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Bitten: Women of the Otherworld, Book 1 | [Kelley Armstrong]

Bitten: Women of the Otherworld, Book 1

Young, beautiful, and successful, Elena Michaels seems to have it all. Her happy, organized life follows a predictable pattern: filing stories for her job as a journalist, working out at the gym, living with her architect boyfriend, and lunching with her girlfriends from the office. And once a week, in the dead of night, she streaks through a downtown ravine, naked and furred, tearing at the throats of her animal prey. Elena Michaels is a werewolf.
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Publisher's Summary

"I've got to get out of here - I don't have a lot of time left.

"Philip doesn't stir when I slip from the bed. There's a pile of clothing tucked underneath my dresser so I won't have to risk the squeaks and groans of opening drawers and closets. I pick up my keys, clasping my fist around them so they don't jangle, ease open the door and creep into the hallway. My legs now itch as well as hurt and I curl my toes to see if the itching stops. It doesn't. It's too late to drive to a safe place now - the itching has crystallized into a sharp burn. I stride out onto the streets, looking for a quiet place to Change."

Young, beautiful, and successful, Elena Michaels seems to have it all. Her happy, organized life follows a predictable pattern: filing stories for her job as a journalist, working out at the gym, living with her architect boyfriend, and lunching with her girlfriends from the office. And once a week, in the dead of night, she streaks through a downtown ravine, naked and furred, tearing at the throats of her animal prey.

Elena Michaels is a werewolf.

The man who made her one has been left behind, but his dark legacy has not. And though Elena struggles to maintain the normal life she's worked so hard to create, she cannot resist the call of the elite pack of werewolves from her past. Her feral instincts will lead her back to them and into a desperate war for survival that will test her own understanding of who, and what, she is.

©2004 Kelley Armstrong; (P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Filled with romance and supernatural intrigue, this book will surely remind readers of Anne Rice's sophisticated refurbishings of the vampire story." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (1696 )
5 star
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4.2 (1034 )
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4.2 (1020 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Autumn Marina, CA, United States 07-15-08
    Autumn Marina, CA, United States 07-15-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "My favorite Audio title"

    I was so pleased when Audible picked up bitten, its my favorite audiobook. This is the story of Elana Michaels, a werewolf and her love/hate relationshp with her boyfriend Clay. I particularly love the narrator, Aasne Vigesaa who does a great job of the male characters... She really has so much talent, its too bad she doesn't narrate more books.

    This novel is fairly violent and graphic so I wouldn't recommend it for younger readers, but its a werewolf novel so er... What can you really expect.

    Awesome. 5 stars all the way.

    37 of 37 people found this review helpful
  •  
    08-12-08
    08-12-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superb"

    The audio version of this book is superbly performed. She does both the Canadian and the Southern accents required very well. I was very pleased listening, because this has always been one of my favorite books by Kelley Armstrong. The characters of Elena and Clay are as true to what I would imagine a werewolf couple might be like. Clay is humorously recalcitrant and Elena struggles admirably against the inevitable acceptance of her stubborn nature. I hope audio picks up the other two books that feature them.

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Connie Dolan Springs, AZ, United States 08-16-08
    Connie Dolan Springs, AZ, United States 08-16-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    This is the first Kelley Armstrong Book I've read -I found it entertaining and she puts a different spin on the werewolf history. I enjoyed the narrator as well. I listened to the samples from Armstong's other Audible books but opted not to download them because I didn't care for the narrator's voice. I think the narrator will make or break an audible book. I recommend this one.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bexlyn Wright Kentucky 03-01-11
    Bexlyn Wright Kentucky 03-01-11 Member Since 2015

    I'm a grad student with very little time to edit reviews because I'm editing research papers. Forgive the typos. They're made with love.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Overall
    "A Decade to Ponder my Werewolf Self"

    This is one of those cases where I wish I could give a half star more. I almost gave the full four, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Don't get me wrong, this is a good book, and one to enjoy if you like werewolf stories, but it's got a lot of plot and character problems I just can't ignore. That said, these problems don't hinder the story too much if you just want something good to listen to.

