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Bitten (Otherworld) Paperback – June 29, 2010
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Praise for Bitten and the Otherworld series
“[This] might be just the welcome diversion you need.”—The Washington Post
“Kelley Armstrong has long been a favorite of mine.”—Charlaine Harris, New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series
“A witty, suspensful, and well-paced tale...[it] will both thrill and absorb you.”—Houston Chronicle
“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 cliches.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
Kelley Armstrong is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Otherworld series, as well as the New York Times bestselling young adult Darkest Powers trilogy, the Darkness Rising trilogy, and the Nadia Stafford series. She lives in rural Ontario, Canada.
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Elena lies to her boyfriend, cheats on him (repeatedly and without much guilt) with the guy who completely betrayed her trust...and she loves him even though he's a controlling psycho who destroyed her life. Um, what?
Clay is the aforementioned psycho. He has no social skills, claims to be able to act like a human "when necessary"...yet explodes into random rages and makes complicated situations worse. He's horrible. Not likeable at all. Though he's super hot and super smart, so we're expected to overlook his wealth of flaws. Flawed characters are realistic...but they usually end up being a little relatable. Not Clay.
Jeremy, the pack alpha, and the rest of the pack, treat werewolves who aren't members of the pack like dirt and then wonder why they all suck so much. Only the pack can hold territory, so the "mutts" have to run around and not stay in one place for too long. They don't seem to understand that if they treated them with even a little respect, rather than passively (and sometimes actively) bullying and belittling them, these mutts might not all end up being serial killers?
Then there's the pack structure. Jeremy won't let anyone else help plan, because it might make him look weak? But he sends out Clay and Elena as enforcers for him...which doesn't make him look weak? He hides details from the pack, puts Elena under house arrest, and when she saves the day...they punish her for it.
It took me a long time to get through this, just because they're all such...jerks. I'll keep going with the series, but I really hope things improve. I get drawn into books because of the characters...and all of the ones in this book sucked. Ugh.
I got the audible bundle deal for the book and am quite pleased with the narration. The sound effects used were very rare but enhanced the scenes they were used in. The narrator had a wide range of inflections and it was easy to tell the characters apart. She was very natural and, if I'm honest, half the reason I went ahead and got the second book in the series. Overall, I'm excited to see how Elena grows in the next novel and curious to see how the author handles world building.
Elena is constantly struggling with who she is. After growing up in the foster system, she dreamed of having a normal life with a loving family. However, Clayton changed everything. Now she is a werewolf and has to live according to Pack rules which are hierarchical, strict and severe. She will have to adjust her idea of family and what she truly wants. Throughout Bitten, you feel her anger, angst and indecision.
I have to say that I love Clayton Danvers. Bitten as a child, Clayton is more wolf than human. He is loyal beyond reason to Jeremy and the Pack. Like a wolf he mates for life. And the mate he has chosen is Elena whether she wants to be or not. The dynamic between Elena and Clayton is addicting. You want them to have an happily ever after but they can't quite get there. Elena wants boundaries and Clayton doesn't understand boundaries or privacy when it comes to his mate. The clashes and the compromises are fun to watch.
While Elena and Clayton are in constant conflict, Jeremy is the calming force in the Pack. As Alpha, Jeremy Danvers in is total control and always protecting his Pack. Jeremy was the one who found Clayton as a child and brought him into the Pack. Jeremy was the one who helped Elena deal with the devastating transition from human to werewolf. Elena wants him to be the father figure that she never had. But as Alpha, Jeremy is unable to show Elena the emotion she so desires.
Kelley Armstrong doesn't like to end her books with a cliffhanger. However, because of the strength of the characters she created you want to keep reading each new book to actually see if the happily ever after is realized. There are thirteen novels in the Women in the Otherworld series along with numerous novellas. I highly recommend that you clear your calendar because once you start the series you won't want to stop.