Review: Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #2
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Published: August 25, 2009
ISBN #: 9780452296664 / 0452296668
Genre: Urban Fantasy
My Copy: bought
In the tradition of Laurell K. Hamilton, a deliciously wicked sequel to Bitten, from Canada’s new queen of suspense.
Even though she’s the world’s only female werewolf, Elena Michaels is just a regular girl at heart — with larger than normal appetites. She sticks to three feasts a day, loves long runs in the moonlight, and has a lover who is unbelievable frustrating yet all the more sexy for his dark side. Like every regular girl, she certainly doesn’t believe in witches. Then again, when two small, ridiculously feminine women manage to hurl her against a wall, and then save her from the hunters on her tail, Elena realizes that maybe there are more things in heaven and earth than she’s dreamt of.
Vampires, demons, shamans, witches — in Stolen they all exist, and they’re all under attack. An obsessed tycoon with a sick curiosity is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals, and plans to harness their powers for himself — even if it means killing them. For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, separated from her Pack, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death.
This book is one of the most important installments of this series in my opinion. Kelley Armstrong’s world grows by tenfold with the introduction of the various preternatural characters that’ll make up the Women of the Otherworld universe. Most of these werewolves, witches, demons and sorcerers get their own books or at the very least, make appearances throughout this series. Elena, my favorite female werewolf, is once again front-and-center as the narrator of this tale and the villain is the kind of guy who you just love to hate.
Elena is forced to rely on her wits and cunning after being kidnapped and separated from her pack. This bare-bones environment allows her personality to really shine through. It’s refreshing to see a female character actually grow stronger as a result of being separated from her mate. Clay’s awesome in his own right but Stolen proves that Elena is equally as impressive if not more so. Michaels plays mind games with her captors and fellow prisoners in order to identify ally from foe. I really enjoyed watching her mind’s cogwheels turn while she pondered her best course of action. This werewolf is tested on all fronts in this novel. Her decisions sometimes go against her morals but when the prize is freedom, sacrifices need to be made.
Kelley Armstrong couldn’t have picked a better way of introducing her cast of supernaturals. The various breeds are literally put on display in glass “showcases”. The resident scientists are studying these abnormalities and as a result, we learn their findings as the story progresses. I found that this was a clever way of listing each preternatural’s traits; instead of a dull information dump, it’s entertaining and helps the story to move forward. We meet two important characters in this installment: Paige Winterbourne and Savannah Levine. Book three, Dime Store Magic, features the first witch while the latter makes appearances throughout this series but doesn’t actually get her own story until book eleven in Waking The Witch. Re-reading these novels is allowing me to pick-up extra details that I missed the first time around. I’m falling in love with the Women of the Otherworld all over again!
Tyrone Winsloe is a rich, powerful tycoon with an ego to match but all of these traits also make him an excellent villain. He’s beyond warped which made his character all the more fun to read. Just when you think that you’ve seen it all, Tye pulls something completely unexpected and heinous out of his bag of tricks. I was happy that he got his just deserts in the end but I enjoyed the ride all the same. Clay plays a much smaller role in this book but I couldn’t write my review without mentioning him in some way. Danvers is caught between a rock and a hard place; on one side he must obey his alpha but on the other he’ll do anything to get Elena back. Tough call. On a good day, Clay’s not exactly the most stable person so it was interesting to watch him trying to stay cool under pressure and use his brain instead of his muscles. Even when Elena was in her darkest hour she knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he would come for her. This is just one of the many reasons why I love this power duo.
Bitten and Stolen are two of my all-time favorite werewolf books. You won’t find an author who’s more capable of capturing the true essence of what it means to be a wolf in human clothing than Kelley Armstrong.
||Ideal for the werewolf obsessed, dynamic couple lovers and/or Canadian author supporters.
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