    Elena is a woman and a werewolf. In this world, that doesn't happen. People have heard that it has happened, but she's the only proof. What's more, it happened 10 years ago and she's still not over the fact that she got nibbled and turned.

    So, let's face it, Elena is a Mary Sue. She's special. One of a kind. And her "pack" which the author makes seem bigger, really only consists of two fathers, their sons, and a couple expendable others that get killed, sometimes even before they say a word. Elena is, of course, the only one who can save the day, and, of course, has to deal with a hulking, too-beautiful-for-words piece of manflesh with a Cajun accent. He loves her and no one else. And has waited a decade for her to get over herself. She doesn't want him, naturally, but, oopsie, she keeps ending up letting him do naughty things to her (despite having a man she loves back home).

    But then, many successful novels have this same problem so once I came to terms with the character and the world she lived in, it was a pretty fun ride. The key is to just go with it, listen, and enjoy. There's plenty of fight scenes, lusty moments, and tension - and even a few moments that make you smile, usually involving a werewolf or two turning back into humans and remembering that they left their clothes on the other side of the busy highway.

    A good one to listen to if you're looking for another werewolf book and don't take it too seriously. 3 stars

    17 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Misti San Francisco, CA, USA 07-08-09
    Misti San Francisco, CA, USA 07-08-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Fantastic narration"

    Aasne Vegesaa performs this book extraordinarily well. On listening to the second book (narrated by a different person), I think I may have liked the main character as much as I did simply because Aasne's portrayal of her is so sympathetic. Her range of voices and accents is amazing as well. 5 stars! I hope she picks up some more urban fantasy titles.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ducky Florida, United States 04-13-11
    Ducky Florida, United States 04-13-11 Member Since 2014

    Many say I am easily entertained because I have given many 5star ratings, but I KNOW what I like, have my favorites, and choose accordingly.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "New favorite author to add to my list!!!"

    This is the first Kelley Armstrong book I have read and I have to say I will be buying more (I bought 2 today)! I thought it was a little slow in the beginning, but she had to set up the characters and the background for us to enjoy. But once the sexy Clay came into the picture....................WOW!!! I couldn't put it down! I thought that Aasne Vigesaa did an awesome job narrating the book. I just love the voice of Clay. He just sounded so sexy and such a man in control. I sure wish Aasne was doing the rest of the books but alas she is not. I am listening to the second book now and the narrator....well it just isn't the same. Thank you Kelley and Audible for bringing us another author to LOVE!!!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RabidReads 03-17-12
    RabidReads 03-17-12 Member Since 2013

    Speculative Fiction Book Review Blogger

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    "I will never, ever get sick of this book. Ever."

    I finished listening to this audiobook a few weeks ago and have been procrastinating on writing my review ever since. Not because I couldn’t find the words but because, well, how does one critique their all-time favorite werewolf novel without turning into the biggest, squealing fan girl ever? Not to mention, the added pressure of reviewing a story that I’ve been raving about and recommending to everyone who’ll listen since the first time I read it. I’ve concluded that: it’s impossible, so I’m just going to start typing and see where I end up!

    The characters in the Women of the Otherworld series, more specifically those of the North American werewolf pack, are some of the most life-like in paranormal fiction. Their distinct personalities, histories and preternatural traits are so far reaching and palpable that you’ll find yourself thinking like a wolf in no time. Kelley Armstrong’s knack for getting inside their heads (both human and animal) will blow you away. Many shifter novels make the mistake of not using were-characters to their full potential. That’s definitely not the case with this book, it screams “wolf”. Reading Bitten is like being front and center to the best National Geographic documentary ever made. Except you get to experience it first hand by seeing the story unfold through the eyes of a werewolf.

