Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Bitten Review


It's not easy to find a fresh angle for the werewolf theme, but this debut novel from a Canadian writer proves that solid storytelling and confident craftsmanship can rejuvenate one of the hoariest of all horror clich,s. Elena Michaels is a self-described "mutt," a werewolf who left her secretive pack in upstate New York for a life among humans. In the year since she relocated to Toronto, she's embarked on a career as a journalist and begun a pleasingly mundane relationship with a decent man. All this is jeopardized when she agrees to help her old packmates hunt some troublesome mutts who are converting common criminals to werewolves and leaving a trail of conspicuous carnage. Reunited with her former lycanthrope lover and forced into brutally predatory confrontations, Elena finds the call of the wild subtly reasserting itself. Armstrong prepares readers for her tale's twists with several key revisions of werewolf lore the werewolf taint is mostly hereditary, and werewolves can be killed as easily as any human or wolf. Her true achievement, though, is her depiction of werewolf nature in believably human context. Elena's feral sensibility, like her psychological vulnerabilities, seems a natural outgrowth of her abusive childhood, and her relationship with the pack is that of any prodigal child to a close-knit family. The sensuality of Elena's transformations and the viciousness of her kills mesh perfectly with her tough personality. Filled with romance and supernatural intrigue, this book will surely remind readers of Anne Rice's sophisticated refurbishings of the vampire story

What I Liked
I do love different werewolf stories. The werewolf gene is generally inherited and passed on only from father to son, with no female werewolves have ever been born. You can also be bitten, but the chance of surviving from the bite are very slim. If the werewolf in question didn't finish the kill, you would most likely go crazy from the pain of transformation. Our character Elena in Bitten is one of the very few bitten werewolves and the ONLY female werewolf, quite a desired commodity.
Elena Michaels: Elena has had a hard life, filled with tough trials at a young age and dissapointment around ever bend in her life. These hardships have made her strong and tough, not willing to be pushed around or told what to do. She is going to make her own choices in life, good for her. At times she can be too stubborn and shelled up unwilling to communicate when that what is needed the most. I do like Elena's character traits, she is fun, spicy, very tempermental and she has some impressive mood swings. 

A Little Confusion
At first I was so confused and I had no idea what had happened in Elena's life. I kept thinking this should have been the 2nd or 3rd book, it had the feel that she might have been introduced in a previous book by another character. For example you have a series that each book switches POV, you meet character 1 and you also get to meet character 2 and are given some back story, but in book 2 their book you get to learn all the details of their story. I felt I was reading book 2 and missing some trivial back story information. But this was remedied throughout the story, well Elena is also a very private person and not wanting to share her story with every one she meets. As the story unfolds we to also get to learn about her, who bit her, why she was bitten and all the issues she has had in her lifetime. This type of informative reveal suits the characters personality very well, so I can understand why Kelley Armstrong wrote the book this way. Just keep reading and all will be explained in due time.

Have you read her YA series The Darkest Powers? These are both set in the same world, there are minor references (in later books) about the YA books. If you love werewolves, a good does of troubled love and problematic mutts you have got to read this series.  A fast and intriguing read that will keep you turning the pages in anticipation.

Women of the Otherworld
13 books are currently contracted for the series
1) Bitten
2) Stolen
3) Dime Store Magic
4) Industrial Magic
5) Haunted
6) Broken
7) No Humans Involved
8) Personal Demon
9) Living with the Dead
10) Frostbitten
11) Waking the Witch
12) Spell Bound out July 26, 2011

She does have a few Appearances she will be making this year, she is also part of the Smart Chicks Kick It 2.0 tour.

Have you read any of Kelley Armstrong's series?

P.S. I will be reading the rest of the series, but I probably won't be writing a review for them on my blog. I don't want to spoil anything for readers who haven't read the series.



Moonlight Gleam said...

LOOOOOVEE Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series!!!! *SQUEE*!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh, sorry to hear you wont be reviewing the rest of the series. I know I haven't read them but would like to hear your thoughts on them.

I did read Waking the Witch. Yes, I started in the middle of the series. But It's actually a good starting point as the character it's with. But I really enjoyed it and will be reviewing Spell Bound here at the end of July for release time. :)

I have Bitten on the shelf so I can go back and start at the beginning of the series, but I have to get there. lol.

Thanks for the great review!

Kristina said...

@Moonlight I love Urban Fantasy so I figured this would be right up my alley and I am really liking Kelley world that she has created

@Melissa I will be putting shortened reviews on my goodreads for sure. There is a chance I still might up the review up, I guess it depends on how lazy I get :)
I have Spell Bound so I'm trying to get through the rest of the series, I really like to read things in order.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I think this is the first series I ever read out of order. lol. Hard to believe. I try to be very structured about reading books as they are to be in the series. But I think I was good reading Waking the Witch on it's own. And I'm really looking forward to Spell Bound. :)

Hope you enjoy it as well!