Reviewed by Mandi
Another outstanding addition to this fabulous urban fantasy series. Well done Patricia Briggs. Set in the same world as her Mercy Thompson series, the Alpha & Omega series follows Charles (son of the alpha Bran) and Anna (an Omega wolf). I’m not going to recap who Charles and Anna are and how they came to be – I highly recommend this series and reading them in order. I even recommend you start with the novella in the On the Prowl anthology. I also want to note, at this point I’m enjoying this series even more than her Mercy Thompson series. Maybe it’s because Adam annoyed me in the last book (*gasp* did I really just say that?!) but I’m finding Charles and Anna to be so, so intriguing and I like the suspense and conflict in this series better.
The last book ended with the Fae coming out to the world, locking themselves away on their reservations and announcing they were free of the laws of the United States. Oh those fae have some balls! And being fae, they didn’t stay locked up, at least not all of them. We’ll get back to the fae in a second. Charles has a very close friend who is dying. Joseph and Charles spent many years together, but Joseph is human, and is old and sick. Charles takes his wife Anna to visit him before he dies and while he is out there, to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Joseph’s father Hosteen, is a werewolf and the alpha of the Salt River pack. Charles and Anna stay with Hosteen (a typical alpha wolf that has a big attitude) and his family. We come to learn about all of them in this book. Joseph’s wife, also a human once fell in love with Charles and things turned serious until Charles realizes she could never accept his wolf the way he needed her to. She still holds resent me to this day. Her interactions with Anna, who becomes quite possessive are done well in this book. The action picks up when Hosteen’s daughter in law, comes home from picking her three kids up at daycare with an extreme headache. Several minutes later, she has voices in her head telling her to kill her children. Stabbing herself instead, she weakly warns her children to lock themselves in a room, as the voices takeover again and she tries to kill them. Her husband finally comes home with Anna and Charles who immediately realize something isn’t right.
“The children must bleed,” she gritted out, and the knife shook in her right hand. “Bleed out the bad – ” She dug the knife into her thigh and he winced. But she didn’t push it deep, just slid it along her leg parallel to the other wounds that bled there. “Something in my head wants me to kill my children,” she said in a hurried whisper, very different from the voice she’d started speaking with. “You have to stop me.”
Brother Wolf snarled at this enemy he could not fight with tooth or claw; fae magic surrounded the woman. Charles needed to figure out how to help Kage’s wife.
He figures it out, but you’ll have to read how he does it. This is what I love about Briggs. She writes her fae world so creepy and unpredictable. She doesn’t make them loud or in your face. Just slips in a spell that makes a nice woman want to kill her children. It made me want to read while peeking out from behind my hands.
From here, Charles and Anna realize the fae have decided to attack humans and it all leads back to the daycare. I really enjoyed this mystery – the fae are so intriguing and cruel, and Charles and Anna having to work together to figure things out always entertains me. They are such a great couple. Charles is Bran’s assassin so to say. He is in charge of killing wolves that have gone rogue, or that haven’t gone through the change well, or just those that deserve to die. He has seen so much death – and then Anna comes into his life as a ray of sunshine.
He smiled at her. “The day I met you was the first day I ever felt joy.”
An omega wolf who can calm people and her human self is very smart. Anna knows when to speak and when to let things play out. People come to greatly respect her and she even gets the extremely serious Charles to break into a smile now and then.
Besides the fae drama, Anna wants to have children. Charles is the only werewolf born full-term and this obviously presents a problem. There is also the problem that having a kid terrifies Charles, although he would never say it. But Anna knows. So during this book she very carefully brings up the subject now and again. She thinks maybe a surrogate would be the way to go for them, after much more research. Briggs doesn’t rush this topic. She actually never rushes anything in her books, which in this series I find throughly satisfying. Sometimes in her Mercy books I get a little bored or antsy for things to happen, but I never get that feeling here. I like that Anna broaches the subject of becoming parents, but it’s not rushed to an answer by the time the book ends.
We also get those precious moments between Anna and Charles that I adore. Charles is so possessive over Anna, but lovingly. He respects her freedom and independence, but with her horrific past, she knows he will always be there for her. And that makes her stronger.
“Who hurt you?” she asked, slicing through two other conversations going on at the table.
“He’s dead,” said Charles, his hand sliding up Anna’s back reassuringly. “I killed him. If I could, I would brig him back to life so I could kill him again.”
Charles put his lips against Anna’s ear. “He’s very, very dead.”
She nodded jerkily. “Sorry.”
“No,” he said, his breath warm against her neck. “Don’t be sorry. Just know if anyone ever tries to hurt you again – they will be dead, too.”
While Charles is usually very quiet and more in the background, when things need to get done, the boy gets them done.
“Pull over,” he told Marsden, interrupting whatever the agent had been saying about the next place they were headed, had been headed.
Impatient, Charles caught the other man’s eye and said, low-voiced. “Pull over.”
The car swerved out of traffic and came to a halt with a jerk.
“What the freak, man?” said Marsden, staring at his hands as though he couldn’t believe what had happened. That he’d just obeyed orders.
This is an excellent urban fantasy series. You don’t need to read the Mercy series to enjoy this. But I recommend reading this series in order. You won’t be disappointed.
P.S. – I will say this in every review I write. I will beg. I have no shame! I NEED, not just want, but NEED a book or a series about Bran. *whimpers forever*