I generally review romance, paranormal and urban fantasy. I tend to pick review books that I want to read, so generally my reviews will be positive. I always give my honest opinion: good, bad, and indifferent.
Note: on my blog I use a letter grading system. I've listed the ratings below. For sites with stars, I have listed the equivalent rating. If I didn't finish the book, I will not rate it with stars.
A+ Personal Favorite (5 stars)
A Loved It (4.5 or 5 stars)
A- Enjoyed A Lot (4 or 4.5 stars)
B+ Liked It A Lot (4 stars)
B Liked It -- Recommend (4 stars)
B- Liked It -- But I had a few small issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C+ Liked It -- But I had issues (3 or 3.5 stars)
C Finished It -- Liked some, didn't like some (3 stars)
C- Finished It -- Liked a little, didn't like a lot (2 or 2.5 stars)
D Not A Big Fan (2 stars)
E Don’t Waste Your Time (1 star)
TW: Reading this book was like watching a Train Wreck
DNF: Did Not Finish
updated July 9, 2015
Charles and Anna are back in action, this time in Boston, helping the FBI solve a set of gruesome and troubling serial murders that spans over 30 years. Fair Game is set about two years ahead of the previous two books in the Alpha and Omega series. In those two years, the werewolves officially came out to the humans, and Charles has been required to enforce even stricter rules set by his father, Bran. The killing of other werewolves is taking an emotional and spiritual toll on Charles, while placing a huge strain on his relationship with Anna. Bran sends Anna and Charles to Boston so that Charles can focus on catching a bad guy rather than feeling like he is the bad guy.
Fair Game has all the wonderful characteristics that I have come to enjoy in this series. Anna and Charles make a great team, learning when to give and take, knowing each other so well. Even though Charles is under great stress and is unable to be the mate Anna deserves, I appreciate that Ms. Briggs allows him the time to assess and grow. I also love how much Anna has developed from the beginning of the series. She's gone from victim to hero, and I adore her character so much!
The primary plot revolves around a long-running serial killer case which has some odd and nearly invisible patterns. Since three of the most recent victims are werewolves, Bran feels the need to send in one of his own to assist. Anna and Charles bring a lot to the table, and I appreciate that they have been given the freedom to speak candidly when necessary. Sorting through the clues through both Charles and Anna's eyes is exciting and entertaining. Although I pretty much knew from the beginning who the bad guy was (a major clue is given in Frost Burned, the seventh Mercy Thompson book), it was still an engrossing tale.
I've said it before, but balance is what I love so much about this series and the primary couple. Balance of romance and mystery, Charles and Anna, alpha and omega. Ms. Briggs creates a storyline that is dark and horrendous, but gives it light and hope. Straddling the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, the Alpha and Omega series is an ideal balance of so many moving parts.
Warning... RANT AHEAD...
What I didn't like... Okay, so this is a general rant, but it bothers me when an author has a "spin off series" that ends up being a significant part of the primary series. Up until Fair Game, this wasn't the case. While there are overlapping characters and events, this series was independent of the Mercy Thompson series and visa versa. However, when I read Frost Burned, it was clear that a major, unexplained event happened "off screen," and it bothered me that it wasn't addressed within the book. Well... I found out that it was explained, but IN THE SPIN-OFF SERIES! While it didn't compromise the integrity of either book or series, it bothered me that it even happened in the first place.
While I'm ranting... What is it about rape? Both of the primary female characters in the Mercy Thompson world are victims of brutal crimes, to include rape and being forced to do things against their wills. Rape and brutalization are a big part of Fair Game. Is it just me, or do these two series contain too much violence against women - no matter how gracefully and tactfully the author handles both the acts and the after effects? ~end rant~
The narration by Holter Graham is spot on, including some excellent Boston accents. His voice has become familiar and comforting to me. I love the slight differences he puts behind Charles and Brother Wolf. He also brings to life some wonderful new characters, ones that I would love to see again.
Overall, I enjoyed Fair Game and other than my pet peeves listed above, feel it is a solid story and wonderful addition to the series. I am looking forward to the upcoming fourth book, Dead Heat.
My Rating: A-