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Bitten (Women of the Otherworld, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – September 7, 2004


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (September 7, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452286034
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452286030
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (488 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,277 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.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are easy to relate to and very well written.
drsra
I love her strong female lead characters and the way all of her characters are so well developed.
Ashlee Forde
Highly recommended for fans of Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy.
sgunn

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

134 of 141 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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77 of 83 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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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Marie Annette on February 16, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Not going to give the synopsis, you can gather that from other reviews or the editorial....

Armstrong is a very talented writer and I enjoyed the world she created, though I had some major issues with this book.

I really really really really tried to like the main character, Elena and tried to empathize with her but she really had no redeeming qualities. Such as her constant need to rebel and assert her independence but it was all thoughtless, the instances when she should have been standing up for herself she became docile and the times she should have followed the rules she did not. Did she learn from this you might ask? Not at all, she kept up her reckless behavior to the very end. She was whiny, immature, dishonest, deluded, reckless, careless, short-sighted, etc. It also seemed to send this message of the good woman should listen to the men because she's completely incapable of doing anything on her own...what's up with that?

I am curious as to why, granted this is an urban and more modern era story, there are only 35 werewolves in the world and Elena is the only female.... Huh? That part I didn't buy at all. I also wondered how the Pack managed to cut off all contact with infant male werewolf's mother without problems from said mother, that was never really explained either.

There were quite a few unanswered questions that would have made the book a lot better and more complete, such as more specific and detail information surrounding Clay and Elena's relationship, more information and specifics about Elena's life in college, prior to college and such, you really don't know her very well. The impression I got from Elena's and Clay's relationship was that it was unhealthy.
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