I am a huge fan of the Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, so when I heard she was starting another series I was ecstatic. Cry Wolf begins the new Alpha and Omega series, which centers around Charles and Anna.
Taking place right after their story, Alpha and Omega, in One the Prowl, Anna is moving to Montana with Charles and she’s still being a little skittish around other wolves. Charles isn’t moving all that much either since he took three silver bullets while taking down Leo, the werewolf causing all the grief. After returning to Montana, and attending the funeral of Dr. Carver, Bran and Charles are made aware of a werewolf attack that has taken place in their northern woods. While waiting for Charles to heal a little more from his injuries before heading out, a park ranger gets mauled up and forces Bran to send Charles after the wolf before he’s fully healed. Since Anna is an Omega (someone who has the instincts of a dominant, but none of the violent tendencies and instead brings a calming effect), she is volunteered to go with him. What started out to be an easy trip to the wilderness turns into a fight more deadlier than either of them ever thought.
The Alpha & Omega series is set in the same world as the Mercy Thompson series, and while we may hope that Mercy and Anna will intermingle at some point, I don’t really see that happening. For one, I can’t see how Mercy would be good for Charles’ temperament. However, Anna is definitely good for Charles since she brings out a side of him we would probably never see otherwise. Even though she was brutalized by the Chicago pack, she’s beginning to learn that she’s actually stronger than she always believed. I’m not generally a fan of heroines who have been victimized to the point where Anna was (just look at my mixed review about Iron Kissed where Mercy is put into a similar situation), but I have to say that I am enjoying watching Anna bounce back from it. She’s beginning to realize quite a feel things about herself and through her, we’re learning about the Marrok and his clan as well.
The plot, itself, doesn’t start out to be all that exciting, but it rarely is when a new series begins. There’s so much that needs to be explained and describe so it won’t have to be later on, that it can be a little slow at first. However, I really didn’t get that feeling with Cry Wolf. Yeah, there wasn’t that much action at first, but we didn’t need it with the drama of Charles and Anna getting to know each other. We also learned a lot more about the Marrok and his clan than we have during the entire Mercy series. We get a glimpse into Bran’s beginning and see exactly how dangerous he can really be.
For those of us who have been reading Mercy for awhile, you’ll be happy to know that Briggs doesn’t do a lot of world building; however, for people new to Briggs, she really doesn’t give us much on the world Anna and Charles inhabit. I understand why she hasn’t; the series is a spinoff from Mercy, but I don’t really believe that anyone new to the series will be completely lost in their world. Everything is very much in line with a contemporary urban setting and the existence of vampires and witches is mentioned, but not delved into. Well, we do learn more about the history of the witches than we have in Mercy.
Overall, I am still a fan of Patricia Briggs and I can’t wait to see what Charles and Anna are up to next. AvidBookReader has an interview with Briggs and she mentions that there are two more novels planned, but it’s going to depend on the success of the series as to whether there will be more. Personally, I’m really hoping there will be more because this series is going to be such a contrast with the Mercy Thompson series that it’s going to be a really fun read. We’re going to get into some (more) emotional baggage with Anna, but I think that will offset the hard edge that Charles has and will probably bring to any story (and probably soften him up a little too). This is definitely a novel worth reading, even if you haven’t read the Mercy series, and trust me you won’t feel left out of anything.