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.
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.
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