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Bitten (Otherworld) [Paperback]

Kelley Armstrong
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 29, 2010 Otherworld (Book 1)
Now a TV series on the Syfy channel airing Mondays at 10 pm / 9 pm CT.

"Frisky...Tells a rather sweet love story, and suggests that being a wolf may be more comfortable for a strong, smart woman than being human." -The New York Times Book Review

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 that begins the Women of the Otherworld series. 


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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.

Product Details

  • Series: Otherworld (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; Reprint edition (June 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452296641
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452296640
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (595 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,626 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
142 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A WOW(!) Of A Read! 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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82 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific debut novel! 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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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Debut! March 12, 2002
Format:Hardcover
Bitten is one of the best first novels I have read in a long time. Kelley Armstrong proves that you can still take an old, tired and overused storyline and make it great and entertaining. Her book is sexy, intelligently written and highly entertaining.
Elena is a young woman who was once bitten by a werewolf, which inevitably turned her into one as well. Only problem is that in Armstrong's world, only males are allowed to be werwolves as the curse is passed down through the male line. But she survives the change and The Pack, an organized group of werwolves, decide to keep her alive.
She does not like her life as much as she ought to and so she escapes to Toronto, only to be brought back to her New York dwellings (the home of The Pack) when strange murders start occuring. She is quickly thrown into a plot involving a group of Mutts (werewolves who are not part of The Pack and who only want to cause trouble for the organization) who only wants to see The Pack disappear.
Violent, dark and often wittingly funny, Bitten is a very original novel that takes the werewolf legend and plays with it amazingly well. The book reminded me of the early efforts from Anne Rice; Armstrong, just like Rice did with vampires, rejuvinates the legend on her own, putting a much-needed life back into the genre.
Any fans of the genre should be pleased with this book. And non-horror fans will also find something to like here; Armstrong's prose is very beautiful, straight to the point and extremely colorful. This one is not to be missed!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bite that can last a lifetime
I gave bitten five stars because like the tv show it amazes me I like that Elena finally realized that clay was the one for her despite what he did I knew from the moment she went... Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars new take on Weres
Love the new tv series and the novel. Much more belieable weres than other books. Strong likable female lead.
Published 14 days ago by LoisLL
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome!
This is the first book in a fantastic urban fantasy series. Just as fun reading it for the second time!
Published 14 days ago by Alison
4.0 out of 5 stars It really isn’t one to be missed.
As reviewed on KayFrayBooks

As a reader, you really start to feel the internal struggle Elena is dealing with as she tries her hardest to be “normal”. Read more
Published 20 days ago by KayFrayBooks
3.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately this book was a little too boring for me to catch my...
I actually saw the TV show first and was really excited to read another book about shapeshifting. Unfortunately this book was a little too boring for me to catch my attention to... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Silivrenwolf
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I read the book twice it was so good.
Published 1 month ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I love the book so far its going along with the show and that's what I like
Published 1 month ago by crystal Richardson
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Loved this.
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl Richmond
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Both the book and the new tv series are equally as thrilling. There are several variations so you shouldnt read the book expecting the same exact story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kia Shea
5.0 out of 5 stars Book. and television show complement this incredible adventure
Great book
Published 1 month ago by Debbie Ramsey-Hanks
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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.

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Bitten (Otherworld)
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Women of the Otherworld - Should I read it?
I found it hard to get into other paranormal characters after 9 books on vampires. I enjoyed Bitten and thought Women 0f the Otherworld were all on Bitten's main character. She continued in the 2nd book then book 3 is about one of the characters intro'd in book 2 so I checked what was going on... Read More
Jan 18, 2010 by Coletta |  See all 7 posts
know any funny /horror
Have you read "Queen Betsy Series" by MaryJanice Davidson? The first one is "Undead and Unwed". I loved them!! They are vampire subject with a lot of funny humor.
Nov 26, 2009 by Nikita |  See all 7 posts
Vampire to Bat
Danielle,
I looked at your profile and kinda got that you like good "werewolf love". Well, I have some suggestions for you:

Moon Lust - Bitten by Sherri L. King
Big Bad Wolf by Christine Warren
Primal Heat by Lora Leigh and Sherri L King
A Touch Of Heat by Judy Mays
Sexy Beast by... Read More
Nov 26, 2009 by Nikita |  See all 2 posts
Hard time with this book?
I also had a really hard time getting into it. IMO, don't bother going back. While it is a decent book because of the relationship between Clay and Elena, the overall plot gets pretty boring, almost unbearable in some parts. Stolen is much better than Bitten (or at least it was much easier for me... Read More
Jun 19, 2009 by A. Love |  See all 17 posts
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