Review: Hunting Ground

Hunting GroundTitle: Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega, book 2)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: August 2009
Author’s Website: http://www.patriciabriggs.com/
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review: Bran, the Marrok, is planning to bring werewolves out of hiding and into the open.  As leader of the North American werewolves, he doesn’t need anyone’s permission, but invites the leaders of foreign werewolf regions to a conference to hear their misgivings about the plan and make assurances that he will do what he can to minimize the impact on their organizations.  Bran sends Charles, his son and “enforcer”, to the conference in his stead.  Charles, of course, brings Anna, his mate and the pack’s omega werewolf, which proves to have interesting effects on the conference.  Of course, when you have so many dominant alpha werewolves in one place, there’s bound to be trouble, so it also make perfect sense to hire a powerful fae as the mediator, to enforce the rules.

But, who invited the vampires?

Bottom Line:  Anna continues to be fleshed out as a character, while she continues to learn about being an omega.  Any number of events in this story are predictable, some unavoidable, but it flows along at a nice pace and doesn’t stretch believability too far.  I’m still not really getting any emotion from these characters, but it’s not for a lack of Ms. Briggs trying.  I’m just not feeling it.  That said, if you’re a fan of the genre or Briggs’ work, this is a decent book.  Not great, but not bad.

Review: Cry Wolf

Cry WolfTitle: Cry Wolf (Alpha and Omega, book 1)
Author: Patricia Briggs
Published: July 2008
Author’s Website:  http://www.patriciabriggs.com/
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review:  After being rescued from her former pack, Anna is swept out of Chicago by her new mate, Charles, and his father, the Marrok, leader of all werewolves in North America.   While Charles is recovering from wounds he received during the rescue and Anna’s getting used to being desired and cared for by her alpha mate, they are sent out on a mission to discover who’s been attacking humans out in the forest near their pack lands.  Anna and Charles are also both still learning the extent of Anna’s omega abilities, which come in handy when they discover a recently turned werewolf and then have to confront the powerful witch who has come looking for one of their pack.

Bottom Line:  The characters of Anna and Charles aren’t as compelling or deep as Mercy Thompson and Adam, but this is an interesting story…and Anna is still developing.  A decent read, but not for folks who aren’t already fans of the genre.

Review: On The Prowl

On The ProwlTitle: On The Prowl
Author: Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen , Sunny
Published: August 2007
Author’s Websites:

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Review: This book consists of four stories by four authors.  The main themes uniting these stories are shapeshifting, fae, and romance…all to varying degrees.

“Alpha and Omega” by Patricia Briggs introduces us to Anna and Charles.  Anna is a relatively new werewolf who is being abused by her pack.  When she finally calls the Marrok, the leader of all werewolves in the United States, he sends his son, Charles, out to investigate.  Anna and Charles instantly bond when she picks him up at the airport where Charles also notices that Anna is a rare omega werewolf, one who can ease emotions while also disregarding commands by Alphas.  We see a bit of them bonding while Charles goes about the business of investigating and stopping the abuse and violation of the Marrok’s laws.
“Inhuman” by Eileen Wilks is about Kai, an empath who’s not just an empath, and Nathan, her not-quite-a-stranger, not-quite-a-friend neighbor, who’s not quite human.  These two find themselves evading police while baiting a killer before being ripped into a different realm to face down a Sidhe queen.
“Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance has a mage named Claire working guard duty for an auction house full of monstrous patrons.  When the part is crashed, an elf whisks Claire away to his realm where they have to dodge and fight through rival elf clans until Claire’s true nature manifests itself.
“Mona Lisa Betwining” by Sunny is just a horribly written, difficult to follow story that throws a few fantasy words about in order to qualify as fantasy romance.  An utter waste of time.
Bottom Line:  None of the stories really wowed me.  Not my favorite story by Briggs, but easily the best in this book,  On the Prowl was a decent intro to her Alpha and Omega series. The (second story) at least piqued my interest enough that I wondered what was going to happen to the protagonist.  The the other two stories were complete wastes of my time, the fourth being nearly unreadable.  Skip this book, unless you’re really needing the beginning to Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, in which case you should probably hit a library for an hour or so and read it there.  Don’t waste money on it, though.

