Cry Wolf is the first novel of the Alpha and Omega series, though the series starts with a short story that is included in the On the Prowl anthology. There isn’t much backstory found in this book, so I would recommend getting a hold of that short story to make things less confusing, as the story picks up right where it left off. I’m so glad that I started reading Briggs’s works; she consistently impresses me and if you’re a fan of the paranormal, I bet she’ll impress you too.
Charles found Anna when he went to investigate a pack in Chicago. As his father’s enforcer, he is basically the assassin for all the werewolves in North America. If a wolf steps out of line, Charles takes care of it. So, when Charles goes to stop some wolves who’ve crossed some lines, he meets a much-abused Anna. The three years of abuse were bad enough, but Anna is a very rare type of wolf – an Omega – which makes her abuse that much harder for Charles to bear. Omegas are prized because they automatically bring a calming effect into a pack.
When Charles met Anna, his wolf immediately claimed her as his mate, as did hers. So, they are now a mated pair, but their human sides still barely know each other. Because it normally works the other way, with two people falling in love and their wolves eventually accepting the match, it’s a bit odd to have this intense bond without the human emotions as a foundation. So, throughout the story, Charles and Anna get to know each other better and build their relationship. This is not always easy, especially given Anna’s history.
When they get news that a rogue werewolf is attacking and killing humans in the mountains near their territory, Charles is still healing from the wounds he received in the last story. However, they can’t ignore the problem while Charles heals, so he and Anna head into the wilderness to hunt down the rogue. It is possible that some wolves are trying to make a statement, because the Marrok, the leader of all North American wolves and Charles’s father, is about to come out to the world and let everyone know that werewolves exist. Given that these attacks are happening so close to the Marrok’s territory, he thinks it likely that someone is provoking him in particular. And they are – just not for the reasons he thinks.
The beginning of the story dragged a bit for me. Not too much was going on and I didn’t find the interaction between Charles and Anna all that interesting, though I really liked their interaction in the short story. It looked as if things were shaping up to be rather average, but then they got to the wilderness and the action started. After that, I couldn’t put the book down. Subplots whose inclusion I’d wondered at suddenly became integral to story and everything came together nicely. There were some truly tense moments when I almost blurted out, “No, don’t go in there,” as if I were watching a scary movie where the cheerleader is about to enter a room containing the villain.
However, I wanted a bit more from the characters. Charles is very intriguing, with an interesting past, yet I didn’t feel like I got to know him well. Most of his thoughts are about his precious Anna, who I also wanted to know a little better. She’s regarded very highly by all the males, but she hasn’t done anything yet to make me think she’s as super special as everyone thinks. The interplay between the couple, the character and relationship development, didn’t capture me like the action sequences did. It lacked a certain spark. Don’t get me wrong, I liked these characters quite a bit, but I’ve followed the author’s Mercy Thompson series and I wanted the type of I connection I feel for those characters (every time I see Samuel, I want more of him). What I feel for Charles and Anna is much quieter – she appears to be having a calming effect on me.
While I’m not as caught up in Charles and Anna’s story as I am in those of other characters that this author has created, I enjoyed Cry Wolf and thought it was a good first book for the series, which I will continue to follow – I believe that at least three books are planned for right now. This author is still an auto-buy for me and I look forward to the next time I step into the werewolf world she’s created.