Review: Patricia Briggs – Hunting Ground

Book 3 of the Alpha & Omega Series.

Up until now I have enjoyed this series but it hadn’t really caught me the way the Mercy series had, until this book that is.  Now I am enthralled with it but for entirely different reasons.  Perhaps that is where as a reader I failed to do this series justice…subconsciouslyI kept comparing them and whilst they are set in the same world with known characters, these books are completely different.

The Alpha & Omega series is about Charles and Anna.  Charles is the Marrok’s son and enforcer, he never gets close to someone in case he is ordered to kill them and although not an Alpha he is one of the most dominant wolves there is (apart from his father).  Anna is an Omega neither dominant nor submissive, she just is, but at the hands of her old pack she has been sexually and emotionally abused.  Whilst she wasn’t fully broken by them she is damaged but one thing she does know is that Charles (and his inner Brother Wolf ) love her and she loves them, no matter how hard it is for them all.

In this book Charles and Anna travel to Seattle to act as the emissaries of the Marrok at a meeting with the Alpha’s of the European packs, to discuss the Morroks plans to bring the North American wolves out into the open.  But there are others there with plans of their own.

Whilst in Seattle both Anna and Charles learn to face her past and its scars, but more importantly begin to move beyond them and to accept who Anna is.

There is a tenderness in this book that is astounding to read, and a strength and depth of character to Anna  & Charles that draws me into their story more and more.  What I also admire about the way Ms Briggs has written this story is that she recognises that Anna can’t be  ‘fixed’ and that her scars don’t just magically disappear because she loves Charles, that in fact love can conquer all but that it takes time and hard bloody work with lots of steps forward and back.

In my realtime life away from reviewing I am a counsellor who works with the parents and carers of sexually abused children and in this book I see some of the journeys that I have watched my clients make, and I not only applaud Ms Briggs for writing it but also for portraying it as accurately as a fast paced work of fiction can. 

Anna is badly wounded and scared emotionally but she is not broken, even though she feels she is, she survived, but survival was all she could focus on  and so she never sees the strength it took to survive the abuse…she sees it as a weakness that she allowed herself to be cowed and beaten down and a further weakness that it still affects her just a few short months later…but with the help of Charles and with her own innate strengh of character she is facing her past and and finding out who she is both as a woman and as an Omega. 

Charles is equally wounded emotionally but for a different reason, in order to survive as his fathers enforcer he has not allowed himself to let anyone close to him, except Anna, and that terrifies him and tests his control.  But Charles shows amazing love and respect for Anna by supporting her in finding her inner strength and in healing.  He and Brother Wolf would like nothing better than to cocoon her in cotton wool to keep her safe, but he recognises that she needs to be allowed to fly,while he waits ready to hold and support her when she needs it.

There is one passage in the book that stands out for me, as pivotal to Anna’s healing process.

“Omega didn’t mean doormat.  It didn’t mean weak.  It meant strong enough to do exactly what it had to do in order to triumph, whether that meant cringing in the presence of dominant wolves or tearing her enemy apart.”

That passage for me holds true not only to Anna being Omega but also to Anna being the survivor of abuse.  Just change the word Omega to Survivor and you have something that I try to help my clients see about themselves.

This book was amazing to read and is one that will live on my work shelf, books that are a mixed collection of fiction, education and biographical stories that I can recommend to clients (as appropriate) and their families to read, that offer some small insight and or perspective into what is happening in their lives. 

Fiction can be a powerful tool and Ms Briggs wields it as only a master of her craft can.

Tazallie

  1. On the Prowl (anthology)
  2. Cry Wolf
  3. Hunting Ground (out on the 25th)
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~ by Tazallie on August 19, 2009.

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