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Fair Game by Patricia Briggs

I started reading the Mercy Thompson series close to when it first came out, and so as soon as the Alpha and Omega series was started, I had to start those as well. One of my favorite things about Patricia Briggs is that she is using the multiple series approach to really build her world. There are a lot of werewolf/vampire/shapeshifter/fairie stories out there, but Briggs is telling the stories about her world from multiple view points to really explore everything this new world has to offer. I hope she continues!

Title: Fair Game
Author: Patricia Briggs
Pages: 293 hardcover
Genre-ish: Classic Urban Fantasy (Adult)
Setting: Alternate US where werewolves and fae have outted themselves and proven to the world that the stories are real. There also happens to be a whole lot of other monsters hiding in the closet still, but the public doesn’t need to know that. This story mostly takes place in Boston.
Premise: Anna and Charles are werewolves, but they are definitely not your typical werewolf mated and married couple. Anna is an Omega, meaning that she is completely removed from the dominance structure, a fact that makes her a very soothing presence on dominant wolves, but also makes them want to fiercely protect her because she is so rare. Charles is her mate and is extremely dominant, but not an Alpha (which would be a normal place for a very dominant wolf) because he is the son of the Alpha of Alphas in the USA, the Marrok. He is also unique in that he was born a werewolf instead of changed, so he is much more in control and skilled with his wolf counterpart. This means that he has become his father’s hitman for when wolves break the laws, but that is destroying Charles now. To ease his pain at the horrible things he must do, his father sends him and Anna to help the FBI stop a serial killer who has been killing for decades and is starting to kill wolves.

Strengths:

  • As I said above, I love that Briggs is developing her world so much further with this spin off series, and trust me, the series stands on its own just fine
  • Anna and Charles have a wonderful dynamic that is so much more compelling than the typical romance story, they are a real married couple with problems and deep deep love for each other
  • Anna is a great female lead, because her Omega status makes her so spunky! She went through hell before being discovered by the Marrok, but she realistically overcame those experiences and is turning into a wonderful person.
  • We get to learn a whole lot more about the fae and specifically the Grey Lords (the uber fae that rule over all the others) which is very exciting and makes me hope for a fae spin off series, hint hint
  • OMG you will never see the ending coming, it’s so crazy and I’m soooo excited for the next books in both series!

Weaknesses:

  • The plot follows the typical crime solving TV shows, and since I watch way too many of those, it didn’t captivate me very much. It was less about the cool supernatural things involved and more about, well, insane criminals doing horrible things….
  • Charles is a little whiny at times, since he basically can no longer deal with the jobs his father is giving him, and while it didn’t bother me, it could bother others who are more sensitive to man whining, ha.
  • The criminals do rape and torture their victims, so if you are sensitive to that stuff, be warned.
  • Briggs’ witches are generally black witches, because white witches simply can’t be as powerful as black witches, which is disappointing if you are into the good witch concept.

Summary:
I love this series so much as well as the original Mercy Thompson series, and highly recommend them both to people who like Urban Fantasy. I think they are very well written, compelling books. I didn’t get as into this one as I’d hoped because it seemed more focused on humans being crazy than cool supernatural stuff, but it set up the next book to be intensely about the awesome supernatural world, so I’m very excited for that. It was a very fast read, and would be perfect for an airplane book.

-A

© 2012 – 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.

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