Briggs, Patricia: Alpha and Omega series

Patricia Briggs books fall into the light-reading fantasy section. Her books are fun and easy to read. In the Alpha and Omega novels we meet werewolves and witches, vampires and fae, all capable of wickedness and heroic deeds. As usual in such tales the characters tend to survive the most amazing things. There is plenty of humor, some romance and lots of action in this series. The Alpha and Omega series has been set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson series.

Bran – the leader of the werewolves (Marrock) in the US lives in the hills of Montana. He has two sons, Samuel and Charles. We’ve met Samuel already in the Mercy Thompson books, although he does make a brief appearance in his function as a doctor. Charles is Bran’s other son. He has been born a werewolf, not something that should be possible. Charles is Bran’s assassin. If a werewolf steps out of order, it is his job to take care of the problem. His ability to remain cool and collected while killing is one of the main reasons for having such a job.

CRY WOLF (2008)

“Cover for omnibus” by Lindsey Look (Stunning cover)

Anna, Charles’ mate (to her surprise), has been living with a pack in Chicago. The other werewolves had been abusing her severely. When that came to the attention of Bran, Charles was sent to take care of the matter. That led to Charles and Anna’s wolves recognizing each other as mates. Anna is brought to Bran’s pack to live with them.

Walter Rice, a Vietnam veteran, lives up in the Cabinet Wilderness in Montana. One day he witnesses the attack on a young man and steps in to protect him. Rice ends up being mauled, but survives. When other mysterious deaths occur in the area a rogue werewolf is suspected and Charles is asked to look into it. He and Anna go.

HUNTING GROUND (2009) – Nominee for the Endeavour Award – for best book by a Pacific Northwest writer 2010

Cover by Dan Dos Santos

Charles is trying to convince his father to stay away from a convention of werewolves in Seattle. He feels his father will be in unnecessary danger from the European delegation. Charles’ intuition is acting up. Being an Omega, Anna is able to stand up to Bran without his Alpha influence taking over. After she has yelled at Bran, he is able to listen to what the two have to say.

Bran accepts Charles’ feelings and sends Charles and Anna instead as his representatives. Together they are to try to convince the other delegates of the need to go public. The other delegates aren’t exactly thrilled at the idea of going public. Here we see that the timeline is a bit back in time from the Mercy Thompson series. There the decision to go public has already been made and Adam is the werewolves’ outward face.

In Seattle people are being found dead and mauled. When Anna is attacked by vampires using werewolf tricks and magic, Charles has to figure out how to save the situation without getting killed by former lovers and new enemies.

FAIR GAME (2012)

Young Leslie has moved to California with her father. There she ends up in the capable hands of Mrs. Cullinan. When animals and children start disappearing (even Leslie’s new puppy) three people turn up at the neighbors and take her away. The neighbor and the three new people turn out to be fae. When one of them offers Mrs. Cullinan a favor as thanks for her warning, she says no thanks. Instead Leslie ends up being the one owed. But having learned that the fae were powerful and charming and that they ate children and puppies, Leslie was not eager to cash in her favor.

Fair Game is set a while after Hunting Ground but shortly after River Marked. Charles is struggling in his capacity as an assassin and Anna seems the only one capable of seeing it. She keeps on confronting Bran about it, and only Omeganess keeps her from shaking in her shoes. Because of the new rules, Charles no longer feels he is dispensing justice but rather murder and this is causing ghosts to haunt him.

When the FBI call the Marrock for help in solving a spree of murders, Bran chooses to send Charles and Anna to take a look. Anna gets to play good guy and Charles her bodyguard. In Boston Anna meets Leslie and they get to test each other’s intentions.

Alpha and Omega: Cry Wolf Graphic Novels published 2012 by Dynamite. Adapted by David Lawrence,  illustrated by Todd Herman with additional art by Jenny Frison and a cover by Dan Dos Santos.

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