Book Review

Cry Wolf and Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs

A

Title: Cry Wolf
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publication Info: Ace 2008
ISBN: 0441016154
Genre: Paranormal

Book CoverI’m embarrassed to admit there was gaping hole in my werewolf romance reading, but I’m so glad I fixed it by reading these books.

Anna is an abused werewolf, changed against her will and subjected to hideous abuse and assault by her former pack. Charles is the son of and executioner for the Marrok, the werewolf who is alpha over all the the packs in North America. When Charles was sent to clean up the mess of Anna’s pack, his arrival set off a series of small explosions in their private world. Charles’ wolf chose Anna as his mate. Anna learned she was an Omega wolf, not a submissive worthless wolf as she’d been told. Anna chose to accompany Charles back to Montana, where he was healing from the battle with her former pack Alpha, and where another adversary is attacking people without much finesse in the Cabinet mountains.

Cry Wolf opens with Anna relentlessly trying to be strong when she’s been told for so long that she is worthless and weak and not worth protecting. Suddenly she’s valuable and everything she knew and learned on her own as a werewolf is only partly true. Charles is as mystified by Anna as she is by him – and both welcomes and fears the out-of-control feeling she creates in him, after centuries as a relatively stable werewolf.

Book CoverHunting Ground continues Anna and Charles’ story a few months after the events in Cry Wolf. The Marrok maintains his conviction that he should take the werewolves’ existence public as many other fae have, and a summit is held so that other packs from other countries can address their concerns with his plan. When Charles convinces his father that he and Anna should go instead, they enter a delicate political nightmare that requires more balance and deftness than he and Anna can handle.

Now, I don’t as a rule follow series books, and I am loathe to start a series especially when there’s no finite ending. But the manner in which Briggs reveals the conflicts between Charles and Anna and the individual challenges facing them in each book is more than enough to keep me reading. But beyond the individual books themselves are the themes and redefining of archetype that I cannot get enough of. What I love about these books is that they reexamine the concept of Alpha, both wolf and hero. How difficult must it be to be angry and dominate others all the time, all pounding and chest thumpy all day long. The alpha hero doesn’t get a break – and that instinct-level dominance must be exhausting.

Enter the Omega, who provides balance and harmony, a solution and a way in which to examine the power and limitations of the alpha, both the alpha in the mythology, and in the tradition archetype in romance.

The relationship between Charles and Anna is one thing, and it’s an amazing thing. Theirs is an instant-attachment between strangers. His wolf chose hers. Her wolf is down with that. He is unquestionably drawn to her, and loves her. She is horrified that she needs someone she doesn’t know very well, and is terrified of needing someone who can hurt her. Their story is about love and strength and recovery from trauma and hurt – and it’s a powerful thing to grow slowly over time. It echoes that which draws readers to Eve and Roarke: a continued growth of two wounded, isolated people who find they have one other person so very much like them, so alluring they can’t let go. It turns the instalove on its head, and recasts it as a source of conflict. Their wolves are mated. They have chosen one another in a limited fashion. What next, as they must be together now? How to resolve everything else, both internal and external?

Stroke of goddam genius, I tell you.

The relationship between the Alpha and the Omega gives known wolf mythology a quarter-turn so it looks entirely different, and demands reexamination of traditional gender roles as well, as the Omega is, though not always, a female. Charles is a 200+ year old Native American werewolf with more than ordinary powers and a necessary isolation from everyone else. He can’t make friends. He may have to kill them. Anna was isolated deliberately and abused until she was nearly broken, and now isn’t sure what instincts she should trust: those born out of terror and fear or those that come with her werewolf personality – or should she ignore both sets and try to remember what it was to be human?

The balance of harmony is cast into characters with instinctive and pre-determined roles – Alphas and Omegas are born the way they are, even as humans prior to being changed in to werewolves – and the world built around that concept creates a new set of questions about why and how effective romance relationships work, and how enduring couples through a continuing series maintain their attraction for readers.

