A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Alpha & Omega Series by Patricia Briggs

Alpha & Omega (excerpt)
Cry Wolf (excerpt)
Hunting Ground (excerpt)
by Patricia Briggs

Imagine my surprise when I found out that Patricia Briggs and I were both born in Butte, Montana. Uh, that's pronounced like "bewt" not "butt" by the way.

Butte isn't very big, but it is memorable. My parents were both born and raised in Montana so I have roots and lots of family in the Big Sky state. With the exception of
Evel Knieval I don't anyone else who was born in Butte that I'm not related to, so finding out about Ms. Briggs was fun. I can't help but wonder if we know any of the same people. Or, maybe she moved away years ago since she now lives in Washington state.

All of which has pretty much zero to do with my thoughts on the Alpha & Omega series, but I couldn't resist sharing that little tidbit with you.

e first thing I want to note is for anyone who wants to read this series, to read it in order. Right now I can't think of another series where the reading order was more important unless it's Ms. Briggs' Mercy Thompson books.

Fortunately I was saved from missing out on a truly wonderful series and some terrific characters by taking Tracy's (Tracy's Place) advice to go back and read ALPHA & OMEGA in the ON THE PROWL anthology before giving up on this series.

It made all the difference in the world.

This series is set in the same world as the MERCY THOMPSON books. In Mercy's books we meet the Alpha of all the North American packs, Bran Cornick and his two sons Charles and Samuel. While Samuel continues to be a part of Mercy's books, Charles takes center stage in the Alpha & Omega books.

In ALPHA & OMEGA Anna Latham and Charles meet when Charles travels to Chicago to investigate some irregularities Bran has become aware of in the Windy City pack. There he meets Anna who was viciously Changed against her will and brutalized by the Chicago pack.

Unaware she's an Omega, or what that truly means, Anna is struggling and starving as a waitress when Charles walks into her life. In this essential first story we learn, as Anna does, what it means to be an Omega, her place in the pack and in Charles' life. Without understanding her history and the story of Charles and Anna's meeting, it was tough for me to connect with the characters when I tried to read CRY WOLF the first time. I was pretty bummed I couldn't get into the book. Thank God Tracy set me straight.

CRY WOLF begins right where ALPHA & OMEGA ended. In this book we not only see Charles & Anna fumble through the beginning of their relationship, but we also get insights into Bran's past history as well. I can't help but feel this was some foreshadowing of further stories about Bran. This was an excellent book full of subtle nuances and nudges to the reader that kept me reading and reluctant to put the book down for sleep or work.

Immediately following CRY WOLF I picked up HUNTING GROUND. It's great to see an author develop characters and to see change and growth that make sense. With the time frame continuing closely on the heels of the previous books, HUNTING GROUND begins within a few weeks of CRY WOLF'S ending. This is life beyond the HEA at its best. Settling into the realities of life together and what it means for Anna to continue to grapple with her steep learning curve as the pack Omega living with the pack's enforcer/assassin.

Chock full of interesting characters and the complexities of hiding who they are in a shrinking world, I found myself just as engrossed and entranced in this series as I was in the Mercy Thompson books.

While Mercy's books are serialized and best enjoyed in order, they have a more separate chapter feel to them than the Alpha & Omega books. I can't possibly grade the A&O books individually because they are so essential to one another.

My Grade for the series so far = A-

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Blogger Mandi said...

I love this series as well. While I really liked how Charles and Anna's relationship is examined...I can't wait to see what happens with Bran!!

3:55 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

velly velly interesting Rosie...the part about Bewt Montanna I mean!

I have seen this Alpha & Omega business around, but have not been tempted to put it on my wishlist even. But garnering an A- from you? Just pushed me over the edge!

9:04 AM PDT  
Blogger nath said...

I love this series and prefer it to Mercy Thompson :D

I'm not one who usually cares about reading in order, but for this series, I think it is for the best... simply because they are just so "continuous."

I'm glad you're loving the series :D Haha, luckily, you won the contest at BT... I think that's the nudge that made you finally pick up Patricia Briggs books LOL! :)

LOL, so cool that you and Patricia Briggs comes from the same place :D

11:09 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Mandi, have you read the Mercy books? While I admire Ms. Briggs staying consistent with Bran's character, she IS making him more and more intriguing, isn't she?

Hey Miss Lusty Reader, do you like urban fantasy? She's a really good writer. She really knows the characters and they are so layered.

Wow, Nathie, I didn't know you like them better than Mercy. You are so right. It all started with winning BONE CROSSED. Funny how that works.

4:44 PM PDT  
Blogger Mandi said...

Yes, the Mercy books are one of my favorite series! I like them better than Alpha and Omega :)

5:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3 weeks ago i would have replied with all confidence, "do NOT like UF" but then I read Nalini Singh's Slave to Sensation. I am just easing into the genre, but A&O is on my radar for when I get more comfortable.

9:50 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Mandi, it would be a tough call for me which is my favorite. Probably Mercy. Just because I read her first.

LR, I probably would have never tried UF if not for the online recs either. People were bugging me about Patricia Briggs and those Mercy books for a couple of years. It's so much fun discovering new stuff to read.

10:31 AM PDT  
Blogger Tracy said...

YAY!!!!!! Oh I'm so, so, SO very happy that you enjoyed the series. It's just one of my favorites and it's so very wonderful to hear that someone listens when I talk! lol (can you call my husband and let him know it's worth it, please?)

I've loved reading the development of the characters in these books and very much look forward to reading more about Anna and Charles.

4:10 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Tracy, I think the A&O series is one of the best I've read for character growth and development. Even though we know Anna and Charles are mated you still feel like anything could happen.

4:19 PM PDT  

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