Wednesday, February 13, 2013

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

Book: Bitten (Women of the Otherworld #1) by Kelley Armstrong
Release Date: 29 Jun 2010
Publisher: Plume
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Fantasy, Shapeshifters
Summary: 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 that begins the Women of the Otherworld series.
Buy It: Paperback or Kindle eBook


Review: The werewolf lore, community, history etc. in Bitten was really interesting and unique. There are only 35 werewolves in existence and only three of them are werewolves due to being bitten. Elena was not only bitten, but is also the only female. She abandoned the pack in an attempt of having a normal human life. Reading about Elena's struggle with being human and werewolf has probably been the best paranormal internal struggle I've read yet. Elena is raw, emotional and so believable because she isn't perfect or pretty about it. She wants normality so desperately but it isn't possible for her and yet she can't fit in with the other werewolves either.

"I want to know why I'm here and I want to know now. If you walk out that door, I'm not going to promise you'll still find me here in the morning."
"So be it," Jeremy said, his voice so cool I shivered in the draft. "If you decide to leave, have Clay drive you to Syracuse."
"Yeah, right," I said. "I'd be more likely to get to the airport by thumbing a ride with the local psychopath."
Clay grinned. "You forget, darling. I am the local psychopath."

Wow, Armstrong created some very dynamic, intriguing, perplexing characters. Upon introducing each of them, and even for quite a long while later, I couldn't decide what to think of them. Elena is bitter and angry so learning about the pack from her perspective was a like untangling a web. I liked that the characters weren't clear cut though, it made the story have a darker feel to it and heightened my anticipation for the next sentence since I couldn't predict reactions. And then there was Elena herself. She's trying so hard to be normal, human. She's got a job, a place to live and a boyfriend. Before she decides how to act, she asks herself if a good person would do it. On the inside she's aggressive, angry, hurt. Every day is a struggle and when she's in her other skin... killing is in her nature. I loved that Elena wasn't perfect. Armstrong made Elena's thoughts and feeling so compelling that it was impossibly not to love her even with the darkness clinging to her.

This time, the weeks had turned to months, then to a year. I thought they'd figure it out, know I wasn't coming back, but maybe they hadn't, maybe they'd still been waiting, like Clay waiting all day at the front gate, confident that I'd eventually return because I always did and because I hadn't said I wouldn't. I wondered how long they would have waited.

Clay would be so unacceptable to me in real life but since this is fiction... guh! I adored him. He was absurdly stalker-ish and way too intense but his actions could all be taken as dog-like. A dog will sit and wait forever for its person to come home and its world is centered around them. Clay is an oddball like Elena. He was bitten while he was a child and because of this has lost what makes him human. He's intelligent but acts only on instinct. I definitely prefer judging his actions on wolf standards than against human ones because they're much sweeter that way.

I was extremely conflicted about the last quarter of Bitten. It didn't sit well with me how Elena treated Clay or Philip. I don't want to spoil anything but let's just say that three's a crowd. But at the same time the storyline of the book was at it's highest peak and WOW. It was intense, perfectly executed, compelling, quite the adrenaline rush. I thought the plot was well done throughout the whole novel but the ending was out of this world.


Rating: 4½ Bites (Phenomenal, loved it -- Really enjoyed it)


What did you think of Bitten? Link me your review or leave your thoughts in a comment!
Bitten is over 10 years old now. What are your favorite older urban fantasy novels?
What do you think of the different covers Bitten has gone through? The latest one seems to be more stereotypical for the genre but I also like it best.

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