Catherine's Reviews > Stolen

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
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This is a really hard one to review. I think my opinion was skewed because of unmet expectations. I think if I gone into this book cold I would have enjoyed it a lot more. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, but my opinion teeter-tottered throughout it. I finally decided on a four star grade because the end did pick up and once I was able to put aside my reasons for reading it immediately after Bitten I got caught up in it. I'd say that Bitten is a high four star while this one is a low four star.

When Bitten ended we left Clay and Elena on a hopeful note. Nothing was really worked out, but the promise that they would try was given. I was so excited to pick up this one and watch their relationship heal itself. For me, that's half the fun of reading about a couple. I don't just want to see them together, I want to watch them get together and strengthen their relationship.

When I started this book I was shocked to find out that approximately six years had passed since the last book. I was pretty pissed off about it too. All my expectations about watching them build their relationship collapsed. I was pretty surprised to see that even though she was still with the Pack and still with Clay, she wasn't really with Clay the way that a six year commitment implies to me. They're still in basically the same spot spinning their wheels. It was actually kind of sad for both of them. I guess I didn't miss as much as I originally thought...

The beginning of this book was very slow going. My attention kept wandering and I had to struggle to make myself focus. The attention is no longer focused on just the werewolves. For a good chunk of the beginning half there's barely any werewolf interaction at all. The focus is all on the new type of supernatural creatures we meet and the organization hunting them. I did enjoy learning about the different groups, but what caught me most in the first book was the feel of the "otherness" of the werewolves and their interactions together. I felt that that aspect was really toned down in this book. Yes, there were gruesome moments, but the mentality of it felt different.

Around page 200 is where the pace started to pick up for me. We were still focused on only Elena, but her personal demons started to come into play. It seemed like her captivity and isolation dug beneath her skin enough to break through her persona. We got to see the despair and the insecurities and the depression. It was great getting that raw view. I loved how Elena admitted she wasn't over her past and probably never would be.

When Elena was back with Clay I found it extremely irritating that they never talked through anything. Their mode of operation seems to be to ignore everything and move on. It drives me nuts. You'll get to see how they solved the issue of his betrayal of her 12 years ago, and you'll see why I feel that way. I don't understand how they could have been back together the last 6 years and never have sat down and talked these things through.

I loved the glimpse we got of Clay's point of view (sort of). I felt it added nice perspective for that time period. I loved Clay in this book. Even though we saw him infrequently his presence was still felt. I hear the next book is about Paige. I hope, for both her sake and mine, that she isn't as irritating in that book as she was in this. I was on Clay's side about her and I loved the nickname he gave her. Xavier and Adam seemed like interesting characters and I hope to see more of them in the series.
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Reading Progress

07/27/2010
12.0% "Elena mentions she has been a werewolf for twelve years. Hadn't she only been a werewolf for six years in the first book? It has been six years?" 3 comments
07/28/2010 page 60
12.82% ""And I thought all werewolves were male. That's definitely not a guy." "Women's lib," I said. "We're everywhere now."" 4 comments
07/28/2010 page 107
23.0% "Where is the Clay and Elena time? Come on! I started this so soon to see how your relationship is."
07/28/2010 page 121
26.0% ""Country music. Damn. They'd resorted to torture already." - Lol!" 3 comments
07/28/2010 page 170
36.0% "I find this book a lot slower paced than Bitten. My attention keeps wandering. I was hoping for more Pack interaction and I'm pretty bored without it..."
07/28/2010 page 186
40.0% "I think bipolar Bauer is itching to take Elena's place."
07/28/2010 page 197
42.0% "It's getting good now. Things are speeding up and I just got an in depth look at Elena and her insecurities and her relationship with Clay."
07/28/2010 page 261
56.0% "Poor Elena. She's so cut off and isolated that it's bringing back all her old childhood insecurities. I think she's getting depressed." 4 comments
07/28/2010 page 286
61.0% "Oh man, this whole captive period is doing everything possible to force Elena to confront old fears. That doesn't mean she gets over them though..."
07/28/2010 page 287
61.0% "I really like Xavier. He better not let my expectations down. I have secret hopes about him!"
07/28/2010 page 324
69.0% "Who wouldn't want a guy like Clay? He would never stop searching for you." 12 comments

Comments (showing 1-22 of 22) (22 new)

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message 1: by Mel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel Catherine, good news (sort of): Stolen takes place either one or two years after Bitten, not six. In Bitten Elena mentions she's known Clay for over a decade. In Stolen I recall her saying something like that she was in Stonehaven for good for about a year now, but I can't find the page.
Anyway, not as bad as six years of no conscious relationship developing, right?


message 2: by Catherine (last edited Sep 29, 2010 01:36PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine Really? That is definitely better than six years! The reason I thought it had been six years was because (quoting one of my status updates here)...

"Elena mentions she has been a werewolf for twelve years. Hadn't she only been a werewolf for six years in the first book? It has been six years?"

Even with it being only two years I still feel their relationship has an odd on hold feel to it.


message 3: by Mel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel I think everything has an odd on hold feeling when it concerns Elena. She seems to have a head on approach with a lot of stuff, except when it concerns emotions. She's "head in the sand" when it comes to that.

I must say it didn't bother me as much regarding to her relationship with Clay. Their relationship has alwasy been more about actions than words. They've never been vocal and they don't need to be: Clay seems to know Elena better than she knows herself. She keeps lying to herself and whenever she 'finally admits' something to Clay, she mentions that it's no news to him. I believe the only reason why Elena needs to vocalize her thoughts is to really admit the truth to herself.

