on March 8, 2012
If I were stranded on a desert island and could only have one UF title delivered to me this year this one would be it! I love Patricia Briggs, I love the world she creates both with this series and the Mercy Thompson series and in case I haven't mentioned it I loved this book! Ok enough with the gushing now and on with the reviewing by the way this was a really good book in case I haven't mentioned it...ok now I'm really done.
If you haven't read the other books in the series you could read this as a stand alone it is at the core a supernatural mystery but you will enjoy it far better with some backstory. Charles is the enforcer for the Marrok, the head of all North American werewolves and he is the one who enforces discipline and discipline in their world is not a slap on the wrist. Anna is an Omega wolf, a rare type of wolf she can both calm other wolves and is outside of the pack hierarchy. Anna notices that Charles is not handling his job well and brings it to the Marrok.
If you have read the previous books then you will enjoy Anna who started out as a very beaten down abused wolf become someone who takes on Bran. She in her way manipulates Bran into helping her husband and saving him from the ghosts haunting him. Bran sends Anna to consult with the FBI on a serial killer case where the killers have been targeting werewolf and Fae victims.
No one does a better job of building on their world with each book than Patricia Briggs, each book adds another layer of richness and even more depth to characters we know and love. Her characters are dark, Bran Charles and the Fae are all dangerous predators and not always in control of their darker sides. The crimes are brutal and the bad guys are crazy zealots. Despite all of this her main characters all have redeeming qualities that make you cheer them on and hope they find their happy ending. Anna and Charles have their issues and manage to work them out by the end of the book.
The ending...WOW! The ending was definitely a surprise, but still very good. It sets up the next book in the series nicely without leaving a cliffhanger. Other authors could take a lesson from this, how to end a book while leaving the reader wanting more but not wanting to strangle the author because of a cliffhanger...gods save me from cliffhangers. The only bad thing to say about this book is that it will be 2 years before there is another one.
5/5 Go get this book now!!!!
I received this audiobook for review from the publisher. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
Fair Game takes place close to a year after Hunting Ground ends. Not just the wolves have been 'outed' to the public, but also fae. As a result, CNTRP (pronounced can-trip) has been created, which is a new agency formed to deal with preternaturals. The acronym stands for Combined Nonhuman and Transhuman Relations Provisors.
A serial killer has been on the loose in Boston, and the FBI has invited CNTRP and the spokesperson for the wolves, Adam Hauptman, to consult with them to see whether they can aid in the investigation. Adam is the Alpha of the Tri-Cities pack and, because his mate has been injured, Bran decides to send Anna as a replacement to act as their spokesperson. Anna is very perceptive and highly skilled at reading people, and she also gives off a non-threatening presence. From the forensic photographs, Charles recognizes not just wolves as some of the victims but also fae. Charles and Anna must work with the local Boston Alpha, Isaac, who was Changed about the same time as Anna. When another fae is kidnapped, it is a race against the clock as Charles and Anna try to uncover who is responsible for these hideous crimes.
Fair Game is quite a bit darker than the rest of the books in the Alpha & Omega series. The violence is more graphic, and the book just has an overall darker feel to it. It matched the change in Anna's and Charles' relationship, which has also become riddled with problems. Because the wolves are no longer a secret, Bran has put tighter reins on the packs and cannot allow any wolves to behave in a manner that is out of control. Problematic wolves are dealt with much more severely, which means that Charles is sent out more and more often to carry out the Marrok's sentences. Where before newly-Changed wolves may have been let off with a warning, they are now being eliminated by Charles. With so many kills, his guilt is getting the better of him and he is plagued by the souls of those he has punished. To keep Anna safe, he shuts down his bond to her so that they troubled souls cannot harm her. However, by doing so, he has severed the part of him that gives him peace. Anna and Charles are both suffering from his withdrawal, and she even is at odds with Bran because she blames him for his part in making Charles the way that he is now. When her pleas fall on deaf ears, she turns to Asil to see if he can intervene.
Despite the increased tension between Anna and Charles, there are some tender moments like this one:
'"I need to go," she said to his chest. "I need ' " His mouth closed over hers, hot and hungry, warming her mouth as his body warmed her body. "Me," Charles said, his voice dark and gravelly as if it had traveled up from the bottom of the earth, his eyes a bright gold. "You need me."'
This book ends with what promises to be excitement in the next chapter of the Alpha & Omega series! Briggs is going to really shake things up!
With each book, I feel as though I am getting to know all of the key players on a deeper level. I love that. Briggs doesn't create one-dimensional characters; they are multifaceted. I also like how she changed up the relationship a bit between Anna and Charles. Until now, their relationship has evolved in a healthy way. Because of the nature of Charles' responsibilities, his change was unavoidable. And his reaction was so...Charles ' sacrificing his own mental health because of his love for Anna. I like how Anna is not afraid to give Bran a piece of her mind! She is the only one that can get away with that.
I'm so sad that I am caught up now in the series! I now have to go and read Briggs' sister series, Mercy Thompson. That will have to satisfy me until the next installment in the Alpha & Omega series comes out.
I was so pleased that Narrator Holter Graham reverted back to his original vocalizations for Bran and Charles as first portrayed in Cry Wolf! Graham's narration is the right blend of emotion and intensity, and he really is a delight to listen to!
MY RATING: 5 stars!! It was superb! I loved it, and I will likely re-read it again in the future! You should definitely read it! Thanks to Penguin Audio for the review copy!
on March 21, 2012
I seriously had to ration my reading,knowing the ride would end all too soon! This was such a well written adventure that I can't find any faults to point out. Patricia Briggs has maintained her status as the best in UF authors up with Jim Butcher. I've been biding my time with lesser UF writers who would do well to take some notes from her.The storyline flowed evenly throughout the book,advancing you along without ever lagging or deviating from the plot. All the while developing some very well rounded new characters that may pop up in future books. This was such a terrific read and I can only hope that the wait for the next installment in the lives of either Charles,Anna,Adam or Mercy doesn't take as long to be written! Great work Ms.Briggs!!!
on March 12, 2012
Not many Authors could manage to pull of what Patricia has dared to do, and to do so well. Two have two series running along the same time-line with occasional references to each series and I hope that maybe, someday down the line some of the characters will overlap.
I knew that Patricia would ultimately find a way to take both of her series and bring the time-lines together. This is great and I think that it is going to make both of these series much more interesting. Especially if each couple can `invade territories' occasional!
Anna and Charles need to make a trip to Boston to help the FBI with a serial murderer that has taken out a few werewolves as well as many Fae. Anna is a great choice to send (along with Charles) for this job since she is much better at PR than anyone else is. Moreover, why wouldn't she be? Her Omega-ness will calm almost anyone and have them eating out of her hand, so it stands to reason that she will be great at PR.
Now Charles is having a problem that he (naturally) has not discussed yet with Anna. It has to do with the ghosts of the last wolves he has had to `discipline' and what it is doing to him mentally AND physically. It is not good. Charles guilt has the ghost feeding off him almost like vampires and this will hinder him at critical times.
It is great to see that Charles is able to use his Brother Wolf when Charles feels he can no longer handle things.
The story moves at what I think is a perfect pace, and allowed for the perfect amount of time to deal with everything on Anna and Charles's plate . Yet, I have to agree with one of the other fans...why wasn't this book longer?
Patricia has allowed Anna growth in very few books, and that is almost unparalleled with any other author and she has allowed us in this novel, to see Charles being vulnerable. This was an amazingly emotional novel as far as Anna and Charles goes, but it does have its usual humorous bits, informative bits and even occasional snarky bits.
This novel has one of the most exciting (although I don't mean that in the usual sense) endings that I have come across lately.
Just what will the Fae Princes proclamation mean for Mercy and the Fae on the reservation there and all the Fae that she knows? What is it going to mean in future books? Will it be important? I for one CANNOT wait to find out.
