Science fiction and fantasy
by Kelley Armstrong
The problem with returning to Stonehaven is Clay, the werewolf Elena loves but also the reason she left. As the mutt mystery deepens she wonders whether she will ever get to return to her mundane life.
One of the best things about Elena's character is how socially awkward she is. She's had an unhappy childhood and has been passed through a number of unsuitable foster homes. As a result she finds fitting in difficult, to the extent that she doesn't even know how so-called normal people should respond in certain circumstances. So her background is both the reason for her vulnerability and her strength, and she's very believable.
The werewolves in this novel may live a little longer and be a little stronger and faster than regular people, but they're not overpowered, especially when they're up against their own kind. They can die. So the novel's tension is believable, and the action piles on. The book is part supernatural thriller, part steamy romance. Of the bodily fluids flying around, blood is by far the most frequent. There's excitement punctuated by sweetness, and the author hits all of the right emotional buttons, so in that sense this is highly enjoyable. My main complaint is that whilst the story began in a very original way, with the werewolf curse used as an interesting metaphor, it ended fairly conventionally. There are a few characters who seem a bit extreme in their manifestations of good and evil, too, with nice guys who are too nice and psychopaths who take their cues straight out of the Dahmer playbook.
However, for the most part Bitten delivers. Elena is sassy without being annoyingly smart-alec, vulnerable without being wimpy, tough without being invincible, and sought-after without being Mary Sue. It's the recipe for a fun read, and a virtual avalanche of puns about being bitten by the Women Of The Otherworld bug.
9th March 2014
If you like this, try:Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
A woman who raises zombies is asked to investigate a serial killer who targets bloodsuckers. The first Anita Blake book.
Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison
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Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
Sookie Stackhouse can read minds. But can she uncover the identity of a murderer before she becomes the next victim?
Review © Ros Jackson
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