Monday, June 8, 2015

Patricia Briggs - Dead Heat

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up – and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire.

Comment: This is the latest installment in the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. It's the story of werewolf couple Anna and Charles and how they work together to solve cases or problems that are related to werewolves that local packs can't deal with. It's imaginative and amazing, and this book isn't the exception.

In this installment, Charles and Anna are taking the time to meet one of Charles' oldest friends who happens to be dying. Always refusing to be Changed, this is Charles last opportunity to talk with Joseph and say goodbye. The couple also wants to look at some horses because Joseph's family raises them.
However, while there Charles has to save someone close to Joseph, someone attacked by a fae. Not all of them are in the reservations and the one on the loose is dangerous and is using  children as toys. Can Charles and Anna save the day again?

Once again, I really liked a story by this author. It's without a doubt one of those authors that always deliver even if the story isn't the best one. Once an author has talent, everything seems easy and words flow. There's a certain feel to the work of ms Briggs. I've read somewhere she is afraid of negative reviews but honestly I can't understand how someone can't appreciate her books. Her writing is perfection, even if the story is something we might like less than others. Therefore, I'm always certain 'll be dazzled by the writing skills, the apparent simplicity of the plot but which has so many connected situations and scenes that something I'm sure took a lot of work looks so easy and effortless.

The plot, as it has happened it all the others before, is a mix of an investigation and the development of Charles and Anna's relationship and how they are becoming a real unit.
Charles and Anna are still learning from one another how to be a couple. I like seeing them together and to notice how little things keep making them stronger too.
The personal aspect of their relationship is sweet as ever but this time Anna is letting Charles know her desires and something she wishes really bad. Personally I wish this "issue" of ms Briggs novels weren't as difficult to see happen but I assume is part of her own preferences, more than just the stories needs. It still allows for an emotional part of the plot though. I mean, it's not heartbreaking, only something that works out with their emotions and lives. Interesting aspect to look for in the future. 
Connected to this is the main investigation about the fae and the children. As always, the author's imagination to insert spooky and/ or creepy images and ideas is the top. The books aren't scaring, but the ideas used and how some scenes are written are quite suggestive and, obviously, a tool the author also uses cleverly. These books should be winners for the ideas alone, I think.

This story also addresses some interesting questions, such the time limit of humans vs the almost immortality of werewolves and how relationships between them can be stressful to all involved. Life has different meanings depending on how someone measures it. I think this was subtly done here, not to turn this into literary fiction territory but again, as a tool to enhance the characters' behavior and lives.

All in all, another great installment. Most things a fan would expect from ms Briggs' work are here. The conclusion is special as always  and offers a lot to wonder about. I liked seeing how things turned out for almost everyone in the story. I think books by her are to be savored by all its parts, but personally, the werewolves' society and "rules" are still my favorite parts, close by the romance. Can't wait to see more.
Grade: 8/10

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