The werewolf Anna finds a new sense of self when the son of the werewolf king comes to town to quell unrest in the Chicago pack- and inspires a power in Anna that she's never felt before.
This short story 'Alpha & Omega' was previously published in the anthology On the Prowl, but has recently been published in an anthology of Patricia Briggs work-'Shifting Shadows'. It is vital that you read this prequel story before you go on to the Alpha and Omega novels or you are going to be totally lost as to what is happening!
I picked up the On the Prowl anthology years ago to read the Alpha and Omega short story. I had just got into the Mercy Thompson series and decided to read the start of the spin off series. I didn't like it as I didn't know the characters and I lost interest in the entire series. This week, many years later, I decided to give it a second chance. The reason? Well, having read all the Mercy books so far, I now know a lot more about Bran's pack and figured that I'd now be more interested in reading about them. Last night I re-read this short story-and loved it! So it WAS a good idea to give it a second try!
Anna sees a report in a newspaper about a missing boy-who she saw locked in a cage at the house of Leo, her abusive Alpha. Despire her fear of Bran, the ruler of the werewolves, she reports it to him. He is sending his son Charles, his executioner, to investigate a few things that are wrong with Leo's pack and asks Anna to meet Charles so he can offer his protection to her. There is an attraction between them as Charles discovers his wolf wants her as a mate and she is a rare Omega werewolf, a calming influence on other werewolves.
There was a lot to like in this story. Anna is abused, damaged, knows little about the werewolf rules, changed against her will and raped by various pack members. Her life has been miserable and she finally sees that there may be a better life on offer away from Leo if Charles wants her as a mate. Anna is a sad character that you can instantly feel sorry for, and you want those that hurt her to be punished. As an MC she is able to carry the story well.
Charles is very much an Alpha, with dominant personality and striking looks. I already found him intriguing from what he hear about him in the other series. Perhaps I carry the same werewolf gene as Charles because, like him, I get irritated by people in crowded places! I hate shopping and anywhere with rude people pushing into me and being loud! So I had sympathy for Charles from the very start. I like the way he is determined to put the bad wolves in their place and protect Anna from them.
So, Charles has to find out why all the females in the pack except Leo's mate are dead-except Anna and why a lot of older wolves in the pack are also gone. I'm not going to spoil the plot by saying what he uncovers but it was a good plot twist, and it explains the brutal treatment of Anna. It was a twist that had me changing my mind about a few of the characters in the book.
Enjoyable read and I will certainly be going on to read the first full book in the series to see what happens next. (I have now completed the series and will be posting the reviews this week)