December 23, 2022

REVIEW Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs

Hunting Ground (Alpha and Omega #2) by Patricia Briggs
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: July 17, 2009
Format: Audiobook (Borrowed from Library)
Publisher: Ace 

Hunting Ground is the second book in Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, following werewolves Anna and Charles Cornick rather than coyote shapeshifter Mercy Thompson. It’s set a couple weeks after the events of the first book, Cry Wolf, and Charles and Anna have only been mated for a month or so at this point. Life is never dull for these two though, as they are called to attend an international werewolf conference to address their upcoming reveal to the world. 

Readers who are familiar with the Mercy Thompson universe and the earlier books in the Alpha and Omega series know that Charles is the killing arm of his father, the Marrok. He’s also the second in the Aspen Creek pack. As opposed to being sent out to enact physical violence, Hunting Ground sees Charles and Anna pit in a battle of wills and wits against other Alphas from around the world. My favorite of their sparring partners was Jean Chastel, who is also known in history as the Beast of Gevaudan. There's also a British Alpha who thinks he is King Arthur reincarnated. Patricia Briggs did an excellent job weaving these two characters into the story, and making the legends work with the character development she has already established. Readers who enjoy stories inspired by myths and legends will be pleased by this particular aspect of the book. 

With Anna’s past trauma, she’s still very uncomfortable in their new relationship. There’s the age difference (Anna is very young compared to Charles’ near two hundred years old) as well as the difference in experience and knowledge levels. Charles, as he says, is a patient hunter though and willing to put in the time to help her work through the events of her past and conquer the memories of the monsters who brutalized her. The development of Charles and Anna’s relationship is a major point in this book, and adds an aspect of romance to the story. I also really appreciate how the author finds a way to highlight their mutual love of music in every book, as music can express emotions in a way words often can’t. 

The book, in addition to being solidly in the urban fantasy genre with hints of romance, also features a mystery aspect. There are attempted kidnappings and murders happening in the midst of the conference in Seattle. This throws other paranormal creatures like fae, vampires, trolls and witches into the complicated mess of events going on. Sadly, the mystery was very confusing and hard to follow as a reader. Various interjected chapters popping up throughout the book had me completely lost. I wish there had been a bit more context to allow me to make sense of what was going on at the moment, instead of putting it all together at the very last minute. 

Holter Graham once again delivered an excellent performance with the audiobook narration of the book. He’s an excellent narrator who can voice both female and male characters with ease. As a side note, the events of this book are connected to what happens in the main Mercy Thompson series. However, both series are fairly independent and you don’t have to read one to understand the other. If a well-paced book with urban fantasy, paranormal and mystery elements sounds like something you’d enjoy, then check out Patricia Briggs’ Hunting Ground today. 

About the Book
Anna Latham didn’t know how complicated life could be until she became a werewolf. And until she was mated to Charles Cornick, the son — and enforcer — of Bran, the leader of the North American werewolves, she didn’t know how dangerous it could be either...

Anna and Charles have just been enlisted to attend a summit to present Bran’s controversial proposition: that the wolves should finally reveal themselves to humans. But the most feared Alpha in Europe is dead set against the plan — and it seems like someone else might be too. When Anna is attacked by vampires using pack magic, the kind of power only werewolves should be able to draw on, Charles and Anna must combine their talents to hunt down whoever is behind it all — or risk losing everything...

About the Author

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children, and six horses and writes full time, much to the delight of her fans.

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