Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Review: Bitten by Kelly Armstrong

Hey All, time for my review of Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, Book 1 of the Women of the Otherworld series.

Title: Bitten
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: February 2004
Series: Women of the Otherworld, Book 1
Source: Library copy

From the author's website:
Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her–her temper, her violence–but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

So she left the Pack and returned to Toronto where she’s trying to live as a human. When the Pack leader calls asking for her help fighting a sudden uprising, she only agrees because she owes him. Once this is over, she’ll be squared with the Pack and free to live life as a human. Which is what she wants. Really.

I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from Bitten when I picked it up, I’d heard both good and bad things about it from friends. Some had loved it; others hadn’t even been able to finish reading the book.  I suppose my opinion fits somewhere between these two. I wasn’t a massive fan, but it was enjoyable enough to have me finish the whole 450 odd pages. Bitten starts following the daily life of main character Elena, who’s a werewolf trying desperately to prove she can function in normal society. She has a flat, a job and even a live-in boyfriend, something she had never expected. However her normal life all comes crashing down when Pack Alpha Jeremy leaves a mysterious message. Having promised to return home to the Pack when her Alpha called, Elena cannot ignore the message. Especially since no-one is picking up the phone at the house in Stonehaven or returning any of her messages. But Elena had run from the Pack for a reason...

There are few werewolves left and the vast majority are male, and by vast majority I mean all of them except for Elena, she is the only female werewolf in the world. However she was not born a werewolf like many, but bitten without her consent by the one man she trusted above all others. He’s the reason she ran, and the reason she won’t stay with the Pack longer than she absolutely has to.

When Elena returns to Stonehaven she finds the Pack members safe and well (though apparently unfamiliar with how to answer a phone). The townspeople however are another matter. There have been several deaths in Stonehaven. The police believe them to be the result of wild dog attacks, but the Pack knows better. A Mutt (a wolf not a member of the Pack) is killing the people of Stonehaven, leaving obvious signs of a werewolf killing. The Pack finds the murderer easily enough, but his death raises yet more questions. And when a member of the Pack is found dead it can only mean one thing....War.

To be honest, I wasn’t amazed by Bitten. I found a couple of characters a bit bland and the only one with any air of mystery is Jeremy and considering there are only 7 Pack members I had trouble remembering which was which (with the exception of the main 3, Elena, Jeremy and Clay). I mean, when one was murdered, I had to flick back to remind myself which one he was. I also found Elena a little annoying, she can’t forgive Clay for his betrayal, but she’s quite happy to sleep with him and by doing so betray her human boyfriend (who gets conveniently forgotten a lot).However, the interactions between Elena and the Mutts are great, and prove her to be a strong female who will not be intimidated or dictated to. This, and only this, improve my feelings about her character, otherwise I'm pretty sure I'd have stopped reading about halfway through. I also will give credit for the plot line, it’s not half bad. It doesn't focus too much on the screwed up relationship between Elena and Clay and everything is linked back to the finding and executing the rogue Mutts. I found the ending a tad predictable but other than that I have no complaints. There is non-stop action in this book which saves it for me. 

Would I pick Bitten up and read it again? Hard to say... I guess I would give it another chance, just to see if I liked it any better second time around, but not for a while yet...

My Rating: 3/5

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Review: Night Pleasures by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Review time! This is the fantastic Sherrilyn Kenyon with her Dark Hunter Series, Book 1 of which is Night Pleasures, get ready for the world of Dark Hunters, Daimons and one spoilt Goddess.

Title: Night Pleasures
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: Piatkus Books
Release date: 7th April 2005
Series: Dark Hunter Series, book #1
Source: My personal copy

From the author's website:
See how it all began...
Have you ever wanted to know what it's like to be immortal? To journey through the night stalking the evil that preys on humans? To have unlimited wealth, unlimited power?
That is my existence, and it is dark and dangerous. I play hero to thousands, but am known to none. And I love every minute of it.
Or so I thought until one night when I woke up handcuffed to my worst nightmare: an accountant. She's smart, sexy, witty, and wants nothing to do with the paranormal.
My attraction to Amanda Devereaux goes against everything I stand for. Not to mention the last time I fell in love it cost me not only my human life, but also my very soul. Now I find myself wanting to believe that love and loyalty do exist.
Even more disturbing, I find myself wondering if there's any way a woman can love a man whose battle scars run deep, and whose heart was damaged by a betrayal so savage that he's not sure it will ever beat again.

