Sunday, 19 May 2013

Stolen (re-read)

Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural, Canadian
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 461
Series: #2 in 'Women of the Underworld' series
Series Order:
  1. Bitten (2001) (for my review click HERE)
  2. Stolen (2002)
  3. Dime Store Magic (2004)
  4. Industrial Magic (2004)
  5. Haunted (2005)
  6. Broken (2006)
  7. No Humans Involved (2007)
  8. Personal Demon (2008)
  9. Living With The Dead (2008)
  10. Frost Bitten (2009)
  11. Waking The Witch (2010)
  12. Spellbound (2011)
  13. Thirteen (2012)
Publisher:  Vintage Canada
First Published: 2002
First Line: "He hated the forest."

Book Description: Elena Michaels may be the world's only female werewolf, but she's just a regular girl at heart - and she certainly doesn't believe in witches.  At least not until a forceful encounter with two small, ridiculously feminine women who lure her into a carefully laid trap ...

Vampires, demons, shamans, witches - in Stolen they all exist, and they're all under attack.  An obsessed tycoon with a sick curiosity is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals, and plans to harness their powers for himself - even if it means killing them.  For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, separated from her Pack, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death."

My Thoughts:  Any regular readers of my blog know that I adore author Kelley Armstrong's 'Women of the Underworld' series.  She's not only Canadian but the woman can write, people!!  With 'Bitten' being such an amazing start to the series did I love 'Stolen' as much (even if this was the second time I'd read it?)  Oh yes.  Most definitely yes. 

Armstrong continues her series with yet another edge-of-your-seat read with strong female characters.  Stolen is also the book where Armstrong begins to introduce her readers to other supernatural races which makes the title of the series, Women of the Underworld, make much more sense.  These other races will eventually take over the storylines for several books.  I adore this idea of changing the protagonist every book or so.  It's not that we never see past main characters but when a new protagonist picks up the reigns it keeps things fresh.  While I luuurve Clay and Elena, putting them in the background for a few books makes me (without sounding too book geeky) miss them and gives the reader a fresh look into other 'races', namely witches, demons, vampires, shaman etc.

If I'm being honest I think that I enjoyed this book more than Bitten and one of the reasons is that we get a better picture of who Elena really is.  Sure she shows us her tougher side as she has to defend herself without the help of her mate, Clay.  But we also see a more fragile side to her as she begins to view her bond with Clay differently. 

But what really makes Elena's character more relatable and 'real' is how she reacts and feels when she's at her lowest -- dealing with the ruthless, power hungry and sadistic Ty Winslowe.  Ty's dehumanizing treatment of Elena reminds her of the horrible experiences that she had as a child.  The reader sees that Elena isn't always the tough werewolf and this acknowledgement makes her seem like a more believable and endearing character.  You want to root for her. 

If I had any negative things to say about this book is that I didn't get a strong feeling for some of the other supernaturals.  Knowing that the next book is taken over by Paige I was hoping to get to know her (and like her) a lot more in Stolen.  She was OK but not overly memorable or even all that likeable.

Kelley Armstrong remains one of my favourite authors and the fact that she is a fellow Canadian is the icing on the proverbial ... maple glazed donut.  She is an author who expertly understands how to balance all aspects of her books: romance, action, suspense, mystery ...  You cannot ask for more than that in a 'unputdownable' book.  I look forward to re-reading this series over the summer and getting reacquainted with all of the Women of the Underworld.

Highly recommended.

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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