I’m so glad I was introduced to this series, though I’ve had to stop myself from rereading more than once. Now, on to the allure of Mercy Thompson.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Janine says:

    I love this series too.  Did you read the novella where Charles and Anna first meet?  It’s called “Alpha and Omega” and can be found in the anthology On the Prowl.

  2. 2
    orangehands says:

    I absolutely love werewolf stories (there’s a GS vs STA post I would love), but I wasn’t the biggest fan of Cry Wolf. I did, however, like it better than the first book of the Mercy Thompson series. I was planning on cautiously continuing Anna & Charles’ story, but someone told me Mercy {S-P-O-I-L-E-R} is raped by the hero (or one of the hero options) and since that is a major trigger/hot button issue I’m saving myself future pain of trying to involve myself in a series I won’t be able to continue {E-N-D S-P-O-I-L-E-R}. (Feel free to let me know if this spoiler is untrue; I am unsure if I read it correctly and couldn’t find someone to tell me.)

    Anyway, I’m glad you found yourself an A book. Those are very precious when you get one, even if others don’t agree about the status.

  3. 3
    Tina C. says:

    someone told me Mercy {S-P-O-I-L-E-R} is raped by the hero (or one of the hero options)

    Someone was confused (or didn’t actually read the book).  SPOILER ALERT to anyone that hasn’t already read the books:  Don’t read further if you don’t want to know……..

     

     

     

     

     

     

    No, Mercy wasn’t raped by the hero or even “one of the hero options”.  She does get raped, though, and if that is a trigger for you, you might want to avoid it.  (I thought it fit the plot, though)

  4. 4
    Lyssa says:

    I love both the Mercy Thompson and and Alpha and Omega series by Briggs. For myself she shines in giving the reader strong female characters who are not afraid to 1. tell overbearing alpha males where to stick it, 2. know when to ask for help from those same males, without giving up their independence, 3. write shifter/were interactions with an eye to the actual dynamics of a pack, and how that might translate into human society.  Her heroines might have moments of TSTL but they are few, and the type of “Oh F Me, I screwed up” moments that we all might have. They also learn. In the Alpha and Omega books, you see both Anna and Charles learning new coping skills, communication skills, and remembering what the other person has said before. All of these things make this series one I am avidly looking for future installments of. I think you will also enjoy Mercy’s story, which actually shows how a strong woman can handle a strong Alpha, and has that same ‘adult’ learning curve for the characters.

  5. 5
    Tracy Wolff says:

    I’m not a big fan of werewolves, but I love this series.  She does such a great job with them from book to book.

  6. 6
    StephB says:

    I love this series! (And it was great serendipity to see your review today, since i just finished re-reading my way through the whole series yesterday.) One of the things I particularly enjoy is that it’s a series which isn’t scared to let the characters enter a committed relationship by the end of the first story (“Alpha and Omega”) and then focus on the development of that relationship over the course of series instead of going back and forth between different romantic possibilities. That’s one of the things that makes me strongly prefer it to the Mercy Thompson series.

  7. 7
    joanneL says:

    The novella in ON THE PROWL made Anna and Charles one of my favorite couples of all time. Anna’s growth and strength just within that short story was the ‘hook’, for me, and Charles turned Alpha into a whole different creature. Wonderful writing.

    I liked CRY WOLF, again because of the great writing, but, for me, HUNTING GROUND was more ‘romantic’ and showed Anna’s rise in stature in her pack and in her own estimation. Not an easy task when you’re featuring a heroine that isn’t kick-ass and accomplished with tight, strong plot and writing. And I’m so in love with Bran.

    The Mercy Thompson series is 1st person and I just couldn’t get passed that.

  8. 8
    Tae says:

    love both series, but I love anything Patricia Briggs has written.  I’ve read all of her fantasy books prior to the werewolf stuff.

    The short story/novella from On the Prowl is one of my favorites, ever.  I reread it and then skim Cry Wolf.  I love both series, and I really like Briggs’ take on the werewolf genre.  I can’t wait for her to write Samuel’s book.

