It was supposed to be a simple trip to Arizona to choose a horse for Anna's birthday, no pack business, no funny business, no drama. At first it seems as though the only thing Charles has to deal with is seeing his old friend after twenty years, twenty years that have pushed Joseph closer to the grave. For Anna it is a chance to learn more about the life Charles led before he met her, including dealing with Josephs wife Maggie who does not warm to her at all. Luckily it takes a lot to raise Anna's hackles, because a lesser person would have been inclined to bare her teeth and let her wolf out to play.
It soon becomes pretty clear though that this is not going to be a mere pleasure trip, because something fae and dark has been released back into the world - something that seems to have Joseph's family in its sights. Charles and Anna have faced darkness before, but this time it is personal for Charles on a number of levels, and Anna is going to have to flex her Omega muscles to the maximum if she wants to keep Charles and the rest of the werewolves safe. In a race against time Charles and Anna have to face an unknown and dangerous foe with allies that are largely unknown and are woefully ill equipped to deal with a monster that has dreamed of release for the longest time.
Patricia Briggs is a master stroyteller who seamlessly blends together elements of fantasy, urban fantasy, mythology, action, and romance to create a well rounded world with characters that leap off the page and into your heart and imagination. It is a gamble to have two intertwined series on the go at the same time, but Briggs has pulled it off with style and panache. The Alpha and Omega novels offer a glimpse into the world of werewolves and the fae that is missing from the Mercy Thompson series - partly because Mercy is a not a werewolf, and partly because she is so fiercely independent and carries the weight of her novels on her shoulders. With Charles and Anna there is a seamlessness that provides so much "more" - Charles and Brother Wolf also add an interesting dimension.
This is a series that deserves to be discovered by urban fantasy fans, partly because Briggs obviously does her research and creates worlds that are well thought out and well developed. Despite the fact that werewolves have not "come out" in our world, it is so easy to imagine them under the surface living their lives and keeping their secrets. I have to confess that as someone who loves horses I also really enjoyed the foray into the world of Arabian horses and horse shows in the United States. Hopefully there are many more books to come for Mercy Thompson and Charles and Anna because these are series that you can really sink your teeth into (pun intended!).
If you like this book then try:
- Moon called by Patricia Briggs
- Cry wolf by Patricia Briggs
- Tinker by Wen Spencer
- Night shifted by Cassie Alexander
- Cry wolf by Patricia Briggs
- Kitty and the midnight hour by Carrie Vaughn
- Dark descendant by Jenna Black
- Burning water by Mercedes Lackey
- Kitty goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn
- Blood price by Tanya Huff
- Urban shaman by C.E. Murphy
- Spiders bite by Jennifer Estep
- Dead witch walking by Kim Harrison
- Precinct 13 by Tate Hallaway
Reviewed by Brilla