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Bitten - Kelley Armstrong

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Author: Kelley Armstrong / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 06 May 2010 / Genre: Fantasy / Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Title: Bitten / ISBN 13: 9781841499185 / ISBN 10: 1841499185

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    9 Reviews
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      13.04.2011 00:56
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      A good start to a promising career for Armstrong!

      Elena Michaels is the only known female werewolf in existance. And that makes her a valuable commodity. This is because though male lycanthropy is genetic and passed from one generation to the next, female werewolves have to be created and not many humans can survive a werewolf bite! After all, a werewolf does not go after someone with the intent to tickle but fully to kill.....and rip...and maim.....

      Elena is struggling with her existance. In denial, she has abandoned her pack and is striving to make her way in the human world as an ordinary mortal. She has a job and an apartment and lives with an unsuspecting partner. But when her Pack's Alpha, Jeremy, begins pestering her to come back, she knows something must be wrong!

      A couple of Mutts, werewolves with no pack loyalty, are planning a coup. They want to overthrow Jeremy, create a new heirachy and start a fresh generation of werewolves with no morals or compunction. But two of their recent converts are killers; a murderer and a paedophile, nasty outcasts who have been rejected by moral society, and these killers have their own ideas and plans.....

      As Elena struggles to discover who she really is and to develop acceptance of her condition, she finds herself being forced to make a number of choices. One of those is to choose whether to spend the rest of her life with Clay, the wolf who bit her and her one-time lover. Another is whether or not to return to her human life.....full of secrets and lies about what she really is!

      Meanwhile, thanks to the Mutts, the local Police have begun to take a keen interest in the pack and their secluded home of Stonehaven; their country retreat that keeps them distant from the locals. And there is the fact that the mutts are very, very keen on getting their hands on Elena too.....

      What follows is a highly accomplished supernatural thriller that has all the hallmarks of Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series and is faintly familiar of Laurell.K.Hamilton's writing before she became obsessed with sex and her novels a bit...well, crap!

      Kelley Armstrong gets off to a sytrong start with her debut novel and really sets the pace. Certainly this book achieves that rare thing; making you want to read even more about the characters and leaving you suitably intrigued as to which direction the story might take next....

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      10.08.2010 20:52

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      One of my favourite urban fantasy novels!

      At the start of the book, Elena is trying to live a normal life in Toronto, despite the fact that she is the only female werewolf in the world. She lives with her boyfriend Philip (who knows nothing about her being a werewolf), and she has a normal job. But it is obvious that Elena feels uncomfortable in this world and doesn't know how to act 'normally'. She acts in a way that she thinks Philip would like, even though that isn't the real Elena. I felt really sorry for her at this point as I don't think anybody can be very happy if they are not able to be themselves and feel as though they have to watch every word they say and every move they make.
      Then she gets a call from Jeremy, the Alpha male of the Pack that she left a year ago, and Elena ends up having to go to Stonehaven where the Pack lives. It is here that she meets up again with Clay, the ex-boyfriend who turned her into a werewolf against her will. I think the romance element between Elena and Clay was brilliant. Elena has a lot of bad feelings towards Clay but she keeps finding herself in bed with him. However, Clay obviously loves Elena and would do anything for her. They spend a lot of time fighting but they are always there for each other and there is an incredible amount of sexual chemistry between them. I found myself desperately hoping that they would work out their differences as they really do belong together.
      Elena has to go back to Stonehaven to help catch a rogue werewolf who has been killing humans in the area. The Pack then have to find out who is behind the killings before any attention is drawn to them. The mystery side of the story was fast-paced and well written, with lots of twists and turns that made me have to keep turning the pages to find out what would happen next. Once I started 'Bitten' I just couldn't put it down and it is one of my favourite Urban Fantasy books that I have read so far.

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      12.07.2010 16:48
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      a gripping novel

      I bought this book last year when looking for a new book to get me interested in reading again, The book is 448 pages long and covers the life of a woman called Elena Michaels, she is currently the only female werewolf in the world but has decided to try a normal life within the city. Ever science being young she has dreamt of having a family of her own and getting married. Since being bitten by her college sweet heart Clay this has lead to some complications to her achieving this; however she does a good job to put this behind her and to be "human".

