With the third installment of the Monster Hunter series we are not following Owen Zastava Pitt, instead, we are given the first true insight into Earl Harbinger’s life. This is an interesting change of pace rather than having to follow Pitt in yet another battle to save the day we are treated to the point of view of the unstoppable force. Another wonderful thing about the change is that it opens the possibility that we will get other points of view in the other books in the series. But back to Alpha, we were teased with the strength and knowledge the cantankerous old werewolf possesses, but we never get to see the events through his eyes. We get it now, and it is a fantastic change of pace.
Due to the events of Monster Hunter Vendetta, Earl Harbinger had to fight to keep his memories when an old friend Martin Hood implanted a demon into his mind. Earl came to call that monster Rocky, and the two battled over various memories, and for the most part, Earl did enough to keep his mind intact, but he started writing journals to try and pinpoint the memories that he had lost. He had written one about his family, his company and he was beginning one about his experiences as a werewolf.
He is drawn to a meeting with an old handle named Kirk Conover, who gives Earl information concerning an old nemesis named Nikolai Petrov. Like Earl, Nikolai was a fellow werewolf though he was not bothered by something as petty as a conscious. That is what separates the two men. During the course of the book, we are treated to the backstory of these two men and why they are such bitter rivals. And something that was mentioned in the first book is expounded upon, Earl Harbinger, despite having an equal in Nikolai, is the Alpha werewolf, and he has only two rules, the first of which is that werewolves are to leave humans alone, i.e., no killing. The second rule is discovered as the book progresses and is not crucial in this context. Both of the rules are tested, and we get to see how Harbinger handles those who violate those rules.
But Nikolai is not the only threat in the small Michigan town. No, we are quickly introduced to another who is threatening his reign as the king of werewolves. Though this threat does not see Earl as a true alpha, and it doesnt hurt that he has some extra help in his bid to dethrown Earl, not to mention the connection to Earl that forms the crux of the revelation of what Rocky took from Earl. With the bar for violence and weaponry set pretty high in the first two novels, the violence in Alpha does not disappoint, it assumes that mantle and carries on brilliantly.
The story is a wonderful diversion in a busy life, just like any action movie.