I read Bitten a LONG time ago and really enjoyed it. But, at the time, I didn’t realize that the author had created a series so I just kind of forgot about it. Then, I saw Stolen at the bookstore and couldn’t wait to read more about Clay, Elena and the pack.
From Goodreads: “It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong’s debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.
In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the “other races” and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals – witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves – are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.”
To be honest, I wanted to like Stolen more than I did. Without Clay and Elena’s relationship it probably would have been a DNF. They saved it for me and kept it at 3/5 stars. Elena is tough, resilient, independent and resourceful. She has a few moments where she questions herself (beauty, etc.) but overall a very strong woman. Clay is just…Clay. He’s controlling but in a good way. (That sounds awful. I’m not sure how to explain it. He wants to protect Elena but lets her be herself and take the kill when needed.) By far he’s my favorite character.
My two biggest issues with Stolen are plot holes and wooden secondary characters. I won’t get into the plot holes since it would be too spoiler-y but several things were never fully explained and there were too many convenient twists. Jeremy isn’t really a secondary character (as the alpha of the pack) but he kind of gave me the creeps here. I remember liking him in book one so that was surprising. The newer characters just didn’t resonate with me. The witches were too witchy and what rhymes with that? The female vampire used her overt sexuality to alienate the other women and come off very poorly. The half-demons were half-done and we needed to see more of their powers with the how and why.
The bad guys were caricatures of bad guys. A rich, powerful man with too much money and a sociopathic personality. Former military guards who look for the first chance to assault and / or rape female prisoners. The woman who tricks them all into believing she’s good. Eh…I’ve seen it all before and it is tired.
Not a bad book but definitely not a favorite. If anyone else has read the rest of the series, does it get better?