- Title: Alpha & Omega
- Author: Patricia Briggs
- Series: Alpha & Omega #0.5
- Genre: Urban Fantasy
- Format: Paperback
- Source: Own
- Reviewed by: Olga
- Rating: 5 out of 5
Description: Anna Latham never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the Chicago pack, she’s learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But when she discovers wrongdoing in her pack, she has to go above her Alpha’s head to ask for help.
Charles Cornick is the son — and enforcer — of the leader of the North American werewolves. Now his father has sent him to Chicago to clean up a problem there. Charles never expected to find Anna, a rare Omega wolf — and he certainly never expected to recognize her as his mate…
This novella was originally published in the anthology On the Prowl.
Review: This novella is a reread, probably my favorite of all the Briggs’s stories set in the world of Mercy Thompson and her werewolf friends. I own the anthology On the Prowl, in which Alpha and Omega is included, but every time I re-read it (at least twice already) I read only this one story.
The heroine of this short tale, Anna, is a recently turned werewolf in Chicago. Changed against her will, constantly abused by her new pack mates and bewildered by their brutal treatment, she is afraid of her own shadow, until Charles blows into town to investigate the local pack.
While Anna is a new character for the readers, we know Charles from the previous Mercy novels. He is the son of the Marrok and the executioner of his father’s will.
Anna’s and Charles’s short association – only a couple of days – is studded with danger and courage and tinged with the beginning of sensual interest. While the action-filled plot zips ahead without pause, the protagonists’ romance unfolds tentatively, reluctantly, as if, like Anna, it is afraid to bloom.
The story is tightly written and sharply focused, everything extraneous ruthlessly pared off. Despite the low page count that doesn’t allow for a very deep characterization, the reader sees Anna and Charles clearly. She is kind and compassionate, learning to accept her new status as a shape-shifter. He is ruthless and just, determined to keep her safe. The result is a charming portrait of a young female werewolf who is gradually coming to terms with what she is.
By the end, the reader is left bemoaning the shortness of the story and hankering for more.