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ReaderMarija's Reviews

...a pot luck of thoughts and reflections

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Bitten - Kelley Armstrong This book was vile, which is a real shame, as I really liked reading Tales of the Otherworld. There’s no real characterization or development for the characters; the plot’s mainly driven by action followed by sex, followed by more action and more sex. Unlike the novella Beginnings from the Tales of the Otherworld collection, there was no chemistry between Elena and Clay, only lust, and frankly I was bored by it. Their relationship was like a blend of the love-hate relationship between Sonny and Carly and the love triangle between Elizabeth, Lucky and Nikolas from General Hospital. Whenever there’s a major catastrophe—death, injury, whatever—Sonny and Carly always crawl back to each other and enjoy a night of guilt sex. The next day, Carly always manages to distance herself away from him, finding something with which to blame him. And whenever Carly’s confronted with her actions, she always brushes it off, saying, “It’s just what we do; we’re drawn to each other when we’re miserable.” The same thing happens between Clay and Elena: Someone dies; they keep finding solace in each other’s arms. The next day, Elena pushes him away. And Elena’s just like Elizabeth: She’s already in a relationship with Philip, yet she’s in lust with Clay. I remember Elizabeth describing her indiscretion with Nikolas, saying, “I just can’t help myself. When I’m with Lucky, I feel like I’m a young girl, but when I’m with Nikolas, his brother, I finally feel like a woman.” I think this aptly describes Elena’s own relationship dilemma, and makes her an unlikable protagonist.

What I loved in Beginnings was the split narrative, with scenes described from both Elena and Clay’s points of view. There was more introspection, with the characters trying to sort out and understand their feelings, each discovering the highs and lows of engaging in their first serious relationship. This made the characters interesting and the read engaging. Since Bitten is written entirely from Elena’s perspective, Clay just seems like a lustful Adonis—a pretty boy who wants his mate, rather than an educated college professor with a 160 IQ. He certainly doesn’t win her back with witty banter or emotional outpourings of feeling.

I was truly disappointed, as this book could have been so much better. There was only one part of the book I liked, and given the quality of this work, I began to wonder if this was just a mistake on the author’s part: In Bitten, when Elena describes the events leading up to her becoming a werewolf, she says to Jeremy when she first sees Clay as a wolf, “Is it a he… or is it a she?” In Beginnings, however, when Clay recounts the events, he says Elena stated, “Is it a she… or is it a he?” I smiled at this, and began to wonder, which one is really giving a truthful account of the events. If Clay’s recount is correct, I can understand why he bit her. ;)