Review: Fair Game (Alpha & Omega #3) by Patricia Briggs

There’s a lot of triggering content in this series, but this book in particular has a lot of triggers around sexual abuse, including of children, and violence, domestic and otherwise.

I’ve almost made my way through the reviews of this series, I’ll probably review Dead Heat relatively soon and then I’ll be done until book 7 comes out. This is the third book in a series, and the one that really makes the Alpha & Omega books affect the Mercy Thompson series in an un-ignoreable way. This really helps both series avoid the sitcom feel that long-running series can fall into, and I love that Patricia Briggs doesn’t shy away from having big consequences follow on from the events of a book.

The cover is a bit generic, and the crop-top Anna is wearing doesn’t appear in the book, I don’t even thinks it conveys the general tone. There may have been an alternate cover for this book, but I’m not a fan of this one

Patricia Briggs, the #1 “New York Times” bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson novels, “always enchants her readers.” (Lynn Viehl, “New York Times” bestselling author) Now her Alpha and Omega series-set in a world of shifting shapes, loyalty, and passion- brings werewolves out of the darkness and into a society where fear and prejudice could make the hunters prey…

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

So! Fair Game keeps up the crime/mystery feel of Hunting Ground, and I think helps move the series away from being too romance-focussed. Charles and Anna are married and settled in their relationship. There is a certain amount of angst in this book, which is never my favourite, but it serves a narrative purpose, at least.

I enjoyed the urban fantasy world changes being fleshed out a little in this book, with the Cantrip agency and agents. I think the law enforcement-outreach aspect of Charles’s role as enforcer is interesting, and a great way to introduce a believable yet exciting plot. Fair Game also includes a decent amount of commentary on racism (with an urban fantasy twist) and the American legal system. I always like when fantasy can be used to comment on topical issues without seeming too on-the-nose or condescending, and I think Patricia Briggs strikes a good balance between commentary and entertainment.

Agent Leslie Fisher first appears in this book, and I love both the way she is introduced and her character in general. Ditto for Beauclair (although I can’t remember if he appeared in the Mercy Thompson series prior to this), in fact there are quite a few memorable and well-crafted characters that first appear in Fair Game.

Without being too specific (as despite the age of this book, I do try to avoid spoilers) Charles’s magic hinders more than helps him in Fair Game, and I think that it really helps to cement the magic system. I’ve criticised both Charles and Bran’s magic as seeming too vague and convenient at times, and having a character pay a price or suffer consequences due to their power is a great way to balance the scales.

Overall, I think Fair Game is one of the best entries in the Alpha & Omega series, and I enjoyed re-visiting it. I think fans of the Kitty Norville series by Carrie Vaughn, the Kate Daniels or The Edge novels by Ilona Andrews, or Richelle Mead’s Dark Swan series will enjoy Fair Game, though you really should start at the beginning.


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