Written by: Patricia Briggs
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 286 (Mass Market Paperback)
The premise: in the second book of this series, Anna and Charles are taking the Marrok's place to represent a controversial new movement: to take the werewolves public. But not everyone's happy with that idea, especially the most powerful werewolf in Europe. And when Anna's attacked by a group of vampires using werewolf magic, both she and Charles have to work together to figure out who's trying to sabotage their mission, and who's trying to eliminate them both.
Give it Away: I say this because it's such a completely forgettable book. Nothing of consequence happens, and that's partially due to the nature of the plot that I'm still trying to work out, because the said premise felt so completely unnecessary, and without said premise, there'd be no book. Yes, Patricia Briggs fans are going to want to read this, but I'm starting to suspect/worry that the quality in Briggs's work is slipping and sliding downhill. This isn't the same writing I got when I read the first Mercy Thompson novel (Moon Called), and aside from the fear that Patricia Briggs is relying too much on the readers' knowledge of previous books to really let the world shine in this particular one, I worry on a bigger level that she's writing too much, too fast. This book felt sparse and unnecessary. Just another adventure that really didn't MEAN much. At least with the first three Mercy Thompson books, the stories meant something to the characters and the world-at-large. But now that Briggs is publishing a book every six months, I wonder: I wasn't all that fond of Bone Crossed either, and this is now the second book that leaves me wondering how long I'll continue the series (both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega). Yes, I'll get the next installments, but I really hope the quality improves. Because I know Briggs is a better writer, but if the simple basics (characterization, plotting, etc) don't get stronger, I can't justify spending the money. We'll see what 2010 brings for both Mercy Thompson and Anna and Charles Cornick, but right now, I have my doubts. I like Charles and Anna well enough, but it's bland, and if Briggs truly can't handle two series at once, I'd rather she drop Alpha and Omega and incorporate Charles and Anna into the Mercy Thompson books better.
For people who ARE interested in Briggs's urban fantasy, particularly the Alpha and Omega books, this is what you need to read before getting your hands on Hunting Ground:
"Alpha and Omega" in On the Prowl
And yes, you really need to read it in order: Cry Wolf picks up right where "Alpha and Omega" left off. If you don't want to start with the Alpha and Omega books, then pick up Moon Called instead. :)
Review style: there's a whole lot of wrong with this book, IMHO, so I'm going to spend a lot of time talking about that. There is SOME good in this book, and I'll touch on it first. Yes, expect spoilers. If that doesn't worry you, feel free to hop over to my LJ. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome.
REVIEW: Patricia Briggs's HUNTING GROUND
ALSO: I've started a monthly book challenge at my LJ. September's theme is fantasy that takes place in an urban setting, which is not to be confused with the butt-kicking heroine Buffy-lit that's so popular right now. The book my readers chose was Emma Bull's War for the Oaks (1987), so if you're interested in participating, just click here for details!