Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

12 May
Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, #1)

Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1)

Rating :: 5/5 
“Frisky…Tells a rather sweet love story, and suggests that being a wolf may be more comfortable for a strong, smart woman than being human.” –The New York Times Book Review

Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman, She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She’s also a werewolf.

Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must recon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel.

My thoghts:

This one’s been hanging around for a while, since it was recommended to me sometime last year. I saw that kiwiria loved it and remembered that I had it, so thought I should get onto it sooner rather than later. To be honest, the fact that it’s about werewolves put me off. I greatly enjoyed Kerri Arthur’s Riley Jensen Guardian series (the main character is a werewolf), and Kresley Cole has some wonderful lycanthrope characters whom I love, but generally they don’t hold the attraction that vampires do. Well, I really should re-think that now. 

Elena Michaels is an orphan with a horrible past of foster families and abusive foster fathers since her parents died in a car accident when she was little. Meeting and falling in love with Clay, an esteemed anthropologist doing a stint of teaching at the University of Toronto, was the first time she could be more herself, and he was the first person she could be honest and open with. Until she’s bitten by a werewolf and becomes the first female werewolf ever, and forced into a life she did not want, with the Pack. Ten years later, she’s carving a human life for herself in Toronto as a journalist, living with her boyfriend Philip, and forcing herself not to Change until she can’t help it. When she does, she goes out in the early hours of the morning and chases security guards in the car parks, and rabbits in the ravines. Her attempt at fitting in with humans comes to a jarring halt when the Pack leader, Jeremy, asks her to return to Stonehaven in New York State. There’s a killer on the loose in the town who’s obviously a non-Pack werewolf, a mutt, leaving the mutilated bodies on Pack territory and bringing the police to their doorstep. Returning to Stonehaven, Elena finds herself fitting into old patterns without fear of exposure or judgement. She still yearns to be human, or at least, to fit in in the human world, but the situation is becoming more threatening and her Pack-brothers are losing their lives: and the enemy wants her. While the Prologue was necessary in setting up the main character and narrator, Elena, and it worked well written in present tense – gives it that timeless quality – I found it a bit boring and was worried I wouldn’t be able to get through the book. It wasn’t long before I was completely riveted though. 

It comes down to Elena herself, I think. She’s tough, she’s bitchy at times, she’s smart, yet she has this aloof, lonely quality that adds a touch of vulnerability and really made me feel for her without being told to. The way she describes her past and how she dealt with it, the way she over-thinks her way through the world of humans, concentrating and always thinking, what would a human do? (Even though she used to be human, she’s not anymore.) 

Then there’s her relationship with Clay, which is what really drives the whole story. Clay is an interesting character with at least three noticeable sides: cold killer; eager, childlike boy with a wealth of feeling; and borderline genius. He’s moody but predictable, dangerous and lethal but oh so loving and loveable. I just loved the fact that he wasn’t easy to sum up, that he was complicated. 

More than that, though, the plot was exciting and even though, after the prologue, the rest of the book is written in past tense, it still has that “now” feeling where the narrator, Elena, isn’t giving hints as to what happened later, but narrates as if she has no idea either. That gives the story a great deal of suspense and tension. 

For a debut novel, this is a bloody good novel. The writing quality is very high, the character development is wonderful, the plot is absorbing, never boring, and the moments of humour are very adult and speak to a level of intelligence that most popular fiction aims below. It’s an intelligent, mature book, very hard to put down, and I’m very keen to read the second book featuring Elena, Stolen.

-Kathy @SoManyBooksSoLittleTime


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One response to “Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong

  1. Theron Ichinotsubo

    January 8, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I really like your writing style, superb information, thankyou for posting : D.


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