Cry Wolf really begins with the short story Alpha and Omega in the anthology On the Prowl, as the novel begins mere hours after the short story finishes I decided it was easier to review both together. Cry Wolf is set in the same universe as Brigg’s Mercy Thompson books, and occurs at the same time as the events in the latter half of Moon Called.
Anna was forcibly changed to a werewolf and abused by her dysfunctional pack. Charles is an Alpha (dominant) werewolf and sent by his father, the head of all the North American Werewolves to find out what is happening with the pack. When they met they form an almost immediate bond and Charles recognises that Anna is an Omega wolf, a rare type who can calm others, and allow them to control their violent impulses.
Their relationship develops in unusual ways, their wolf selves have bonded, but the human selves still have to get to know each other, Charles is unused to trust as he keeps his distance from other wolves because he is his fathers assassin and enforcer; Anna is damaged by the abuse and does not know how a healthy pack behaves. I enjoyed seeing how Anna slowly becomes open to trust and learns she can express herself without repercussions. Anna’s progress is a case of two steps forward, one step back at times, and the anger she feels when she can’t control her fear is realistic.
In the short story Alpha and Omega, Anna and Charles met and solve the mystery of why her pack has become so dysfunctional.
In the novel Cry Wolf, Anna travels with Charles back to his home town and pack. They are slowly adjusting to their new relationship and Anna is realising how a healthy pack works when a rogue werewolf kills a human nearby. Despite Charles’ wounded state (from the showdown in the short story) and that Anna is still adjusting, they head out into the mountains (in winter). Charles is one of the strongest Alphas which means he has the best chance of subduing the rogue and not being caught by it and Anna’s ability to give peace and aid the werewolf to gain control means Charles will have an increased chance to subdue the rogue and not kill it.
The danger they face turns out to be more complicated than a rogue and they face a black magic bound creature that threatens the safety and sanity of all the North American werewolves.
Cry Wolf explored the internal structure of werewolf packs, particularly the pack bond and the mate bond. I really liked that this book was written in third person and incorporated the view point of Bran, Charles’ father, and other wolves. This was a contrast to the Mercy Thompson series (which are in first person) and I felt I gained more understanding of how the pack works and personal motivation, particularly of Bran and his dysfunctional relationship with his mate. I can just see Anna trying to fix it in subsequent books, causing conflict between them!
I loved this book and highly recommend it, as I do with all of Patricia Briggs work.
Other books by Patricia Briggs that I have reviewed: Masques, Moon Called, Bone Crossed