Wednesday, 4 May 2016


Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Supernatural, Canadian, Re-Read
Type: Trade Paperback
Pages: 397
Series: #6 in the Women of the Underworld series
Source: My Personal Library
Publisher: Bantam Publishing (Random House Canada)
First Published: 2006
First Line: "Clayton doesn't do 'unobtrusive' well."

Book Description from GoodReads: Ever since she discovered she’s pregnant, Elena Michaels has been on edge. After all, she’s never heard of another living female werewolf, let alone one who’s given birth. But thankfully, her expertise is needed to retrieve a stolen letter allegedly written by Jack the Ripper. As a distraction, the job seems simple enough—only the letter contains a portal to Victorian London’s underworld, which Elena inadvertently triggers—unleashing a vicious killer and a pair of zombie thugs.

Now Elena must find a way to seal the portal before the unwelcome visitors get what they’re looking for—which, for some unknown reason, is Elena…

Now Elena must find a way to seal the portal before the unwelcome visitors get what they’re looking for—which, for some unknown reason, is Elena…

My Rating: 3/5 stars

My Review: I have long been a fan of Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Underworld series.  Armstrong's strength lies in her ability to create amazing visuals of her urban fantasy world.  She also has strong female characters, an interesting premise in that the protagonist changes with each book featuring a different supernatural woman.  That said, not all of her books are created equal and this one fell flat for me.

This is my second time reading this book (I'm re-reading the entire series slowly) so going in all I remembered was that this book featured werewolves Clay and Elena -- my favs.  Unfortunately the plot wasn't as riveting as I was hoping for.

What the book did have going for it was that it was set in Toronto.  I love it when I can picture locations in a book because I've walked those streets myself.  I also love it when Canadian authors write about Canadian locales and not automatically make a book set in the U.S 'just cuz'.  It's a pet peeve of this Canuck reader.

One of the big issues I had with this book is that it focused too much on Elena's pregnancy.  I suppose this was to be expected but, quite frankly, I didn't find it all that interesting.  As someone who has been in the pregnancy trenches three times it was hard to believe that a woman who is at the end of her final trimester, even though she's a werewolf, could do all of the things Elena did.  She couldn't tie her shoe but she could kick zombie butt?  Ummm, ok. And the reason why she continued to keep putting herself and her pregnancy in danger (because she was bored) didn't ring true for me. During this pregnancy-fest Clay and Jeremy lost quite a bit of their toughness as they took on the roles of worrying mother hens due to her 'condition'.  Don't get me wrong, I liked that Elena and Clay's relationship is taking on new ground but would have much preferred for it to be in the background with more focus on the mystery plot.

The mystery ... hmmm.  I wasn't a fan of the zombies and Jack the Ripper/time portal plot line.  It was weak at best and not described in enough detail for this reader be interesting.  I did enjoy seeing the Pack back in action as well as the addition of Torontonian vampire, Zoe (who I hope makes more appearances in future books).  She added some energy to the plodding plot.

Overall, this wasn't a bad read but it definitely wasn't one of the stronger books in the series either.  I loved that it was set in a Canadian locale and progressed the personal aspects of Clay and Elena but unfortunately I found the general plot lacking.

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