      A while in to the plot of the novel Elena is called by her old werewolf pack to say that they are in trouble and are in need of her help. When
      telling her current boyfriend that a distant relative is unwell he persuades her to go and see them little does he know the truth about her pack family and the real trouble that there is.

      Elena goes to the pack reluctantly so give them her help then to return home to the life that she has made herself. Throughout helping them she has to help track down some new werewolf's that are causing havoc in the city that the were wolves live.

      Thought out the novel Elena goes thought a number of different events to learn who she is and the life that she wants, involving love lust, lies, lots of gore and adventure! I must admit that this book is a must read and that you will find it nearly impossible to put the book down.

      Book: Bitten (the first book of the other world series
      Author: Kelly Armstrong
      Price: £6.99 from Waterstones

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        26.08.2009 17:42
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        Pack werewolves vs mutts

        This is the first in the Women of the Otherworld series. Elena Michaels is the only female werewolf in the world, she was turned against her will by her fiancé Clay. For ten years she stayed with the pack Clay belonged too. But found she had to get out. So Elena made a life for herself in Toronto, just a regular women living her day to day life, going to work and enjoying her life, except for having the urge to Change every so often and run. Life is good for Elena until she gets a message from Jeremy, the pack leader saying there is trouble. The pack are under attack by a group of mutt werewolves who have turned dangerous criminals into werewolves. So she packs herself off to New York to help her friends. She won't stop at anything to save her pack. Elena struggles with her desire to stay in New York or separate herself from the pack, but one person helps her see what she needs to do.

        This is a re-read for me, loved it the first time and needed to go back to it, not only because I enjoyed it, but because Kelley is bringing out another instalment to the Women of the Underworld which takes us back to the Werewolves Pack. There was everything in this book, action, romance and a bit of comedy. You feel every bit of emotion going on throughout the book, what with Elena's struggle with what she wants and the attacks she and the pack have to overcome, I did find myself with tears in my eyes at times!! The relationships Elena has with the Pack, although she does struggle to see it at first, are just like a family to her which she never had. Clay, the psychotic werewolf who only wants his lady, creates a sexual tension every time he makes an appearance, no doubt you'll be searching for your Clay once you've finished. If you have enjoyed the recent outburst of supernatural fiction you will love this, and be sure to read the rest of the series as it just as good.

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        22.08.2009 00:25
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        Steamy, howling good fun.

        The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer has done something funny to my brain. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy that particular teen series of books and then devoured her more adult follow up, "The Host", I actively went out and bought a book that was recommended to fans of the Meyer books!

        I have never heard of the author of this book before despite Bitten being first released for publication in 2001 to a good reception and following it up with a further 9 novels. I thought this was an interesting fact as I seem to spy a lot of this sci-fi/fantasy genre in the bookstores at the moment and it was my cynical impression that a lot of authors were jumping on the bandwagon and creating all these books involving the likes of vampires and werewolves! Clearly, Kelley Armstrong has been around for a while and her writing career seems to have mainly involved this genre so she is by no means new to this!

        **~~** The Plot... **~~**

        Not only is "Bitten" Armstrong's debut, but it is the first in a series entitled "Women of the Otherworld" featuring the worlds only female werewolf, Elena Michaels. Elena lives in Toronto with her boyfriend Phillip where she is trying out living her life as human after being tired of living with the pack. The problem with her situation is she will never be human; she cannot fight "the change" into a werewolf for long and her incredible appetite is difficult to cover up around humans. Yet she doesn't want to return to pack life where she constantly had to keep tabs on rogue werewolves and where she had to spend her time with the man who had bitten her and made her a werewolf in the first place!

        She is soon called back by Pack Alpha Jeremy as the pack are under threat and need her help to stop their secret getting out.

