I was always Team Edward in terms of the Twilight books, but in all other series I root for the wolves. Werewolves that is. There is something about their hot blooded nature that makes them far more romantic than the icy vamps. And let’s not forget the mating bond. You have to love a creature that is capable of making that kind of commitment.
As our story begins, Anna is not happy with Bran. The werewolves have “come out” to the public and Bran has been policing the ranks hard in an effort to ensure that they come across as mostly harmless to the good people of the world. As his enforcer, Anna’s husband Charles has had to do the bulk of whatever dirty work needed doing. While Charles has been enforcer for hundreds of years, the new, more strictly enforced laws have caused a sharp increase in his work load. It has begun to take a serious toll on him as a person. Anna’s worries draw attention to a building problem within the pack – and to just what Bran is doing to a beloved son. In an effort to give him something fun and relaxing to do, Bran sends Charles and Anna to help the FBI hunt a serial killer who has managed to take down three wolves. It’s not an antidote most people would employ for stress, but the chance to play hero rather than avenger may just be the answer to Charles’ problem.
The FBI is anxious to see what kind of help werewolves can provide to their pursuit of the man known as the Big Game Hunter. He has eluded them for over thirty years, and they hope the wolves help will turn this hunter into prey. Right away Anna and Charles show their value by revealing unknown information about some of his victims. They are also able to access information from the magical community that points the investigation in a new direction. But all is not smooth sailing within the task force. It is clear the FBI’s only concern is to find their killer, but Homeland Security and Cantrip (an agency set up to watch the fae and wolves) clearly have agendas of their own.
Anna is only mildly worried about the threat Cantrip and Homeland Security represent. Her real concern is Charles. He seems to be better, but his healing is a slow process. As an Omega, her very presence should calm him, but her magic won’t work on Charles unless he lets it. Will he let her in once more? And what is causing him to push her out?
For Charles, being the grandson of a Shaman has imparted to him a gentle magic of his own. Recent events have had that magic turning against him and he knows of no way to clear the darkness that haunts him. Pushing Anna away hurts and worries her, but it is the only method he can think of to protect her. As they hunt one who is more powerful than expected, will he be able to set aside the past to concentrate on the present? What will be the price of failure – and can he afford to pay it?
This novel is a quick, fascinating read that will not disappoint fans of the series. It has all the hallmarks we have come to expect: Sexy wolves, action, adventure, heroes and villains, magic and mayhem. Briggs continues to build on the world she has created and introduces us to some terrific new characters. Isaac, as the leader of the Boston pack, serves as Charles and Anna’s host. I found him to be fun and interesting and hope we get to see more of him in the future. I especially loved the scene he had in Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Talk about making an entrance! Alistair Beauclaire is also a great addition. He is all I would have expected of a fae of his rank. I hope we see a lot more of him. He makes an interesting counterbalance to the Marrok. And I can’t wait to see how the wolves navigate the new world order that is left by the closing events of this novel. All I can say is wow! And when is my next book?
I had one minor quibble with this novel, and that was the situation with Charles and how that affected his relationship with Anna. It didn’t ring completely true to me. I found it a tad unbelievable that he was as overwhelmed as he seemed. A conversation with Isaac reveals that some of what he has been feeling was ungrounded. That area felt like a weak point in the story, and I didn’t like that it kept Anna and Charles from moving forward in their relationship. I didn’t find them to be any more of a couple than they had been in the last several novels. I think it is time for a bit more growth there. The rest of the tale more than made up for that though.
Fair Game begins almost immediately after the events in the Mercedes novel River Marked. Very mild references are made to that story. I didn’t find anything about Hunting Ground spoilerish for River Marked, but purists may want to know so they can read the books in order. You definitely don’t need to read the Mercedes novels to read the Alpha and Omega series. They overlap in only the mildest ways.
I give this book a hearty recommendation for fans of paranormal romance. I would encourage everyone to start with book one Cry Wolf, because this is a not to be missed series. They are easily the best werewolf novels available on the market right now.