I love Patricia Briggs. So this is going to be an ungraded review as I am not completely objective. :) I think Cry Wolf works best if you've read Alpha and Omega first, there is a little bit of a catch up at the beginning of Cry Wolf but I think you'd get more out of the story if you read about Charles and Anna's first meeting and how Anna became a werewolf. You only really get the bare bones in Cry Wolf. This book also slots into the Mercy Thompson Universe following up some events that happened after Mercedes returned to the Tri-Cities.
One slight niggle before the gushing, because if I gush first (LOL) I may forget to niggle later. Cry Wolf was a little slow in the middle for me, but I think that's more to do with the fact that I wanted more of the werewolf interaction stuff. I shouldn't be greedy.
I love Patricia Brigg's heroines. They're not superwomen, they're doing the best they can in difficult situations.And she has these one line quotes that can almost sum up a heroine at a particular time.
She wondered that hope was so much harder than despair.(In Iron Kissed, Mercy's was - it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission.) Her characters have little quirks - Anna has a fondness for quoting phrases in Latin. Which I love and it made me want to get a t-shirt with Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum europe vincendarum on. I hesitate to think what that says about me. :)
Anna is an Omega wolf. She's previously been told she's a submissive, the lowest of the low, but that just isn't the case. What we experience in Cry Wolf is Anna starting to learn exactly what it means to be an Omega. Charles and Bran will only help her so far, part of being in a werewolf pack means she has to find her own place.
Charles and Anna's relationship as humans is much more wary than their relationship as wolves. Their wolves have already decided they are mates, however their human halves have not. Kind of a unique situation in werewolf society as it usually happens the other way round, with the wolf being more wary.
This is what I liked most about Cry Wolf, how Patricia Briggs fleshed out the relationships between the various members of the Montana pack, not only Charles and Anna, but how they work together as a unit, as a dysfunctional family. It's interesting that Anna thinks of the pack as a bunch of psychotics, in a way the Montana pack is a pack for werewolves who can't fit in anywhere else - they're too damaged, too set in their ways, too broken, but very interesting to read about. The stand out characters for me (not including C&A) are Bran the Marrok (of course :) ), Asil and Sage. And I really like how we finally get an insight into the relationship between Bran and Leah. Patricia Briggs pulls off the tricky thing of getting me to dislike Leah but also feel kind of bad about the situation she's in.
Because Cry Wolf is written in third person rather than first. It also gives us the opportunity to see situations from more than one point of view. So it's nice to be able to see what both Charles and Anna are thinking, and also being given the opportunity to see the way Bran thinks and to learn more of his history. So there are more complex relationships being explored here rather than just that between Charles and Anna. We also have Bran & the pack, Asil & Bran, Asil & Sage. Each one unique and revealing something different.
With only book being released for this series a year, I'm certainly learning about patience. :( And if anyone out there knows anything about the next book please feel free to share. :)