  9. 9
    Alicia Mergo says:

    As far as I can say that I don’t like books where the main characters are werewolves or vampires I did enjoy this one. Patricia can write smooth and nice, her world sucked me in.

  10. 10
    Melissa says:

    I love both the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series. Patricia Briggs is a very talented writer, I really enjoy her writing style.

    I would add two things though

    - First, you should read the short story “Alpha and Omega” in the On the Prowl anthology before Cry Wolf because that is where Anna and Charles’s story begins

    - Second, the spoiler stated by oranghands is NOT correct. The reply by Tina C. should clear up the confusion.

    The Mercy Thompson series is great too, the series are set in the same world and have instersecting characters.

  11. 11
    Ebby says:

    I picked up the Alpha and Omega short and was instantly hooked on Briggs world of were/shifter characters. Strong females who have to struggle for their strength. You see their hardships and feel their pain. Its not just a bitchy attitude.

    You will get hooked on Mercy.

  12. 12
    Kati says:

    Oh I love the Alpha & Omega series, and I love the Mercy Thompson series. Briggs gives EXCELLENT alpha, I think, as Adam Hauptman is one of my favorite heroes of all time.

    But the other thing is, the women Briggs writes are strong, sensible and remarkably balanced. It offers fantastic juxtaposition to the heroes.

    I hope you like the Mercy Thompson, series, Sarah. Briggs is one of my favorite authors, although, damn, I wish she wrote faster.

  13. 13
    Kristin says:

    I love the Mercy Thompson books and I will definitely have to check out these books!

  14. 14
    Lotus says:

    I still linger around the “B” section of the sci-fi/fantasy nook in the bookstore even after being so negatively affected by Mercy’s traumatic experience.  I still read each book immediately after it comes out, and still hope that I’ll find my love for this world again.  Unfortunately, once the shiny’s come off, it’s just so easy to see the rotten bits.

    I have to object strongly to the fact that Briggs constructed the werewolf world such that getting raped isn’t just yet another example of the violence that everyone in that world is more likely to experience, but a foregone conclusion for women.

    To really dig the knife in deeper, not only is it pretty well expected that if you are a female werewolf you’ll be sexually assulted at some point, but there’s never any chance for any woman in this world to have any power of her own—a female werewolf can’t be alpha, and doesn’t have any real standing in the pack outside of her mate.  So, for instance, even a woman who’s a good fighter compared to other werewolves and has the attitude and ability to have a high standing in the pack, even such a woman will be either dog’s meat for the male members of the pack if she’s single, or have only as much status as the male were she attaches herself to.

    Such an inherently imbalanced world set in our present day becomes more and more unpalatable for me everytime it comes up.

    The fact that Mercy and Anna get super special get-out-of-rape free cards by each supposedly being outside pack the pack structure AND EVEN THEY GET RAPED really just makes it that much worse.

    Rape is not titillating.  It does not make characters inherently more wise or more complex, and it is nothing but depressing to have this represented as the expected norm.

    So why do authors, even good authors, continue to go back to this poisoned well time and again?

  15. 15
    KristinaH says:

    I like the worldbuilding – that there is such a steep downside to entering the Other society – violence, lack of status for the females, rigid hierarchy…  then I like watching Briggs drop in a quietly capable heroine to navigate it.  But then I’m always a sucker for the underdog or, you know, wolf.

  16. 16
    joanneL says:

    I have to object strongly to the fact that Briggs constructed the werewolf world such that getting raped isn’t just yet another example of the violence that everyone in that world is more likely to experience, but a foregone conclusion for women.

    I’m unsure if you’re talking about the Mercy books so I can’t address that since I don’t read them, but the Alpha/Omega books don’t read, to me, like rape is a foregone conclusion.

    Rape, as it’s shown in those three stories, is abhorrent to the good members of the society and as another weapon to the evil members of that society. 

