Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Patricia Briggs - Burn Bright

They are the wild and the broken. The werewolves too damaged to live safely among their own kind. For their own good, they have been exiled to the outskirts of Aspen Creek, Montana. Close enough to the Marrok’s pack to have its support; far enough away to not cause any harm.
With their Alpha out of the country, Charles and Anna are on call when an SOS comes in from the fae mate of one such wildling. Heading into the mountainous wilderness, they interrupt the abduction of the wolf–but can’t stop blood from being shed. Now Charles and Anna must use their skills–his as enforcer, hers as peacemaker–to track down the attackers, reopening a painful chapter in the past that springs from the darkest magic of the witchborn…

Comment: As many other fans of this author, I was extremely happy to have received this book in the mail when it was finally released. Patricia Briggs is a very talented writer and she is very attentive to detail, which means every sentence has meaning and I was looking for to immerse myself in the story of this new installment of the Alpha and Omega series.

This time Charles and Anna are trying to protect the wildlings of the Marrock's pack, those wolves who are damaged somehow and wouldn't cope living with a large close pack, which means they are mostly in the Aspen Creek mountains.
However, a member of the pack asks for help at one point but Charles and Anna can't stop death from happening. The last thing they expected was the message pointing out to a traitor. The problem is the message wasn't clear enough if the traitor was a wildling or a member of the most formal pack of the Marrock. Now the hunt is on to put the pieces together and discover the truth before it's too late.

Often one thinks that, no matter how repetitive some notions, are the stories always feel different and vibrant and exciting to follow. I feel this happens with me when I read books by Patricia Briggs. Saving some exceptions, all her books follow the same main situations in different settings, but always something extra is delivered to the reader, making each story unique.
I'm saying this because not all authors, having long series or not, can accomplish the same.

Despite this, I also felt some details weren't as successfully done, for instance the lack of development in some broader areas such as a better interaction of some elements of the pack. Nevertheless I can accept the fact not enough pages could be used while maintaining a line in the plot and a measured time spent in some scenes. It was also a little annoying to see some inconsistencies in behavior from some characters to others: some rules apply to some, but not to all, depending on how the plot needs that detail to be.
I'd also say that it is important to read the previous books as there are many threads connecting and some things make more sense having read the previous installments.

Some readers have also disliked immensely how a new information was given concerning Bran and his way of thinking of Mercy while she was with her parents in his pack. Some of this new information wasn't necessary for the story at all and given with different wording might have been more easily processed: I wasn't disgusted with it as some were because, to me, it's all a matter or seeing things the way are now and bearing in mind all the facts. Still, I'd simply have excluded that and I can't understand how this helped in anything, much less why characters are the way they are.

Charles and Anna are still a great team, not unbeatable, but I feel invested enough in the overall world to accept the intricacies of their relationship. Anna is still a fascinating heroine, especially after her past. I did wish she wasn't as cautions with her dealing with other characters but I can understand they suit her personality and past experiences.
Charles is still a bit more difficult to read but he is, at his most basic, someone who is there for those he cares about and his choices are often well argued before he acts (even if we don't always agree).

Not going into details, I must say this book was a good one for me simply because it made me spend some more time with characters I'm invested in. I wish I could plan more things (good ones of course) in their lives and if there is one thing I'd change in this author's books is the ratio between happy scenes/situations and bad/not so good ones. Fictional lives should also encourage you to feel better about that.
Grade: 7/10

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