Anna Latham, an Omega werewolf still adjusting to her status and history of abuse, has arrived in Montana with her would-be mate, Charles. Charles’ pack is controlled by his father, Bran, the Marrok, or basically the alpha of all the werewolves. As Anna is adjusting to life in a new pack, with new trust issues, and a new mate that she has to get to know, trouble crops up in a nearby forest. Somehow, it’s related to an extremely old werewolf in Bran’s pack who believes he is going a little insane and needs to be put out of his misery. Charles and Anna must do their part to sort out the trouble before the public catches on to the werewolves’ presence while adjusting to new life together.
I can’t really imagine reading this book without having read the short story “Alpha and Omega” in the On the Prowl anthology (my review). It picks up directly afterwards and I can imagine the reader feeling lost without having already been acquainted with Anna and Charles and all that had happened. Similarly, someone who hadn’t read the Mercy Thompson series would have missed out on the connections between books. I don’t know how well this stands alone, but as someone who is a fan, this is a great start to a spin-off series.
It’s not quite as engrossing; Anna is not nearly as compelling as Mercy, for one thing, and Charles still feels a bit stiff. But it’s easy to warm to these characters as they warm to one another, and Anna’s ongoing struggle with her past is handled in what I considered a believable way. Anna has to learn to trust Charles and he has to learn not to do anything to betray that trust. I really felt that they both grew in this novel, so even though they’re not my favorites, they are still likeable and convincing.
The plot itself is a bit of a race to the finish; there is hardly a dull moment and a lot is packed in here with the mystery, resolution, and the relationship drama. The story itself is not really much of a mystery, but more as a way for Anna to develop while providing a bit of suspense outside of love. A lot of the book also fills in pack dynamics which are missing more from the Mercy Thompson series; for example, the concept that the inner wolves mate choose mates without the human side’s consent. This is what happened with Bran and his mate Leah, something I had wondered about, and happens with Anna and Charles almost instantly. Luckily for the latter, their human sides fall in love too, but it’s interesting that this isn’t always the case.
Anyway, I really enjoyed Cry Wolf .* Perhaps not great literature and I wasn’t immediately racing to read the next one, but I’m looking forward to it.
*If you buy through this Amazon link, I will earn a small commission fee.