24 December 2012

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything...

This is my eleventh review of a Patricia Briggs book, and it's getting difficult to rehash her awesomeness over and over again until there's nothing but the tattered remains of my dignity left.  I spoke to her incredible writing style, plot development, and characters in my review of Cry Wolf, but what struck me in Hunting Ground was the way the characters changed and grew from the first book and into the second.  My reviews may be rehashed but nothing about Hunting Ground was.

One of my favorite things about a Patricia Briggs book is the wealth and breadth of characters.  From the two main protagonists to throwaway characters, each has its own essence that adds a dynamic layer to the story.  Patricia Briggs shows a brilliant stroke of genius in the way she uses body language throughout her stories to flavor the world she created for her werewolves, and how she shows a neat command of the subtle nuances of dominance between characters.  Her understanding of human and beastly natures makes the Alpha and Omega series my favorite werewolf story.

Once again, Patricia Briggs steps out of the streamline supernatural and into the clarity of originality.  She builds her world on the framework of ours and adds so many small, seemingly unimportant details, I half expect to see strange happenings when I go out for groceries.  I love stepping into a world created by Patricia Briggs, because I know it will be so full of rich details and subtle layerings that it'll be like seeing a movie in my head.  Every time I opened up Hunting Ground, I felt like I could go to Seattle and already know my way around.

Nothing was underdone.  The plot was fresh and exciting -- every moment, there was something happening, but Patricia Briggs doesn't wear out her readers by having fight scenes every two pages.  She also takes command of the romance, and gives it a realistic edge by not flooding the entire story with sappy love scenes.  It makes the romance sweet because it, like the characters themselves, isn't perfect.

Hunting Ground is a fantastic addition to the Alpha and Omega series.  Even on my second time reading it, it's just as exciting as when I first cracked the cover.

Omega didn't mean doormat.  It didn't mean weak.  It meant strong enough to do exactly what it had to in order to triumph, whether that meant cringing in the presence of dominant wolves or tearing her enemy apart.
"Women are the bloodthirsty sex," said Ric sadly.  "We get the reputation, but it is only because the women stand behind us, and say, 'Kill it.  Squish it.'"
Book Info
  • pages - mass market paperback, 286
  • published - August 2009
  • publisher - Ace
  • genre - urban fantasy
  • received via - Paperback Swap
  • rating - 5/5
  • series - Alpha and Omega
    • Alpha and Omega | Review
    • Cry Wolf | Review
    • Hunting Ground
    • Fair Game