Rummanah Aasi
  After being disappointed in Hunting Ground and River Marked , both of which I thought were lack luster reads by Patricia Briggs, I was hoping that Fair Game would infuse a bit more oomph to the characters and to the story line. I'm pleased to say that Fair Game delivers and sets up an interesting new direction for Briggs's future releases.

Description (from the publisher): They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.
   Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can't afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father's dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.
  Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack's help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer's sights...

Review: Fair Game is the third book in the Alpha and Omega series, a spin off to Brigg's popular Mercy Thompson series. Though the two series can be read independently, I would highly recommend that you read the Alpha Omega series in order and begin with the novella On the Prowl which first introduces us to the relationship of Charles and Anna.
  Briggs continues to explore the dynamics between the very alpha, serious and quiet wolf Charles and his stubborn, deceptively demure, and omega wife Anna. While they are still learning about each other and enjoying the early stages of their mating, Charles and Anna have hit a new bump in the road. Charles has a problem and he refuses to open up and let Anna help him.
   For many years, Charles has worked as Bran’s (the alpha of all werewolves in North America and Charles's father) executioner, destroying those who have broken the code of werewolves and have threaten the safety of the werewolf packs. Recent events have led werewolves to come out to the public and now Bran is trying to maintain a positive and safe image for his wolfs.
  Briggs's werewolves manage to keep the carnal aspects of the wolf without losing their humanity. While they can assimilate with the general public, they still pose a volatile and violent threat to those around them as their anger can be triggered very easily. For this reason, Bran sends Charles out to kill those wolves who are unable to keep their wolf in check. Neither Bran nor Charles take pleasure in hunting down fellow werewolves, but a system of balance is needed. Charles's executions are now taking their toll and as a result he is emotionally shutting everyone out, especially Anna.
  Charles's conflict is very complex, which Briggs effectively demonstrates this by showing how it effects many people especially Anna and Bran through their point of views. If we are placed in Anna's shoes, we can't help but wonder if Bran is just using his son to do the dirty work and is completely oblivious to see the ramifications on his son. If we see it through Bran's eyes, he knows he asks a lot from his son and feels guilty about it, but he really can't send out other alphas, fearing they couldn't handle it and it would push the older wolves to go lope. As for Charles, it's just another thing that he has to deal with and sort through himself.
  Readers of this series know that Charles is very introverted. His physically aggressive demeanor is a front and his reputation of a killer doesn't exactly make him approachable. In Fair Game we see Charles at his most vulnerable state. He has the ghosts of his previous kills lurking around him. They talk to him, scare him, and he is terrified if he acknowledges them too much, they will take control of him and eventually harm his wife. So he fights against the spirit's growing strength and keeps this pain and torment hidden from her. For the majority part of the book, Charles resorts to transforming himself to Brother Wolf, the name of Charles’s wolf, in order to deal with people.
  Brother Wolf is an interesting character. Though completely separate from his human side. He is more forth coming and direct to the point. They both love Anna, but sometimes they disagree with each other. It is fascinating how Briggs is able to create different voices to these two aspects of Charles along with the long and serious struggle for Anna to break through Charles's walls.
  In order to reprieve Charles from his duties to the pack, Bran comes up with a somewhat temporary solution for him. There have been a string of murders in the Boston area involving werewolves. The FBI are desperate to catch this serial killer, and have given into the fact they might need a werewolf to give them some insight. With Adam Hauptmann home helping Mercy recover, Bran sends Anna and Charles to Boston. When a powerful fae’s daughter becomes the next victim, Charles and Anna stick around until they can bring justice. The mystery is probably one of the best plots written by Briggs as it not only matches the inner turmoil of her characters, but it also stays on track. There is no lengthy, long winded explanation of how the murder is solved like they can be in some of her books. There is also enough clues to keep the pages turning. While there is no cliffhanger per se, the ending leaves us with lots of questions about the future the political maneuverings of the various paranormal creatures in Briggs's world. It's too bad that we have to wait until March 2013 to find out what happens next.
Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: Strong violence, language, disturbing images related to mutilations and rape, and a small sex scene. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Mercy Thomspon series by Patricia Briggs, Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer, Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews, Bitten by Kelley Armstrong, Silver by Rhiannon Held, Touch the Dark by Karen Chance
3 Responses
  1. I really need to get to Patricia Briggs' series. Although as adult paranormal/urban fantasy series go, I think I'm going to try Jeanine Frost's books first.

  2. I am so behind on the Mercy series and this one. I loved the novella to this one and the first book. Looks like I've been missing out. Sorry to hear that Hunting Ground and River Marked disappointed. I still think I'd enjoy those since I like the characters so much. :)

  3. I'm SO behind on this series. While it doesn't bother me to read SOME series out of order, I know this one is best when read that way. So need to catch up to Fair Game! You have me drooling for it and I haven't read Hunting Ground (which you have me drooling for that one as well).

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