Title: Dead Heat
Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega, Book 4 / Mercy Thompson World, Book 11
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: 3 March 2015
The Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business…
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, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. 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.
The last several months have been life-changing for me. First, I got engaged. Then I moved across country (Wisconsin to Washington state). Then I was looking for a new job, while assisting the transition remotely for my old job. Then I was buying a house...And still I freaked out and wondered how the heck I had managed to forget that I had this book to read on my Kindle. When I was going through my 'must-have' releases to be happening I suddenly realized that I hadn't ever started this book! I was horrified, and immediately set about correcting that.
I'm really glad that I did. This book was quietly satisfying. I say quietly and I hope that people don't take that to mean a bad thing. This wasn't as action-packed as some of the books, the mystery wasn't as urgent to me - for whatever reason - but I loved how the story moved the world in a new direction, how we got to meet up with some new (and varied) characters, and how we got a lot more from Anna and Charles.
I admit it, I'm pretty tired of the +child aspect to a lot of books lately, I started in Urban Fantasy because I was pretty bored with the 'must have a child' thing in Romance. So it's not my favorite addition to the storyline. That being said, it makes sense here. Anna was changed without even knowing that she'd never be able to have kids. So much was taken away from her, it's understandable that she's going to fight to regain as much as possible. What I really liked about this (almost) side-plot was that Anna never forced Charles hand, she tried to figure out the root of the problem, offer logical solutions and let him figure out where he wanted to be on the subject. They're a team, and it's never in doubt that they are together for it all.
What I loved most here was the cast of characters, both those we know and love already and those that are new to us - even if not to Charles. Seeing true friends of Charles was a treat, and I liked them immensely. There were a couple of new characters in particular that I loved meeting, and I hope we get to see more of them in the future.
I already mentioned that the mystery aspect of the book wasn't that enticing to me and part of that is because I figured out who the "bad-guy" was as soon as we met them. It was a little out of character for Anna - and especially not Charles - to suspect this person when the clues kept lining up pointing to a particular place. Accusing would have been too far, but the way they studiously avoided even thinking that this person could be the culprit left me feeling bland about the whole process. I was really interested in the fae's powers and the consequences of their actions - both for the fae, the werewolves and even the humans. Patricia Briggs definitely knows how to continuously up the stakes in this ever-changing world, I'll never deny that.
Like I said, it was quietly satisfying. We got a lot of time with Charles and his friends - of which we know he doesn't have many, a lot of time with Charles and Anna, and a lot of time learning more about other packs of werewolves. I also particularly enjoyed some of the investigation that was detailed and the things that our investigators found out.
Dead Heat isn't as exciting or flashy as some of the other books in the Mercy Thompson World, but it's definitely satisfying and creates intriguing new directions for our favorite supernatural beings to go in. I'll tell you though, after all the stuff with the fae I'm really curious as to what's going on with the vampires - especially Stefan. Here's hoping we get to see him again in the next Mercy book.
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