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Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

I can't imagine how time-consuming it must be to write two different series simultaneously, but I am seriously so glad I'm able to go to the bookstore and get my Patricia Briggs fix twice a year. When I first heard she was starting a series featuring Sam's half-brother Charles, I could hardly wait to start. I love the world she's created with her Mercy Thompson books and I can't get enough of anything to do with the Marrok himself--the leader of the North American werewolves. As he is Charles' father I knew we'd be getting more Bran, which could only be a good thing. My fingers are still crossed she'll embark on a third series centered on the Marrok. His ancient awesomeness deserves his own series. I enjoyed Cry Wolf, the first in the Alpha and Omega series, and was looking forward to more development in this second installment.

Things are slowly progressing between mated Charles and Anna Cornick. For a man whose life revolves around being his father's assassin enforcer, Charles is exercising remarkable control when it comes to his timid, but subtly powerful mate. It goes against pretty much every more he's lived by for his few centuries of life to tamp down his dominant instincts, as well as his more violent tendencies engendered as part of his job, but that is exactly what Charles does to make Anna feel comfortable with him and with her new pack. When he elects to go to Seattle in his father's place to host a werewolf summit addressing how and when they will come out to the public, it seems all his hard work may be for naught. Anna accompanies him and, faced with a roomful of the most alpha of alpha wolves from around the world, it's all she can do not to run screaming from the room. As an Omega, her ability to influence all the wolves around her is a tool she must harness if Charles is to succeed in his mission. And, with a homicidal wolf on the prowl and a host of wolves out for his blood, it's Anna's turn to take charge, protect her mate, and embrace the abilities she's only just beginning to understand.

Hunting Ground is stronger and more cohesive than its predecessor. Some of that comes from having all the groundwork finally laid, but a lot of it is just that it's tighter in general and that Patricia Briggs is one hell of a storyteller. The relationship between Anna and Charles continues to be extremely tender and I appreciate the realistic pace Briggs has set between them. They are married and are unswervingly loyal to one another, but they are so very brand new at this. They each have heinously complicated histories and are still only scraping the surface of the other's baggage. The nice thing is their violent, unhappy pasts are leavened by moments of quiet, true humor. Anna has learned to tease Charles and speak up when she should, while Charles has learned to listen and loosen up the death grip he's had on Anna since they met. As in the Mercy series, the fae and the vampires play a large role in this book and I am reminded how dangerously lethal both groups are as I view them through Anna's eyes. Though nothing and no one seems quite so lethal as Charles. The dude is awesome, as Anna says, "a force of nature." Ms. Briggs also includes a large nod to Arthurian lore in this installment and, being rather a fan of such things, I found myself amused and delighted to watch the way the myth unfolded in this context, which is to say just as painfully, beautifully, and hauntingly as always. I very much enjoyed Hunting Ground and have high hopes for the future of this series.

Comments

  1. I'm having that sort of happy problem where I have like 8 books I want to read next. Hunting Ground should be in the next 5 books I read. Glad to know you think it's better than the first. I'm looking forward to it.

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  2. A series just about Bran *fans self* PLLLEASSE.

    I LOVE this book, seriously. Even more than I like Cry Wolf. So good!

    [/fangirl moment]

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  3. I just read this book as well, and I believe you summed it up. I am really looking forward to the next one. Huge fan of the Mercy Thompson series and thrilled to have more of that universe to explore.

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  4. Well, I need to go get that one. I can't believe she can keep up with two different series at once. But I agree with you on the fact that more Bran is always a good thing!

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  5. Anonymous3:12 PM

    I must be weird because I am not the biggest fan of Patricia Briggs... however I really enjoyed the first book in the Alpha and Omega series! I was very pleasantly surprised. Glad to hear the second book was great too, I'll have to pick it up.

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  6. Janice, LOL. "Should be in the next 5 books..." now that's a sentence only an addict could utter. I'm right there with you. Although you are sitting pretty with DOUBLEBLIND over there. *sigh* :)

    Wendy, hehe! Right? I am all about Bran. More Bran. And I really am sort of desperate to know more about his relationship with Leah.

    Caitlin, I enjoyed your review. The Mercy series is really the best UF out there, IMO. Along with Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series. They are auto-buys for me.

    Elisa, think you'd like this one more than CRY WOLF. Still not Mercy but Charles and Anna get more development and the whole thing benefits from that. Plus, more Bran=yum.

    Emily, you're not weird at all. Just not your thing, I'm sure. But if you did like CRY WOLF, I think it's guaranteed you'll enjoy this one.

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  7. Hi :)
    I love Patricia Briggs Mercy series.
    Thanks for the review of the newest novel in her universe.
    I am definitely going to get this one too.
    :)
    All the best,
    @RKCharron
    xoxo

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  8. I'm waiting impatiently for my copy of this to come in at my library. So glad to hear you enjoyed it. I agree with you - Briggs is an amazing storyteller!

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  9. ooh goody. Briggs is one of my favorite storytellers. I agree that she is perfect at not rushing relationships - I'm glad to see Anna and charles are working through their differences! Can't wait to read it!

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  10. RKCharron, hi! Always great to meet another Mercy fan. Let me know what you think when you get a hold of HUNTING GROUND.

    Darla, you can just trust her to come through, you know? Here's hoping your copy arrives soon!

    Michelle, they're definitely working on them! :) I liked them both more in this one, which was very nice.

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  11. I enjoyed HG more than Cry Wolf..I loved to see Anna evolve and Charles fight his wolf for control.

    Patricia Briggs is just amazing!

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  12. Mandi, you too? I'm glad. Charles has such potential and I loved watching him fight. And Anna through the whole end of the book was awesome!

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  13. Hi Angie.
    I truly enjoyed this book as well. It was so good to see the progress Anna and Charles have been making in their relationship. But I think I was kind of hoping to be more of a witness to the progress--more of the little things that got them where they are at the beginning of this book. I mean we do see them in progress, but I wanted to see a little bit more page time with them interacting alone. Does that make any sense? However, because the pace is so realistic for this couple and their story AND because I admire, respect, and adore both of these characters, I still really loved the story.

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  14. Hey Christine, I know exactly what you mean. I would love to see more of them alone. More scenes like the one at the beginning where Anna surprises Charles as well. Since this was an "away" book, perhaps we'll get more of that in the next one if they're back at home.

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