Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Women from the Otherworld (Books 1-3 sum up/review)

This is going to be a kinda review kind of sum up of a series. Warning, I haven’t actually finished this series, but I thought that I may want to review the books later on in the series so I might as well do this so that I don’t feel like I can’t review the newer ones because I haven’t reviewed the first ones.

I would like to warn straight off that these books are adult books and therefore refer to or include sex and all of that stuff that YA books don’t have. Not as much in the third and fourth, but in the first two, you have two werewolves and Kelley Armstrong has got them in touch with their animal instincts shall we say. If you’re uncomfortable with this, I would suggest you skip those passages and continue with the book because they aren’t nearly as bad in the third and fourth book.

Okay so the ‘Women of the Otherworld’ series by Kelley Armstrong is her adult series, focusing on different characters throughout. Her first two books Bitten and Stolen focus on the character Elena Michaels, who is a werewolf (I’m not spoiling anything you can 1 tell by the cover and 2 look on the back to see the word werewolf). Elena is one of my favourite characters from any novel I’ve read before. She’s strong in her own ways, individual in her own ways, and also she has her flaws.

Blurb for Bitten:
Elena Michaels is your regular twenty-first-century girl: self-assured, smart and fighting fit. She also just happens to be the only female werewolf in the world…

It has some good points. When she walks down a dark alleyway, she’s the scary one. But now her Pack – the one she abandoned so that she could live a normal life – are in trouble, and they need her help. Is she willing to risk her life to help the ex-lover who betrayed her by turning her into a werewolf in the first place? And, more to the point, does she have a choice?

Bitten is about Elena showing how much she wants to be human, how she longs for a ‘normal life’. The characters we meet in this book are either human or werewolf. The main characters include Elena, Clayton (Clay) Danvers and Jeremy Danvers. There are also other characters in the book including Nick and Antonio, and the bad guys whom I won’t name because it might include spoilers.

The book really has a lot of layers to it which is really nice to see. You have the main problem of the mutts (non pack werewolves), you have the Clay and Elena relationship, Elena continuously trying to come to terms with her werewolf side, and altogether it’s nice to have a mix of different things going on that you can enjoy. And because of this you can feel like it’s real, because you don’t just have a fight about werewolves or something like that. You have these individually layered characters battling with personal and private issues as well as pack issues which gives you the feeling that it is real.

The detail that Kelley Armstrong goes into for this book is amazing, you can believe it every time you read about the change, each individual character has a back story of their own that gets leaked into the book which is interesting and gives us a better perception of them.

If that’s enough for you to start the series and you don’t want any potential spoilers, please don’t continue with this because I’m putting the blurb and talking about the second and third book.

Blurb for Stolen:
Elena Michaels is a wanted woman. She hasn’t done anything wrong. Well, not recently, anyway. But ten years ago her lover turned her into a werewolf: the only female werewolf in the world, in fact.

And now, just as she’s finally coming to terms with it all, a group of scientists learn of her existence. They’re hunting her down, and Elena is about to run straight into their trap. But they haven’t reckoned on Elena’s adoptive family, her Pack, who will stop at nothing to get her back. They haven’t reckoned on Elena herself, either, and that’s a very big mistake…

Stolen is the one that I think people who enjoyed her Darkest Powers series will enjoy. Obviously I can’t go into much detail of this one without spoiling the first one, but as you can see from the blurb, it’s very very different from the first one and has some similarities with The Darkest Powers.

From the books I’ve read Stolen definitely is my favourite of all her books. It’s one of the thickest, and it’s also just really interesting. In this one you find out how vast the world is, there’s the vampires, witches, and other things (I don’t want to give too much away so I don’t want to tell you too much).

Without spoiling anything, you definitely get a different insight to Elena’s life. With the first one, we really just see her past to do with her being bitten and her very early life. You get teased with it, but you don’t see too much, which is good because it’s nice to see that she knows the character’s history but isn’t hitting you with far too much knowledge about it. In this one, you get another taste of her past, we find out about when she was about seven, you find out about her reason for hating then loving Christmas, and you see her character go to a rather dark place where she obviously wants to forget.

We also get some new faces, Cassandra, Paige, Savannah, Leah, all fantastically different and interesting characters. And all of the female characters are different. We have Paige who’s still a strong character, but she’s a different strong, and all of these characters are just interesting to see come together. And then you have Savannah who’s such an interesting character, extremely complex and yet extremely vulnerable and she’s just one of those characters you adore.

And now for Dime Store Magic.

Blurb for Dime Store Magic:
Paige Winterbourne is a witch. Not that you’d notice – no warts, no green skin, no cute little wiggle of the nose whenever she casts a spell. No, most of the time she’s just a normal twenty-three-year-old girl: works too hard, worries about her weight, wonders if she’ll ever find a boyfriend. Okay, so she does have an adopted teenager, Savannah, who wants to raise her black witch of a mother from the dead. And who is being stalked by a telekinetic half-demon and an all powerful cabal of sorcerers. But other than that, Page has a really ordinary life. That is, until the neighbours find out who she is, and all hell breaks loose. Literally…

This is definitely not one of my favourite books from the series, in fact I read 70 pages and stopped reading and only picked it up last week. And I’m very glad I did start rereading it. Though this book seems boring, it isn’t what you expect from reading the first hundred pages. It goes on for a bit, but then once it starts up, it gets really interesting.

Paige isn’t my favourite character, but you get more of an insight to her world and her mind, so instead of how you see her in Stolen, you can imagine her in a different life. By the end of the book, I really started to like her.

You also get to meet some more awesome characters. Okay not like a lot more, but you get one who is a pretty cool character called Cortez. Very interesting to see them all develop together. Of course there are also some characters you don’t like, such as Victoria who was a horrible person in my mind.

There are some of the funniest scenes I’ve ever read in this book, Savannah has become one of the funniest unintentionally funny characters I have ever read. She’s a teenager and you can just see her as one of the girls you knew in school that you find pretty funny. I loved her as a character, found her extremely interesting. And there’s also some extremely terrifying and gruesome scenes in this too. Like for example, one of the scenes had me feeling sick to my stomach because it was so well written.

And that is all of them that I’ve read so far in this series. I will do an in depth review of Industrial Magic which is the one I’m reading now. I would recommend this series to anyone thinking of branching out into adult fiction, it has brilliant writing and the stories are so complex it’s a really good read, but it’s still Kelley Armstrong that you see in her YA series.

If you read them I hope you enjoy them and I’ll talk to you guys later! Bye x

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