        **~~** A few thoughts... **~~**

        I wasn't sure If I was going to enjoy this or not but it wasn't long before I was involved in the story with Elena. Starting off in Toronto, it literally takes a couple of pages for Elena's biggest secret to be revealed to the readers and that is just how I like it; after last reading a book that seemed to take forever for any action to happen, this was a very welcome change. Setting up Elena's contrasting werewolf and human life certainly caught my attention and its fast pace was enough to keep me hooked.

        **~~** Elena the reluctant werewolf...*~~**

        I also enjoyed the fact that the story is told in the first person narrative, Elena has a confidential tone which made me feel that she was pouring out her emotions into a diary. At first, this jarred a bit, her tone is sometimes quite casual and sarcastic when talking about the werewolf world but the development of her character worked really well within the situations she was forced into and I found myself liking her more and more.

        The only problem I found with Elena was her relationship with Clay. Clay is Elena's ex lover and the one who she was bitten by (without permission!) in the first place. Elena - quite rightly - saw this as a betrayal and has spent the last 10 years before moving to Toronto and finding a human boyfriend having a love-hate relationship with him.

        On the one hand I could understand their arguments and the way in which she tries throughout the book to push him away. Occasionally however I found that their relationship just didn't ring true; firstly, Clay is an extremely likeable character to read about. Strong, good looking and utterly devoted to Elena, he turned her into a werewolf so that he could be her partner for life, however selfish that may be. Secondly, Elena's emotions become extremely hard to follow. One minute she is filled with dislike for Clay as after all this time she doesn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that she still has strong feelings for him and feels out of principle that she should keep away from him. The next minute, they are quite literally ripping each others clothes off. I just didn't get the quick and frequent switching in emotions, I obviously understand that the author is trying to describe the complexities of relationships but this aspect of Elena's personality was often irritating and felt false to me and probably ruined my overall perspective of her so much so that I felt that her character could have been drawn a lot better.

        There is plenty of action in this book and there is enough chase - exhilarating rides on all fours through forests chasing unruly "mutts", cunning plots and catch your breath moments to keep most people happy and entertained until the end. In this respect, it very much reminded me of the last book of the Twilight series although I have to say that I was more enraptured by that final book than this.

        **~~** Steamy surprise.... **~~**

        What surprised me most however, was how raunchy it was in places! This book managed to cover most bases; from the ex-lover scenario, I had braced myself for another annoying sickly romance similar to the one portrayed in Twilight between Edward and Bella. What I actually got was something much more raw and sexual; not enough to turn it into soft porn but enough to make it more interesting and definitely not soppy!

        **~~** Final thought! **~~**

        Overall I'd say this was a success. The jury is out on whether I'd read the follow up to this, I'm certainly not as keen as I was to read the next chapter in the Twilight saga. I think reading this was enough for me to quench my desire to read these types of books for now, but who knows? In the future I might find myself compelled to step over to the dark side again!

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          05.07.2009 17:12

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          Bitten really bit me. i need the next books.

          kelley armstrongs Bitten is a tale about the only female werewolf and her quest to fit into the human world unnoticed. to be as normal as possible.
          i was given this book by a relative and even though i like supernatural books i found it hard to get into at first. but aftre a few chapters you find youself hooked. and waiting for the next available free time so that you can jump right into it and find out whats happening next.
          Elena lives in toronto with her human boyfriend.he doesnt know what she is. she finds herslef sneaking out at night to transform.
          then she gets a call out of nowhere from her other family. 'the pack'
          forcing herself back into werewolf life she must help the pack when they are threatened.
          she then has to face facts and decide which world she wants to belong to. the 'normal' human world or the secrecy of The Pack.
          awesome book.

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          15.11.2008 16:52
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          thoroughly recommended with a great sassy heroine

          I recently re- read this book, which is the first in the Women of the Otherworld Series and I found it as enjoyable the second time around as I had the first time. If you like the paranormal genre you're sure to enjoy this one. The heroine is Elena, the only female werewolf in existance, and although she belongs to 'The Pack' she prefers to try to live a 'normal' life, with a boyfriend and a job in the city of Toronto. This of course causes her problems, as the man she lives with has no idea of her secret life. She gets called back into Pack life, and there her problems really begin. She is a great character, not afraid to use her abilities, and not afraid to go after what she wants. If occasionally that means she has to use those abilities to get rid of the bad guys, then she will, even if things get a bit gory.

