Monday, 17 May 2010

BWB Top Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

The chosen book to be discussed in May by Blog With Bite was Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. As it was one of the first urban fantasy novels I have read and ever since remains one of my favourite ones, I knew I wanted to participate, and guess what! I was chosen as Top Reviewer over at BWB!

So I thought I'd share with you my review of Bitten, which was my very first review posted on this blog!! Hope you enjoy, and if you haven't read Bitten yet, you MUST! If you are an UF lover, then the Woman of the Otherworld series is a MUST, and if you are an urban fantasy virgin, you couldn't find a better novel to initiate you! The story is gripping the characters are interesting and the writing is brilliant. An amazing novel!


Grade: 5 stars
Novellus Perfectus!

Amazon appetizer:

Elena, heroine of Kelley Armstrong's impressive debut thriller Bitten, never planned that a casual sexual encounter would transform her into a werewolf. Neither did Clay, her lover and one of the leaders of the exclusive werewolf clique known as the Pack; women do not generally change or survive if they do.

Elena's considerable reservations about her new life come to a head and she walks out on the Pack to return to something like normality, finding herself a boyfriend who turns a blind eye to her occasional disappearances in the middle of the night.

She may have done with the infighting of werewolves, but they have not done with her; her former family call her back when they find themselves under threat from those they have excluded and dominated. Kelley Armstrong is very good on the sheer exhilaration of shape-changing, of running on four feet through forests, suburban greenery and urban back alleys; if there is a weakness here, it is that Elena's relationship with the taciturn, untrustworthy Clay is sometimes a little too conventionally romantic--but the dark poetry of the best of the book overcomes this entirely. --Roz Kaveney
My thoughts: Bitten is the first in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. It is narrated by Elena, a beautiful willowy young woman, who happens to be the only existing female werewolf! The story is fast-paced and exciting and Elena's voice is fresh and laugh-out-loud funny in Kelley Armstrong's typical sarcastic, witty way.

I discovered the paranormal, urban mystery universe 2 years ago, and Bitten by Kelley Armstrong was the 3rd book I have read in the genre, and the best one of all. Ever since discovering the Women of the Otherworld series and Kelley Armstrong, this series has been one of my favourite UF novel and Kelley my favourite UF author!

The writing style and quality are amazing, really brilliant! It made me determined to read more from Kelley Armstrong. (And apparently Angelina Jolie after reading the novel and loving it so much has bought the rights to do a movie of Bitten, so the movie is in the works.) What I love about her writing is not only the truly interesting twisting plot, but her quirky, funny dialogues, the dry wit of her characters, they make me laugh out loud, they are not only entertaining but also have so much humanity, that they are believable, real, 3D characters, they leap off the paper.

Not only the writing style is fantastic, but it is funny, bitingly sarcastic at times, and the heroine, Elena, is a great one. It all praises Kelley Armstrong's storytelling qualities that even though the heroine keeps resisting the hero's advances, that she keeps on hating him, being angry with him and not forgiving him for being the one responsible for changing her, she won't even consider or hear him out why he did it, that in spite of all this you don't want to slap Elena and tell her a piece of your mind. No, thanks to Kelley Armstrong's great writing you feel for her frustration and anger. Even though you see and understand why Clay changed her, and your heart goes out to him, at the same time you sympathize with Elena too and completely understand her anger and bitterness. Kelley Armstrong does it all brilliantly.

As Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat (quite a different kind of book, is it not?) has said of this book: "It's clever, quirky, hip, and funny, skating between genres with style and grace. More please!" I can only second that. This book has so many sub-genres, it is quite hard to label it.

Verdict: An amazing debut novel for a fantastic urban fantasy series! A must for any UF fans!

If you like urban mystery or paranormal novels, I would definitely recommend this book and author as they are exceptional!

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 10/10
Ending: 10/10
Writing: 10/10
Cover: 10/10

The BookDepository

Blog With Bite Discussion Questions

1. Let's talk relationships. What did you think of Elena's relationship with Philip? Were her feelings for him genuine? Why or why not?

I think Elena WANTED to have feelings for Philip and though she liked him a lot, it just couldn't compare to what they had, what she felt with Clay. And I think she was aware of this, but as she was trying to get herself a new life, she wanted to persuade herself that her memories were better than reality, and that what she had with Clay she could have it or something even better with someone else not part of the pack and that secret universe.

2. Keeping secrets from someone you love, is it being true to yourself? Elena was hiding out in Toronto and away from the Pack. Did this make Elena a stronger character or whiny?

I think it made her stronger. She was alone, trying to make it own her own. Like when a rebellous child wants to show their parents/family that they have grown up and are capable of taking care of themselves. I think that most of all she needed the chance to choose and not just give up and blend in because that was the obvious solution. She wanted to try living on her own and see if SHE wanted to join the pack because she wanted that and not because as a werewolf and girlfriend of Clay she was assumed to do so.

3. Kelley Armstrong's werewolves lean more towards the traditional side of the wolf legend. What "were" type are you? Do you enjoy the pain riddled, desiring human flesh werewolves like the Wolfman or the intensely scary wolves like in the movie Silver Bullet or do you prefer painless shifters that keep a majority of human and other light PNR novels?

I prefer more human werewolves. Who retain part of their humanity, human feelings even in wolf form. I found it unqiue in Armstrong's take taht these wolves didn't cahse to and from wolf form in the blink of an eye, that here it was a painful process which demanded precise concentration.

4.Could you forgive the man you loved if he were to BITE you like what occurred with Elena?

Though question. Emotionally I would say no at first. I hate it when my freedom of choice is taken away and don't know if I would be able to forgive that. BUT rationally it would ahve to arrive one day, since as a changed human, a werewolf I wouldn't be able to live a full life with someone outside this world. I wouldn't be able to share myself and my life completely with taht outsider and thus the only possible and logical solution would be to be together with someone else with the same condition.

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