This time around, we leave the icy mountains to instead to head to Seattle. Long story short, the werewolves are coming out as the Fae did back in the 80s (in this universe). In order to make the transition a bit smoother, Charles and Anna are traveling to Seattle as representatives of the Marrok in order to meet with various delegations of the European wolves.
After so many books (if you read the Mercy Thompson books first), it’s interesting to see the first real look at the European wolves , or really European characters in general. We have one wolf who rules most of mainland Europe as an unofficial, cruel mirror of the Marrok, another who believes himself to be King Arthur reborn, and another Omega whereby Anna can learn more about her powers. On top of that, there’s a Fae apparently powerful enough to hold the negotiations in check and a white which who gets her power from a rather interesting sacrifice. After only half a dozen characters in the first Alpha and Omega, it’s interesting to see so many more here. It brings Hunting Ground much closer to the Mercy Thompson books in style.
Plotwise, Hunting Ground is actually something more of a mystery, with characters wielding powers they probably shouldn’t have with motivations that aren’t entirely clear. I really enjoyed the twists at the end. It’s fun how common certain tropes and items are to urban fantasy series, yet each does it their own way. On top of that, it’s interesting to finally see how wolves not directly under the thumb of the Marrok interact: roughly as badly as you might expect.
Characterwise, it’s good to watch Anna and Charles grow, both each as their own and as a couple. There is some significant damage there, but they’re both learning how to deal with it. A few of the new characters that we may only see for this book have interesting arcs as well. It’s interesting seeing the relationship and give and take between mated couple Moira (a blind witch) and Tom (a werewolf). It’s interesting seeing how it can hurt when a werewolf is mated to a human, fated to age and die long before their immortal spouse.
Overall, solid. I liked it.