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Book Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

bittenTitle: Bitten

Author: Kelley Armstrong

Series: Women of the Otherworld #1

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

The Overview: Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman, She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She’s also a werewolf. Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must recon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel that begins the Women of the Otherworld series.

bitten 2

The Review:

I don’t know what it was about this book, but I found myself glued to it constantly. I was seriously walking around my kitchen only half paying attention to the dinner I was making because I didn’t want to stop reading long enough to focus. Granted, I would probably do that with every book if they were all old paperbacks, but I have a tendency to collect hardcovers that I barely cracked the spine on. Paperbacks, however, are a whole new ballgame and I dragged this one everywhere with me. So, my total absorption could be partly due to how mobile the book was, but I’m sure most of it was because it was a great urban fantasy and I was in the perfect mood for precisely that.

While there is some excellent world building right up front, this is not one of those books that dives into the conflicts at the very beginning. The story progression often times alternated with big chunks of back story. I know to some this is a huge faux pas, but I don’t mind information dumps as long as I’m interested in what’s being presented. And I was – it was formatted in a way that revealed character and dug up old skeletons as the story went on, and I quite liked it. The best bits of the story, however, was when the action started.

I liked this book for the same reason that I enjoyed Stray by Rachel Vincent, in that there are a bunch of lovable male characters surrounding a single female. Watching the dynamics between each of them was a lot of fun to read about.

As with many urban fantasies, this one contained a great deal of, shall we say, steamy content. I have no shame in admitting that I enjoy a bit of steam in my books, and I’d say this one was about a 5/10 on the steam scale. The trouble is, the object of Elena’s lust was a character I didn’t particularly care for. He wasn’t a total asshat, but he wasn’t my type, either. In fact, there are two other men in this story who I actually liked a lot better. I’m hoping something develops with them in the future…

Anyway, Armstrong has long been considered a staple for the genre, and I’m glad to have finally picked up one of her books. I have to thank Chanzie over at Mean Who You Are for including this as an option for her Book-of-the-Month. I invited myself to read along, and I’m so glad I did (if you’d like to help her pick her next book, the voting is in the right-hand sidebar of her website… I’m pulling for either Cremer or Peeler). This is definitely not the last of Armstrong that I plan to read, and will most likely be picking up her Awakening YA trilogy next.

Other books you might like:

by Niki Hawkes

18 comments on “Book Review: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

  1. Oh, it looks like this is what the Syfy series “Bitten” is based on. I got a bit obsessed with the first season…I think I will have to read the book. I am pretty excited right now!

  2. I think this was the first book I ever reviewed on my blog…or maybe the second I’m not entirely sure. Anyhooows, I loved it but since I haven’t picked up any of the rest of the series, how shameful is that? I get distracted by new shiny books too easily. Plus, I think one of the reasons was that this book tied up all of the issues raised well, so I wasn’t left on a terrible cliff hanger needing to know what happened next. I think Armstrong said somewhere that this was originally intended to be a stand alone and then she came up with more ideas so that could be why!

    I’m so glad you enjoyed this book as much as I did and I look forward to seeing what you think of the rest of the series. :)

    • Oh, wow! I don’t even remember what my first book was lol. I have the “oh look, a new book!” problem as well, and probably would’ve gone several more years without reading this if not for the impromptu read along I did. It so difficult to pick up the “old” ones sometimes, haha. I didn’t realize it was intended for a standalone, but that definitely makes sense – you’re right, she does wrap everything up nicely. I actually hadn’t planned on reading on right away, but based on the conversation with dianatierney3 above, I found out there is a Canadian show (Bitten) based on the book and I totally DEVOURED it – amazing! They changed some stuff, but I thought the changes added more solid motivation of characters and overall more depth to the story – and it definitely left me feeling like I needed more! In fact, I’d be willing to bet they pulled some stuff from the second book. Anyway, long story short, I pretty much NEED the second one now, haha.

      • Ohh yeah I’ve heard a bit about the show but I haven’t watched any of it yet, I’m glad to hear you thought it was good!

        Hahaa that’s awesome, good luck with the rest of the series. :)

  3. Yay! I think our reviews are similar on some points :) Chatting about the book as i read it was quite fun. I hope we will read Nightshade at the same time :) Thanks for the mention <3
    Funny how we each loved different characters. It makes for an interesting debate. I don't think we have NetFlix here in SA. I can't wait to carry on with this series. I am torn between continuing with this series / The Mortal Instruments / Covenant / Nght Huntress series next… *sigh*

    Choices choices… So many good books :)

    Chanzie @ Mean Who You Are.

    • It was so much fun to read it together! I honestly don’t think I would have read it soon otherwise, and it’s one of my reading highlights of the year so far (+the show, as you know). I think we will definitely be reading nightshade around the same time. I’m ready to pick it up any day now. I enjoyed the second to bitten, but it didn’t really carry the same plot forward and in fact was almost the start of a new series within itself. I enjoyed it, but wished it had more continuity, you know? I still definitely want to get started on the night huntress series!!

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