Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Reader's Diary #1673- Kelley Armstrong: Bitten

For the longest time, it seemed Canada had no genre fiction. It was all, for better or worse, CanLit. I'm sure there were always Canadian writers trying their pens at horror, romance, sci-fi and the like, but Kelley Armstrong was among the first to finally make it popular and profitable.

Despite that, and despite having met her a few years back, I'd not read anything of hers beyond a short story. Might as well start with the novel that kicked off her prolific career: Bitten, the werewolf romance/urban fantasy/horror book and first in her Women of the Otherworld series.

While I enjoyed it overall, it did feel rather like a first novel. Curiously, I was able to suspend my belief for werewolves but not for her rather faulty representation of a small town. Set by and large in Bear Valley, which at one point she mentions as having only 8000 inhabitants, it ebbs and flows between small town and major city. No small town I've ever lived in (and I've lived in many) would have had the rave described here and if an enormous "dog" wound up killing people at said rave, I can assure you that it would be front page news for a very long time.

Still, I liked the voice of the protagonist Elena. Though not always a trustworthy narrator (to be fair, she was struggling with inner conflict), she had a consistently conversational style. And while the plot itself seemed to struggle to find its footing, I admit enjoying not always knowing where the story was headed.

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