    In these stories rape is not used for “titillation” but as a base to show what Anna has fought through and against to survive. She’s the strength that comes to the pack because of who she is and who she becomes despite the brutality of the rapes. She’s the one who will save them from themselves and the pack recognizes her for her courage and her determination.

    Rape is a disturbing thing to read about, there is no barometer of what it is to go through. I do know that if the reader can’t see Anna’s rise from the ashes as a victory of body and spirit than it’s too uncomfortable a story line to follow.

    There are so many wonderful books written and published that don’t contain rape scenes or discussions of rape and it’s not hard to find them among the paranormal romances.

  17. 17
    Gerd D. says:

    I’m not sure naming “Lord of Scoundrels”, of all possible historical romances to be picked, is actually helping your case. :)

    Because upon reading that book I couldn’t help but feel that it ticks all the boxes for what romance is often accused of.
    Let’s face it, that book is nothing short of a Dear Penthouse letter, all that keeps the protagonists of the novel together is their mutual carnal longing.

  18. 18
    Alpha Lyra says:

    I haven’t read the book in question, but I find it interesting and ironic that rape themes and gender discrimination apparently play a major role in werewolf fiction, because wolves are one of those lucky species in which rape does not occur (it is damn near physically impossible for a male wolf to rape a bitch) and a female can be, and frequently is, the alpha of the pack. The inability of the male wolf to sexually dominate or control the female leads to a completely different dynamic between the sexes, one much more positive for the females.

    I guess what I’d rather see is werewolf romance bring in the unique gender characteristics of wolves, rather than transfer in all the awful gender problems from humankind, which are unknown and irrelevant in wolf society.

    Can you tell that I think we humans (particularly females) would be better off if we’d evolved from wolves instead of apes?

  19. 19

    Mercy rocks.

    ‘nuff said.

  20. 20
    Kristina says:

    Both series are wonderful.  I haven’t been able to get into any other Briggs’ books because (I think) they are of the sword weilding dragon riding variaty.  That genre of sci-fi/fantasy suprisingly enough does absolutely nothing for me.

    I was so glad to see you liked this series.  When I saw the thumbnail of the cover I was cringing to see how you would rip apart a book I really liked.  But I was pleasantly surprised. 

    Maybe the dill-hole from HuffPo should have read this book before he made the generalizations he did about Romance Heros.

    :-)

  21. 21
    Tina C. says:

    Lotus wrote:

    To really dig the knife in deeper, not only is it pretty well expected that if you are a female werewolf you’ll be sexually assulted at some point, but there’s never any chance for any woman in this world to have any power of her own—a female werewolf can’t be alpha, and doesn’t have any real standing in the pack outside of her mate.  So, for instance, even a woman who’s a good fighter compared to other werewolves and has the attitude and ability to have a high standing in the pack, even such a woman will be either dog’s meat for the male members of the pack if she’s single, or have only as much status as the male were she attaches herself to.

    I object to a number of the statements in that paragraph.  First, I disagree that it’s expected that the female werewolves in Mercy’s and Anna’s world will be sexually assaulted.  I’ve read all of the books and that just isn’t so.  From what I’ve gotten from these books, the vast majority of the female supernatural beings haven’t been raped.  You will also note that Mercy wasn’t raped by a were of any kind, but rather by a human who acquired a magic device and basically magically roofied her. 

    Meanwhile, Anna’s Alpha broke so many rules with how he treated her and the rest of the pack, it brought the Marrok’s executioner down on him—and he did so because he was trying to save his psychotic mate/wife.  (Which would indicate that she had more than a bit of power over him.)  If I remember right, all of the other female weres in this pack, aside from Anna, were killed or driven off because the psycho was worried that one of them would challenge her for her alpha position.  As for Anna, her status as an omega and how that affected the wolves around her and what that meant to pack hierarchy, in general, and her messed up pack, specifically, had everything to do with why she was turned and then mistreated so heinously.  Again, as I stated, this was presented as an aberration and beyond both the norm and the pale and ensured that they (the pack leaders and anyone that participated in the abuse) would die as soon as the Marrok found out and they knew it.  Other than this specific instance, there is no indication whatsoever that single female werewolves are “dog’s meat for the male members of the pack”.  The female members of Bran’s pack aren’t treated that way and neither are the female members of Adam’s pack—and those two and Anna’s original pack are the only three packs that we’ve actually spent any time with in the course of the books.  So to imply that Briggs has set up a world where the female werewolves are basically sexual slaves of the males is not true and does a serious disservice to the actual text.  For example, I don’t think that Mercy even decided if she wanted to be with either of the prospective heroes until the end of the second book.  If this was a world where single female weres have no choice in the matter, wouldn’t one or the other of them just taken her, after fighting each other to the ground? 