Many urban fantasy writers include werewolves, fae and vampires revealing themselves to the world, but only a few actually look at how people would realistically react. Patricia Briggs' "Fair Game" gives us both a sobering portrait of how things might unfold AND a solid serial-killer thriller. The third Alpha and Omega novel has a suspenseful story at its core, but Briggs also provides quieter moments so her characters can breathe.
After having to kill several werewolves, Charles is beginning to crumble mentally; he's seeing ghosts and starting to give in to his bloodthirsty instincts. So he and Anna are sent to Boston on a special mission -- assist the FBI on a serial-killer case that has lasted decades. The killer initially had a straightforward pattern (Asian teenagers), but began including werewolves and fae. Each one was carved with witch symbols, raped, and finally murdered.
Now the human daughter of a high-ranking fae has been kidnapped, and the FBI/werewolf team has only hours to find her. But the case becomes particularly strange when they discover that a long-dead witch and a bizarre kind of fae may be involved in it. And unless they figure out who the killers are fast, Anna might be their next target.
"Fair Game" tries to tackle a lot of heavy topics -- prejudice, the cost of killing, and the way normal humans would see the "monsters." And honestly, Patricia Briggs does really well. She doesn't dip into any heavy-handed gay/racial symbolism, and she doesn't depict ALL humans as slavering racists or groupies either. Laurell K. Hamilton should take notes.
The plot is a heavy, fast-moving affair with a feeling of creepy, overhanging suspense, marred only by a few scenes where the characters seem to forget the crisis. It's heavy, dark stuff, made of blood, black magic and killers who are complete unknowns, winding up into a bloodsoaked, genuinely freaky finale. It also has a finale that is both satisfying and realistic, altering the dynamic of human/supernatural relations. Things won't be the same again.
But Briggs also inserts scenes that allow her characters moments of quiet and reflection. And occasionally, there's some gentle humor -- the chapters from Brother Wolf's POV ("No taxis for werewolves!", or Charles and Alistair singing a Welsh folksong after the rescue.
This book also addresses something that perplexed me about the previous Alpha and Omega books: how can a guy like Charles be okay with being an enforcer/executioner, and how can Bran be okay with sending his son to kill? Turns out they aren't -- Charles is haunted by the ghosts of those he killed, and at times Brother Wolf has to take over to keep him from losing control. Fortunately, Brother Wolf is adorable.
Meanwhile, Anna has developed a lot from the frightened, timid creature she used to be -- she's now stronger and more assertive than before. She even faces off against the Marrok. And Briggs populates Boston with a solid cast of characters -- the strong, capable Leslie, the feisty local Alpha Isaac, and the elegant ancient fae Alistair.
"Fair Game" took a long time to arrive, but it was worth it -- this is the sort of urban fantasy that we need more of. And it leaves you wishing you knew what would happen next.
Always love it when I get to read more about Charles and Anna. This story has them on the trail of a serial killer while working with the FBI and a mix of very interesting characters including a Fae lord. Loved it!
on June 22, 2015
I like all of the Patricia Briggs' Werewolf series very much (she's writing two distinct story lines that occasionally overlap) with their intriguing mix of werewolves, fae, humans & vampires. The world she has created has great internal consistency, the mix of human and 'other' is very well-handled. One gets really involved with the characters who generally have very engaging personalities--both the "good" guys & the "bad". The challenges they face make for an exciting read--and Fair Game is no exception. Collect 'em all!
on April 14, 2013
I really enjoy both series from the writer, good stories and interesting characters are very appreciated. The women who are central are not the norm and do not flow the expected even discounting their fantasy nature and I appreciate that as well.
If you like some action and strong female characters this is a well done series and I can't wait for the next book!
on March 13, 2012
The next book in this series (Alpha/Omega series) and her Mercy series should be interesting because of what happens at the end of "Fair Game". The ending at the end of "Fair Game" will probably affect the Mercy series more than the Alpha/Omega series because the Fae are in more Mercy books than the Alpha/Omega books.