          The book is action packed, with a gripping plot, and just enough of a sprinkling of sexy romance. I thoroughly recommend it, and give it a Four star rating

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            30.03.2006 03:49
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            Clever, upbeat, modern and funny. A gripping read.

            BOOK: Bitten

            AUTHOR: Kelly Armstrong

            PUBLISHER: Time Warner Paperbacks

            COST: UK RRP £6.99

            AVAILABLE AT: Waterstones, Borders, WH Smith, amazon.co.uk, and probably a whole load of other places

            ISBN: 0-7515-3094-8

            GENERAL INFO: Bitten is the first book in Kelly Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. The rest of the novels in the series (in order) are Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, and Haunted; with the sixth instalment, Broken, due in the US on the 25th of April 2006. As the title of the series suggests, each novel stars a supernatural female living on modern day earth amongst the regular human beings who are completely unaware of the fact that supernatural races exist…at least, most of them.

            BACK COVER: Elena Michaels is your regular twenty-first century girl: self assured, smart and fighting fit. She also just happens to be the only female werewolf in the world…
            It has some good points. When she walks down a dark alleyway, she’s the scary one. But now her Pack—the one she abandoned so she could live a normal life—are in trouble, and they need her help. Is she willing to risk her life to help the ex-lover who betrayed her by turning her into a werewolf in the first place?
            And more to the point, does she have a choice?

            HANNAH BANANA THINKS: In Bitten, Kelly Armstrong provides a refreshing new perspective on the whole idea of werewolves. In most films and books featuring them, werewolves are presented as disgusting, scary, huge, half man-half wolf monster…things. But in Bitten, werewolves change into regular, four-legged wolves—with the exception of their eyes—if you look closely enough, you’ll know they’ve got to be human. Awesome. And by writing in the first person, from Elena’s point of view, Armstrong creates quite an endearing and appealing heroine: you want things to go her way. Not saying she humanizes werewolves altogether. No, no. Her werewolves are feral and super strong. They hunt and run at will. Though they do retain a trace of humanity and are capable of living undiscovered among humans, when in their wolf form, they are thrillingly wild.

            Of course there is also the added twist of the ‘hierarchy’, for lack of a better word, of werewolves. First, there is the Pack, the most powerful, most important group of werewolves. Membership of the pack is quite a sought after privilege, but is very limited. Within the pack there is an Alpha, the leader of the pack and then other Pack members with varying degrees of importance below the Alpha. They are very organized, with regular meetings and hunting trips together. They have strict rules: never do anything to call human attention to yourself, never kill humans unless it is strictly necessary, never go for ‘runs’ in public places, etc., etc. Though the Pack do not condone the hunting, killing and eating of humans (hunting deer and rabbits instead), they are very loyal to each other and kill anyone or anything that presents a threat to any member of the Pack or to the Pack as a whole. Then there are non-Pack werewolves, referred to as ‘Mutts’ by the Pack.

            Mutts are inferior to Pack wolves in a few ways: partly because they are not as strong and partly because they lack the ability to ‘change’ at will, but mostly because the Pack say so. Mutts are not as kind to humans as Pack wolves. No, they’re the more violent, bloodthirsty, ruthless-killer type. Because of this Mutts are not allowed to claim ‘territory’ and settle in one place for too long. Unlike the Pack wolves, Mutts are loners and do not live in groups. Mutts are not always very good at covering their tracks, and when one of them does something too risky, with the potential to expose werewolves, one of the Pack members (usually Elena) goes and uh, ‘disciplines’ them. The Mutts get tired of being ‘controlled’ by the Pack, and when they decide to team up and ‘overthrow’ them, even going as far as to recruit human serial killers to add to their ‘army’…well I won’t tell you anymore, but things certainly get interesting. And alongside the whole Pack vs. Mutts story, another interesting plot runs parallel.

