I have to. I’ve been fighting it all night. I’m going to lose.
Bitten is one of those books that I have picked up to buy multiple times, but have always swapped it for another book that I deemed more important, or one that I was more excited for. Thanks to the new Canadian TV show, and the fact that this is Lauren’s favourite series ever, I finally managed to pick it up. Or, rather, Tatum bought it for me for my birthday so I had no other choice. It was either this, or read Code Name Verity, and I don’t want to be destroyed just yet, thank you.
I thought that the first one hundred pages were very slow, due to the fact that they were basically one giant infodump. I feel like the information that was thrown at the reader in the beginning could have been better interspersed throughout the novel, especially as sometimes Elena went off on tangents. I would have had less trouble getting into the book if the background information, and the world building, had been brought up at relevant times rather than all at once.
After I got through the first one hundred or so pages, I started to fly through it. Something happens at around that point that immediately grabbed my attention, and I was suddenly a lot more interested in the book. Once this happened, it was difficult to put Bitten down because the storyline and the mystery were intriguing, and Elena’s voice became more enticing after the infodumps were out of the way.
Elena is an amazing character, and I can see why everyone loves her. She’s strongwilled and intelligent, and yet she’s not without her flaws. Reading about her was a great experience, and also rather heartbreaking considering her backstory. I can’t imagine a better main character for this book, because Elena is just so perfect for it. She’s going through a lot at the beginning, such as living without her Pack – her family – because she strives to be “normal” instead of a werewolf. And not only that, she’s the only female werewolf in existence, which magnifies the problem.
And then, of course, there is Clay, Elena’s ex-boyfriend and the obvious love interest in Bitten. I read a few reviews prior to reading this book, and a few of them said that Clay was controlling and manipulative, and it put me off a bit. Having read a lot of paranormal romance about werewolves and other shifters in the past, I know that having a broody, somewhat controlling alpha male to protect the weaker female is the trend.
However, I didn’t get that vibe from Clay at all, and it makes me wonder if those who did went into this book with some sort of prejudice. To say that Clay is controlling towards Elena is ridiculous, because Elena has him totally whipped. He never once tries telling her what to do or how to act – with sincerity, anyway, because he knows that she won’t listen. On top of that, Elena doesn’t even really need his protection. She’s perfectly capable of looking after herself, and Clay only jumps in as backup. Yes, he’s her backup. I do not see why people are so against Clay, because I think he’s a great character and Kelley Armstrong managed to turn the typical dynamic that we get so often in paranormal romance on its head.
That said, I didn’t ship Clay and Elena. I’m sorry, guys, but I much preferred Elena’s relationship with Jeremy, whatever that might be. I just don’t think Clay can live up to the awesomely sexy Pack Alpha. It’s totally a crack!ship, and I’m likely letting down a bunch of WOTO fans, but that’s what I do best. That’s not to say that I don’t think Clay and Elena should be together, because they’re clearly made for one another, but come on, Jeremy is much sexier. I will have to resort to fan fiction.
I also thought that Kelley Armstrong did a great job with the secondary characters in this book, including Elena’s Pack, and those outside of it. I have a particular fascination with a certain Karl Marsten, which Tatum thinks I’m weird for, but I think Marsten is a great character who I hope turns up in later books in the series. I also loved getting to know the other members of Elena’s Pack, like Nick and Tonio. Again, I’m hoping they show up some more in future novels even though Armstrong switches up the female protagonists in those.
I’m so glad that Lauren and Tatum and the TV show finally gave me the push that I needed to start this series, because I had been meaning to read it for years. And now I’m buying all the books at once, because this is a great series to marathon. I’ve already read Stolen, and it was so much better than Bitten, you guys! I can’t wait to continue on because this series is addictive and the characters are all fabulous.