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Bitten (Otherworld) Paperback – December 31, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Otherworld (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (December 31, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452283485
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452283480
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (524 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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. Agent, Helen Heller. (Oct. 1)Forecast: The sensual, non-genre jacket design will help to signal that this novel will also appeal to mainstream tastes.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Elena is a werewolf the only female werewolf in the world. Betrayed by Clay, her former lover, who bit her while in his werewolf form, she is now resigned to a life of secret changes while attempting to remain in human society. Meanwhile, the power of the Pack and her deep-seated ties to Clay continually press on her, preventing a true commitment to her human lover. When the Pack Alpha calls her to help rout a band of murderous "mutts" (werewolves not affiliated with the Pack), Elena reluctantly becomes the animal she has fought so long to suppress. First novelist Armstrong presents true werewolves as those who follow Pack law and don't kill for pleasure. Changing into a werewolf becomes an act of nature, as does ripping mutts to shreds for threatening the Pack. Elena's struggle with her wolf nature and her love for two men is caught up in the werewolves' fight for dominance and territory. While the plot is as predictable as gang warfare, readers will cheer for Elena as she beats up the big boys and has the courage to choose her own path. Recommended for larger public libraries. Jen Baker, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

I'm married with three kids and live in rural Ontario, Canada. After graduating with a degree in psychology, I switched gears and studied computer programming. Currently, I'm a full-time writer and parent. Could I make this section any more dull? Probably not.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

139 of 147 people found the following review helpful By Jana L. Perskie HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 1, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A friend had been urging me for months to read Kelley Armstrong's "Bitten," the first book in the "Women of the Otherworld" series. She told me that the novel was well written and unusual, with a fresh take on the same old werewolf/shapeshifter tale. So I finally got around to reading the book and all I have to say is "WOW!" I can't think of one negative comment to make, not that I'd want to. I only have praise for this terrific read and for the author. The plot is excellent; the dialogue is at times serious, at others very funny, filled with dark humor. And it's all very believable - if you believe in werewolves, of course.

Elena Michaels is a young, attractive, athletic journalist who lives in Toronto, Canada with her older lover, Philip, an architect. He is very serious about her and wants to marry her. Elena thinks she might care for him enough to marry him, except for one problem. Elena is a werewolf. As a matter of fact she is the only female werewolf...in the entire world. The werewolf gene has always been passed down from father to son - never to daughter. Almost all females bitten by werewolves have died before their bodies could adapt to the change. Elena's body adapted, which is more than can be said about her mind. She almost lost it for an entire year after her transformation. Then she finally accepted her fate. But she couldn't accept the betrayal, the bite, that made her other than human.

Ms. Armstrong's werewolves live in packs. They do not kill human beings. Those who choose the life of a loner, eschewing the pack, are called mutts. They are not to be trusted because they can become very violent, unpredictable, and sometimes kill people, just for the love of the kill.
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79 of 86 people found the following review helpful By Nicole Miale on January 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Bitten is a terrific debut novel, and a great werewolf tale that sucks you in and keeps your attention. I'm a fan of Laurell K Hamilton, but Bitten gave me a new appreciation for the limitations of the lycanthrope portrayals in the Anita Blake series. Perhaps it's to be expected, since so many creatures and monsters exist in Anita's world, no one group can be fully developed and explored. One of my difficulties with Anita's tales is that it's hard to focus sometimes. She careens from one problem to the next so quickly you barely have time to assimilate the differences between the monstrous groups she's dealing with.
That problem doesn't exist in Bitten. To the contrary, Bitten is so focused on the werewolves, and on one small group of them in particular, you are able to get much more involved with them, their lives, their struggles. One of the things I really enjoyed about Bitten was Ms. Armstrong's attention to detail, including emotional detail. All of the characters rang true to me in their reactions and dealings with each other.
Elena is a wonderful character. She's not always likable, but she's real. She is a reluctant werewolf who just longs to be human, and her uncertainty and anger at her situation are palpable. It's a miracle she functions as well as she does in the human world, though we actually see her less there than you realize at first. Despite her longing to be human, she revels in her wolf characteristics and is continually troubled by the duality of her nature. She tries to delude herself, but she's rarely successful and I respected that even when I didn't particularly like her actions at times.
I appreciated the nature of the relationship between her and Clayton, the werewolf who bit her and still wants her, despite Elena's continued resentment toward him.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Tanya May on December 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wanted to like this book even though Elena was very annoying. Clay is her love interest even though she had another man at home. Then comes the "sexy" rape scene. If this isn't rape or some form of sexual assault then what is?

*****Spoiler****

He ties her to a tree then rips her shirt off. Then he starts molesting her. Elena's told him to untie her at this point. Then he pulls her pants off and sticks his fingers inside her. She had not given him the go ahead but he then takes his pants off. Once he's ready to shove himself inside her, he stops and says he won't force her and he'll stop if she tells him to. She's still tied up and he's already molested her at this point. She says NOTHING, not yeah, baby, keep raping me, but nothing. He then has sex with her. After she's moaning and loving the whole rape fantasy, he unties her.

I don't get all these rape fantasies lately. Is this what's supposed to be attractive now in a male love interest? I like males who are aggressive in fiction, but not when it comes to forcing themselves on a woman. Then there's the weird thing where the chick says no, but she really means yes and then the sex is great so it's a good thing he forced himself on her in the first place.

Am I missing this trend with women? I couldn't respect either character after that scene and I stopped reading. I know it was supposed to be sexy or something, but it was weird and made me think he was a violent pervert and she was an idiot with rape fantasies. Then she starts whining in the next part about how he forced her to become a werewolf. Yeah, but Elena clearly you like being forced. Whatever.

I get that these are werewolves and not humans, but it's not sexy.
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