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Audio Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Title: Bitten
Series: Women of the Otherworld #1
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Narrator: Aasne Vigesaa
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Format: MP3, 12hrs 59mins.
Published: June 27, 2008.
ISBN #: 9781593350604 / 1593350600
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: bought
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Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.



I finished listening to this audiobook a few weeks ago and have been procrastinating on writing my review ever since. Not because I couldn’t find the words but because, well, how does one critique their all-time favorite werewolf novel without turning into the biggest, squealing fan girl ever? Not to mention, the added pressure of reviewing a story that I’ve been raving about and recommending to everyone who’ll listen since the first time I read it. I’ve concluded that: it’s impossible, so I’m just going to start typing and see where I end up!

The characters in the Women of the Otherworld series, more specifically those of the North American werewolf pack, are some of the most life-like in paranormal fiction. Their distinct personalities, histories and preternatural traits are so far reaching and palpable that you’ll find yourself thinking like a wolf in no time. Kelley Armstrong’s knack for getting inside their heads (both human and animal) will blow you away. Many shifter novels make the mistake of not using were-characters to their full potential. That’s definitely not the case with this book, it screams “wolf”. Reading Bitten is like being front and center to the best National Geographic documentary ever made. Except you get to experience it first hand by seeing the story unfold through the eyes of a werewolf.

I wasn’t big on Urban Fantasy back when this book originally came out in 2001 but I think that it’s safe to say that Armstrong is one of the authors responsible for bringing this genre to the forefront and for making it what it is today. I see glimpses of Elena in so many of the newer heroines and there’s a reason for that. She’s strong, fiercely independent and a natural leader. I adore reading from her point of view. Her snark and wit are unmistakable and really come through in Kelley’s writing. The audiobook amps this aspect up even more so too! I thought the characters in Bitten were lively when I read it the first time around but listening to the story is a whole other experience. I felt like I was there! Literally!

There are also so many underlying themes in this book aside from the obvious werewolf drama. Elena is struggling to keep her humanity, Jeremy is learning what it means to be a true alpha, and Clay well… He appears to be simple minded on the surface but read Armstrong’s anthologies and you’ll quickly realize that that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s also an undercurrent of sexism in Bitten. Werewolf society hasn’t exactly progressed with the times; they still believe that women are good for making babies, following orders and that’s it. Luckily Elena is just the girl to give all of these wolves the reality check that they need! Only now that I’m going back and re-reading this series am I realizing how connected the overall story really is. Questions that I never knew I had the first time around are resurfacing and being answered.

The plot’s brilliant, the pacing is stellar and the writing is phenomenal. Being the werewolf connoisseur that I am; I’ve often contemplated writing my own book in order to do my wolfish friends justice but who am I kidding? Bitten is that book. I couldn’t write a better story even if I tried. I formally acknowledge Kelley Armstrong as being the queen of the wolves! I will never, ever get sick of this book. Ever.


Books in this series:

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Review

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Review

Recommendation: Ideal for the werewolf obsessed, dynamic couple lovers and/or Canadian author supporters.
Like this, like that: Shifters series by Rachel Vincent, Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and Tales of an Urban Werewolf series by Karen MacInerney.

Kelley Armstrong Reading Challenge



Carmel Signature

Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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19 Comments

  1. Hi-this series is one of my favorites too. I collected the books because I just loved it and Clay & Elena are still fav even after reading other series. I love all the extra novellas and stuff too. I’m sad it’s ending this year, but there is always re-reads.

  2. I’m glad you liked it and was able to get a copy. I plan on checking this one out from my library soon.

  3. Bitten is a long-time favorite of mine too. I agree that Kelly Armstrong helped lay the foundation for today’s Urban Fantasy genre. Loved the review and it was reassuring to me to know that the story didn’t falter in an audible format — some stories just don’t seem to stand up to being read out loud. And of course, casting is everything! Thanks for another solid review (and you didn’t squeal once!)

  4. @Laurie I wish there were more books with Clay & Elena instead of the witches but I’m enjoying the re-read!

  5. @Jennifer@The Book Nympho This was one of the only ones I could actually get on Audible. I was hoping for Stolen too but, oh well!

  6. @DANI HARPER I’m so proud of myself for writing a relatively coherent review of this one, and one that does it justice (I hope).

  7. I love Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. Clay & Elena are such a hot couple.

  8. I was just re-reading this book the other night. I had almost forgotten how amazing it is- I love anything Kelley Armstrong writes. Love your review of this!

  9. I need to read this series. I am reading The Gathering right now..lovely review!

  10. @emmameade83 That they are!

  11. @Sally@Always Lost in Stories Same here. Thanks for commenting!

  12. @kimba88 Absolutely and pronto! :P

  13. Fantastic review. I’ve read this book twice, not counting the times that I pick it up just to skim to my favorite parts. Best werewolf book ever written.

  14. Excellent job again! and 2 of my favorite audiobooks ever are from this series, when ever you get a chance I highly recommend the audio version of Men of the Otherworld and Tales of the Otherworld. I know you read them already but the audiobooks are fantastic and a great way to revisit.

  15. @Addicted2Heroines It is the best werewolf book ever written! I’m also glad that I’m not the only one who thinks so!

  16. @Lupdilup Luckily for me, both the anthologies are available on Audible to Canadians so I might give them a go in a few months. I loved reading them, I’m sure listening to them will be even better!

  17. I have to agree – Kelley Armstrong’s werewolves are the best ever written. I <3 them, in their own stories and when they make appearances in other folks’ stories.

  18. @Mandi Kaye Yay! Another Kelley Armstrong fan. Thanks for commenting! :)

  19. haha! I actually think my upcoming review of Bitten will make me sound like the biggest squealing fan girl ever :P hehe!

    I definitely agree with you, Kelley was definitely one of the authors who helped bring the Urban Fantasy genre where it is today.

    I can only imagine how it must have felt listening to the book this time. I know I would get goosebumps as all the books with Elena as the narrator really got to me compared to the others.

    I’ll never get sick with this series!

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful post and for participating in the reading challenge! You rock Carmel!

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