Willow 's Reviews > Bitten

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
4529669
's review
Apr 22, 12

bookshelves: werewolf
Read from March 07 to 20, 2012

Sheesh, I don’t know what kind of review to give this book. I get the feeling I’m going to be way too harsh. I’m still angry with this book because it wasn’t even close to being as good as Armstrong’s Darkest Power series. I had such high hopes. I thought I had found my new favorite author. I know this is one of Armstrong’s first books, and for that reason I should give her some slack, but I probably haven’t.

First off, it’s SO slow. There’s so little suspense. In the Darkest Powers series, Armstrong piled on the mystery, creating one question after question, yet rarely answering any of them. I was hanging on for dear life with that series. Not in Bitten though. There is no mystery. Everything is laid out in a massive info dump that goes on for nearly a hundred and twenty pages. I’ve read lengthy explanations about werewolf society, Elena’s boring past, and Pack dynamics. Elena reflects on her life over and over again (yawn) all the while the story goes nowhere.

Another suspense killer is the lack of danger. I never once worried about any of the characters until maybe page 300. Elena and her boys are top dogs. The villains aren’t that big of a threat, expect maybe for (view spoiler) In fact, the pack seems just as ruthless as the bad guys. Elena calls the mutts "Werewolf Mafia,' but actually the pack is the mafia?.

There’s also very little sexual tension and conflict between Clay and Elena. We know Clay wants her bad and she wants him. She’s just being pissy about the fact that (view spoiler) They have a lot of sex with each other, but there’s no tension. It would have been more exciting if Elena had fallen for a mutt.

And with no suspense to keep me preoccupied, I starting thinking about the unanswered questions in Armstrong’s world. Like for instance, how does Elena know there are only about 35 werewolves in the world? What do they do, keep GPS trackers on everybody? After all, the world’s pretty big. There could be a secret pack hidden in Tibet, or maybe a stray in the Boreal forest in Russia. The fact that the pack are the top dogs of the entire frickin' werewolf world is just annoying. Just like Elena is supposedly the only werewolf female. How does she know? Her confidence about this just makes her seem incredibly cocky and short-sighted.


Of course, this could also be due to the fact that I didn't like Elena. I think she’s a user. She knows Clay loves her, but she doesn’t want to be with him. So what does she do? She keeps sleeping with him, and then treating him like dirt. It’s no wonder the guy is confused. Then she lies to her human lover Phillip, stringing him along. Towards the end, I felt sorry for Phillip. If a guy acted like this, readers would say he’s an asshole, and they’d be right. So how does Elena get off that easy? She's a Mary Sue, that's how. If just one character had told Elena off, I would have forgiven her. I actually like bitch characters. But since the whole pack just kisses her butt, she annoyed the crap out me. A character can be bitch, but at least have someone call her on it.

Then there’s Clay, who’s the Southern psychopath. He tends to follow Elena around like a puppy. Why he has a Southern accent, I’ll never know? Yes he was found as a child living feral in the Louisiana Bijou, but that was years ago. He’s been living with Jeremy in New York his whole teenage and adult life. Don’t you think his accent would be gone by now? Actually the only Southern thing he says is ‘darling,' which seemed out of place for me. I’m convinced Armstrong based Clay off of Josh Holloway. I actually didn’t mind Clay. In fact, I think he deserved better than Elena. (view spoiler)

Anyway, I'm giving this three stars. I won't be reading book 2. I may read another series by Armstrong though.



10 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Bitten.
sign in »

Reading Progress

03/08/2012 page 53
12.0%
show 5 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I haven't tried this series because it's so bloody long & I'm not a great were-fan anyway, so investing that much time is a low priority. But there's one I'm interested in...something about Jack the Ripper, but I can't remember which title. It's an early installment.

And isn't that "only female werewolf" schtick part of the Kitty Norville series too?


Willow Sarah wrote: "I haven't tried this series because it's so bloody long & I'm not a great were-fan anyway, so investing that much time is a low priority. But there's one I'm interested in...something about Jack th..."

I love werewolves. But I have yet to find the ultimate book.

The Jack the Ripper thing does sound interesting. I'm not sure I'll be finishing this series though. I'm just not that intrigued with Elena, Clay and the pack. And there are so many other books I'm dying to read.

Is it just me? I always think it’s kind of weird that so many of these paranormal books have a bunch of guys living together all chummy like? I think that much togetherness would drive me insane. They way the pack is described, it sounds horribly stultifying. The author tries to make it sound good, emphasizing family togetherness, but I just don’t see it. I would want to get the hell out of there. Maybe I’m too much of a loner.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I've always been a vamp girl. :D (Well, vamps & zombies...but I prefer to watch zombies onscreen.) I also enjoy dark fey/faerie paranormals. But I've never gotten into weres or skinwalkers. I don't mind them as supplemental characters or a part of the supernatural worldbuilding, but for whatever reason I've yet to read a were-centric book I really liked.