Kyrian of Thrace

Ok then, first off, this book is NOT written from Kyrian's point of view despite what the passage above suggests. Also let me explain about who Kyrian of Thrace is just so no-one's confused. Kyrian of Thrace is the male lead in this book, he's an immortal warrior of the night and having been a General in the Greek army before he died and sold his soul to Greek Goddess Artemis, he's pretty kick ass, not to mention gorgeous. If you're wondering about the whole selling his soul to Artemis part, let me explain. Kyrian is a Dark Hunter. Dark Hunters are an elite group of warriors who died in their mortal life by suffering such a betrayal that their very soul screams out for justice. Enter Artemis, a Greek goddess who offers that person a chance at revenge in exchange for an eternity of fighting Daimons, and of course she also wants their soul.

For over 2000 years Kyrian faithfully served Artemis as a Dark Hunter, relishing in his job protecting the innocent, until one night when his battle with Daimons ended with him waking up handcuffed to his worst nightmare. An accountant.
Amanda Deveraux is quite content with her perfectly normal life, in fact she goes out of the way to avoid anything paranormal. Happy as the 'normal' twin (her sister Tabitha is a vampire hunter) Amanda is unprepared when she wakes handcuffed to an admittedly gorgeous man. Handcuffed together by a Daimon Kyrian is hunting Amanda wonders how she could have been caught up in this insanity...she's been mistaken for her sister. Running from the Daimon who has chained them together, Amanda and Kyrian have to fight for their lives. At the same time these two can't help but be attracted to one another, despite being exact opposites.
Together they face the strongest Daimon ever known and along the way they discover parts of themselves they'd buried deep inside. Together they must face the trauma of Kyrian's past, his betrayal at the hands of the woman he loved. Slowly Amanda reaches the heart of this warrior who shields himself from the world. But will she become the other half of Kyrian's heart or will she betray him to save herself?

I loved this from start to finish Kyrian and Amanda have such great chemistry, the way that this is written is just superb, the romance between Kyrian and Amanda does not detract from the general plot at all (as can sometimes happen). The humour in this is just genius, I absolutely love books that can mix a good sense of humour in with the storyline (I'm a sucker for a good giggle). We meet Julian again (who featured in Fantasy Lover...sort of the Dark hunter Prequel if you like) and we also meet Talon, whose book is coming up next. Finally we are introduced to the best character in the entire series, Ash a.k.a. Acheron, a.k.a. someone you do not mess with... or ask questions about...or question in ANY way...because he might decides the world would better off with out you, and you'd be in itty bitty pieces on the carpet. Ash has weird, scary-ass powers and is by far the most mysterious character I have come across in any series. I'd be happy to read the entire series just to find out more about him! The banter between the Dark Hunters is fabulous and constantly has me laughing, though I admittedly have an odd sense of humour. It just shows how much camaraderie these strapping warriors have and how much they care about each other, in a non touchy-feely way. Honestly can't see them having a group hug.

Thankfully this plot has enough twists to keep me interested but the character development is by far the best part. If Mrs Kenyon keeps this up I'm going to have to buy the entire series.. all 15 of them! Overall, a good read with fantastic parts (mainly Ash's bits). I loved the banter between the Dark Hunters and will happily buy the next one.

My Rating: 4/5

Saturday, 17 September 2011

100 books by December 2011

Right well, I've just signed myself up for the 100 books in a year challenge...which means I have 100 books to read by December...probably stupid to join so late but it certainly should be interesting. Hopefully since I'm reading about 5 per week at the moment I might just make it...maybe I've taken on too much but hey, should be fun anyways.

If you want to join me in my stupidity just go to Book Chick City and sign up....

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