Bitten – Women of the Otherworld #1
by Kelley Armstrong
(urban fantasy, paranormal romance)
Bitten is the first in The Women of the Otherworld series, a group of books that follows strong women narrators as they deal with all the problems involved in being part of a hidden paranormal subculture in a contemporary society. This book is narrated by Elena, the only female werewolf, as she tries to blend her humanity with the wilder nature of the wolf.
Armstrong’s werewolves are usually hereditary, with only a few that have survived the process of being turned into a werewolf from a bite. They come in two kinds: Pack wolves, and mutts. Pack wolves protect each other and abide by a moral code. Mutts live on their own, don’t hold territory, and answer to no one – unless a Pack werewolf catches up to them. Elena had been a part of the Pack until about a year before Bitten begins, at which point she decided that she wanted to be just a normal human again, and live a life as close to the one she had planned before she’d been turned into a werewolf.
The story follows Elena’s attempts at maintaining a “normal” life with her human boyfriend as she is reunited with her Pack and sometime lover during the Pack’s search for some troublesome mutts. The search turns into a hunt, complete with murder, kidnapping, and romps in the forest.
Bitten is very fast-paced, and yet leaves room for character development. The characters are very believable, with even the adversaries fleshed out in detail. Armstrong’s strong narrative voice, combined with a fresh take on an old legend, make this book a must-read.
I would suggest this book for mature audiences, due to sexual content and some violence, though I didn’t find the violence to be exceedingly graphic.
For more information on Kelley Armstrong or her Otherworld, visit her website. She also has sample chapters and free e-novellas posted.