As you no doubt know, either because you’re a fan of them or because you’ve read my blogs of lament, Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Other World series is coming to an end this month.
In thirteen days to be exact.
13 will be released on 24 July and I thought; ‘this needs to be celebrated’. So, for the next few days I will be posting a review of each of the books Bitten to Spellbound until the final book hits bookstores and bookshelves.
So, from today until the 23 July, the day before the release, be careful because this blog will become a portal into Armstrong’s amazing world of the supernatural, you’ll encounter werewolves, vampires, demons, half demons, ghosts, witches and sorcerers. Yet there will be more dangerous creatures filtering from the Otherworld into this; spoilers.
Be warned dear reader, this is a true celebration of Armstrong’s world, a celebration of her epic characters and her genius plot, those nifty little twists that make it such an exciting world to be a part of and even some general ideas that she explores over the course of her finest achievement.
So today let us start today with Bitten.
It introduced to us the series’ most complex yet loveable protagonist; Elena Michaels. She’s blonde, athletic, smart, funny and turns into a fearsome wolf at least once a week. As a foster child her past has been a turbulent one and she thought life was about to get so much better when she met Clay, until the bastard bit her and turned her into the world’s first and only female werewolf.
It’s been a good few years since she left the pack, giving up their company in order to live out a normal life, or as normal as you can get when you have to change into a wolf every so often.
A series of events draw her back into the world she has been trying so hard to avoid, which inevitably means coming face to face with her one time lover, the blonde haired, blue-eyed man who brought her into the world of werewolves. Yet her homecoming is marred by the deaths of old friends and the resurgence of mutts (werewolves who aren’t a part of the pack).
It quickly becomes apparent that she is a conflicted character, she feels more at home with the pack than anywhere else, they’ll accept her for who she is no matter what, yet logic tells her that she should be living in the normal world and continuing with the life she has created for herself. But which life is it she wants?
Who is it she wants?
With Elena, Armstrong made feminists everywhere cheer, she’s a strong main character who has a believable development with a strength that most female (and male for that matter) characters lack. She jumps to humour no matter the situation and if she gets herself into trouble you can be certain that she’ll get herself out of it. No men needed thank you very much.
In fact this is one of the strongest books of the series. everything about Bitten keeps you hooked, the characters, the plot, the way Armstrong writes and even the humour. The author has a unique way of looking at things, she makes a point and sticks with it even if it might be controversial.
The book deals with murderers and Armstrong makes the point of saying that werewolves that kill humans do so because they’re part human not part animal. Which is pretty thought-provoking right? If you think about it animals only kill what they need to survive, humans kill because of emotion and (if you bring the food industry into this) humans kill in excess, taking more than we need.
It’s ideas and dialogue like this that make Elena Michaels (and therefore Bitten itself) such a treasure. Very rarely do you get a character so strong and so memorable and so loveable. She might be a werewolf but you can relate to her.
The story develops at the right pace and concludes correctly with *SPOILERS* Elena choosing to go back to the pack. Each character is loveable, even Clay despite his anti-social behaviour, and you’re left wanting more of this brilliant book, more of its characters, more of the writing. All in all you’re left desperate for more of the Otherworld