Burn Bright

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Apr 2018

Member Reviews

Patricia Briggs delivers another enthralling Mercy Thompson novel.  I cannot get enough of the characters and I am looking forward to the next novel.
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I love Anna and Charles. This series is one of my absolute favorite. The action is intense and fast paced. I never got bored. I could read about these characters forever.
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OK, can we get a long-ing novella featuring Bran and Leah?? I seriously want to ship these two or unpack WTF is going on between them. My heart goes out to Leah, she's easy to dislike but I also understand whey she's such a bitch sometimes! 

Also, don't get distracted by all the action that happened here, Anna and Charles' relationship and journey is emotional.. If anything, PBriggs' is great at showing that in so few words with succinct scenes. I'm looking forward to (maybe) a pending war with the witches? Maybe we'll have a crossover here soon? Last but not the least, just once I want to see Bran go berserker, a "once upon a time" story is good enough if he can't do that in the current time period. 

I love this series so much! One of the best, quality, long time UF out there. Hard to beat!
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This series runs parallel to the Mercy Thompson series. The events of Burn Bright take place shortly after the events in Silence Fallen, the most recent Mercy Thompson release. 

I love Charles and Anna. They have a great couple dynamic. They're supportive of each other, and honest in their dealing with one another. I love that, despite his dominance - or maybe in spite of it - Charles recognizes Anna's strengths and never tries to stifle her. They're at their best here as a couple. The pack politics and mystery surrounding who's after the pack was intriguing and kept me engaged. This is definitely another winner from Briggs.
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Though not the best of her books, another pretty good installment in a series I have grown to love. Am I jumping up and down with excitement over this one? No, not exactly. However, I will say that I'm still glad to have more of these characters nonetheless. I just hope that the next installment is a little more satisfying.
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I think this is my favorite Alpha/Omega book to-date! Anna is total badass and really coming into her own in this one. And holy wow, didn't see the things with Leah coming. It was really good to get more insight into that relationship.
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Patricia Briggs is one of my all time favorite authors and Mercy is one of my favorite characters. I have so many questions about the side characters, also! I hope that Briggs continues to not only write Mercy stories but fills us in on Asil and Sherwood and so many others. This book continues Mercy's adventures and I highly recommend it.
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Bran is out of town, leaving Charles in charge of the Marrok’s pack. But the situation is a little strange because he isn’t answering his phone when Charles calls. And he mentioned visiting Africa? Charles and Anna aren’t sure what’s going on, but they’re doing their best to hold down the fort until Bran decides to return… whenever that will be.
But they get a call from the mate of one of the “wildings”–which are unstable (usually old or traumatized) wolves that live in the Marrok’s territory, but are removed enough physically for the safety of the rest of the pack. Jonesy’s cryptic call leaves Charles concerned and confused, and with Anna decides to investigate.
They discover something much more than they expected.

I suggest having read SILENCE FALLEN (EBR review) before reading this (in case you’re also reading the Mercy Thompson series, as well, and if you aren’t, you should be), because there are a few events that affect the storytelling in BURN BRIGHT, but don’t sweat it if you can’t, Briggs does bring you up to speed so you aren’t lost. However, events here are cross referenced from the Mercy Thompson series (including characters and events from clear back in MOON CALLED), and we see that prior events were just the tip of the iceberg. It’s rather satisfying to see the culmination of storyline across a series. If you recall from MOON CALLED, a young man was turned against his will and sold to people in order for them to experiment on him. That initial book dealt with the immediate fallout, but don’t forget they never found the masterminds behind it.

Here Charles must work outside his comfort zone and take on a task better suited to his father. But as times goes by, he begins to realize that perhaps his father was wise in keeping himself separated, because there’s a deeper issue that what the problem first seems to be: there may be a spy in the pack, and the suspects are few, but outing the spy is tricky and potentially dangerous. Good thing he has Anna by his side as they visit the wildings and learn who they are, their stories, and solve problems previously thought to be unsolvable. As only Charles and Anna can.

BURN BRIGHT is a more talky book than usual for Briggs, which generally annoys me (such as in the most recent Orson Scott Card book, CHILDREN OF THE FLEET… so. much. talking). Don’t get me wrong, I love good dialogue; but lengthy conversations, no matter how clever, informational, or crucial tend to make my head tired, I prefer it a little broken up. This is probably a petty issue, so it doesn’t change the rating of the story, but it feels less action-oriented and more mystery-oriented.

