Sunday, 25 January 2009


Bitten by Kelley Armstrong is a book I've been trying to get around to for ages. It's the first of the Women of the Otherworld series... a series of about eight books that my husband and eldest daughter have slowly been working their way through. They both love them and I knew I at least needed to give this first book a try and, at long last, I've managed it.

Elena Michaels is your average 21st century girl, living in Toronto with Philip her fortyish partner. Except that Elena is not average - she just happens to be the only female werewolf in existance. She used to belong to a pack but left it when she made the decision to lead as normal a life as possible. The pack is led by Jeremy, the aplha male and also includes Clayton, a man/wolf that Elena has some history with. The pack is based at Stonehaven an estate in the middle of the New York state forest. The story starts when Jeremy begins calling Elena... there is a serious problem at Stonehaven and her help is required. She resists at first, not wishing to return to the pack but is persuaded by Philip to go. Philip, not knowing that Elena is a werewolf thinks it's a family problem. When she gets to Stonehaven, Elena is told that there have been murders in the nearby town and that the problem is 'mutts' - rogue werewolves. Between them the pack need to solve the problem before attention turns to Stonehaven and its unusual inhabitants.

Quite a good read this one. I'm not sure I'm quite as enthusiastic as my family but the writing engaged me well enough. Part of the problem was how familiar the whole thing seemed to me, as though I'd read it before when I know very well I haven't. I found the book a lot less irritating that the Anita Blake series and this is down to the writing - Armstrong's writing is much more competant than Laurel Hamilton's, imo, the characters more fleshed out and the dialogue much more believable. That said, it was quite predictable and perhaps that's why it seemed so familiar. I'm not going to rush to read the next one, Stolen, straightaway, even though we own it. But I will read it at some stage; 'something' about them must have gripped my family. I would add for anyone contemplating reading these that they are very much 'adult' books; there is quite a lot of gorey description and some explicit sexuality... definitely NOT a book for anyone under sixteen, imo.


Nymeth said...

This sounds like such an enjoyable series. Armstrong is an author I really have to check out.

Susan said...

I have this on my TBR pile. I've read a couple of her others and really enjoyed them. You're right though, definitely NOT for anyone under 16!

DesLily said...

Ohhh I like the cover to In The Woods! much prettier than mine! lol I think you'll enjoy that one!

I have finally begun a Dickens book (the old curiosity shop) I have enjoyed the first 30 pages which in itself is amazing . I know I enjoy this stories as movies but the lanuage at times is not "my thing" so we'll see.. sure hope I keep liking it since it's a big book!

Cath said...

Nymeth: the writing is really very good even if the plot was a trifle predictable. And the foresty setting was very much 'my thing', if you get me. Worth checking out, imo.

Susan: No... not for younger readers but that's okay, it's quite nice to have a few horror or fantasy books that are actually aimed at adult readers. I love YA books but this made a pleasant change.

Hi Pat! I actually prefer the US cover of In the Woods, that you had. lol

Yeah Dickens's language takes a bit of getting used to. All classic books do, imo. They used language a lot more back in the 19th. century, than we do now. Also Dickens was definitely one for a good long ramble!

Ladytink_534 said...

I'm two books behind in this series but I really do enjoy it!

Cath said...

Hi LadyTink! It sounds like I should persevere with this series then? I heard the author brings in a lot of new characters so that will make it more interesting. Thanks for your comment.

Rhinoa said...

I hope you continue with the series as they keep getting better and better. I am a couple behind but I intend to catch up this year for sure.

Marg said...

I love this series, and over the last couple of years Kelley Armstrong has become one of my favourite authors ever! I totally agree that it not a YA series!

Nymeth, I think you would really, really enjoy reading this author.

Cath said...

Rhinoa: Funnily enough my daughter said the same thing - that the series gets better and better. And, although I had a couple of very slight reservations about Bitten, I keep catching myself thinking about it so I think I'm going to get the next one out pretty soon. Funny how your subconscious often knows stuff you don't. :-)

Marg: Its a shame Kelley Armstrong isn't more well known, because she really ought to be. Despite one or two minor reservations I thought her writing was very strong indeed. She certainly made me want to keep reading.