Tuesday, June 12, 2012

booknotes: fair game

Welcome to June, and the season of leisure reading! Actually, I try to enjoy leisure reading all year 'round. But publishers often time their releases for "beach reading" season -- so here we are. Last week, I happily secured a copy of Patricia Briggs' fourth installment in her Alpha and Omega series, Fair Game (Ace, 2012).

I've written before about my reservations regarding this series and particular how Briggs handles the central character, Anna, and her history of victimization. Now that we're into the third novel (all building on a novella originally published in the anthology On the Prowl), Anna's history as an abuse survivor has mercifully fallen away into the background and with her marriage on fairly stable footing we're free to focus on a plot that isn't romantic relationship development -- at least not exclusively so. She and Charles are still working through the particular dynamics of their partnership as humans and as wolves, but it is clearly a partnership in which both people are stubborn as hell. So mostly I'm willing to roll. (As an aside, I'm waiting for the day when Briggs decides to write a back-story about Charles' father Bran, who I think is intriguing as hell and kinda adorable to boot).

Like Hunting Ground, Fair Game takes up the question of human-nonhuman political relations. A serial killer has surfaced in Boston and taken several werewolves as victims. The FBI requests preternatural assistance and Anna is deputized by Bran, her father-in-law and head werewolf of North America, to fly across the country, with Charles as her "bodyguard"/shadow, to lend a hand. When the daughter of a local fae leader is abducted and the disappearance fits the serial killer pattern, Charles and Anna end up in a more direct role tracking down the killer. Like a lot of Briggs' novels, Fair Game is one part urban fantasy and one part mystery; it's no surprise that at the end the killer is brought to justice and the good guys prevail -- though perhaps not as tidily as they might have hoped.

I'm growing to like this spin-off series, and am looking forward to the day when Mercy and Anna meet in person. I think they might work (and play) well together!

1 comment:

  1. I still have only read the Mercy series... I should check these ones out sometime.