Monday, February 23, 2015

Bitten, Kelley Armstrong

I recently finished Bitten, a urban fantasy novel by Kelley Armstrong. This book had been recommended to me awhile ago and I finally got around to reading it. This book was not what I expected. It surprised me at almost every turn. The TV series is quite different.

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.

Like I said, this book surprised me. I wasn't expecting it to be so outwardly romantic which in retrospect sounds ridiculous. Anyways, Elena's an awesome character and she changes so much throughout the novel which I loved. In the beginning she is constantly trying to shrink herself down -- something very much in line with what a lot of women do. With Phillip she gets to be normal but she doesn't get to be herself. That is something I found pretty disturbing but quite realistic. And then, when she is called away, back to Stonehaven, she almost does a 180. And ends up hooking up with her ex-boyfriend/ex-fiance--the first night. That I found was shocking and not what I was expecting after watching the series on TV. Personally, their relationship I found unsettling. Mostly because as you find out, he is anything but the perfect boyfriend.

I don't really like their relationship. Much. I don't like how fast it was for Elena to hook up with Clay. I was kind of disappointed in that. But at the same time it makes her more real--more imperfect I guess. And it is pretty clear right from the get go that she and Clay have a lot of history-Philip, though nice-ish is more a rebound than anything else. To be honest, I don't really like Philip, he's kinda controlling and when Elena's with him she's always trying to shrink down. I don't like that. It is sad to read.

Her hold in the human world was all but gone when she stepped foot into Stonehaven which was different from how she acted in the TV series. In the TV series she holds on tight to that part of herself and stays away from Clay for as long as she can. While in the book, it is more like she splits up her life; she lives two lives, and steps into the one at Stonehaven completely, almost seamlessly.

Kelley Armstrong is a really great author. I adored her clear and definitive writing style as well as I loved the way that the Pack is so accurately depicted as a wolf pack. The behavior of the individuals is so much like a pack, it is almost strange to read about because it is so well done.

This book was good--full of adventure and romance, a strong story and character growth.
I'm really curious to see how it turns out. What happens next.  

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