Briggs’ world of werewolves, witches, and humans and how they interact is clever and fascinating. Here we learn interesting things about pack behavior as well as what happens when supernatural creatures live too long. I especially love how Charles and Anna’s relationship has progressed across the books, how they rely and trust each other–which becomes vital as they deal with the issues involved in this story. And supernaturals who’ve lived a long time have more enemies than the average person. We meet a few new people, but here it’s the regulars Asil, Leah, and Sage who becomes import in BURN BRIGHT and the vital roles they play in the pack and as friends to our heroes. I enjoyed seeing them work and interact.

BURN BRIGHT is a quick, fun read, continuing Charles and Anna’s engaging story. This review is short so you can jump straight into their story knowing that it’s worth the time.
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Overall I completely enjoyed this book though I do share the same complaint as many longtime fans of the series. Since I prefer to keep this spoiler free I won't elaborate but I will say while I don't agree with "the statement"it's not enough for me to pull out my pitchfork and stop reading these and the Mercy books and I hope the majority of us feel the same.
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This book took the series in a VERY different direction than I was expecting, and...it wasn't entirely a good thing. For once in this series, we actually stick around Montana, and get an interesting glimpse in the life outside of the small werewolf community Anna and Charles inhabit. Unfortunately, where the previous installments built on the relationship between Anna and Charles, seeing them grow together as they learn new things about each other, Burn Bright came off more like a filler episode than a new arc for some of my favorite characters. There was a lot of potential, and much of it underused. Although I still love the characters and the writing, and gives me a reason to believe that neither this spin off series nor the Mercy series will be over any time soon, the story was too lackluster for me to read again or recommend.
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This review posted on The Blogger Girls on June 10, 2018.

4.5 stars

I won’t go into detail with this story because a lot happens in it. Boundaries are pushed, relationships are tested and betrayal runs high. We meet new characters, new pack mates in this one because there’s something fishy going on with the wildlings so it was intriguing to see the ‘crazy’ wolves so to speak and what could happen to some of the older wolves. I liked that we saw a different side to the wolves and that these wolves wanted to be left alone but circumstances weren’t allowing that to happen. I hope in future stories we might be able to see more of them and any progresses they might make and possibly integrating more into the pack because I found them to be absolutely intriguing.

I’ve always loved Charles and Anna because their relationship, to me at least, feels stronger and less antagonistic than Mercy and Adam. Some might not think so but, for me, Anna and Charles are playful and their differences don’t hinder their relationship but strengthen it. What characteristics Charles lack, Anna makes up for and vice versa. It’s always endearing seeing them use their strengths and bond to work through whatever situation they’re in. Burn Bright was no different and we see a different side to Charles, one of more diplomat at times than enforcer, and also more of Anna and her abilities. I loved seeing that Anna has more control of what she can do as an omega and seeing her try and use those on some of the wildlings. I just love these two!! They’re one of my all time favorite couples and could read dozens and dozens of books with them as the main characters. Plus, we got to see Asil again and he is definitely one hot wolf!!

I absolutely ADORED this book but I grew frustrated with the references to the Mercy Thompson world. I’m not caught up in that series and don’t have a burning desire to read it so I hated that I felt lost at the beginning of this book trying to figure out what was going on. Yes, I get that the two series are connected but I don’t remember previous books having such a heavy emphasis on Mercy’s world. A few references, yes, but they were always explained. In this one, I felt like I was scrambling to figure out what Anna and Charles were talking or thinking about and had no answer to what they were referring to so I had to piece things together by context. It was very disconcerting and even though the story turned out amazing, I still didn’t like feeling as if I was floundering to understand the beginning.

