I've been meaning to review this book and just holding off for no particular reason for a while now. Here goes.
Cry Wolf is the first book in the start of a new urban fantasy series by Patricia Briggs, which is set in the same world as her Mercy Thompson series and runs in parallel with it. Although I say urban fantasy, this series does have a greater focus on romance than the Mercy series, which is something the author points out herself in interviews I've seen online. Fans of Mercy looking into reading this series should expect to see a lot about the relationship developing between Anna and Charles along with any action.
I strongly recommend reading "Alpha and Omega" in the On the Prowl anthology before reading Cry Wolf (reading the Mercy series isn't necessary though). In that short story we learn how our protagonists met – Anna called Bran for help with the Chicago pack, and he sent his enforcer and son, Charles. Charles realizes two things – one is that that Anna is a rare Omega wolf – someone sort of out of the pack structure – who can resist an Alpha's commands and who also soothes Alpha wolves. The other is that his wolf recognizes her as his mate. Cry Wolf takes up the story right after this. Things are still new with them so although they are sort of a pair now, it isn't set in stone. Both feel awkward and unsure of the other, and Cry Wolf tells the story from both their points of view (in the third person) so the reader can understand where each is coming from.
The story starts out with Charles still wounded after Chicago but after returning to Montana, another problem surfaces which needs his attention as his father's trusted right hand. There is evidence of a rogue wolf nearby, which is rare considering that this is the Pack headquarters. Bran has just killed a wolf and friend (his job if he sees madness taking over), and is wary of killing another so soon because of the possible backlash from his pack. So Charles, (and Anna with him) are sent to check it out.
I noticed more worldbuilding in terms of the pack and some of the backstory regarding it in this book. For instance the reader learns a bit more about what happens when two wolves decide to mate and what an Omega wolf can do. We also see some history for certain older wolves, including Bran and Samuel. I don't remember reading about this part of Bran's life from Mercy's series, so I thought that was very interesting and shed more light into why Bran is the Marrok.
My thoughts: I still love the Mercy series more, but it sure doesn't suck to get a book every six months from Briggs as she puts out Anna and Charles books between each Mercy offering. I enjoyed reading this book, and found myself slowly savoring it, not running through it in a day. Well, I was busy getting married too. I like Anna and I like Charles, but I'm not 100% sure about Anna yet. She doesn't seem as strong a character as Mercy. I'm kind of waiting to see about that – Anna seems so fragile and timid sometimes, although she does stand up for herself and does some things that put herself in danger, I am not seeing independence yet. Should be interesting to see how she develops. A good start to a series, looking forward to the rest!
P.S. There is an excerpt of Bone Crossed (book 4 of the Mercy Thompson series) at the end of this book. Ahhh.. salivating.
Other reviews (I see Bs and above pretty much):