too cute. He delights in little things such as making her walk with a bounce in her step. Making people happy is not normally part of his day to day life, given his job. I really think they were perfectly suited characters and Charles is probably the only one who could have helped her overcome her past demons in such short a time. He was so patient with her, even when his own inner wolf was screaming at him to make her his.

The plot after this point wasn't the strongest I've ever read from Briggs, but it was interesting enough and lay a great foundation for Anna and Charles to spend some quality time together, getting to know one another and exploring their new bond.

Overall, I still prefer the Mercy series, but I would urge anyone that hasn't already to give this spin-off a try too. Even if just for the incredible insights you will get into Bran's character!!!!
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VINE VOICEon 14 May 2011
I picked up Cry Wolf partly for a book club, and partly because I read its prequel, a story in multi-author paranormal anthology, On the Prowl and was captived by Patricia Briggs' writing.

Cry Wolf is the first book (though the first story is actually in On the Prowl - it's not imperative that you read it first, but it does give you some useful background and help fill in gaps) in the Alpha & Omega series. Having finished this one, I'll definitely be adding the others to my wishlist.

The book tells the tale of Anna Latham. She's a woman who was made into a werewolf against her will and was then physically and mentally abused by the alpha of the pack, as well as many of the other dominant wolves. So when dominant werewolf Charles comes along and takes on her evil alpha, it's Anna chance to escape. Naturally, she takes it with both hands. But there's an unexpected turn of events which bring her and Charles together on a more permanent basis, which culminates in her going home with him.

When they arrive, Anna expects that Charles will be resting up in order to heal the wounds caused by silver bullets during her rescue attempt. However, it appears that Charles is a busy man with never a dull moment in his life, as he's soon sent out on a mission to capture a rogue werewolf before it draws too much attention to their pack. Anna goes along as backup, and she's soon thrown into a scary situation which calls upon every ounce of physical and mental strength she has. But is it enough to help save Charles and the rest of the pack? Only one way to find out...

This was a great read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. You're completely thrown in at the deep end as you begin reading and the action doesn't let up, but it makes for an edge of your seat read. If you're into paranormal and you haven't read Patricia Briggs before, I definitely recommend her. Her writing is very absorbing and you'll whizz through in no time, only to wish you had the next book in the series immediately to hand. Recommended.
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on 9 February 2013
A fine addition to the compelling Mercy Thompson universe, but I *strongly* recommend reading Moon Called first and avoiding this series until you have finished one or two of the Mercy Thompson novels.

Alpha and Omega is as charming and well-written as any of the Mercy Thompson series. However, it lacks Mercy's "outsider view" and the narrative suffers for it. I simply found it far less compelling than Patricia Brigg's other work. It *is* a charming romance, but it's hard to shake the feeling that this isn't a werewolf novel. The supernatural seems merely incidental.

I personally felt that the greatest strength of the Mercy Thompson series is the excellent attention to background detail (without ever labouring the narrative). In that series, the werewolves are a credible society, with excellent attention paid to the naunces of their dual nature. The Alpha and Omega werewolves simply do not feel as immersive. They have become people who happen to be able to take the shape of a wolf. This is fine, of course, but I really felt the loss of those little nods to the social dynamics of werewolves. I suspect this is merely a side-effect of having two protagonists who take these details for granted, but it's a omission which weakened my immersion in the story.

Worth a read if you enjoyed the Mercy Thompson series, but not as a stand-alone novel.
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on 12 July 2009
I bought this book shortly after reading the short story in on the prowl i have to be honest even if i hadn't read it i still would have bought it.
The alpha and omega series is a spin off series from the mercy thompson series so we are still dealing with all things werewolf only this time we're faced with the marrok and his family or more so charles and his new mate anna.
This book starts with anna moving from her old pack into her new pack with charles while she is trying to get used to her new position in her new pack and being mated. A witch is killing people being the packs exicutioner bran sends charles and because he is still injured sends anna with him.
This is typical Briggs style nothing is quite what it seems there are pleanty of twists and turns that keeps the reader fliping the pages and by the end of the book leaves you wanting more.
What i love about this book is the match up between these two characters charles is his fathers exicutinor and anna is an abused omega and when there together they compleate each other.
There are also some familiar faces in this book and if you loved the mercy thompson series you'll love the alpha and omega series.
i can't wait for the next installment.
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on 21 August 2008
'Moon Called', 'Blood Bound' and 'Iron Kissed', the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, are excellent books. 'Cry Wolf' is a book in a different series but with many characters the same. At the beginning of the story the hero and heroine have already met each other and discovered that they are 'mated' - these events took place in the short story in the anthology 'On The Prowl'. Although I've read that story it was some time ago and I couldn't remember all that much about it, I think it would have been helpful for it to have been printed at the beginning of this book to set the scene.

However part of Patricia Briggs' writing skill is that her books work as standalone novels, even when part of a series. It doesn't take too long before the reader learns about the life of Anna Latham who was Changed to a werewolf three years ago and kept under the thumb of the evil Alpha Leo. She was rescued eventually by Charles Cornick, brother of Samuel who appears in the Mercy Thompson series and son of Bran, the Marrok or top werewolf of North America. Charles is taking her back to their home in Montana and as they arrive Anna starts to wonder what her place will be in this world, what skills she has and whether she can fit in.

Charles is his father's enforcer, hired muscle to deal with problem werewolves, and he's worried that gentle Anna who has been badly treated by werewolves might struggle with this. However before they have any real time to settle in Charles is sent out into the Cabinet mountains in Montana to investigate reports of a vicious werewolf attack, and Anna comes with him. As they uncover evidence of what took place it becomes clear that there are links to events that took place hundreds of years ago, that some other wolves in Bran's pack may share some responsibility for events, and that they are working against an evil person.

Although I enjoyed this story I didn't engage with it in quite the same way as the Mercy Thompson series. This tale is told in the third person so we see events from Anna's and Charles's view, sometimes from other characters too, which gives us perhaps a more rounded but less involved take on events. The relationship between Anna and Charles didn't entirely work for me and I felt that I didn't learn a great deal about their characters. However the book was very informative about Bran and the werewolf structure and history and there were some interesting side characters such as the briefly-met Leah, wife to Bran.

I don't think that Patricia Briggs can write a bad book. However this one wasn't quite to the standard of 'Moon Called' and 'Blood Bound' in my opinion and it's not one for my keeper shelf. The teaser excerpt from the next Mercy Thompson book, Bone Crossed, looked very good though, and I look forward to her next novel with great anticipation.
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