All in all, this was a great addition to the Alpha & Omega series. I seriously thought Anna and Charles’ story was over so getting back to these two definitely made me super happy. And, overall, I wasn’t disappointed with these two. I loved getting to see things closer to home and how Charles and Anna dealt with the Marrock being away. I wished the beginning wasn’t so Mercy heavy because I don’t enjoy that series as much as this one so I’m not up to date with it, which left me feeling lost. I hope we still get more of Anna and Charles because I don’t feel like we’re done with them just yet! At least I hope we aren’t. Definitely give this a go if you’ve enjoyed the Mercy universe and this series as well.
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A fast-paced, emotionally touching additional chapter in the Charles and Anna saga. It was fun and moving, but also dark and riveting. I can’t wait for the next installment.
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Patricia Briggs does it again! Burn Bright burns brightly indeed, and is a wonderful addition to the Alpha & Omega series. Fans of both Alpha & Omega, as well as the Mercy Thompson series, will be ecstatic to enjoy a novel that (finally!) takes place within the Marrok's territory. Several long running mysteries are unveiled, and we get to meet some of the famously unstable wolves who we have always heard about living under the Marrok's care. As always, the relationship between Anna and Charles is one of the best aspects of Brigg's story, and here we see their relationship continue to develop and change while these two complex and well-drawn characters find their footing in a marriage neither expected. Another beautiful and strong debut by the ever satisfying Patricia Briggs.
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I normally devour a Patricia Briggs' book whenever it releases, but I had a really hard time finishing Burn Bright, her latest in the Alpha and Omega series. Though I loved the world and the characters that Briggs created, Burn Bright is not the strongest book in the series and many things about this book felt off to me. 

  Burn Bright takes place shortly after the events in Silence Fallen, the latest book in the Mercy Thompson series. Bran is away and has left Charles in charge and he is bumping heads with his stepmother Leah. When one of the Wildings (feral werewolves who are too dangerous to be in the pack and who Bran protects) calls warning of danger, Charles and Anna are dispatched to figure out what is going on. 
Charles and Anna quickly realize that it looks like someone is out to take out the Wildings and potentially the other werewolves. Many characters from both the Mercy Thompson and the Alpha and Omega universe are either mentioned and/or play a vital role in this book. I would not recommend reading this if you haven't read the rest of any of the two series. 
  My main issues with Burn Bright are the uneven pacing and the unbalance amount of information that we are and are not given in the book. My biggest hurdle (and I am not alone) is wrapping my head around the conversation about Bran and Mercy which taints how you see Bran's character as well as his interactions with Mercy. This conversation came out of nowhere and I really didn't feel like it was Anna's and Charle's place to comment on it given their own big elephant in the room conversation about their own futures.  
  After that revelation, the story is topsy-turvey. We spend quite some time being acquainted with the Wildings. Anna deals with big issues of her past that is glossed over and never talked about. She is then trying to use her Omega powers on a wildling which leads us to another revelation and more info dumps that took me out of the story. After a promising start and a drawn out explanation in the first half of the book, the second half is rushed with quick reveals that felt inconsistent with what we know about the characters particularly with Leah. I find it very hard to believe that the big twist was not noticeable to the pack beforehand and the possible plan to undermine Bran. I wanted this to be further explained. I know Briggs had her own personal tragedy with the loss of her husband this year and I'm sure that this has affected the book somehow, but I am optimistic that Burn Bright is a fluke and we will get a much better story in the future.
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I've put off writing this review for weeks because every time I think about this book I get mad all over again. I honestly don't think I've ever been so disappointed in the direction an author has decided to take  a story and while I totally get that it is Patricia Briggs' right to do whatever she chooses with her characters and her world I don't have to continue investing my time and money in her series. I suppose I should probably point out that before Burn Bright I would have considered myself a Mercy Thompson / Alpha & Omega superfan. I reread all of the books and short stories in the MT world at least once a year with a friend and we have spent countless hours sending each other favourite quotes and discussing everything about these characters and this world. The reason I'm so upset and the reason I feel so betrayed by the author is because I feel like I know this series inside out and there was nothing, absolutely not one single hint to make revelations in this book seem even slightly plausible, let alone palatable.

I can't really talk about my biggest issue with this book without giving spoilers so continue reading this review at your own risk, but since I'm reviewing this so long after the release date I expect most fans have either already read this book or at least seen others mention the controversy. The absolutely 100% series ending revelation for me is that Bran has always had romantic feelings for Mercy. This is the man who has raised her since she was eight months old, the man who is the only consistent father figure she's ever really had, the man she turns to for advice and the one she looks up to beyond all others. This is the same man who watched over her while she slept as she recovered from a sexual assault, the man who gave her away at her wedding and made Adam promise to protect her, the man who has ALWAYS, in all circumstances treated her like a daughter.

