Review: Bitten - by Kelley Armstrong ★★★★

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Book one in the Women of the Otherworld series
Publication Date: 1 October 2001
ISBN: 978-0670894710
Page Count: 400 Summary
My Rating: ★★★★

Summary

Elena Michaels is the world's only female werewolf. And she's tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only expects the worst in her— her temper, her violence—but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she's growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she's trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she'll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

REVIEW

This was my second attempt at reading this book. I think the main reason I stopped reading it last time about 75 pages in, was that I had recently read Stray by Rachel Vincent, the first of the Werecat/shifters series, and other than the fact that this book involves werewolves not werecats, I almost thought I was reading the same book. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Well, technically BITTEN was written first, but I read them the other way around so this one felt like the duplicate to me. It's Twilight/Vampire Diaries all over again.

Elena Michaels, the only female member of a werewolf pack, gets summoned home. Rather reluctantly, it has to be said, since she knows she'll have to deal with her ex-boyfriend who's still a member of the pack whom she hasn't seen for a few years. She also has to leave her current boyfriend behind. It's one of those reunions she would have gladly put off for, well, ever. But the urgency in the messages from her Alpha was enough to get even her reluctant ass moving.

I found the book had a slightly slow start but, again, this could be just due to the fact that I felt like I'd already read the same thing. Also, I got a bit annoyed with not quite understanding the timeline with regards to Clay and Elena's complicated past relationship. You kind of get drip-fed the back story of how she got bitten and what happened in between in fits and starts. But I was left wanting to know whether they had actually been together as a couple for most of the decade in between now and being bitten, or if she'd never forgiven him. Not knowing drove me slightly mad because I couldn't then fathom how big of a deal it was for her to be returning after a 14 month absence.

Anyhow, I ended up really liking Clay's character a lot. He's not your typical alpha male hero. He's more wolf than human for a start, so his emotional responses often aren't what you might be expecting. He's a simple kinda guy who knows what he wants and is going to get it not matter how long he has to wait. I think he's been extremely patient waiting for Elena to, maybe not forgive, but come to terms with what he did. It was all deliciously complex, and my favourite aspect of the book.

Aside from dealing with the pack relationships, the plot had a couple of token bad guys to add some tension and excitement to the final chapters, and all that was exciting and also provided an opportunity to test the character's true feelings.

All in all, it was a great story with a nice climatic ending. I started the next one, Stolen, immediately after, and will no doubt work my way through the series from here.

A great addition to my library!
4 stars! ★★★★

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