            There are only two ways to become a werewolf: hereditarily—the most common way—or by being bitten. Only males can inherit the werewolf trait genetically. Elena is bitten (hence the name of the book—ha ha! Clever Hannah)—by her then boyfriend, Clayton Danvers, no less—and because, as we find out, few humans ever survive being bitten, she—grudgingly and unwillingly—gains the honour of being the only female werewolf in existence. Hurrah! No, Elena is not pleased. Though Clayton reckons he only bit Elena because he loved her and thought it was the only way that they could be together, Elena feels cursed and betrayed and cannot forgive him. After allowing the Pack to nurse her back to health and living with them for years, trying to fit in and accept her werewolf status, Elena still feels innately human and leaves the Pack, determined to make it on her own as a journalist in the human world. But when she comes back to help the Pack fight the growing threat from the Mutts, Clayton thinks they can just pick up where they left off. Elena has other ideas. Hmm, …interesting.

            Bitten is very well written and a truly enjoyable read. The narrative and dialogue is laced with fantastically witty and sarcastic humour; a perfect dose of comic relief for when the plot thickens the tension and excitement builds to the point where you feel as if you’ll explode from wondering what happens next. I read the book in one 10 hour sitting, and loved every minute of it. The first thing I did when I was done was to go out and buy every other book in the series! Bitten is a truly original piece of work, and comes highly recommended. Great stuff.

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              30.10.2001 18:08
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              You know when a book is something special when the minute that you pick it up you have to physically struggle with yourself to put it down again. Bitten is one of those books. This book is excellent, a funny, fast-paced, thriller, written in the first person. The best I have read for a long while. The story is about Elena, the only female werewolf in existence. It begins with Elena in her flat in Toronto at 2am, where she is fighting her natural urge ?to Change?. Her live-in boyfriend is human and is entirely unaware of what she is, so she must be very careful to conceal her true identity. Doing so is not easy, and she has to keep on coming up with new stories to tell him for where she goes when she disappears once a week to find somewhere suitable to change. Most Werewolves are born with the werewolf gene already within them. The gene is hereditary and passed through the male side of the family. So as a result only male children will become werewolves when they reach their full maturity. The only other way of becoming a werewolf is if you are bitten by one of them. This however is extremely rare, as very few humans can actually survive the first few months of being a werewolf, and werewolves, according to this book, rarely attack humans. But nonetheless this is how Elena comes about becoming a werewolf, as her college boyfriend betrayed her eleven years ago, when he bit her. After she had been bitten she was taken into care by a group of werewolves called ?The Pack?. They are a well-established group, and own a wide expanse of land, by doing so that they are able to change freely, and in relative safety from the Humans who would have them killed. After ten years with ?The Pack? she decides to leave, making the choice to try and integrate herself into human society. Elena, though changed, still feels the need for a normal life, where she might be part of a ?normal? family, however throughout the book you realise, as does she, that de
              ep down the chances of this happening are virtually non existent. As the story develops, it unfolds that the Pack is under threat by a group of nomadic, non-pack werewolves known as ?Mutts?. They aren?t happy with the Pack controlling and monitoring their movements. They want the freedom to follow their natural instincts, to be able to kill and hunt freely, regardless of whether the prey is human or not. Elena is called back to the Pack, where she is asked to resume her previous role within the group as the investigator. She is unhappy with this demand and resists, but her loyalty and duty to the pack forces her to return home. I don?t want to give away too much of what happens in the book, but lets just say I couldn?t put it down and finished all 450 pages of it within just 4 days of starting it. If you fancy a good read, and a somewhat different twist to the usual books on werewolves, then I highly recommend this one to you.

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            • Product Details

              Elena Michaels is a model woman for the 21st century: self-assured, keenly intelligent, fighting fit. And like every modern woman, she has her secrets. Nothing extraordinary about that. Except that Elena really is extraordinary. In fact, she may well be the most extraordinary woman alive. She is, after all, the only female werewolf in the world... Ten years ago, against her will, Elena's lover turned her into a werewolf. Some days it feels like a gift. Most days it feels like a curse.