Reviewed by: Jannelle
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books in the Mercy Thompson series. (Check out VBC’s review of book 1 of that series, Moon Called).
When Cry Wolf begins we meet Anna, who after an awful falling out with her pack, is heading to Montana to a new pack and a new life with her new mate Charles. Off the bat, we can see that Anna is dealing with the horrific mistreatment of her previous pack, discovering she is an Omega (and what that means, exactly), and realizing her inner wolf had chosen Charles as a mate. Needless to say, she is more than a bit overwhelmed.
Charles is also sorting out his emotions: recovering after receiving some serious wounds, understanding (and not frightening) his new mate, and opening his entire life to someone he met three days ago, he is also a bit off balance.
As Anna and Charles attempt to work on their new lives together and learn about each other, there is a report of a rogue werewolf who is terrorizing the woods close to their home. Since Charles is the pack’s enforcer, Bran (the pack alpha) tasks him to check out what’s going on. Charles takes Anna along and of course, action ensues. There’s a whole storyline following this rogue werewolf investigation but I don’t want to spoil it for you. The real story here is in the development of Anna and Charles’ relationship.
In contrast to the Mercy Thompson series, the Alpha & Omega series (so far) is a lot more romance heavy, which isn’t a bad thing. Here, the series kicks off with Charles’ and Anna’s wolves discovering and accepting that they are mates and their human selves still need to catch up. After the hell Anna went through with her previous pack, it’s understandable that that acceptance will take a while. Cry Wolf exhibits the development of their relationship and how it’s affecting them both—individually as well as together—and what that means for the pack. It was also interesting for me to see the sharp contrast of their affection towards each other. Anna seems a bit shy and apprehensive in her human form but her wolf is confident and aggressive, which translates into her relationship with Charles.
Here’s the big question: If you haven’t read the Mercy Thompson series, can you still pick up Cry Wolf? Well, I think so. While Briggs starts off Cry Wolf on the ground running, there is still enough information left to piece exactly what is going on. Granted, because I read Moon Called, I was able to have a little extra background knowledge on the world building, but the whole Omega role was completely new to me. And in all honestly, it still is. This is part of what made Cry Wolf both extremely interesting and slightly unnerving. What the heck is an Omega? Now that I’ve finished the book, I definitely have a much better understanding of an Omega’s role in a pack, but I know I have to continue reading along in the series to discover what else Anna has in store for us as well as watching her develop into that Omega role. And binge-reading the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series is something I’m looking forward to.
If you haven’t picked up Cry Wolf yet, however, I would recommend picking up the novella, Alpha & Omega #0.5, which leads us into where this story picks up. Yes, it is possible to read this novel without reading the short story (I did it!) but for the first few chapters I felt more than a bit lost. Slowly, I was able to place everything together.
All in all, Cry Wolf was a great read. Full of action, mystery, romance, and more fantastic world building by Patricia Briggs. Any and every paranormal romance and urban fantasy fan out there should be reading this.
Sexual content: sex, references to rape