Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Patricia Briggs - Wild Sign

In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It's as if the people picked up and left everything they owned behind. Fearing something supernatural might be going on, the FBI taps a source they've consulted in the past: the werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham. But Charles and Anna soon find a deserted town is the least of the mysteries they face.
Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous — and it has met werewolves before.

Comment: This is the most recent release by author Patricia Briggs. Her series Alpha and Omega (of which this book is a part of) and Mercy Thompson are hugely popular and although set in different places featuring different characters, is the same world and several characters mentioned in one are recognizable in the other.

In this new book, mated couple Anna and Charles are asked to investigate the weird case of Wild Sign, a place up in the forest where a "off the grid" community had settled but no one has been seen lately nor has contacted their families. The daughter of one element went there, discovered the place abandoned but something felt off. Since the propriety happens to belong to Leah, the mate of the Marrok, Anna, Charles and their pack member Tag go look for any evidence of what might have happened and they find an apparent mystery which is only worsened when Anna plays a musical instrument and something weird happens.
What or whom could be causing these weird events? What happened to the community members? How is that connected to the identity of those missing members? What about Leah's past? With so much going on, will Charles and Anna solve this?

I believe I've said it before, likely in regards to all books by this author, but it still marvels me to no end how incredible her imagination is and how well written her books are. Patricia Briggs must be one of the best fantasy writers out there, independently of the series one is reading. This story was so well engineered, so well structured and planned, every single detail made sense. Sure, some things were kept from the reader for too long but that's a choice, to keep the mystery ongoing, because the set up was amazing.

The mystery is exciting to wonder about, to want to see solved simply because there is a lot of detail about it, so many hints and little things which aren't immediately explained, and that allows the reader to create scenarios... I think I only started to imagine a possible solution after certain elements were shared, which means the clues are there but not so obvious that the author does the easy road, I liked that even simple information on this or that proved to have a deeper meaning.

Anna and Charles were, again, amazing protagonist, leading the investigation and allowing the reader to follow alongside them, always sharing something of themselves, of what they went through even if just one little detail, making the series feel stronger and fleshier because if someone reads in order, there's a lot to be said about things having meaning, the details aren't there just because or to suit this specific plot, and while a new reader can follow the main plot well, it does feel very rewarding to have invested time with these characters and understand vibes or some comments because we know what happened before.

The author included a lot of folklore and old tales elements, making the story feel special, as if something more should be remembered about this or that detail and until something obvious happens, maybe those details didn't feel as necessary, but they are, actually. I think this is proof of her ability to plan what is going to happen, and how. Her stories always have this vibe of something deeper, something that we should be aware of but that isn't always easy to grasp... I like that we know something is about to happen but it's not easy to guess.

Anna and Charles' relationship is more than established, is strong and solid and I love seeing their interactions. However, I'm greedy and I would not dismiss more romance were it to be included. I know the focus isn't exactly that but relationships are a big part of these books, especially the werewolves and how they live in a pack... if there is one element I wish were better to my personal preference is a better and not always dire development on the relationships between other characters. I kind of wanted to see them more like a family and not just a pack for biology needs or something.

I said I like the vibe of the books but, another thing I'd like even more, is to see them happier, also having lighter moments and not being simply focused on solving problems and negative things. I think the balance of the overall world building could be better, yes.
However, overall, this was a good novel, I had a great time reading and now can't wait for more!
Grade: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment