Monday 15 September 2008

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Cry Wolf continues the story of Charles and Anna begun in the short story Alpha and Omega (from the On the Prowl Anthology). Following the incident in OTP Anna is moving to Montana to live with Charles, and take her place in the Marrok's pack. However, when you live as long as werewolves do you can make a lot of enemies. Before they have time to resolve the issues between them Charles and Anna are on the hunt for a rogue werewolf and a whole lot of history is about to smack them in the face.

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. :)

Giveaway Closed


DonnaB said...

I loved this book! So I'm commenting, but you don't need to put me in the drawing, because I've already read it and think lots of other people should too.

I especially liked the insights we get into Bran's story in this book, and like you, Lesley, I also dislike Leah while feeling bad about the situation she's in. I understand why Bran would make that choice, but it's pretty cold. On the other hand, I definitely DON'T want him to develop any kind of real relationship with Leah, because I definitely DON'T like her!! LOL

My only wish is that Briggs would put out her books a little faster!


Sarai said...

OKay so I have to say this is on the MUST buy list ASAP (well as soon as I read the books on the ban list) anywho I will read your review once I buy/finish this. I'm sure its great as always!

Carolyn Crane said...

Oh, a blogging hiatus. We all need them! And now back with a cool contest. I love Patricia Briggs! I would love this, but I haven't read Alpha and Omega...should I still be entered?

LesleyW said...

Donna - I keep telling myself patience is a wonderful thing, or maybe it's an overrated thing? Can't wait to find out more about Bran.

Sarai - Cry Wolf comes highly recommended

Carolyn Jean - Yep, I am counting your post. I think you can pick up what happened in Alpha and Omega from the beginning of Cry Wolf. Though I'd recommend if you like CW to try and pick up the short story as well.

Tracy said...

Oh I loved this book. Really good. Great review.

I really liked Anna and of course Charles! yum!

Tracy said...

oh and don't enter me into the giveaway please. :)

Marg said...

One of these days I will actually get around to reading Briggs!

LesleyW said...

Tracy - okey dokey. :)

Marg - Yep you should. You could always try out the short story Alpha and Omega to test the waters. And I recommend the Mercy Thompson series as well (starting with Moon Called), which links to the Charles & Anna books.

Liviania said...

I've adored Briggs since her trad fantasy days - I can't believe I haven't read this one yet! I think Bran is my favorite character from this 'verse. I have a thing for people who appear young but are actually in control. (It's prolly my teen side.)

LesleyW said...

Liviana - that's one of the things that I like most about Cry Wolf, the fact that we get to know more about Bran.

Jill D. said...

I have loved the Mercy Thompson books and I am so glad Ms Briggs has expanded the world to include Anna and Charles. Oh boy!!!

Tez Miller said...

If you're willing to post to Australia, I'd love to be in the running, please.

Have a lovely day! :-)


Christine said...

Fantastic review, Lesley.
I've caught up on all of Patricia Briggs' stories in this world this summer, and I have to say that Briggs is by far my favorite urban fantasy author. The depth of character and world building in every novel simply amazes me. "Alpha and Omega" blew me away as one of the best short stories I have ever read. Seriously. Briggs' masterly pulled off everything that should be in a full length novel in what? 75 pages?

About Cry Wolf, I agree that some middle parts of the novel were a bit slow, but I forgave that since everything else was so wonderful.

LesleyW said...

Tez - if you didn't see the other post I post pretty much everywhere as far as my giveaways are concerned.

Christine - Glad you liked the review. The Mercy Thompson series and I guess the Charles & Anna books now, are among the UF I'd recommend to people who'd never read UF before.

And I also forgive the middle being a little slow, as I think the foundations made in this book will give the series a strong base. LOL - I think we all just have our favourite bits and I love the interactions between the pack members so looking forward to reading more about them.