Thursday, April 9, 2015

Review: Dead Heat

Dead Heat (Alpha & Omega, #4)Author:Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha & Omega, #4
Released: March 3rd 2015
Publisher: Ace
Length: 336 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: Amazon

For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not traveling because of Charles’s role as his father’s enforcer. This time, their trip to Arizona is purely personal, as Charles plans to buy Anna a horse for her birthday. Or at least it starts out that way...
Charles and Anna soon discover that a dangerous Fae being is on the loose, replacing human children with simulacrums. The Fae’s cold war with humanity is about to heat up—and Charles and Anna are in the cross fire. 

A whole lot of time has passed between books three and four in Briggs’ Alpha & Omega series, and yet most of us haven’t forgotten a single thing about Fair Game or any of the previous books. The explanation is rather simple: it’s all due to the quality of Briggs’ writing. She is, and always was, incredible. I dare say she’s the reigning queen of urban fantasy.

Dead Heat is not her best book to date, though, not even close, but Briggs at her weakest is still better than 90% other authors. It read at times like a filler book, and it was, on occasion, more an ode to horses than anything else. Patty loves her horses and she knows them well – understanding their behavior has influenced her writing greatly, and in fact, the way she writes her werewolves is heavily influenced by her knowledge of animal psychology. She raises horses and spends every day around them, which makes her books truly special. In this installment, however, she took things just a tiny bit too far, offering a lot more information on breeding and raising horses than her story actually needed.

That aside, it’s always a pleasure to see how her characters develop and behave. Charles and Anna have progressed so much, and while it’s more obvious on her, his changes seem a lot more significant. I didn’t understand the need to bring in another woman as Charles’ former love interest, but while it bothered me as these things usually do, it also showed how much more confident Anna has become and how firmly she believes in her marriage.

The mystery elements were very nicely done and that part of the story progressed at an excellent pace. This is where Patty’s experience really comes to light – she weaves her stories expertly and smoothly, balancing romance, creepy moments, dreadful monsters and character development with seeming ease. She is the absolute best at what she does and I hope she’ll keep writing stories in this universe for many more years to come.

Her next book will be in the Mercy Thompson series and as far as I know, the next Alpha & Omega book has yet to be announced, but things happen on a firm timeline and, with each new installment, the two series are brought closer and closer together. I feel that they’ll collide at some point, especially now that war with the fae seems more or less inevitable.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. Sorry the book was a bit of a filler between novels, but that's still great you really enjoyed the novel. I just love certain authors that I would read anything they wrote. haha

  2. I love this series, too, but agree that I won't be rereading this one like I do Hunting Ground (which I love).

  3. A four-star rating for a book that you consider weak? That says a lot about the author, too and how much you love her. :)

  4. I love this series simply because of Anna and Charles and how they are always so strong together.

  5. I did try book 0.5 and 1 but I wasn't that impressed compared to Mercy s I have book 2 for years but I haven't read it. Maybe I should try again.

  6. "She's currently the reigning queen of Urban Fantasy"

    No I really need to read some of her books. I havent really explored other UF authors apart from Darynda Jones, as I love her Charley Davidosn series. Great review and I'm so glad this is going strong for you. :)

  7. I love this series and the Mercy Thompson one too. I can't wait to read this book. I hope I enjoy it as much as I have the others. Thank you for the review. I like that you did not give anything away. Sorry to hear it felt like filler, but its nice that you still enjoyed it!

    Angela @ Angel's Guilty Pleasures

  8. I really should try this series out. Your review makes me very curious about Ms. Briggs, I have to say. Any recommendations where I should start? Impressive review.

  9. I felt similarly about this: slightly filler but still so much better than most other books out there. Definitely not a favorite of mine but I'm curious to see where this series heads. Gorgeous review, Maja! :)

  10. I hadn't even known until recently there was going to be a book 4 in this series. It's been so long since I read #3! But I think it will come back to me. I do really like her writing though I haven't read the Mercy books. I did like these ones a lot.

  11. I haven't read her yet but I do want to ! My coworker is a huge Mercy Thompson fan and that series looks very good :)

  12. I didn't think this was a filler book. While I found the horses part a bit boring, I really liked the mystery. I only wished we got more background information on the fae, but I suppose she'll leave that up in the air for the next Mercy book. I also liked how this book made Charles more human. Usually it's Anna spilling her emotions and insecurities so it was nice to have that role reversed in this one.

  13. I really haven't read anything by Patricia Briggs so I guess I'm way overdue? Because if a book that is not as good as others is still a 4 stars...

  14. I'm glad that despite having some issues with this latest installment, you were still able to enjoy this book Maja. I don't think I would have approved of bringing Charles former love interest back into the picture either :/

  15. So happy to have your back. I am sorry I have been AWOL this last couple of weeks. Digging out. Anyway, it was nice to read your perspective on this one. Everyone has been raving about this book and the series. I don't know why I havent' picked it up yet I love the Mery Thompson series. I am thinking of doing the audiobooks very soon. Even if this one was a bit of a filler like you said, Briggs writes better than 90% of authors.

  16. "Briggs at her weakest is still better than 90% other authors" YESSS! So true! And I completely agree with your assessment. I enjoyed the story, because it was nice to hang out with Charles and Anna again and revisit that world BUT it really did feel like just some random story, rather than moving anything forward or addressing anything big.

  17. I haven't read this series yet but I've read the Mercy Thompson series and love it. One day I'll read these.

  18. I just finished Night Broken and it had a past love, too. I wasn't thrilled when I read the plot description and Christy definitely made my stomach hurt. I guess she brought back a past love here, too. It's nice that she kept both couples strong in the face of that. I'm going to start this series next and I can't wait. I totally agree, Briggs' books are all better than 90% of the books out there. Wonderful review, Maja.

  19. She did go a bit overboard on the horse stuff and the preschool component had a lot of inaccuracies but I enjoyed the story. I agree that both Charles and Anna have grown significantly and also that Briggs at her weakest is still pretty darn good.

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