Sorry it has been a hot minute since my last post! I’m in the middle of reading a couple of different books at the moment and this is the one I finished first! After seeing the Mercy Thompson series come up in my recommendations so many times, I could no longer ignore them so I decided to give Patricia Briggs a go. After reading so much paranormal fiction, I thought I would turn to, who many consider to be, the queen of this genre.
Cry Wolf follows ‘mated’ couple Anna and Charles as they leave Anna’s pack in Chicago for Charles’s Montana home. Charles is the Marrok’s son and also his enforcer. Being over two hundred years old, Charles knows that there is more to Anna than she realises. Anna is a rare Omega wolf, someone who can bring harmony to werewolves and packs. When they arrive back in Montana and there are rogue attacks threatening the werewolf community, Charles and Anna venture into the wilderness to stop the threat. However, all is not as it seems… Oooooh!
I originally started reading this without having read the prequel Alpha and Omega and did not understand who the characters were and their significance to the plot. Although the prequel was recommended, I figured it was some last minute add on that the author had produced to get some more money out of fans. However, the prequel could have easily been the first few chapters of the book! There seemed to be no structural reasons to separate them at all! The plot of the prequel is integral to understanding Anna and who she is, so I don’t particularly get why it is separated unless it is for profit. I understand the business motivations for this decision, but if I were the publisher, I would rather not frustrate my customers with pointless extra costs.
Anna is an omega wolf who did not consent to the ‘change’, a process she didn’t even know existed before waking up as a werewolf. Anna has spent the last three years at the bottom of her pack in Chicago being kept in the dark from basic knowledge of the world she has been brought into. I found the dynamics between submissive, dominant and omegas quite interesting, but felt Briggs’s ideas could have been explored further. Anna was an interesting character but the focus of the novel was more on the plot than the characters, meaning that I never connected with Anna as much as I wanted to. The first half of the book was defintley focused on Anna and Charles, but by the end, they had definitely been sidelined as secondary to the action.
The third person narrative didn’t help develop Briggs’s characterisations. Although writing in third person allowed the reader insight into a wider range of characters, it also meant that less depth was given despite the length of the book. Briggs’s focus also changed quite sporadically, sometimes with no closure given to the current perspective. This means that you never really connected with any one character. I typically prefer first person narratives anyway, so I think there would have been a disconnect for me regardless. However, even as an unbiased reader, I think I would have disliked Briggs’s style either way. Series sometimes have a tendency to delay character development as a way of keeping readers interested throughout the books, but this did not work here as it only resulted in my ambivalence.
The plot was interesting enough to hold my attention but when I think back to what happened, there actually isn’t much to it. I can’t say the plot is going to stick with me for more than a couple of hours. This wasn’t helped by the ending of the novel. As more and more perspectives were brought into the forefront of the book, the narrative became quite fragmented. This meant that action was being delayed or replayed from different points of view. It also felt like some characters’ roles were simply to explain to the reader what was happening and why it was significant. I think the very basic writing technique of showing rather than telling seemed lost on this ending. As a reader, I was taken more and more out of the events of the book because of these explanations.
Although part of a series, the ending gave me enough of a sense of closure that I don’t feel the need to read the others. This is partly because of their mediocrity and partly because the ending was quite neatly wrapped up.
Overall, it was an okay book. Definitely not the worst but also not the best. I did appreciate the diversity of character backgrounds but sadly it isn’t enough for me to recommend this series to anyone.
I hope you enjoyed my review,