Saturday, March 24, 2018

Hunting Ground

I've had a weird relationship with Hunting Ground, the second Alpha and Omega book.  I started it not long after finishing Cry Wolf.  But for some reason I got about 30 pages in and just stopped reading.  Part of it was that I'd taken out a bunch of nonfiction books from the library and wanted to read those.  But the other part was that I just wasn't into Hunting Ground.

So last night, when I inexplicably couldn't sleep, I decided to continue reading Hunting Ground.  I actually just started again from the beginning; I breezed through the first 30 pages again.  Before I knew it, it was 5am and I was halfway through the book (after taking several breaks to attempt to sleep). 

Hunting Ground takes place about a month after the first book.  Bran, the werewolf Marrok of North America, has decided it's time for the werewolves to come out to the rest of the world.  He has arranged to have a conference with members from the European packs, to listen to their concerns and try to offer them help once the North American werewolves go public.  Charles has a horrible premonition about his father going; Bran reluctantly agrees to let Charles and Anna go in his place.  Immediately after this is decided, Charles feels better about it (he has Native American ancestry from his mother's side; the spirits often talk to him in feelings as they were going in this case).

So Anna and Charles go to Seattle.  Anna is doing much better, but still feels uncomfortable around dominant werewolves.  So to solve that problem, Charles asks one of the werewolves, Tom, and his witch wife, Moira, to take Anna out shopping.  On their way back from their second trip, they are attacked by vampires, who try to kidnap Anna.  They (as everyone does) see Tom as much more of a threat than she is; everyone underestimates Moira though, who manages to destroy some of the vampires with sunlight (causing the other four to flee).  As the conference continues, the vampires strike again and again, seemingly with magic they should not have access to.  The human mate of one of the European werewolves is tortured to death.  Then one of the very scary European Alphas is killed in a spectacularly brutal crime scene after he was in a fight with Charles.  The werewolves all know Charles was innocent because there was proof he hadn't been there.  But his scent was all over the place. On top of everything, the fae, Dana Shea, who was hired by the Marrok to oversee the conference (with no bloodshed) came very close to having Charles killed over that fight (and several of the wolves, including Anna, notice that the fae seems to have broken her word...)  Something is very rotten at this conference, and it's up to Anna, Charles, and the Seattle werewolf pack to unravel it before more people are killed.

I enjoyed this book a bit more than Cry Wolf because Anna has had a chance to grow a little bit.  Yes, she's still got problems being around a ton of dominant wolves.  But she's refusing to be cowed anymore.  Moira was a pretty fun character too, although I wish she'd had a bigger part in the book.  And Sunny (the human mate who died to vampires) was a pretty fun character too - it was neat to see what an Omega human would be like within the world.

I think the plot was pretty fun in a murder mystery sort of way.  I kept trying to figure out who the culprit was (since it looked like one of the werewolves at the conference was at least in on the attacks).  I actually had a pretty good inkling of who it would be until something happened that led suspicion away from that character for a bit (although it turns out I was right - I just hadn't figured out the why) ;)

So yeah.  As usual, a fun romp by Patricia Briggs.  It was the perfect distraction while I was having trouble sleeping! :)

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