Review: The Alpha and the Omega by Patricia Briggs
Pub Date: Oct 2008
Length: 160 kb, 86 pages (accord. to Goodreads)
FTC: Purchased myself
Having just finished up the Mercy Thompson series on audio, I had a craving for more Patricia Briggs books. And since the next Mercy book isn't scheduled for publication until 2013, I debated trying the Alpha and Omega series. After getting used to Mercy's first person narrative, I wasn't sure if the 3rd person POV would work for me. Thankfully, it did.
I'm very glad I listened to advice I received on Twitter to read this story BEFORE reading the official first novel, Cry Wolf. Because this story contains the entire set up for the book. I think I would have been left feeling like I got dumped in media res if I didn't have the story to fill in the blanks. And that would have been annoying.
The story opens with Anna, a werewolf who has been victimized by her pack, screwing up the courage to place a call to the Bran, Marrok (aka the leader of all werewolf packs in North America.) Deciding that Anna's pack is out of control and drawing too much attention to the wolves (and having already been made aware of the problems in Chicago), Bran sends his problem solver (read assassin) son Charles to meet with Anna and determine the best way to deal with the "situation."
Upon his arrival, Charles discovers that Anna is far more than the submissive wolf he had assumed she was at first glance. She is an Omega. A wolf outside the pack structure. Something rare and precious. And is also surprised to find his wolf responding to her and becoming interested in taking her as a mate.
Briggs is my kind of writer: she writes great, interesting characters. I think I got a bit more out of the story because I had read the Mercy series. Which meant I knew the characters who are mentioned but never appear "on screen."
The ending was a little abrupt, but that's not really unusual for novellas. Once you read on in the series with Cry Wolf, the ending doesn't seem as abrupt. Which is probably because Cry Wolf is really a continuation of Alpha & Omega. I could easily see A and O being included or reworked into another edition of Cry Wolf.
I'm not sure how well this novella will work for those new to Briggs's werewolfy world, but upon rereading, I don't think it would be too difficult to understand the world building or details included. A reader would get far more out of this story, though, if he or she has read Moon Called.
My Grade: B+