As for the clan thing...it does seem rather odd, given the animalistic heritage. Wouldn't a wolf pack would be more like a harem? If any group was to share space then I'd think it would be the one male/many females setup rather than a bunch of male weres living in close quarters.

I'd make a crappy werewolf, anyway. They're much too active for my taste. I'd need a more sedentary supernatural lifestyle, like a vampire queen or something. :D


Willow Sarah wrote: "I've always been a vamp girl. :D (Well, vamps & zombies...but I prefer to watch zombies onscreen.) I also enjoy dark fey/faerie paranormals. But I've never gotten into weres or skinwalkers. I ..."

Yes, I'm definitely more of a night person myself. LOL

I’m actually, probably being harder on this book then I should be. Technically, not everyone in the pack lived in the same house in Bitten. I just started thinking about other paranormal series like The Brotherhood of the Dagger, and Lora Leigh’s ‘Breed’ series. Everybody lives together in those stories and they all get along. I’d be ready to kill someone. LOL


Julia  Another great review after my own heart, though you either liked this more than I did or are a more generous rater. I rated this book 2 stars because it dragged for me and I never found myself caring about the characters. It was well written but underwhelming. I'm also definitely a vamp girl, and uninterested in weres.


Willow Julia wrote: " Another great review after my own heart, though you either liked this more than I did or are a more generous rater. I rated this book 2 stars because it dragged for me and I never found myself car..."

You know, this was one of my first reviews and I was still leery of giving bad reviews back then. I probably would give this only 2 stars now, because you're right. It did drag, and there were so many things I didn't like about it.


Julia I've actually gone back and lowered many of my ratings, especially in genres I started reading more recently. There are whole series I wouldn't continue now that I once devoured. Especially when it comes to PNR.


message 8: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Julia wrote: "I've actually gone back and lowered many of my ratings, especially in genres I started reading more recently. There are whole series I wouldn't continue now that I once devoured. Especially when it..."

I've done that too. *nod* I've also abandoned some series altogether. It's like I woke up one day & said WTF am I reading this? I don't even like it! But PNR is especially difficult to keep fresh & the writing averages 'meh' to terrible. Only a few really stand out, y'know?


Julia So true. I'm a hoarder by nature, and I tend to save the best for last, whether it's food, clothing, or a highly rated PNR series. I have a handful of the latter that I've been collecting but not reading, and I keep adding to that collection, though since 2011, only with ebooks once I got my kindle. As a result so much of the PNR I have read in the past few years is mediocre at best.

I love vampires so much that I will read about them even when the books have little else to recommend them. But I recently decided to break my 'finish every book' rule because of how bad PNR tends to be...not that other romance is much better. Well, and also because I read a fair number of indie authors and free books, which are very hit or miss.

On the one hand, I'm thrilled that vampires and paranormal creatures are more mainstream now because it means there's so much more media about them, but on the other hand, I tend to dislike many things mainstream and popularity nearly always means a reduction in overall quality. Plus awful phenomena like Twilight.


message 10: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Julia wrote: "On the one hand, I'm thrilled that vampires and paranormal creatures are more mainstream now because it means there's so much more media about them, but on the other hand, I tend to dislike many things mainstream and popularity nearly always means a reduction in overall quality. "

Agreed 100%. I love my vampire stories, but books like Twilight & other crappy PNRs have de-fanged vamps, so to speak. I'm fine with PNR creatures being the romantic lead, but they need to be DANGEROUS -- particularly vamps.

I love to put off reading books that I suspect are awesome. I've got a Pile o' Likely Crap that I insist on reading from even though I continue to collect others that are superior in quality. Weird. But I rarely weed anything out unread -- I have to at least give it 50 pages.


message 11: by Mags (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mags I just thought I'd point out that once the second book happens, we meet other supernaturals, including vampires. (They never have their own story, because Armstrong felt there were enough vampire stories), but they are intriguing characters. I'm not saying read the second one, but there are only three more, of thirteen, that centers on the wolves (and the Jack the Ripper one is "Broken")


Willow Mags wrote: "I just thought I'd point out that once the second book happens, we meet other supernaturals, including vampires. (They never have their own story, because Armstrong felt there were enough vampire s..."

You know, I believe this series does get a lot better, simply because this was Armstrong's first book. I loved her The Awakening series. If only I liked the characters better, I would continue.


back to top