I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Burn Bright by Patricia Briggs
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Thriller
Published by Ace on March 6, 2018
Source: the library
Buy on Amazon
Also by this author: Night Broken, Dead Heat, Bone Crossed, River Marked, Hunting Ground, Iron Kissed, Cry Wolf, Fire Touched, Moon Called, Silence Fallen
Fifth (and a thriller) in the Alpha & Omega urban fantasy series (fifteenth in the overall Mercyverse) and revolving around a mated werewolf pair: Charles Cornick and Anna Latham.
The start yanked me right in, such a contrast of power as this powerful being flees at his mate’s behest. It’s that third person multiple points-of-view, which allows for a number of characters to provide their perspective, including the first to show up in the story. A very handy device as we hear what they’re thinking, fearing, hoping…and planning, bwa-ha-ha. It also provides insight into Anna’s growth and understanding of her Omega powers, of the changing relationship between Charles and Brother Wolf, a softer perspective on Leah, a fearful look in at Bran and vulnerability(!), and Sage’s thoughts on the events in Burn Bright. Those are the primary characters whose voices we read along with a few other characters.
I love how Briggs uses these bits of humor to bring color to the characters and bring us up to speed on the dynamics of a werewolf pack. The interactions between Leah, Charles, Anna, and yes, Mercy, entertained me. As did more background on Mercy’s prankish childhood, lol. In every story, Briggs refers to some stunt Mercy pulled, and each time we get a bit more insight. Tricky plotting there, Briggs.
We do learn more about Bran and Leah’s relationship, and I suspect it undergoes a sea change in Burn Bright. I had always felt as though theirs was a recent mating, but not when Charles thinks back to his childhood! Of course, there is that complication Briggs introduces with Bran’s interest in Mercy! Holy cats. But going back to Leah. It’s sad, for Leah reveals how she feels and sees her mate. Good thing since it plays into whether she saves the day or not!
There’s more growth on Anna’s part in understanding more about her Omega power. It appears that Charles and Brother Wolf are also evolving with Brother Wolf speaking to Charles. As for Wellesley, his descent and then escape from slavery was a horror followed by a series of horrors!
More horror, but the good kind, I think was that “hello, hello” of Asil’s that got my imagination soaring, or should I say plunging?
I gotta say that I felt things dragged in Burn Bright, even though I loved the introduction of the wildings and the deeper back history on more of the characters, and still, it is a series of pivotal events, including the flash forward into the next series of events that will keep the Mercyverse on its toes.
Bran still isn’t back from helping to rescue Mercy, in hiding, but from what Charles can’t tell. A concern that fades when word of a sneak attack reaches Charles.
The mental state of the wildings is precarious, their power terrifying, and something or someone is killing them.
Charles Cornick, a born werewolf, is his father’s youngest son, his intimidating and silent Enforcer, and a financial genius. Brother Wolf is his wolf side, and the two share their thoughts and instincts. Anna Latham is his Omega mate, looking for a purpose in life. Heylight is Anna’s new horse (Dead Heat, 4). Anna’s father is a high-profile lawyer who defends protestors.
The Aspen Creek Pack in Aspen Creek, Montana, is…
…led by Bran Cornick, the Marrok, who rules most of North America. He has a third aspect, the berserker, the stories of whom gave rise to the myth of Beowulf. The mean Leah is his unhappy mate. Colin “Tag” Taggart is a tracker and had fought for Napoleon. Sage Carhardt is a close friend to Anna, Charles, Leah, and is dating the very old Asil the Moor who grows roses and believes his wolf’s rage will lash out and destroy.
Juste emigrated from France, from Jean Chastel’s pack. Kara is the youngest werewolf (Bone Crossed, MT 4) and friendly with Asil. Peggy is a female werewolf, an artist, mated to Carrie, a long-distance truck driver.
Samuel Cornick is Bran’s oldest son, a doctor mated to a fae and usually living on the perimeters of Adam Hauptman’s pack in Washington state. It seems, though, that Samuel is in Africa right now. Christy is Adam’s pain-in-the-tush ex-wife. Mercy Thompson is a coyote skinwalker raised in Bran’s pack. Bryan and Evelyn were Mercy’s foster parents. The one-legged Sherwood Post has Asil’s respect.
Buffalo Singer had been Charles’ uncle. Bonarata is the vampire who rules Europe.
The wildings are…
…broken supernatural beings whom Bran watches over with the understanding that there is no killing, no using their power to harm. Hester is a werewolf mated to Jonesy, a fae with an earth magic, one of Lugh’s children. The scary Wellesley is a famous artist who cannot control his wolf. Chloe had been his wife, who died. Rhea Springs is where everything went wrong. A pair of Viking twins and their younger brother — Geir and Fenrir and Ofaeti — are lucky Bran didn’t kill them. Jericho is barely there. Devon is his friend and had once been close with Asil. Frank Bright is another wilding who knows about that collar spell.
The Chicago pack was…
…Anna’s original pack (Shifting Shadows: “Alpha & Omega”, 0.5 (Mercyverse, 1.1)). Boyd Hamilton is the current alpha; the unstable Leo had been the previous. Ryan Cable and several others were human soldiers who volunteered to be Changed.
The Hardesty family is…
…led by Grandma Daisy Hardesty and is the first powerful witch family in 300 years, that they know of.
The Cover and Title
The cover is a dark scene from the story, a slathering wolf behind Anna, both trapped by thorny, yellow flowering vines. The info blurb at the top, the embossed title at the bottom, and the series information below a ragged orange line are all in white. The author’s name is at the top in an embossed orange.
The title is cleansing as well as evil’s goal, to Burn Bright, and what evil does.