Well, it has been quite a while since we got a new release in this series, hasn’t it? It feels like I have been counting down to the release of Fair Game forever. I reread the last book, Hunting Ground, to get back into the swing of things, and it was just as awesome as I remembered. Perhaps the change in tone in the series wouldn’t have been so glaring if I hadn’t reread the second book, but I did, so it stuck out. It’s not that the new tone was bad, it was just…different.
In the previous books we have seen Anna struggle to get over the abuse she was subjected to by her first pack. Charles has always been a rock for her, despite struggling with the worry that he wasn’t doing everything exactly right to help her recover. So flipping things around and making Charles the one to struggle this time around perked my interest. I found it a bit surprising that Anna seemed to be so completely over her past issues (even up til the last book), but I suppose she had to step into the role of the rock while Charles struggled.
I find it amusing that I mentioned in my review of Hunting Ground that I thought this series was more PNR than UF, because it wouldn’t feel the same or be quite as good without the romance, and I got to turn around and test my theory with this book. The change in tone in the series stems from one simple reason: the romance was pushed into the background. Charles’s personal demons led him to close himself off from Anna. A lot of this book featured them interacting like acquaintances, not a married couple. I understood why Charles was acting that way, but I have to be honest and say that it gave the book a very subdued feel. Anna spent a lot of time upset about the distance between them and Charles spent a lot of time worried about his issues bleeding off onto her. But there wasn’t much quality interaction together. As the romance is one of the main draws of the series for me, that wasn’t a good thing.
Other than that, the mystery and world details were just as wonderful as you would expect to find from Briggs. We’re taken out of our normal comfort zone when Bran sends Anna and Charles to Boston to help the human authorities track down a serial killer. I liked seeing a more capable Anna, working on werewolf PR and smoothing the waters with the police, and I liked that we got such a strong focus on Anna and Charles only. I missed the usual werewolf dynamics and the uniquely animalistic characteristics we’re usually treated to, but I liked getting to see a whole new cast of characters and getting a glimpse of the human side of things. The crimes were quite disturbing, and some of the people they called in to consult on the case gave me the willies. Witches certainly can be a creepy bunch. o_O
Although most of the book felt subdued, the last quarter of it really kicked it in gear. That’s when the action started to get thick and Charles and Anna started to work things out. My enjoyment, as well as the book’s final grade, was bumped up considerably during this time. And when the very end came… Well, I have to hand it to Briggs. I did NOT expect that. AT ALL. I gaped at the book a bit and frantically tried to figure out where she was planning on taking on the series. I don’t know. All I know for sure is that I plan on sticking around to find out. Based on that end, I bet it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
His brother maintained that what sent people backing away way neither his size nor his mother’s blood, but solely the expression on his face. To test Samuel’s theory, Charles had tried smiling–and then solemnly reported to Samuel that he had been mistaken. When Charles smiled, he told Samuel, people just ran faster.
We’re able to give away one hardcover copy of Fair Game by Patricia Briggs today. To enter, simply comment on Catherine’s review.
Open to: US residents only please. You have until end day, March 2 to enter, winner will be announced soon after.
Giveaway sponsored by: Penguin (Ace)