I will preface my review by saying that I do not like were stories. I find them brutish, dim, and dull. Naturally, upon discovering that this book was about weres, I placed it right back onto the shelves and kept walking. Two years later I happened upon a marvelous new YA series called Darkest Powers written by none other than Kelley Armstrong. I was enthralled with Armstrong’s ability to create a world so palpable that I felt as though I could reach out and touch the characters. She even swayed my stubborn mind to find a fascination for a few supernatural species that I once hated. After quickly devouring the two books within the Darkest Powers series, I decided to set my sights ahead to her adult fiction works. As Bitten is the first book of her Women of the Otherworld series, I had to bite the perverbial bullet, set my discriminating thoughts about weres aside, and immerse myself in the mind of the one and only female werewolf. I l.o.v.e.d. it! I won’t summarize the book, others have done that much better than I ever could, but I will touch on a few hi-lights.
Elena is an admirable heroine. Riddled with flaws and self doubt, she provides a narrative that is so honest, despite her lack of self awareness, and so endearing, that you can’t help but like her. She isn’t “nice”, on the contrary, she is snarky, moody, aggressive, and a tad bit self involved. However, knowing her background allows readers, or rather, allowed me to understand these traits and sympathize with her logic. I wanted to shake her at times, I gritted my teeth more than once, but she wasn’t despicable and she certainly isn’t meek as so many heroines often are. In fact, she even kicks a little arse and the men of The Pack view her as an equal as does her love interest, Clay.
Clay, what can I say about Clay? He just might eclipse my fictional husband, Jace Wayland. Clay is intelligent, and yes, he’s good looking, temperamental, witty, loyal and honest. These traits alone would make a girl swoon, but even more appealing is his possession of a child like exuberance that is so disarming it gave me butterflies. I know, spoken like a true sap. From the moment I was introduced to him in this story, I knew two things, he was utterly and irrevocably in love with Elena and that I was going to like him, a lot. I was right.
Bitten contains a tight, cohesive and compelling plot, but more importantly, it contains well developed, winning characters that I won’t soon forget. Elena’s path of self discovery is woven beautifully throughout the book and I can’t wait to read more about her, Clay and The Pack.