Jun 10, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 6 Comments

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

bitten4 star

Urban Fantasy
September 25 2001
Trade Paperback
422 pages
Vintage Canada

Kick Ass Chick – Elena

From Goodreads –
Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds, and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.

But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her “family,” she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she’s increasingly uncertain if it’s the right one.

———-

Bitten is the first book in Kelly Armstrong’s hugely popular Women of the Underworld series. I am going to keep this review on the shorter side since I feel I’m the only one in the world who had not read this series up to now 😉

Let’s start by chatting about Elena. She possessed all of the qualities I like in a UF heroine. Strong, smart, vulnerable and full of growth potential. I like how she is fighting the losing battle of leading a ‘normal’ life. I liked her coming to terms with things and look forward to seeing what is next for her. What she goes through emotionally is very well written. You truly feel like you are inside her head, living what she is living and feeling what she is feeling.

Clay. Let me be honest with you. I have heard about this gentlemen for ages. “Clay is yummy.” “Clay is drool-worthy. ” “I want to lick Clay.” These are just some of the things I was told about Clay. But when I first started reading, I did not feel this way about him. I actually found him a bit annoying because he acts like a spoilt child! But as you keep reading, you learn the ‘why’ behind what he does and says and things start to make more sense.

There was not a build-up to Clay and Elena’s relationship because there was already a past there. I did miss that though – I like witnessing the ‘dance’. But they have insane chemistry and I can see how they can end up as being one of my favorite UF couples.

Jeremy was a very strong character and I liked the other members of the North American werewolf pack. And Phillip leaves me wondering if this is the last we’ll see of him or if there is more there to know. It can really go either way so I guess I’ll keep reading to find out.

What all of the characters have in common is how they were written. I am noticing that Kelley has a knack at bringing her characters to life. And I’m not just talking about flat people on a page that you follow as they eat, sleep, have sex and so on. Kelley’s characters jump off the page and grip you as though they were in the room with you. A very important talent when writing UF and Kelley definitely possesses it.

The story is very interesting. Tons of action and twists and turns. I like the world and how Kelley wrote her werewolves. And the lore is interesting.

I was warned that this book was filled with information. Not completely surprising seeing that it’s the first in an urban fantasy series. But yes, I did notice that there is quite a bit of info dump in this one. However I did enjoy how the dumping occurred. It was not only done at the beginning of the book. It sprinkled in the first half – I would say – and done by some characters explaining things out loud, by Elena flashbacking and by just witnessing Elena’s observations of what and who is around her. So even though the info drop is big, how it was presented made it bearable.

After reading Bitten, I am very drawn by Elena and Clay and want more of them. I know that this series changes its focus in later books but right now I can’t fathom wanting to read about people other than Clay and Elena. I will mostly likely change my mind as I get more into these books but right now, that is where my head is at. As of now, I am liking the characters and the premise. I want more. And isn’t that the ultimate sign of a good first book in a series.

4 stars

Books in the Women of the Otherworld series –
Bitten
Stolen
Dime Store Magic
Industrial Magic
Haunted
Broken
No Humans Involved
Personal Demon
Living With the Dead
Frostbitten
Waking the Witch
Spellbound
Thirteen

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  1. FINALLY!!!! That is all. LOL

  2. Northwoman says:

    I haven’t read it either. But it’s going to be a TV show now, isn’t it?

  3. YAASSS!! I want to do ALL of those things to Clay, and even though I did enjoy some of the other POVs in this series, Clay and Elena will always be my favorite. Glad you liked it!

  4. Bitten is already a TV show. The first season was hugely popular and is available on Netflix in the US, if you haven’t watched yet. I’m not sure what replay options are in Canada, but it runs on the Space Channel some. Good news, there will be a season two in 2015.

    Two books you don’t have listed on series list are Men of the Otherworld and Tales of the Otherworld. I highly recommend that you look into those two books at some point in your readings. You get snippets of life of many of the others characters. Plus you get the back story on Clay in “Men” and the Clay and Elena meet story in “Tales”. Many of the stories in the “Tales” books you haven’t met until at least book two, so wait a little on that one.

    Enjoy. 🙂

  5. You are not alone Julie, I still have not started reading this series or any other by Kelley either. Every time I pick up this book, I put it down again and pick something else. But thanks to your review, I might finally start it soon.

  6. Carmel – I know!

    Northwoman – Yup.

    Jessica – 🙂

    Melanie – Thanks for the info!

    aurian – Woohoo to not being alone. 😉

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