Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

Bitten
Kelley Armstrong
Seal Books
Copyright Date: 2001
978-0770429096

The jacket blurb:
Elena...The Werewolf

Living in Toronto for a year, Elena is leading the normal life she has always dreamed of, including a stable job as a journalist and a nice apartment shared with her boyfriend. As the lone female werewolf in existence, only her secret midnight prowls and her occasional inhuman cravings set her apart. Just one year ago, life was very different. Adopted by the Pack when bitten, Elena had spent years struggling with her resentment at having her life stolen away. Torn between two worlds and overwhelmed by the new passions coursing through her body, her only option for control was to deny her awakening needs and escape.

But now the Pack has called Elena home to help them fight an alliance of renegade werewolves who are bent on exposing and annihilating the Pack. And although Elena is obliged to rejoin her “family,” she vows not to be swept up in Pack life again, no matter how natural it might feel. She has made her choice. Trouble is, she's increasingly uncertain if it's the right one.

Bitten is the first book of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series, which is very popular among fans of urban fantasy/paranormal novels. The book focuses on Elena, the only female werewolf and her struggles to make a life for herself away from the Pack. However, she gets drawn back in order to solve a bit of a mystery. I suspect the remaining books in the series are centered on other characters and other aspects of the otherworld.

Kelley Armstrong has a knack for descriptions:
He looked every day of his sixty-two years, his body's revenge for fifty years of being subjected to every stress test known to man.
That's one thing about the book I liked, as also her well-created characters. On the other hand, I (and I don't know Toronto at all) didn't see anything in her descriptions of the city that especially marked Armstrong's Toronto as the Toronto of this world. No street names or anything. That could be my lack of knowledge though. Admittedly, much of the action in the story isn't anywhere near Toronto, either, just the beginning and part of the end of the book.

While I found the book to be quite good, I don't have a burning desire to find the next book in the series. To be honest, I was expecting that result, as this was the second time I've purchased a copy of Bitten, and I've had this copy for over a year.

However, as I've already stated, the series is very popular, and has been recommended to me by several people. What's more, the books are being re-printed with fancy new covers in a trade paperback format, rather than the older mass market style. I'm not sure which I prefer, actually. I have the older one, but the new covers are pretty neat too.

I'm considering Bitten to fill another requirement for the What's In A Name Challenge: the requirement for a title to be a medical condition.
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