By Patricia Briggs
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the first two Alpha & Omega books, and mentioned that the third one was out in hardcover. Fortunately for me, my new local library had it, so I was able to read it without paying a hardcover price. My expectations were moderate since Briggs has a tendency to lose steam with her ongoing series, but I was satisfied with Fair Game. It wasn’t as well-crafted as Cry Wolf, the first book, but I thought it stood on par with the second book, Hunting Ground, but in a different direction.
Cry Wolf had a really good balance of fantasy and mystery, while Hunting Ground tipped more toward the fantasy, pushing the mystery into the background a little bit and focusing more on the dynamics of the werewolves and vampires. Fair Game goes in the opposite direction, being a pretty surprisingly straightforward murder mystery with the fantasy elements just adding a bit here and there. Now, I really like murder mysteries, so this was a-ok with me, and if given my preference would almost always chose for the mystery to come first and the fantasy second.
I wish I’d thought to mention this in my previous post, but Briggs does this so well that while I really appreciate it, I don’t always notice it, if that makes sense. Her Alpha & Omega books are all written from multiple points of views, changing the narrating voice by chapter, or occasionally within different sections of chapters. It reads a lot more naturally than you’d think it would, with different characters stepping in when they have information that the reader needs. In the previous two books, the narrators have all been werewolves; in Fair Game, for the first time, one of the narrators is a human investigator, which is a refreshing outside perspective and emphasizes the mystery aspect of the story.
Spoiler-y, but not really: the very end does something very, very interesting with the world Briggs is building in the these books, so I’m actually now super-excited for the next books in both this series and the Mercedes Thompson series, which both take place in the same world, since there are going to be some dramatic changes.
Ooh, I haven’t been keeping up with Briggs’s releases. I’ll have to see if I can pick up Fair Game at the library. Glad to hear it’s decent!
My current library book is Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, which so far seems pretty much like the SF equivalent of urban fantasy. Ever read any of those types of things? It’s “research” since my novel-in-progress is turning out to be soft SF, and browsing on Amazon made me think Grimspace is more or less like the genre I’m writing. We’ll see…
Hey, Amanda! I have to say that the Alpha & Omega series is probably currently my favorite trashy vampire/werewolf series (maybe tied with Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series). I’ll have to check out Grimspace, because I think I’d like some more SF in my fantasy.
Awesome! I just got this book from the library yesterday and then proceeded to read it straight this today. Wow. I actually think this is my favorite of the Alpha & Omega books. It may not be as well crafted as Cry Wolf but all the characters were really interesting and I liked the different perspectives a lot. I wanted more and that ending… wow. I had been getting progressively less interested in this universe as the series progressed, but now I am super excited to see what happens next.