Friday, 23 December 2011

Review: Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs (Alpha & Omega #2)

Publisher – Orbit
Publication Date – 1st October 2009
Paperback – 304 Pages
Genre – Urban Fantasy
Source Purchased

Rating - 2 out of 5: It was ok

Book Info - Anna Latham didn't know how complicated life could get - until she became a werewolf.  And now she's not just part of any pack, but under the direct supervision of Bran, leader of the North American werewolves.  And her mate is his son Charles, the pack enforcer.

With all the advances that have been made in forensics, the werewolves will not be able to hide their existence from humans much longer - and Bran wants their coming out party to be on his terms.  But his European counterparts don't see things the same way.  Anna and Charles are chosen to represent Bran at a key meeting.  But when a French werewolf, one of Bran's most vocal opponents, is found murdered, Charles's reputation shoots him to the top of the suspect list  And among the wolves, there is one penalty for breaking the law: death.  The killer must be found, or Charles will take the fall.

My Thoughts - Hunting Ground carries on a few weeks after the events of Cry Wolf. Although I enjoyed the first book in the series, I did not enjoy this book as much.  Anna and Charles who are newly mated, must attend a conference in Seattle with other werewolf leaders to discuss the fact that the Marrock will soon be announcing their existence to the rest of the world. Because of this a huge portion of the novel is focused on werewolf politics, which meant that there is a lot of talk and no action for the most part and it did become quite confusing and complicated at times. This meant that the story was very slow moving at the start and I didn't find it particularly interesting.

However, it does begin to improve just over halfway through but this may be too late for some readers who might have already given up on the book by this time. I perservered because I am a big fan of Briggs' Mercy Thompson series, but this was the only thing keeping me going through the first half.  The action does begin to pick up when somebody is killed and it becomes clear that Anna is also a target of the murderer. It becomes more than just talk between all the uber-dominant wolves that are gathered and more than a few fangs are bared in the second half of the story. The writing became a lot more like what I expected from the author and it made me feel that I hadn't wasted time ploughing through the first half of the book.

But even the mystery element of the story wasn't great. I managed to work out who was behind the murders way before Charles and Anna did so the ending didn't really hold any surprises for me.

The final thing that didn't sit right with me about Hunting Ground was the relationship between Charles and Anna. Their wolves declared each other as mates in the first book, but I just didn't feel the connection between them which I found frustrating at times. As a result, I had trouble connecting with them.

Summary - Hunting Ground is an ok Urban Fantasy novel. I think that fans of the author would enjoy this book, so long as they persevere with it. If you've never read anything by Patricia Briggs before then I would highly recommend her Mercy Thompson series instead - that is one of the best series' I've come across since I started reading this genre!

Other books in the series:
Alpha & Omega (Novella from the On The Prowl anthology)
1. Cry Wolf
2. Hunting Ground

Other reviews of this book:
Dear Author / Love Vampires / The Book Smugglers


Shelagh said...

Ouch! Sounds like this one really doesn't hit the mark.

I'm especially sad that there isn't much of a connection between Charles and Anna - Briggs' wolves are territorial like most werewolves and that usually translates into their personal relationships. If they're mated they should be acting like it.

It's a pity, but I think I'll be concentrating on Mercy's story.

The Word Fiend

Jenny said...

Hmmm, maybe I'll pass on this series. I was wondering but since we share the same opinion about the Mercy series I think we'd probably share the same opinion about this one too.

Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Shelagh - I have definitely enjoyed Mercy's story much more than this book, but I did also really enjoy the first book in the Alpha & Omega series too. Maybe you could just try book one and see how you feel about it?

Jenny - I enjoyed book one in this series a lot more so you may enjoy that one too. Plus I've come across a lot of very positive reviews for Hunting Ground on the blogosphere so you may get on better with it than I did :)

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