    Rape is not titillating.  It does not make characters inherently more wise or more complex, and it is nothing but depressing to have this represented as the expected norm.

    If you are implying that rape is used for titillation in these books, I heartily disagree.  Instead, it is shown as horrific and the victims don’t just “get over it”, even if they are telling themselves to do so.  It affects their sleep and their sense of self and their ability to be with someone that they love and know won’t hurt them—in other words, it’s treated pretty realistically.  Nor do I agree that Briggs uses rape as a device to make the characters “inherently more wise or more complex”.  It could be argued either way as to whether or not it was necessary in the Mercy Thompson series, but given the plot, the villain, and the set-up, I felt that it was true to the book.  It showed that humans can be scary and dangerous, even if you’re supernatural and don’t think that you even need to worry about someone that isn’t.  It showed that it’s dangerous to underestimate someone just because they don’t sprout claws and/or fangs (or just because they don’t have big muscles and aren’t significantly bigger than you).  It showed that it can even happen to smart, capable, physically-superior women.  Given the rape statistics in this country, I’d say that’s pretty damned accurate.  In the Alpha-Omega series, rape was a part of the abuse (along with beatings and psychological and emotional abuse) that was used to control her.  The abusiveness within the pack was a part of why she was made into a wolf to begin with and lays a foundation to show her inner strength in overcoming all of that horror.  (Personally, I see her ability to put that aside as much as she does and to love and to allow someone to love her in return as a triumph.)  It could be read as a woman overcoming years of living in an abusive relationship.  It could be read as an indictment against cultures that use rape as a weapon against their enemies and/or as a means to control female behavior.  Either way, it isn’t used for titillation by any means.

    If you don’t like to read anything that might have rape in it, I get that.  That said, I just can’t agree with your assessment of how it’s used here.

  22. 22
    StephB says:

    Yes. Ditto to TinaC.

  23. 23
    Jazzlet says:

    Thanks Tina C, for expressing so clearly what I wanted to say.

  24. 24
    KimberlyD says:

    *applauds* Thank you, Tina C. You said it better than I ever could and I completely agree with all of that.

    I love both sets of books, although I like the Alpha and Omega series more. I’m a little over the heroine having her choice of men and refusing to choose. I have high hopes for Mercy’s series from now on, since she has chosen someone. Of course, there will be conflict and difficulty in that new relationship. But I expect that and look forward to it. I love reading about Anna and Charles’ new relationship and how they have decided to be together but still have to figure out how to make that work.

  25. 25
    Heather says:

    HUGE MASSIVE SPOILERS COMING

    I don’t agree with Lotus, but I see where she could think that, and it comes from one scene.

    In the Mercy books (book 2 or 3), where the “reporter” turns out to be the father of a 13 yo werewolf girl, there’s a lot of discussion about where such a girl would be “safe”.  Out of over a hundred alphas, the list of Alphas that Bran gives Mercy is only about a dozen or so.  And “safe” obviously means being rape-free.  That’s not a good ratio.  And Honey has a line where she says that you (meaning a female wolf) get used to belonging to the alpha and the wolf takes over, but it’s obvious, at that moment, that she doesn’t believe what she says.  There are also a few mental thoughts that Mercy has during the series that she was very lucky to have been given to Bran’s pack and not another werewolf pack, but it’s not as specific as to whether she was safe from rape or safe from being killed.

