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.