Monday, August 31, 2009

Hunting Ground Won't Disappoint

I'm thrilled to have recently finished reading Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs.

Hunting Ground picks up where Cry Wolf left off. Anna and Charles are married now, living in Montana and dealing with both of their histories as well as new threats to the pack and what those things mean for their relationship.

Charles' father, The Marrok, has decided it's time to follow the example of the fae and take werewolves public. However, before he goes through with it, he has called a conference in Seattle where all the most powerful alpha werewolves across the world will come to meet and discuss the implications of this political move. Charles is sure something bad will happen to his father if he attends the conference, so he and Anna go in his father's stead.

Among those at the conference are Russians, Italians, Spanairds, the British alpha who thinks he's the reincarnation of King Arthur, and the savage Beast of Gévaudan, Jean Chastel - all the most powerful alpha werewolves in the world. Old grudges between certain wolves resurface and cause plenty of tension between the various groups, and Charles also has to struggle with Dana, a former fae lover who's been called as the conference's facilitator. Then Anna is attacked while shopping by a gang of vampires using werewolf magic and tactics. Another mate of one of the alpha werewolves is attacked and killed. And the fragile peace between alphas begins to unravel and it's up to Charles and Anna to figure out who's behind it all.

As with her other books, Briggs does a great job weaving minor plotlines together so they all intertwine at climactic moments near the close of the novel. There are twists and turns thrown in, and although none are shocking, I found myself off guard a few times. Though there was a minor diabolical monologue near the end, Briggs seemed to be playing off the cliche and managed to throw in a twist in the middle of it. All in all, it's a book that won't disappoint fans of the series.

Anna and Charles are still figuring out their relationship and each other, and while they are still insecure and not the best communicators, it's easy to see actual progression and growth from the short story and Cry Wolf, and it's hard not to love them. Many of the minor characters were interesting - the only one I found myself frustrated with was Arthur, the alpha from England who thought he was the real King Arthur. Despite the fact that Briggs makes it clear he only thinks he's the real Arthur incarnate, I've had enough of running into real historical figures in urban fantasy novels.

Hunting Ground is the second novel in the Alpha and Omega series, it follows Cry Wolf and the short story "Alpha & Omega" which appeared in the anthology On the Prowl. While still enjoyable for readers new to the series, readers will enjoy the novel more if they're already familiar with the characters and have read both the first novel and the short story. Reading the Mercy Thompson Series (Moon Called is book one), is not at all necessary, but again will certainly add to the background and enjoyment of the world Briggs has created.

Next up, Silver Borne, the fifth book in the Mercy Thompson series. The cover art was just released, and like all these covers it just makes me want the book even more!

10 comments:

Donna (Fantasy Dreamer) said...

I just got this book but I have yet to read Cry Wolf but it's coming up on my reading list. Thanks for the review!

· Alba · said...

I finished Cry Wolf last week and loved it *O*!
The second is coming to town, laaalala ^3^

Wendy said...

I loved Hunting Ground more than I loved Cry Wolf! It's so good. :)

rebrebs said...

I love Patricia Briggs, I cannot wait for Silver Borne. I'll def be reading Hunting Ground eventually but I love Mercy more than Anna

suzie said...

I can't wait for Silver Bourne either! Both these series are soo good.

rebrebs said...

For sure, do you know any similar authors like Patricia Briggs? I have a hard time finding adult fantasy that doesn't have a lot of cheesy sex in it, one of the main reason I like Patricia Briggs' books.

suzie said...

rebrebs - Have you read Kelley Armstrong's BITTEN? Kelley Armstrong and Kim Harrison are darker than Patricia Briggs and have some romance, but not as much as a lot of other urban fantasy authors.

rebrebs said...

I read Bitten, but I didn't really like it. I think I might have started a Kim Harrison book, but I'm not sure I ever finished it, I'll have to look around for it.

Thanks

suzie said...

hmmmm, I can't really think of many other adult urban fantasy authors that are lighter on the sex - most of them blur the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Karen Chance is pretty good if you like mythology - she can be kind of thick - lots of world building

rebrebs said...

Thanks again for your help. I'll have to take a look at Karen Chance too.

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Five Random Things About Suzie

1. I drink so much orange soda, it's probably running through my veins. I've been known to go through a twelve pack of diet sunkist in a day.

2. I'm legitimately nocturnal (or a vampire). I will be so exhausted at two pm that I'm falling asleep standing up - it has happened before, at Six Flags no less - but as soon as the sun goes down I'm wide awake.

3. I have a gorgeous unused $6000 Reem Acra wedding dress hanging in my closet, and it showed up on my doorstep the same day my (now ex) fiance broke up with me. And thank God for that. I wouldn't have wanted to waste that dress on him.

4. Social anxiety plagues me daily. I write a script and practice in front of the mirror when I have to make a phone call, but most people who interact with me have no idea how nervous I am (or perhaps they lie) because I've worked so hard to try to overcome it.

5. I'm actually worried that I will never love my children (when I do have them in the far off future) as much as I love my dogs. I just like animals better than people - they're sweet and innocent and soft and furry - is that so wrong?