“Identity was partly heritage, partly upbringing, but mostly the choices you make in life."
There’s a few things that making reading life a little glum, and one of those things is being excited to read a well-loved book by the genre community only to find out that, for irritating reasons, you have absolutely no idea where the other readers are coming from with their devotion.
That’s what happened to me with Cry Wolf, the first book in the Alpha & Omega series. I’ve been reading the Mercy Thompson books for years now, and every so often when I review one of the sequels with a less than stellar rating, someone will pop up and say – “oh, you have to read the OTHER series, it’s better!” Or, “you have to read about Anna and Charles, their stories are just as good.” I’ve seen the same recommendations in groups as well. So…I have finally hopped on board, only to fall off again!
From the start, this book lost a brownie point and a half when I found the first page was diving into an already-existing relationship. Ugh bug. I know from internet snooping that there is a prequel to this, a short story, where the two first meet.
But on principle I’m stomping my foot and saying I don’t want to have to read a short story to fully enjoy and connect with a first book in a series. That’s not how my reading life typically works. So, I still kept digging into the book and ignoring the fact that the mated pair have already met, they’ve already established this serious life-changing bond off-page, and we’re starting a book where she’s moving out of her apartment and into his house.
I kept thinking there may be recaps later that would make me see how they first met and understand the connection, something that would explain the bond and make me actually care about their situation, but no. It continues as is and I had issues accepting that. It didn’t help that I felt no spark from Charles – people seem to love him but I don’t get the charm. To me he lacked naughty humor, he was serious as a nail, and I couldn’t find much personality in there. Anna was average as a heroine but didn’t stand out for me either – she seems sweet, but nothing that makes me sit up and take notice. Together I couldn’t’ observe their sizzle and chemistry.
What I DID like reading about was seeing more of Bran (the man just draws attention whatever series he graces), more background story on his bitchy mate Leah, and I seriously liked the intro of sweet Warren. Those side characters were much more interesting. The book was finally picking up until the author did a “sad, bad thing” to a person I connected with.
The storyline was dull for the first half – it became more interesting when they set out to find the rogue wolf and do investigations. There was tension and well-done scenes – the villain was a worthy, witchy one. I don’t find flaw with the conflict, crisis and resolution – but I did find the first half of the book unnecessarily lackluster. The last of heart and emotion from the two mains didn’t help that.
I doubt I’ll give the series another shot, even though some have encouraged at least trying the second book. I won’t order it fresh, shiny and new, but I’ll do an attempt if I run across a used copy. Meanwhile, I’ll have to continue having fun with Mercy’s characters and seeing Bran from a distance.
“She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”