Friday, September 18, 2009

Hunting Ground - Patricia Briggs


Hunting Ground
An Alpha And Omega Novel
Patricia Briggs
Ace

Urban Fantasy

Anna Latham is that most rare and precious member of a werewolf pack: an Omega. She can bring peace to the pack, even in the presence of several competing Alphas. As this story begins, she and her new mate, Charles, are headed to Seattle for a conference with the leaders of several European wolf packs. Charles’ father, Bran, the Marrock, has decided that it’s time for werewolves to make their presence known to the rest of the world. Other, lesser magical creatures have already come out of the magical closet. Bran wants to slowly introduce the concept to the public by showing them werewolves in heroic jobs: police, firefighters, and military.

Bran isn’t going to the conference because he feels it might tip the balance of power too far. Charles, his son and enforcer, will be going in his place. And, he hopes, the presence of an Omega will calm the European Alphas who are set against this plan. Obviously, outing American wolves will out wolves around the globe, so once Bran makes the announcement, everyone is in the same boat.

During a break in the proceedings, Anna takes a shopping trip with Tom, a wolf, and his mate Moira, a witch. A group of vampires attacks, stunning the trio with what feels suspiciously like wolf magic. Clearly, the vampires are working with someone who has access to pack magic. There are opponents to Bran’s ideas, but it’s hard to believe anyone would voluntarily work with vampires. Unless they had to do so in order to attack an Omega. No member of the pack would be able to do so. Clearly, the opposition is not doing all its bargaining at the conference table.

For those who missed the first book of this series, CRY WOLF, the author does a fine job of filling in the details. In fact, the details of that story are less important than Anna’s past and her evolving relationship with Charles. Despite all the action going on around them, these two characters remain the center of the story. And there is plenty of action. This series is not for the faint of heart – there is violence and gore. But that all makes sense in context. This novel incorporates some very interesting legends from the past and weaves them into the present-day story. The author, who also writes the excellent Mercy Thompson series, is on top of her game.

Rating: 8
September 2009
ISBN# 978-0-441-01738-6 (paperback)

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