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Review: Driven by Kelley Armstrong‏

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https://i2.wp.com/live.longhill.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/4-out-of-5-stars1.jpgSynopsis: 

Cains are known for being big, brutish and not-too-bright. The mutt clan embodies all the supernatural world’s worst stereotypes about werewolves. But not even the Cains deserve to be hunted down and skinned like animals.

When young Davis Cain comes to the Pack for help, Alpha Elena Michaels can’t refuse him. It isn’t about morality or justice. It’s about not letting anyone think they can do this to werewolves and get away with it.

But Elena is also dealing with the Pack’s homegrown monster—Malcolm Danvers, onetime enforcer, full-time psycho. Malcolm is now under Elena’s control, as part of the most difficult decision she’s had to make as leader. But if she has to let Malcolm in, she’s going to make full use of him…and the best person to catch monsters is one who knows exactly how they think.


I was a few pages into this until I realised that the characters’ names all sounded familiar…. then I realised that it was the book version of the series Bitten that I was binge watching on Netflix earlier this year!
 
Normally, I’m more of a Vampire mythology kind of girl by the zoologist in me can’t resist a good Werewolf series as long as the pack structure makes sense and it’s suitably brutal rather than just sex (because that’s the point at which we’re flirting with beastiality, and I’m just not cool with that). Aaaaaanyways, I was more than happy to carry on with this book once I realised what it was because the series was fantastic – though this book in the series was set several years after where season 1 Bitten left off.
 
From doing a little research, I gather that this book is set after the main stream of the series has ended – if you have the time, I would advise reading some of the original books before hand to get a deeper understanding of what it all means. Some of the character’s prejudices in this book only make sense if you know some of the back story, however you won’t be entirely lost if you don’t read them – you just won’t get the full force. 
 
Elena is a great strong female lead for the series, she’s equal parts human empathy and wolfish brutality. She makes tough decisions and feels the impact of each and every one of them which is something I appreciate, it’s not strength or bravery to make the hard decisions if you don’t feel anything about them. Her mate (as in lover/partner, not friend) Clay is a little more on the brutal side, but I can forgive that man anything after seeing his portrayed by the mouth wateringly gorgeous Greyston Holt. Seriously, even his name is beautiful!
 
The plot of this story is to show the progress of Elena, in her role of first female Alpha, bringing the werewolves in to the modern age and making them stronger, safer and more diverse for it. The feminist message in this series is great, the main changes that Elena has made to her pack is to allow the female partners and daughters of her wolves play a role in pack life rather than being left by the wayside, even if their wolf still loves them.
For this reason, she is very reluctant to allow Malcolm the embodiment of everything dark-ages to rejoin the pack, giving him every opportunity to screw up so that she can execute him but he stays in line and seems to be adapting to the new regime. I think that he finds it easier to accept educated and female wolves when there are two standing in front of him who would be more than happy to tear his head off.
 
Though this book was well written and paced, I feel that this book was a tribute to the readers who had followed this series all the way from the beginning and it was an opportunity to show them how their favourite characters were getting on rather than creating a new plot.
It sounds like I didn’t really enjoy this book, but that isn’t true! Once I’d started reading it, I was hooked – Kelley Armstrong’s work is like the Amaretto and Coke of the book world, they go down far too easily and suddenly you’re wondering how tomorrow happened and why you have aches and pains that weren’t there yesterday….
 

 

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7 comments on “Review: Driven by Kelley Armstrong‏

  1. I’m generally not into werewolf stories, due to having had a vivid hallucination as a child when feverish. It was of a wolf crouched by my bed, snarling, salivating, and preparing to make me “dinner”. That being said, have you read “Shiver” by Maggie Stiefvater? It’s written in such a beautiful, lyrical style, with the whole werewolf thing viewed from an unusual angle.

    Liked by 1 person

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