Estara's Reviews > Hunting Ground

Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs
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Oct 21, 2010

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bookshelves: re-read, read-in-2010
Read 2 times. Last read October 21, 2010.

** spoiler alert ** Of the two novels so far, I liked this best on first read and second best on reread. I guess the comment on the humourless German wolves really got stuck in my craw. I also though it strange that the Alpha of the Italian wolves is named Isaac. I quite like Ric (which is a very strange nickname for an Austrian if given by Italians) or rather Heinrich, the very newly turned omega werewolf-philosopher.

I loved Sunny and was therefore appropriately upset when the sad events play out. I could appreciate Arthur's megalomania much more. The vampire assassin team was less scary this time around, they didn't get much screen time, which was just fine.

I enjoyed the Seattle setting, the interactions with other packs and memorable pack members, like Tom and Moira, Angus, Michel and Vincent (also a very strange first name for a German alpha werewolf) during that hunt.

On the first read I was quite scared by Jean Chastel, who still is scary in the scenes where he focusses on Anna. I loved getting more of an insight into Charles and Brother Wolf and into Anna (with a bit of music even, although no cello) and her female wolf side.

Dana Shea, well, where she came across as mysterious the first read, I now read her more like a spoilt child: oh, what do you see in my pictures? Not so good? Hmmpf. Can I still tempt you? No? Hmmpf. You give me a memory to rub my loss in, don't you? Carnage!! Like with Mariposa, she doesn't get that much screentime, so that was fine.

I appreciated Arthur's menace even more, and his total ego focus. And the clear comparison that for all his manners he was just as much of a Beast (an alpha with no protective instincts at all) as Chastel was.

I did not like the casual way Anna thinks about her multiple gang-rapes when Charles explains her behaviour to others, because it's not omega-typical ( sort of: Oh, I won't mention to him that it was more than one time, he'd be worried...)
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Katharine Kimbriel I just noticed re-reading your comments -- about the German werewolves? You may be using a German expression, and if so, mea culpa! But I thought you would want to know that the American expression for "hard to swallow, annoying" is "stuck in my craw."

Colloquial phrases are the hardest thing going between languages! A friend of mine was summering in France, and had stopped off to help some friends working at a mission, I think it was. She wanted to offer to help in the kitchen, so she worked out the phrase and went in to offer the head of the kitchen "Can I give you a hand?" She said it correctly (as in grammar) but the man looked at her like she'd turned color or something, and then looked at his hands, repeating "a hand?" in French several times. She immediately realized the phrase did NOT translate, and said "May I help you?" gesturing to the kitchen.

This earned her a tremendous smile, the scooping up of many dirty pans and objects into a big sink, and the final flourish of "Voila!" It wasn't her favorite thing to do, but the connection was made!

Estara No, that was supposed to be what you thought! Thank you for catching that ^^ - I get most of my imagery from reading my various genre books and sometimes certain idioms stay with me, but I don't read them often enough to clearly retain them when I want to use them.

Aww, what a lovely story ^^.

I always have to remember that you CROSS FINGERS in English speaking countries, you do not PRESS THUMBS - basically I now use GANBATTE if I comment on posts of genre-savvy people.

When people from the UK or US visit, which has happened a few times, I realise how much of my fluent spoken English I have lost, not being over there regularly. It's fine enough for school because we break into German so often, but I hate having to look for words when I talk with native speakers.

I am especially annoyed at myself because I spend my spare time immersed in English - books, dvds, subtitled anime and the internet.

Katharine Kimbriel Never apologize for not being fluent -- I wish I could even read a newspaper in the languages I learned. I retained enough French from grade and high school to read specialized texts in my field, in college, but I would have to get a book on emergency phrases to get around in Paris, much less anywhere else. And I had only one semester of Latin, and took German diction (for Radio-TV) so I can pronounce the language, but have no ability to speak it. (Came in handy designing Nualan, though!)

My poor excuse is I grew up in Indiana -- sort of the middle of the continent. I could have learned another language ethnically, but my neighbor spoke Ukrainian, which would not have been very useful outside. She wanted my English to be perfect, and was proud I was writing. But people who speak multiple languages crop up in my books because I have always wanted that skill, and had trouble when I made the attempt to learn -- maybe because I heard only one language until I was nine. (That is Elizabeth Moon's theory -- only child speaking English to grandparents and mother -- she was so fluent by ten, she never learned Spanish very well, and also stunk at other languages. Maybe my problem, too -- I read on a high level by 9 years old.)

Estara Yes, but I teach English and History, you see ^^ - so I want to stay at the level I used to have.

Hmm, I mostly heard German until I was nine, but we did visit my grandmother in Syria at least once (I have the pictures) and my dad spoke Syrian to his Syrian friends who had married German women and whom we met more than once a year (or to his brother, who had also married in Germany) - and when we were four or five he taught me and my brother one song in Arabic.

That may have made a difference.

Estara Yes, but I am a teacher of English and history, so I want myself to be as fluent as I was when I had been in the UK for ten months for the second time, heh.

Katharine Kimbriel I see what you mean. Can you get American and UK movies/TV there easily -- like on a free TV station? Listening to dialogue might be useful. I listen to Spanish radio here, as I get ready to try and learn some of the language. I know my nephew understands a lot of Japanese from listening to anime for years.

My mother used to teach French, and she's lost almost all of it, I think. I didn't ask how their last trip to Europe went on the language front! I wish she'd worked at it, and taken us to Canada -- she could have made learning the language a game for us.

message 4: by Estara (last edited Oct 23, 2010 02:24PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Estara Not on a free tv station, no. Sometimes you can get some English programmes on arte, which is the channel sponsored by public broadcasting from France, Switzerland and Germany, I believe.

But as I said before, I own loads of UK videos and DVDs - although I watch my anime subtitled only, even when they are subbed. And when I'm on the internet I watch youtube (if they don't block me from music videos :P), and all my music is in English. Recently I've discovered stand-up comedy(Eddie Izzard, Lenny Henry, Billy Connolly) as a replacement of audiobooks, and also some real audiobooks (mostly Bill Bryson and Joyce Grenfell), as well as Stephen Fry's three radio series called English Delight.

It just does not replace actually having to formulate your own answers to questions being asked. I don't use skype, for example. I'm not that regularly close to any of my English-speaking friends.

And with all due respect to my online social contacts, but I would call most of the people who haven't met me in real life acquaintances.

Kathleen I loved this book and gave it 5 stars, but I agree with most of your criticisms. For example, the comment on the humourless German wolves (my mom's side came to the USA from Germany) and the naming of Isaac, Vincent, and Ric.

Like you, I was very sad Sunny died. She was cool. And I NEVER expected it to play out as it did. (Well, towards the end I guessed "who done it")

I liked the Seattle setting, too. The stone troll under the bridge really does exist (pix in my review)

On the rape issue, I can see why she'd want to keep it from Charles.

My favorite scene is when Anna (view spoiler)

PS. Isn't it funny how we can like something more on the first read, and less on the next?

Estara Actually, I so often gulp a new book down just to immerse myself in the people and place that I very rarely read critically if the author doesn't hit me over the head with objectionable content.

So only on a reread do I get more of a feeling for the structure of the work (and I may also discover little vignettes I overread in my first haste to get at the story).

Kathleen Yes, that's true. Do you often re-read a book, or only for the ones you liked? Me, only for favorites. And sometimes I add a star on the second go-round.

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