Frostbitten (Review)

December 17, 2014

Book cover for "Frostbitten" by Kelley Armstrong.Title: Frostbitten

Author: Kelly Armstrong

Publication Year: 2009

Pages: 400

Genre: Fiction, Fantasy

Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library

From the cover:

Smart, sexy, supernatural — the men and women of the Otherworld live and love, fight and die, among us. Unseen and unsuspected, this realm of witches, ghosts, and werewolves is now threatened with exposure by a brutal series of bizarre murders that has left even the supernatural world baffled — and cold with terror….

Being the world’s only female werewolf has its advantages, such as having her pick of the Otherworld’s most desirable males. And Elena Michaels couldn’t have picked a more dangerously sexy and undyingly loyal mate than Clayton Danvers. Now their bond will be put to the ultimate test as they follow a bloody trail of gruesome slayings deep into Alaska’s frozen wilderness.

There’s nothing the werewolf community dislikes more than calling attention to itself. So when a pair of rogue man-eaters begins hunting humans, it’s up to Elena and Clayton to track down the predators. But any illusions their task would be simple are quickly dispelled. For even in werewolf terms, there’s something very disturbing taking place in the dark Alaskan forests. A werewolf more wolf than human and more unnatural than supernatural is on the hunt — a creature whose origins seem to spring from ancient legends of the shape-shifting Wendigo.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, Clayton and Elena find themselves confronting painful ghosts from their pasts — and an issue neither of them is eager to discuss. For one of them has been chosen to become the new Pack leader, and as every wolf knows, there can be only one Alpha. They’ve always been equals in everything. Now, when their survival depends more than ever on perfect teamwork, will instinct allow one of them to lead…and the other to follow?

(This is the tenth book in the Women of the Otherworld series, after Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Chaotic (novella), Broken, No Humans Involved, Personal Demon, Living With the Dead, and Angelic (novella).)

I was really excited to get back to Elena as a narrator in this novel. I’ve actually come to really like the other narrators in the series – particularly Eve and Hope – but there’s something about Elena and the werewolves that I’ve missed.

Frostbitten is a mix of a lot of things: part mystery, part Shifter mythology, part Pack politics, and part personal struggle. Personally, my favourite bits were the mystery of what’s happening in Alaska and Elena’s personal struggle dealing with her past trauma in the context of their current situation. The other things were essential and brought the story together, but they weren’t what caught me most.

The fights and chase scenes were a tiny bit repetitive, but they were also a fair bit different than anything in the series before. This is the first time that you really see much werewolf-on-werewolf fighting in the series, and the kind of dialogue and internal processing that happens (particularly in Elena’s case) is essential to the story.

I also really loved seeing how Elena and Clay interact with each other now that they are getting older, have kids, and are looking forward to taking over the Pack leadership from Jeremy and the previous generation. It’s like they’re all growing up and morphing the series into something more serious and thought-provoking.

Frostbitten felt like a turning point in the series to me, bringing everything full circle to the werewolf Pack. It’s also a fast-paced read that you’re sure to enjoy.

Rating:

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