And now we have Anna and Charles having a casual conversation about how Bran is "funny" about Mercy and Anna even saying she would hate Mercy as much as Leah does if Charles felt the same way about her that Bran does. Anna, who was herself a victim of rape and the worst kinds of treatments at the hands of her previous alpha is now blaming Mercy, who was a CHILD when this was all happening!  I'm sorry but in no circumstances is Mercy to blame no matter what Bran does or doesn't feel for her, Mercy has never led Bran on, she's never had an affair with him or tried to lure him away from Leah and even if she had that doesn't excuse Leah from child abuse. Because lets face it the way Leah treated Mercy, the way Bran has flat out stated in previous books that he couldn't adopt Mercy himself because Leah would have killed her, the way Leah attacked Mercy many times when she was a child and how the entire pack used to go out of their way to keep the two of them apart because they knew what would happen if they didn't. That's all because Leah is an abuser who would have happily KILLED A CHILD because she felt that child was competition for her mate.

I get that Patricia Briggs has written herself into a corner, she's said many times and shown in many ways that Bran is bonded to Leah and I think she's left herself with no option of ending their relationship. That's a bit of a problem when fans have been screaming for years that Leah is an awful, awful character and begging to see Bran get a happily ever after with literally anyone else. Now, in my opinion, a skilled writer would have been able to turn around Bran and Leah's relationship. I've seen other authors do that in the past and I so badly want to see Bran happy that I probably would have forgiven Leah far quicker than she deserved. But I won't forgive Leah because Bran has been turned into someone that I can no longer respect or even like. That just makes me hate both of them, it makes me look at every single interaction between Bran and Mercy throughout the entire fifteen book series and feel physically sick because I can no longer see the loving father figure that has always wanted what is best for Mercy. Now all I can see is the sick pedophile who has been grooming her.

This book contradicts itself in so many different ways when it comes to Leah. First it tries to make us feel sorry for her because her mate is in love with a child. Then Charles talks about how abusive she was to him when they first met too, how horrifically she treated him when he was also just a child who was just desperate for someone to love him, he specifically states that he would have adored her if she'd only been nice to him. So it wasn't just Mercy Leah abused then, this conversation also confirms that it was Charles too. So she's jealous of anyone that Bran gives love to and that shows what a petty and nasty person she is. To be honest you only have to look at the way she treated Anna the first time they met to see Leah's true colours! But then the book backtracks again and tries to show how nice she is because she saves Charles' life, I could have cheered for her at that point but only if we hadn't just been reminded about how awful she's been in the past.

If Patricia Briggs hadn't turned Bran into a pedophile but had instead just had Leah saving Charles in this book I would have stared to warm to her. If she'd then had both Bran and Leah make some big changes over the next few books (because lets face it he's never treated her well really so neither of them are perfect and they're both to blame for their issues!) then I think in time I would have softened to them as a couple and might have been able to want to see them happy together. It could have been so easy, especially since we get a better idea of the fact that Bran does actually love her in this book. Unfortunately for me it's too little too late and the way Bran's character has been totally and utterly destroyed has ended any love I ever had for this series.

The first time I read Burn Bright I was horrified by that conversation but I still had faith in PB and I was convinced that Anna and Charles had misread things and it was all going to be a horrible misunderstanding. I was positive that in the next book this would all be fixed with a few well placed revelations and that I could continue loving this world. I even went back and immediately reread the previous fourteen books specifically looking for signs that Bran felt anything but fatherly towards Mercy. I read fourteen books LOOKING for that and couldn't find a single thing that made me suspect it was true. Not one single word. Everything points to a father daughter relationship, every single interaction between them. Every single conversation with Samuel, Adam, any other character they always refer to Bran as Mercy's father. I actually managed to convince myself I'd read Burn Bright wrong and stressed myself over nothing.

Then unfortunately Patricia Briggs made public comments about it confirming my worst fears were true, Bran does have romantic feelings for the child he raised. Oh, we're supposed to see him as noble because he didn't act on them, and we're supposed to ignore it because apparently Mercy will never know how he feels. But that doesn't sit well with me, especially when she's made it clear that everyone else knows this but Mercy, so not only is Bran lying to her but so is her husband Adam, so is her childhood love Samuel, so is her brother Charles and her sister-in-law Anna and so is the entire Aspen Creek Pack - people she grew up with and was raised by. That breaks my heart for Mercy and it makes me so angry with everyone else that I can't see straight.

