fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsreview Patricia Briggs Alpha and Omega 1: Cry WolfCry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Anna Latham may be a rare Omega werewolf (as opposed to an Alpha/pack leader), but it hasn’t done her a bit of good. Abused and degraded by her Chicago pack, she’s at once freed and claimed by Charles, a strapping son of the Marrok (the North American werewolf lord) with rare abilities of his own. Anna returns with Charles to the Montana wilderness, both eager and hesitant to begin her life anew; but even the Marrok’s home territory isn’t exempt from the prowling of a rogue werewolf — and an even older and more sinister evil…

Cry Wolf is the first book in Patricia Briggs’s Alpha and Omega series. However, it’s important to note that it’s a spin-off from her Mercy Thompson series (which includes the Marrok and his sons and references the purifying of Anna’s pack) and a continuation of the short story “Alpha and Omega” in the On the Prowl anthology; and even though it can be enjoyed on its own, I’d recommend reading at least Moon Called (Book 1 of Mercy Thompson) for an introduction to the normal/paranormal setting and the common characters.

One noteworthy difference between the two series is the viewpoint. Whereas Mercy narrates her own series, Cry Wolf is told from the third-person perspectives of Anna, Charles, and others — e.g. the Marrok (Bran) and Asil, a Moor, who are both extremely old, powerful, and savvy wolves. Asil’s character in particular is well-developed, while a nice thread of history/myth is woven into Bran’s background. The multiple viewpoints appear to allow for the story to develop in the most interesting and best-paced way possible; and if anything, Ms. Briggs’s writing is both richer and smoother than in the Mercy books.

Overall, this is a solid, paranormal thriller with some nice touches of character (again, mostly from the older werewolves — I don’t think Anna or Charles has quite found herself/himself yet, and Anna’s just learning what an Omega is). Recommended as a new paperback purchase (perhaps for vacation) or as a library loan for fans of this genre (who, due to some sexual content, are at least of high school age). But again, the best starting point would be Moon Called or the “Alpha and Omega” short story. Four curiously large pawprints in the snow.

~Rob Rhodes

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsreview Patricia Briggs Alpha and Omega 1: Cry WolfPatricia Briggs has chosen to write a spin-off series during the middle of her very successful MERCEDES THOMPSON series. I am not complaining, because MERCEDES THOMPSON has been really good, but it’s something of a surprise to me.

Briggs opens Cry Wolf, the first installment of ALPHA AND OMEGA, without a lot of explanation of what has happened in the story so far. We are taken straight to a scene in Chicago where Bran, the Marrok (Werewolf Overlord), is cleaning up the mess caused by his son Charles rescuing Anna. Anna is a different type of werewolf than we have known before and it makes for some interesting diversity as her specialized abilities become clear. The first 60 pages or so are spent on establishing a relationship between Charles and Anna while providing a smattering of background information on how she came to be in the horrible situation from which she was saved.

The best parts of Cry Wolf are in the last half of the book as the adventure really takes off. There are some particularly well written moments as Briggs continues to build the world that we know from MERCEDES THOMPSON. Anna provides a new set of experiences and a completely different personality through which to explore Briggs’ world. Briggs’ superb writing skills are clear and she never re-uses the same character types in her novels.

On the whole, Cry Wolf is a good book for a new reader of Briggs’ urban fantasy work, but it’s a really good book if you have enough background information to appreciate what’s going on. For me, the additional insight into Mercedes Thompson’s world and some of the history that is depicted more than made up for the rough first section of the book. Briggs is doing some really great stuff and for her fans, the addition of a parallel series is nothing less than a treat.

~John Hulet

Alpha and Omega — (2008- ) Publisher: 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.

Alpha & Omega by Patricia Briggs


  • Rob Rhodes

    ROB RHODES was graduated from The University of the South and The Tulane University School of Law and currently works as a government attorney. He has published several short stories and is a co-author of the essay “Sword and Sorcery Fiction,” published in Books and Beyond: The Greenwood Encyclopedia of New American Reading. In 2008, Rob was named a Finalist in The L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. Rob retired from FanLit in September 2010 after more than 3 years at FanLit. He still reviews books and conducts interviews for us occasionally. You can read his latest news at Rob's blog.

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  • John Hulet

    JOHN HULET is a member of the Utah Army National Guard. John’s experiences have often left a great void that has been filled by countless hours spent between the pages of a book lost in the words and images of the authors he admires. During a 12 month tour of Iraq, he spent well over $1000 on books and found sanity in the process. John lives in Utah and works slavishly to prepare soldiers to serve their country with the honor and distinction that Sturm Brightblade or Arithon s’Ffalenn would be proud of. John retired from FanLit in March 2015 after being with us for nearly 8 years. We still hear from him every once in a while.

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