    I wasn’t big on Urban Fantasy back when this book originally came out in 2001 but I think that it’s safe to say that Armstrong is one of the authors responsible for bringing this genre to the forefront and for making it what it is today. I see glimpses of Elena in so many of the newer heroines and there’s a reason for that. She’s strong, fiercely independent and a natural leader. I adore reading from her point of view. Her snark and wit are unmistakable and really come through in Kelley’s writing. The audiobook amps this aspect up even more so too! I thought the characters in Bitten were lively when I read it the first time around but listening to the story is a whole other experience. I felt like I was there! Literally!

    There are also so many underlying themes in this book aside from the obvious werewolf drama. Elena is struggling to keep her humanity, Jeremy is learning what it means to be a true alpha, and Clay well… He appears to be simple minded on the surface but read Armstrong’s anthologies and you’ll quickly realize that that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s also an undercurrent of sexism in Bitten. Werewolf society hasn’t exactly progressed with the times; they still believe that women are good for making babies, following orders and that’s it. Luckily Elena is just the girl to give all of these wolves the reality check that they need! Only now that I’m going back and re-reading this series am I realizing how connected the overall story really is. Questions that I never knew I had the first time around are resurfacing and being answered.

    The plot’s brilliant, the pacing is stellar and the writing is phenomenal. Being the werewolf connoisseur that I am; I’ve often contemplated writing my own book in order to do my wolfish friends justice but who am I kidding? Bitten is that book. I couldn’t write a better story even if I tried. I formally acknowledge Kelley Armstrong as being the queen of the wolves! I will never, ever get sick of this book. Ever.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yuriko Fairfield, CA, United States 01-20-11
    Yuriko Fairfield, CA, United States 01-20-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The beginning"

    I have been reading the series for a while and it was great to go back to the beginning. I've forgotten how much Elena was conflicted in the beginning! What a difference compare to the relationship she has now with the clan!! Also Jeremy was a lot more standoffish. If you like this, I encourage you to read on. In this series, the main characters change by the book, but Elena and the clan appears or are talked about often. Of course there are several more books with Elena as the main character, too Those are my favorite in the series. (To tell the truth, there were some books in the series that were just OK)

    All in all, it reminded me why I started to read the series and still like the world Ms. Armstrong created. It's recommended to all the paranormal fantasy fans!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samantha Albany, NY, USA 03-24-10
    Samantha Albany, NY, USA 03-24-10

    A lover of the printed and spoken word.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Love this author and the narrator is great"

    This book made me love werewolve stories again. Kelley Armstrong always does a wonderful job telling a story and endearing you to the characters. This narrator gives each character a disticnt and appropriate voice and is very well read. I've read this book prior to listening and found that this listen is worth the credit.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    'Nathan Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-03-10
    'Nathan Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-03-10 Member Since 2004
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    "Well performed, and a wonderful paranormal world"

    I'm a late comer to Kelly Armstrong (and got here via her young adult 'The Summoning' and 'The Awakening' which were very strong).

    "Bitten" was a fantastic listening experience, even when the main character, Elena, made choices that set my teeth on edge.

    Elena is a werewolf trying to live a "normal" life in Toronto, when she is called back to Stonehaven, a kind of werewolf home for the werewolf pack that helped Elena recover when she was bitten. Elena's exploration of what it is to be a werewolf - and yet want a regular life - is a consistently interesting one throughout the book, and sometimes even takes preference over the main plot line.

    When a "mutt" (werewolf without a pack) gets too close to Elena's pack for comfort, she is called in to do what she has always done - track it down, and - if needs be - kill it with the help of Clay, her once-lover and definite complication in her life.

    Armstrong's paranormal world is interesting, and has some great components to it. By the end of the book, I found myself wanting to know more about Elena, but have to admit to being somewhat frustrated with many of her decisions throughout the journey - not enough to derail me, and not because they were inconsistent, her character was not poorly written by any means. She was just frustrating.

    I move onward to more Armstrong, glad to have found her.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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