Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

11918Elena 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.

3-and-half-star-review-rating

Man I first read this book years ago and reread it maybe two years ago. Even then, the change in appreciation was phenomenal. It was a more mature read, even for the young, mature reader I was at that time as well.

I have had a huge obsession with werewolf books, beyond anything else, even anime. Werewolves and wolves themselves, the animals fascinate me. I love wolves beyond any animal for their beauty, grace and pack. I guess that fell right into werewolves since half the time I find myself disgusted with humans and their actions in the world. Add some wolf blood to them and bam! Suddenly characters become a lot better. Who knew?

Armstrong wrote out another brilliant book with this one because these characters turn into wolves, but it doesn’t enhance them in many other ways. No immortality to make them safe and sound. A little back-up plan so you don’t have to kill off the characters, safety net.
She ripped away the safety net and burned it.
Characters like Elena learned to balance this world and survive in it out of her own wits. Not that her wits are always up to par. No hero or heroine should be perfect.

We start out this book with a personal struggle of Elena’s that she obviously doesn’t know how to face. And flatly refuses to. It’s when danger comes into play for the very family and struggle she’s avoiding that she has to face her problems. Nothing like a little shove into the ocean when you can’t swim to learn to deal with problems. Or to learn about yourself…I guess.
Either way, I quickly fell in love with Elena’s character. As always, Armstrong has great characterization skills which leave the characters becoming real and something more than just someone you read about. Elena was not only brave and smart, but relateable and her struggles, most importantly, weren’t stupid and terribly self-inflicted (because for philosophies sake I can say most problems are self-inflicted in some manner, even by just letting whatever it is bother you).

Then, because I have to, I’m moving on to the love interest here, Clayton. First and foremost, wonderful name, love it. Hot and sexy and Clay continuously fits the bill in this story. Best part? He’s not an asshole and/or an idiot! He’s smart and caring even when he gets things wrong and makes mistakes. He’s a bit of a hard ass because he needs to be,  #werewolf life. But he and Elena fit each other so well and are absolutely HOT. Loved them quite nicely and wanted to know more, the why, the how and most importantly, I wanted more.

“You forget, darling.
I am the local psychopath.”
“Are you the welcoming committee? Or has Jeremy finally chained you up to the front gate where you belong?”
“I missed you too.”

I mean come on! How can you not like him with just these few lines. The second quote also happens to be one of the first times we ever see him in the book. Characterizes Elena and his relationship quite well, she’s the first speaker by the way.
And before I move on, he has a southern accent. And calls Elena “darling”. And yes, that is all, enough said.

I guess I’ll move on for a wee little blurp on the other characters in Bitten. Wonderful. Loved them and fell in love with them all. Especially the antagonists. I love a good antagonist and Armstrong did a nice job with them in this series, much better than her Darkest Powers trilogy. The psychology and psychosis of them all was amazing and well developed. It made them all real and a sincere pleasure to experience and lose as the plot moved on. Without all of them. Yes, Armstrong kept up a cruel streak and decided to wrench at my heartstrings a little with these characters and it’s obviously quite rude *regal tone*.
Okay not really, but still; not cool! No messing with my feels please. For at least one solid book, or chapter. That goes to all authors. Please. please-gif

MOVING ON AGAIN.

Plot! Yes plot because as I said before these characters wrapped around it and made the plot phenomenal. Otherwise, I will be honest and it wasn’t all that admirable. It wasn’t terrible. But it was my love for the characters and intrigue to due them that made it interesting. It was neat, had a few cute ideas, but wasn’t the best I’d ever read. Predictable becomes a common word sadly in many books. Including this one. It just so happened Elena was the saviour of Bitten in more than one way.

Consistently, I also enjoyed Armstrong’s writing. I just have to say, that since my initial read of this book, it surely isn’t top notch. Authors like Sarah J. Maas and John Green do have her beat in my mind, at moment. Maybe another reread of this book and I’ll change my mind. But at the very least, it wasn’t atrocious. I enjoyed her writing, the style and way it works and it worked well to the rest of the story. Not anything truly bad can be said about it. Just that I feel it could be better.

That’s just about all for now so continue reading and
Until next time,

Shayla

 

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