Sunday, 23 August 2009

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

In "Bitten" Kelley Armstrong brings us the story of a woman named Elena Michaels who is young, beautiful and successful. She is also a werewolf. In this world all born werewolves are male, as only men can carry the gene, it is only in being bitten that a woman can become a werewolf, and prior to Elena, no woman had survived the change (as many do not, werewolves don't usually leave their victims alive after biting them). This leaves Elena in an interesting situation, being the only female werewolf. Having not chosen the lifestyle that was thrust upon her when she was bitten, Elena leaves her werewolf pack to have a "normal" human life in Toronto Canada. She has a human fiance, a normal job, and despite the necessity to change into a wolf once a week, she lives a normal life. Elena tries hard to fit into the mold of normal human, until she gets a phone call from someone from her past, someone she can't say "no" to...

This book is an intriguing read and has some great characters who are relatable and seem very real, unfortunately I found it a bit difficult to relate to the main character. The story is good enough and the ending made the other issues I had with the book worth reading it.

Character development for Jeremy and Clay makes them far more interesting characters. While Clay has plenty of flaws and seems almost inhuman at times, the emotion and sacrifices he makes for those he loves makes him relatable and in the end, an unlikely hero. Jeremy is the ultimate parental figure, always with Elena's best interests at heart, he loves and cares for the members of his pack more then he cares for himself. This proves that Armstrong is talented in developing characters and making you love them, and feel what they are feeling. It's just in her portrayal of Elena that I felt there was much to be desired.

Elena is off putting in her grumpy attitude about everything. She often comes off as a whinny child not getting her way. I found myself thinking"a terrible thing happened and now you're a werewolf, it's been 11 years, get over it". No one has ever been anything but kind and accepting of her. She takes out her bad mood and sulky attitude on everyone. As far as Clay goes, it's more deserved, but Jeremy and the other characters hardly deserve it. They are nothing but kind and inviting to a woman in a place where no woman has been before, and it could be argued that no woman ever belongs. Honestly, it made me wonder if she is worth the trouble at all. Elena really only provides one unique quality, sex. Being the only female werewolf on the planet, her gender grants her a license to be a total jerk. The pack certainly would not put up with the same behavior from a male.

I was ready to not like this book, but the ending really saved it for me. While all I said in the above paragraph was definitely true, I came out of this book liking it. By the end of the book Elena had grown up and seemingly accepted her fate, and there was hope of a better attitude from what could be a strong female character that I wanted so badly to root for.

Bottom Line: A decent read. While the main character was sort of off putting initially, the supporting characters and charter development is good. I'd recommend giving it a try. Plus, there are so many books about vampires, it's nice to read something that is a bit different!


Phronk said...

I'm intrigued by this one. I didn't read the spoilers, but the premise, Canadian setting, and hint of a good ending really make me want to read it. Thanks for the review!

Hey Lady! said...

It's a decent read, you may like it. If you do decide to check it out, let me know what you think, I'd like to hear a guy's perspective.