Friday, March 9, 2012

FAIR GAME by Patricia Briggs

Fair Game
Patricia Briggs

Rating: A-

Synopsis from
They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

My thoughts on the book:
This was, in my opinion, the darkest novel that Briggs has written to date. It was a difficult read for me because the killers were so brutal. It was like reading Law and Order: SVU - Paranormal Division, or something. I generally like the Alpha and Omega series better than the Mercy Thompson series, though I love them both, but this novel reminded me more of the Mercy series. This is my least favorite of the Alpha and Omega series, for sure, and my third least favorite by Briggs. It was pretty obvious who the bad guy was, and Briggs is usually better at keeping me guessing. I just didn't feel the level of suspense that I'm used to when reading a Briggs novel. To me, this was one of those books that was necessary to move the story forward, and that usually makes for a less than amazing story. However, I still enjoyed the book, and it was still well-written. I just hope the next one is better.

Charles and Anna have hit a rift in their marriage, so they weren't as close as they have been in previous novels. This isn't because they don't like each other anymore; it's simply because Charles' guilt at being his father's unquestioning assassin is taking a toll on Charles since he's more about justice than mindless killing. Since the chemistry between them is non-existent for most of this novel, and the majority of the book was set in Boston, this crossed over into the realm of Urban Fantasy rather than Paranormal Romance. The sweet romance of this series is supposed to be what sets it apart from the Mercy series. I'm sure you see the problem with this crossing over. However, there were some extremely interesting developments in the story. 

One of the newer things I noticed is that Charles and Anna are working with humans to solve a crime. Now that the werewolves have come out, it's important to have good public relations with the humans. I really liked Leslie, and I hope to see more of her in future books. She was a fantastic character. She was strong, intelligent, and open-minded. Also, Charles grew a lot in Fair Game. He developed more than I expected him to, and I can't wait to see what these developments mean for his and Anna's relationship, as well as his relationship his father. Bran changed a little as well, and Anna really stood on her own two feet. She has become much stronger and will not let herself be victimized again. She's healing by leaps and bounds. 

I liked the developments with the fae, and the ending has ensured that there will be a lot of turbulence in the Mercy/Alpha and Omega world. I'm interested to see how these developments affect Mercy and company in Seattle, as well as how they affect Bran and the Marrok's pack in Montana. These two series just got a lot more complicated, and the next few books for each series are going to be intense. One thing about the ending really bothered me, though, and I just feel like more people should have died. I know that sounds harsh, but once you read the book, you'll probably understand what I mean. Of course, maybe death was too good for the bigots. Yea, I got angry at quite a few people while reading this, haha. 

The pacing of the book was done pretty well, though it did drag and some places. I felt like some of the parts were a bit uncalled for and just used for padding to make sure the book was long enough, and parts that would have shown Anna and Charles trying to fix their relationship or developments in the serial killer case were skipped over. I think that maybe some of those parts could have also been replaced with parts from Leslie's perspective, since Briggs did 3rd person limited with switching viewpoints. The POV wasn't confusing though, and it added some depth to the story. I'd also like to know why I was able to figure out who the killer was before a centuries old werewolf. Maybe Charles needs to watch more of Anna's detective shows.  Because I knew who the killer was, the big reveal wasn't a big reveal, but it was still suspenseful because of how brutal the killer was.

Overall, this book was well done, but it just didn't live up to what I am used to when it comes to Briggs' writing. Usually, she'd get an A+ instead of an A-. Still, there was tons of character growth, the plot was intriguing, and the pacing wasn't too terribly off. Even when I'm not as blown away as I should be, Briggs is still better than most of the authors out there today. I'd definitely recommend this book to any adult who enjoys suspenseful werewolf stories, and especially to fans of the Alpha and Omega and Mercy Thompson series. Because of how dark this book was, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 18.

Want to read Fair Game?


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  1. I haven't read any of this series yet. I do believe that I have some of Briggs' books though, just haven't read them yet. I've bought so many books there doesn't seem to be time to read them all. LOL
    I love werewolf stories, and I don't believe the dark nature of this story will turn me off at all. If anything, it will intrigue me more!
    Thank you for the review.


  2. I agree this one wasn't as good as the previous Alpha Omega ones. Thought I still enjoyed it...but then I love everything Patricia Briggs writes. I find Anna and Charles to be a fascinating couple and Anna's effect on wolves is awesome. I'm glad that this one has its own series because they are two characters very worthy of their own books. Unlike you who likes this series more than the Mercy ones - I'm pretty torn between the two - I love them both.

  3. I love Briggs books but haven't started this series yet. I do have them in my TBR pile so shortly I will get to them.

    Irene (Alaska Bear Hunting)


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