Teaser Tuesday: Hunting Ground

Teaser Tuesday post for 5 November 2013:

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

I suspect they didn’t even know he could talk–let alone make so much sense when he did.  It was as if a shark started speaking the King’s English.

from “Hunting Ground” by Patricia Briggs

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

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Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Cry Wolf, again

Teaser Tuesday post for 29 October 2013:

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Anna looked sick.  “There are worse monsters to be than a werewolf, aren’t there?”

from “Cry Wolf” by Patricia Briggs

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Cry Wolf

Teaser Tuesday post for 22 October 2013:

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

He didn’t really understand what had happened until the morning after the first full moon when he woke up with blood in his mouth, under his nails, and on his naked body:  the memory of what he’d done, what he’d become, clear as diamonds.  Only then did he know he had become the enemy, and he wept at the loss of the last of his humanity.

from “Cry Wolf” by Patricia Briggs

 

 

 

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: Buying Trouble

 

Teaser Tuesday post for 15 October 2013:

“I am glad to be known to you, Claire,” he said, sounding formal all of a sudden.  Then strong arms circled me and a warm mouth closed over mine.

from “Buying Trouble” by Karen Chance (the third novella in On The Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Sunny)

Teaser Tuesday logo

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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Teaser Tuesday: On The Prowl

While it’s really only supposed to be two sentences, I had to make it three this week.  I wanted the first and last sentence of this excerpt.  I suppose I could have used ellipses, but that still kind of fudges the rule.

Teaser Tuesday post for 8 October 2013:

“Why the rolling pin and not a knife?” he asked, his voice raspy with the need for action.

 She looked at him for the first time since she’d seen his face on the stairs.  “A knife wouldn’t even slow him down, but bones take time to heal.”

from “On The Prowl” by Patricia Briggs (the first novella in On The Prowl by Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, and Sunny)

 

Teaser Tuesday logo

 

———————————————————————————–

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

—————————————————————————————————————————

Review: The Lost Gate

The Lost GateTitle: The Lost Gate
Author: Orson Scott Card
Published: January 4, 2011
Author’s Website: http://www.hatrack.com/
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Review:  Danny is a home schooled kid of fourteen.  Home schooled because he belongs to a family of Norse “gods” living in the mountains of Virginia.  These gods have lost a great deal of their power because they can no longer travel through a great gate to another world which helped them juice up their powers.  Travel was cut centuries ago when Loki, the last known great gatemage, closed the last great gate between the two worlds for reasons unknown.  Danny stumbles upon the fact that he’s a gatemage, a fact that would get him killed if anyone in his family learned of his ability.  He flees “the compound” and has some adventures before finding out how to control his abilities and eventually putting his parents and family in their place.

Meanwhile, on the other world, Wad, the castle-lurking gatemage befriends the queen who is shunned by her husband, but in a quite convoluted twisting of events, ends up fleeing the castle when the queen turns on him.

You know there has to be a reason for telling the story from two points of view, so it’s not a shocker when you find out the two worlds “collide.”  The question leading up to it and afterward is “What are the consequences?”  I’ll leave that for you to find out by reading the book or someone else’s synopsis/review.

Bottom Line:  I found some of the subject matter a little mature considering one of the protagonists is fourteen years old for half or more of the book.  Other than that, the characters are mostly believable and the story moves along at a good pace.  A good read and one I’d recommend to folks who are fans of the genre.

Review: City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, Book One)

Title:  City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments, Book One)
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Published:  March 27, 2007
Author’s Website:  http://cassie-claire.com/cms/home
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, Teen
Review:  The first book in The Mortal Instrument series is chock full of the typical denizens of fantasy/horror/paranormal genres, including vampires, werewolves, warlocks, demons, and demon hunters, in the form of nephilim –the offspring of angels and humans in this series.  The Shadow Hunters (nephilim) don’t use “magic” in the traditional sense.  They carve runes into their skin and use devices that have been enhanced by magic or runes.  So, into this world, our main female lead, Clary Fray, is thrown when she is suddenly able to see through the glamour that hides the supernatural world from normal, “mundane” eyes.  Shortly, thereafter, Clary’s mother is kidnapped and she and the Shadow Hunters figure out who has her and that they need to find an item of great power that Mr. Bad is looking for so they can trade it for her mom.  The search takes them to a number of places, introducing Clary (and the reader) to a number of the supernatural races and their relationships to each other.  They figure out where the item is and manage to get it, but are betrayed by one of their own who steals the cup, forcing them to attempt a raid on Mr. Bad’s lair to save Clary’s mother.

Bottom Line:  Aside from intentionally letting “the bad guy” escape to setup the next book in the series, this is also a great stand alone book. The dialogue is mostly realistic, the action is good and plentiful, the pacing is great, and there’s a little romance, but not really enough for me to classify it as a paranormal romance.