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

Hi

Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

I bought ‘Bitten’ on the spur-of-the-moment for my kindle (hence the Goodreads synopsis).  I liked the overall idea behind the book and just wanted to give it a shoot. I actually found out about this series from a book-tuber who reviewed ‘Dime Store Magic’ the fourth book in the series, and I wanted to read that one, but I wanted to read the series in order.

‘Bitten’ came a pleasant surprise to me.  The plot was really good and it felt like the world in the story had been fully thought out and realised and the reader was only getting a glimpse of it.  Elena has been a werewolf for ten years by the time the book starts.   This isn’t a book where the character is finding out about their powers and meeting everyone for the first time – because it has already happened. Which I thought was cool.  It made it different from a lot of books that I have read.  At times it was confusing though, especially at first when Elena would have flash-backs in the middle of meetings, but overall I think it made the plot and the book more interesting.

I found the book to be more gory then I expected but it added to the overall conflict and the sense of danger in the novel.  I also liked Elena’s personal conflict – she didn’t know which life she really wanted.  I liked how certain elements of her conflict ( spoiler cough Clay versus Phillip cough) were dealt with.  Armstrong didn’t rely on the ‘bad boyfriend’ tactic and I appreciated that.  I’m not going to spoil it any further.  I promise 🙂  It also makes some interesting comments on human nature and my favourite quote was when Elena thought this:

This guy had broken into the apartment of a total stranger, tied the man up and shot him because he – quote – wanted to know what it felt like.  The show’s writers had peppered the piece with words like ‘savage’, ‘wild’, and ‘animalistic’.  What bullshit.  Show me the animal that kills for the thrill of watching something die.  Why does the stereotype of the animalistic killer persist? Because humans like it.  It neatly explains things for them, moving humans to the top of the evolutionary ladder and putting killers down among mythological man-beast monsters like werewolves.  The truth is, if a werewolf behaved like this psychopath it wouldn’t be because he was part animal, but because he was still too human.  Only humans kill for sport.

I loved how the book pointed that out, and I also know that this is how (for the most part) animal rights supporters see it too.  Also the quote is a great example of how Elena speaks and thinks throughout the book.  Can I just mention that she was a really great heroine to read – very refreshing and un-waif-like.   The humour in the book was very well-balanced too and made it fun to read.

The ending was good.  It opened it up for the next book, while wrapping up enough loose ends.  I think Elena made the right decision and the ‘final showdown’ was both scary (at the time) and funny (after it happened).  Again I am trying not to spoil. It was a good little twist though.  Overall I would recommend the book – it is refreshing and riveting to read.

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