What did bug me (and I had trouble putting it in the right words for my review) was the fact that we see little emotional reaction corcerning all the shit going on in the book. I know Elena is trying to keep her cool but even after the trauma we saw too little. Maybe that's Elena's way but I as a reader needed a bit more closure!


message 4: by Catherine (last edited Sep 29, 2010 02:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine I agree that they're more apt to communicate more with actions than words, but when I was under the impression that it had been 6 years I was pretty pissed that her huge issue with how he turned her wasn't resolved in some way. Even though it has been less time than I supposed I'm still don't understand how she can compartmentalize like that. Their issues aren't resolved at all, they're just ignoring them. I can see that working for the short term, but years???

I agree that Elena was a little too...subdued? (not the right word) about what happened. That's why I was so upset that she didn't break down and talk about it once she was back with Clay. I just wanted to see her finally crack over it! It was disappointing for me. I wanted some resolution.


message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I can't remember if this was addressed in Bitten (it's been a while and I really should re-read it one day) but Clay bit Elena to change her into a werewolf against her will. He did it out of selfishness, not out of love for her (from what I remember - feel free to correct me). Females rarely survive the transformation, so when she survived, and found out what had happened, she was not a happy camper. I would say that Clay would have been in the doghouse for a long time and I agree with how Elena treated him. On Kelley Armstrong's website, there is a graphic novel called Beginnings which has Elena's transformation. If I recall correctly, Clay was not around during the transformation - Jeremy was.
I can understand why she has difficulty having an emotional connection to Clay. It does come in Broken and Frostbitten.


Catherine Thanks AH! I totally understand why she cannot get over her being forced into a world she didn't ask for with no warning. You're right, he did it for himself, not for her. I just want to see them deal with it. I can't read book after book with them and watch as they ignore the problems in their relationship. I want resolution!


message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH There is resolution - Broken and Frostbitten. And they are a fantastic couple by then.


message 8: by Catherine (last edited Sep 29, 2010 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine Yeah! That really makes me happy to hear that!

I have the third book, Dime Store Magic, but I've been hesitant to pick it up. I seem to have a problem quitting most series once I get a few books in, even when they go bad, so I was afraid to get stuck (through my own pressuring) reading about a couple that ends up frustrating me so much that I don't like them together anymore.


message 9: by Mel (last edited Sep 29, 2010 02:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel We need resolutions indeed.
I'm glad we get another revisting of Elena and Clay in Frostbitten. It's next up after Paige's books for me. I skipped Paige's books, but I did read books #5 till #9. Which reminds me: Broken helps solidify Elena and Clay's relationship, so I think you'll like it, Catherine.
As for Dime Store Magic: I know a lot of people hated Paige, so that's why I'm reluctant to start her books.


Catherine She did come off pretty bratty and irritating in this book. I hope she isn't like that in her book! So you didn't miss anything by skipping a book?


message 11: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH You don't miss by skipping in this series if you stick with the characters like Clay and Elena's book. They do appear in the other books, but as minor characters. So you can read as follows - Bitten, Stolen, Broken, Frostbitten, Men of the Otherworld (just to get inside Clay's head). Dime store magic and Industrial magic go together. Haunted could be a standalone. Then there are a few more books, but I can't remember them - they weren't that memorable to me. She also has lots of extras on her website.


Catherine Thanks, good to know! I thought they might need to be read in order even though they don't follow the same main h/h in each.


message 13: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH I remember being so confused when I read Haunted. I was like, where are Clay and Elena? Who is this Eve Levine? and why is she in Hell? And Kristoff? All these new characters. But they are necessary for Savannah's story later on but just as background.


Catherine I'll probably read the books in order anyway (because I feel compelled to) but it's good to know I can skip if I really end up hating someone!


message 15: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH Break that compulsion. Don't be OCD.


message 16: by Catherine (last edited Sep 29, 2010 03:11PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine I can't help it! I'm a work in progress! I've managed to break the OCD-ness occasionally.


message 17: by Mel (last edited Sep 29, 2010 03:16PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel I actually started the series with Eve's book. In it I learned about the Council, Jeremy being Jamie's crush, Paige and Lucas, the Cabals, etcetera. I probably would have enjoyed everything more if I already knew (of) them but Eve's book was a great read nonetheless and I really didn't feel like I missed anything.
After Eve I read Bitten and then Broken (#6) cause I didn't have Stolen at that time.
I read the short story Chaotic in the Dates From Hell anthology and totally fell in love with Karl Marsten. So I read Jamie's book (#7) to get to Hope's book (#8) and indulged in a little more Karl in the ninth book, too.
So if you end up hating Paige, I heard she gets better in the fourth book. If you still don't like her, you'll love Eve.
Or you could always skip to the werewolf books.


Catherine Look at you skipping around all over the place! I wish I could do that without getting all neurotic.


message 19: by Mel (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mel Funny thing is: normally I don't. I HAVE to read books in order. But the WotO series was my first UF series and at the time I was completely at my sister's mercy: I read whatever she gave me and she started with Haunted, then gave be Bitten in Dutch (which I reread in English a year later) and then told me she had sold Stolen so I was just going to have to make do with whathever she still had in her shelves.
Thank God I'm self sufficient nowadays... :)


Catherine LOL! That would make it hard. For many years my reading material was subject to my sister's whims. Thank goodness that's over!


message 21: by AH (new) - rated it 5 stars

AH See Mel read out of order and no anvil fell out of the sky (a la Coyote and Roadrunner). (My kids are a little OCD and when they do something out of order I always say - see nothing fell out of the sky cos you went out of order)


Catherine LOL.


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