Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
Publisher’s Description: For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way…
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.
From the reviews I’ve read, a lot of readers have a definite preference of either the Alpha & Omega books or the Mercy Thompson books, even when they like them both. You’ve read both series, Nell. Do you have a preference?
I like both series. Mercy’s world is different than Anna and Charles’s world. The Cornick world is more harsh, I think. I don’t know why I feel that way, because Mercy was raised in the Cornick world so she should be very similar, but Charles seems so aloof and severe. I would like to start over from the beginning of the Alpha & Omega series as long as I could skip the abuse Anna receives in the first book. It’s been quite a while since I visited the Alpha & Omega world, but Briggs is an awesome writer. She brings it all to life.
You mean Adam, Mercy’s mate, is more relatable than Charles, don’t you? Warmer, more personable? Less scary?
Yes! That’s exactly it. My words failed me, but your mind-meld assured that I got my thoughts understood!
It’s true Adam and Charles are very different characters; they’ve played very different roles in their life and have very different backgrounds. They are both fiercely loyal and capable of being scary; but, Charles is more introverted, keeps thoughts and feelings close. Also, Charles doesn’t have to be very “human” – he lives with the Pack all the time and usually wants to be seen as scary to do his job. Adam, on the other hand, is not only surrounded by humans all the time, but is the poster child for Bran’s “werewolves among us” campaign. Adam is more extroverted — you rarely have to guess at what he’s thinking and feeling. He probably feels safer to you.
Nell and I are still trying to sync up our reading, so it’s just me again today.
Main Characters: ♥♥♥♥ I am already emotionally invested in many of Patricia Brigg’s characters, including Anna and Charles Cornick, from the previous Alpha & Omega and Mercy Thompson books. Though this book involved Anna and Charles, the main characters of this adventure seem to be the family of Charles’ friend, Joseph. I am tempted to call them the main characters here.
Joseph’s werewolf father, human wife, son, and son’s family feel like real people – they have good and bad traits both, they have strengths and weaknesses, they have desires and secrets and fears, and they love. I think part of Brigg’s success is in the richness of her characters; they are “human” and easy to identify with. I particularly like the grandchild, Mackie, and wonder if she and her family will become recurring characters.
Other Characters: ♥♥♥♥ We meet some familiar characters in this book – Bran, Charles’ father; FBI Agent Leslie Fisher, the witch Moira just briefly – and we meet some new characters. I enjoyed Cantrip Agents Leeds and Marsden and hope they appear in future books. In the main part of the story, we don’t learn too much about the villain, which is usually a nitpick of mine. However, there is a hint in the beginning of the book that the villain is set in place by other powers – powers whose agenda might not be discovered until future books.
World: ♥♥♥♥ Again, I’m already heavily invested in Briggs’ world. While this book can certainly be read as a stand-alone, I think the writing does assume the reader is familiar with the world and keeps explanations brief. Time not spent on world building is spent describing another world: that of horse shows and competition. If you love horses, this is the book for you.
Story: ♥♥♥♥ The main story is a mystery involving missing children. It’s a good adventure, but in itself doesn’t contribute greatly to the overall mythology of the world, except maybe in a way we aren’t meant to know yet. We do get to see a side of Charles that is usually hidden, and we see Anna and Charles work through the issues of having children. Both of these contribute to the progress of their relationship.
Overall: ♥♥♥♥ Overall, I enjoyed this installment of the Alpha & Omega series. While it wasn’t a world-changing episode, it is a nice adventure, a good visit with old friends, and a fun time with new ones.
If You Like This Book …
Aside from the other Alpha & Omega books, and the companion Mercy Thompson books, you might try the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong and the Shifter series by Rachel Vincent. You’ll have to find a few more to keep you company after that since the next Mercy Thompson book won’t be out until next year!
No promotional consideration was granted for this review.