    With that being said, I *love* these books.  This world is a very violent place and many people die or are injured and have to deal with those injuries.  I also really enjoy how the female characters deal with that violence.  Instead of taking an Anita-like attitude of fighting violence with even more violence, Mercy has learned to have an outwardly docile appearance while being stubborn as a mule.  Anna has remained a very gentle and caring person, but has learned that doesn’t mean that she’s weak and developed an internal core of steel.

    At a con around Halloween, I got to see Briggs, and she said that she was asked for a novella from the Mercy universe and she decided off the cuff to do one about Charles.  That novella was so well received that her editor wanted more, and that’s how she under up with the Alpha and Omega series.  (She also said that if she had known it was going to be a series, she would have ended the novella at a different point so she wouldn’t have had to start Cry Wolf at such an awkward spot in the story.) (And she doesn’t know what the next books are going to be either.  I put in a plug for a Bran book, but she says she has no idea.)

  26. 26
    Jennifer says:

    Lotus does have a point to some degree: most werewolf stories may not be all about rape, but almost every darn werewolf book I read boils down to “women have no power unless they’re married to the alpha.” Women have no power even if they’re a freaking werewolf because they’re just not as big and strong as men, and so naturally they’re at risk of rape. Lovely. No wonder I don’t tend to like were-books so much.

    The only two series I’ve ever read that don’t do this is Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld and the Kitty Norville books. Kitty in particular starts out as a picked-on pack member, runs away from them, and then later comes out on top without any “oh, you can’t, you’re a woman” angst at all. Refreshing.

  27. 27
    TKF says:

    Theirs is an instant-attachment between strangers. His wolf chose hers. Her wolf is down with that. He is unquestionably drawn to her, and loves her. She is horrified that she needs someone she doesn’t know very well, and is terrified of needing someone who can hurt her. Their story is about love and strength and recovery from trauma and hurt – and it’s a powerful thing to grow slowly over time.

    Sounds like a “fated mate” plot/set-up, which is something that I pretty much avoid at all costs. The fact that this trope is sooooooooo common in paranormal romance is one of the reasons I don’t read more of them.

  28. 28
    Alpha Lyra says:

    And that’s what I don’t get. There are plenty of venues in which to explore issues of gender inequality, but why in werewolf romance, when wolves are one of few species that do not have gender inequality? It’s as if the founding writers of the subgenre knew just enough about wolf society to know that there’s a dominance hierarchy, and then assumed that in the dominance hierarchy, males would be at the top and females at the bottom, just like in most human societies throughout history.

    But it’s not like that at all. Male and female wolves do not compete directly for status. There are two separate hierarchies, one for males and one for females. Competition within the sexes (female vs. female, male vs. male) is intense, because only the alpha pair get to breed, but competition between males and females is almost nonexistent. One of the alpha pair will be the overall leader of the pack, and this is usually the male because he has a slight size advantage, but in a significant minority of cases it’s the female.

    Also, wolves of low status aren’t stuck in a submissive role forever. Often they are the half-grown pups from the alpha pair’s previous litter, who stick around and help raise the next litter while gaining strength and size and experience for later. They may eventually strike out on their own, forming a new pack, or try to increase their status within the existing one as they grow stronger and the alpha pair grow older.

    I know a lot of you are thinking this is irrelevant, because wolves and werewolves aren’t the same thing, and werewolves are fictional, so authors can set up their societies however they want. But why do authors always seem to choose the model of women being oppressed and powerless unless they are lucky enough to be chosen as the alpha wolf’s mate? Especially when real-life wolf society has a much more interesting model that can be drawn from.

    Anyone know of any werewolf books that use the actual structure of wolf societies (separate hierarchies, equal power for males and females) as their model? Those are the books I want to read.

  29. 29
    Lotus says:

    (written from work, so edited to add a few things that came up later in this discussion…)

    First, I disagree that it’s expected that the female werewolves in Mercy’s and Anna’s world will be sexually assaulted.  I’ve read all of the books and that just isn’t so.

