Saturday, April 3, 2021

Book Review: Wild Sign by Patricia Briggs

Wild Sign

Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega (Book 6)
Publication: Ace (March 16, 2021)

Description: Mated werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham must discover what could make an entire community disappear--before it's too late--in this thrilling entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Alpha and Omega series.

In the wilds of the Northern California mountains, all the inhabitants of a small town have gone missing. It's as if the people picked up and left their possessions behind. With a mystery on their hands and no jurisdiction on private property, the FBI dumps the whole problem in the lap of the land owner, Aspen Creek, Inc.--aka the business organization of the Marrok's pack.

Somehow, the pack of the Wolf Who Rules is connected to a group of vanished people. Werewolves Charles Cornick and Anna Latham are tasked with investigating, and soon find that a deserted town is the least of the challenges they face.

Death sings in the forest, and when it calls, Charles and Anna must answer. Something has awakened in the heart of the California mountains, something old and dangerous--and it has met werewolves before.

My Thoughts: This episode of the Alpha and Omega series has Charles and Anna along with Colin Taggart traveling to the mountains of California because some people who had been squatting on land owned by the Pack have disappeared. This story finally tells us more about Bran's mate Leah who has been a side character in a number of the stories in this series and in the Mercy Thompson series too. 

It has always been sort of a mystery how Bran came to mate Leah and bring her back home to the Pack. Charles's mother died giving birth to him which put a barrier between Bran and Charles since Blue Jay Woman was Bran's mate and the love of his life. Since Charles was so young, he doesn't know Leah's story. Neither she nor Bran have ever discussed it though everyone can see that the mating wasn't a love match. 

The FBI comes to Anna and Charles and asks for their help since the disappearance of the town has come to their attention. They want to propose some sort of alliance with the werewolves - but not an official one. They are hoping that sharing the information they have about the town will ease relations.

Bran isn't interested in an alliance but he does want to know what happened in the Wild Sign settlement. He sends Charles who is his enforcer and who is a werewolf who uses Native American magic along with Anna who is an Omega wolf and Tag who is in danger of going berserker and who is somewhat resistant to magic. 

They travel to the town meeting some Sasquatches along the way and discover an empty town. Evidence suggests that the inhabitants were mostly white witches who were hiding from black witches. But there is something else magical going on. Apparently the people had made some sort of bargain with, in Anna's words, a "creepy primordial god." 

That primordial god is still looking for people that he can turn into walkers to recruit people to his service and he uses music to attract his victims. Anna is especially musical herself having been in college for music when she was first turned into a werewolf. Charles is also quite musical. Their playing and singing in the settlement attracted the god known as the Singer in the Woods to Anna.

It was creepy that the Singer in the Woods could attract with music and could also remove memories or bring long-buried memories to the forefront of a person's mind. Anna relives a time when she was captive and hunted in the Chicago Pack that Charles rescued her from and she also goes back to age seventeen before any of the werewolf stuff had ever happened to her. Both episodes caused both Anna and Charles a lot of pain since Anna forgot about her mate bond with Charles.

The part of the story involving the black witches and the "assisted living facility" where one of Charles's old enemies was now being held and tortured was interesting and also creepy especially since some of the witches were Hardesty witches. Members of that family have had roles in other books in the series.

This was an intriguing story that kept me reading late into the night. I'm sure I'll be rereading it often. It also had me visiting YouTube to hear some of the musical selections that were mentioned in the story. 

Favorite Quote:
But the song Leah had hummed lingered in Anna's ears, along with a nagging sense of unease because of the unfinished story. It felt important. There had been five years between the day someone had happened upon Leah's starving family and when Bran and someone else had rescued her.

Rescued her from what?
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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