So that's the story of how Patricia Briggs destroyed the Mercy Thompson world for me, the series that I have loved for many, many years. The series that has been a huge comfort to me over the years. The series that I'm honestly not sure I'll ever be able to look at in the same way again. I hope that one day, in a few years time, I'll be able to forget that Burn Bright ever existed. And if I ever reach that point then perhaps I'll be able to reread the first 14 books again and remember how much I loved them but I will not be buying any new books in this world, and honestly I'm still more than a little heartbroken about that.
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I am going to keep my review about this book short and sweet for once in my life. The story in itself was great, I was engaging, suspenseful, and at times, heart-breaking.  Charles and Anna’s relationship continues to blossom into some more beautiful with each book.

But the revelation that has sparked the fires for readers of both the Mercy Thompson series and the Alpha and Omega series has literally thrown me for a loop.  Bran’s feeling toward Mercy. Yes, it was short and sweet passage of a conversation, but something feels completely off about it. Bran has always been portrayed as a father figure for Mercy. Daughterly love, etc. But this. This one passage has me questioning everything about that relationship now.  Maybe this was a slip-up or a double entendre of a conversation, but holy Christ on a cracker. How do readers come back from a revelation like that? My head is still spinning and it has been days since I finished this book.
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WOW. Big fan of Patricia Briggs! 

But 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.

But still love the world building and these amazing characters from this and connected series!!
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Love this latest entry in Briggs' great series, Alpha and Omega. Recommending to all fantasy book lovers! The characters are what really hold the series at the top of the list. If you love great characters that really make you care about what happens to them, this series is a great one to look for.  The series is best understood when read in order. This fifth entry in the series is very strong addition to the series.  You won't be disappointed if you give it a try.
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I am very torn on this one. Let me explain : on one side, A&O are one of my very favorite series, on the other, I don't really like slow burn and Burn Bright felt that way to me. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good read by Patricia Briggs but I have to admit I am somewhat disappointed that we didn't really get to advance further into the Mercy Thompson World in general... 
Then again, it is always a pleasure to read about Charles, Anna and co. The plot twist towards the end was entertaining (as I didn't see that coming) but the building part was... slow for lack of better word. Not bad, just slow. 
Don't let my babbles stop you from reading it though !
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There is something so special about this series. Yes, I love the Mercy Thompson books, but the dynamic between Charles and Anna puts the Alpha and Omega series over the top for me. If you’re not reading them, go back to the beginning and start now. You’ll be glad you did.

You really don’t even need to be up to date with the Mercy books, though the main events of Silence Fallen are addressed inasmuch as it references Bran’s trip to help Mercy out. It’s with his absence that Charles has been put in charge of the pack, a responsibility he accepts but doesn’t enjoy. As the story begins, he gets a desperate call from one of the Wildlings—the wolves on the fringe of the pack—asking for help. It turns out that someone has kidnapped one of the old ones and her mate needs the Marrok to get her back. Charles and Anna step in to mount a rescue.

In their efforts, they learn there’s a traitor in the pack and somehow the Wildlings are a target. So the couple must warn the fragile and fierce wolves to be on alert.

I loved meeting the Wildlings. They so very broken and still powerful in their own ways. It’s always a treat to see how alphas react to Anna and this was no exception. I also enjoyed spending more time with Asail… and as always, the love story between Anna and Charles was pitch perfect. I love how she sees these secret side of him no one else does and how she inspires such raw need and devotion in him.

This is also a peek behind the curtain of Leah’s character. And while that may not sound like a good thing, it actually is. No one likes Leah and previous books have given us plenty of reason to feel that way. But as the expression goes, we’re all the heroes of our own stories. Leah is not all bad. She’s not all good either, but there are things revealed about her character that definitely make her a little more sympathetic, both when it comes to her relationships with Mercy and with Bran.

There’s a great thread about dark magic that runs through the plot. The story moves fast with just the right blend of action and characterization. I basically just loved everything about it. I can’t wait for more Alpha and Omega stories to come.

Rating: A
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