    And yet… why was it so important for Mercy to have been in Bran’s pack?  Because he could and did protect her, when most wolves wouldn’t have (although at least in the first few books she was more worried about being killed and/or eaten).  And why did everyone who heard about that new, young werewolf girl hesitate over which pack she should go to?  Because only a few packs in the US could be trusted to NOT abuse her.  And in the end, as I remember, the conclusion was that you just couldn’t trust a pack outside of Bran’s or Adam’s to keep a woman safe.

    From what I’ve gotten from these books, the vast majority of the female supernatural beings haven’t been raped.

    You betcha.  Only the female weres seem to have this problem.

    I remember right, all of the other female weres in this pack, aside from Anna, were killed or driven off because the psycho was worried that one of them would challenge her for her alpha position.

    Her (the alpha’s crazy mate) position was completely dependent on her husband.  She had no “power” outside of his (misplaced) love for her.  Her jealousy of other women was seen as a sign of her unhinged mental state.

    Oh, and Charles only came to investigate because of the boy who was killed.  Not because rapist are punished.  Bran certainly isn’t interested in sending Charles out after all those other unsafe US packs…

    So to imply that Briggs has set up a world where the female werewolves are basically sexual slaves of the males is not true and does a serious disservice to the actual text.

    Again, I have to go back to that young, female werewolf.  It was a significant and frequently mentioned issue that if she went to ANY pack besides Bran’s or Adam’s, or maybe a few select others, she was in serious danger, and females aren’t allowed to go lone wolf.  Our other example of a “normal” female were admits to making a low-status marriage in part to be safe from unwanted male attention (which she had already been the recipient of), even though Mercy estimates that if she weren’t a woman, she’d rank pretty high in the pack—in a strong, mercenary pack. 

    So I’d say it’s pretty clear in the text that rape is expected.

    If this was a world where single female weres have no choice in the matter, wouldn’t one or the other of them just taken her, after fighting each other to the ground?

    Mercy’s not a werewolf, and Adam seems to be the exception to the rule.  Sam balked at physical force in his quest for a child, but is also 1) seen as an exceptional werewolf, and 2) was more than happy to manipulate the emotions of a young girl from his position as “big brother” and protector.

    If you are implying that rape is used for titillation…

    No, I’m not.  Sorry, I probably should have been more clear.  I was trying to ask what the point of including a high likelihood of being raped in any world-building scenario was.  And my main point in asking that was to point out that reading about rape is Not Fun At All even when it’s dealt with in the best possible fashion, and not exactly a superior way to develop characters, and is, all in all, a pretty depressing aspect of a world to highlight and amplify.

    So here you have this world where the average female involved in with the werewolves has a snowball’s chance in hell of escaping untraumatized (remember, only a few safe packs in the whole US, and probably not much more in the rest of the world).  But wait!  You have not one but two females with a much better than average chance of making it thanks to innate abilities that allow them to NOT have to submit to being abused by higher ranking pack members.  Since their eventual reward for being both strong and born gifted is also eventual rape, rape that is nearly impossible to overcome even with tremendous strength of character and armies of supporters, what chance does a normal woman ever have (even a female werewolf)?

    To me, this world just reinforces the soul-destroying idea that not only does it suck to be a woman, but that nearly all men (who are all superior) are out to force you to fulfill their need for sexual gratification and power, and that if you don’t find yourself one of the 5 extraordinarily good and extremely powerful men out there to keep you safe, your only choices are to be used and abused until they don’t even want you for that anymore.  Or to die.

    No, I need that hope for a better future.  I need a truly happily ever after.

  30. 30
    Katherine C. says:

    Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite authors, and these two series are great examples of what a fantastic author she is and what she can do with her characters. Glad you enjoyed Anna and Charles, and I know you’ll love Mercy and company too, or at least I did.

Comments are closed.

↑ Back to Top