Audio Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
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
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.
||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.