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Bitten: Number 1 in series (Otherworld) [Paperback]

Kelley Armstrong
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)

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Book Description

26 Feb 2004 Otherworld (Book 1)

Elena Michaels is a model woman for the 21st century: self-assured, keenly intelligent, fighting fit. And like every modern woman, she has her secrets. Nothing extraordinary about that. Except that Elena really is extraordinary. In fact, she may well be the most extraordinary woman alive. She is, after all, the only female werewolf in the world...

Ten years ago, against her will, Elena's lover turned her into a werewolf. Some days it feels like a gift. Most days it feels like a curse. A year ago, she decided to live as a human. Now she has to go back to New York State, her old home. Her pack is under seige by a new group of violent, psychotic werewolves that shows no respect for the old ways, and no respect for territory. Forced into helping her old friends, Elena soon slips back into the reassuring camaradarie of the pack, though she struggles against her dangerous, unpredictable desires.

Hunting down her enemies, Elena prowls through territories usually barred to women. From dangerous back alleys to the dark, luscious forests of New York State, she must hunt and destroy the renegade pack before they destroy her.

Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (26 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841493503
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841493503
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kelley Armstrong lives in rural Ontario, Canada, with her family and far too many pets. She is the author of the bestselling Women of the Otherworld series; the highly acclaimed Darkest Power young adult series and two adventure novels about a hitwoman, Exit Strategy and Made to be Broken. For further information visit

Product Description

Amazon Review

Elena, heroine of Kelley Armstrong's impressive debut thriller Bitten, never planned that a casual sexual encounter would transform her into a werewolf. Neither did Clay, her lover and one of the leaders of the exclusive werewolf clique known as the Pack; women do not generally change or survive if they do. Elena's considerable reservations about her new life come to a head and she walks out on the Pack to return to something like normality, finding herself a boyfriend who turns a blind eye to her occasional disappearances in the middle of the night. She may have done with the infighting of werewolves, but they have not done with her; her former family call her back when they find themselves under threat from those they have excluded and dominated. Kelley Armstrong is very good on the sheer exhilaration of shape-changing, of running on four feet through forests, suburban greenery and urban back alleys; if there is a weakness here, it is that Elena's relationship with the taciturn, untrustworthy Clay is sometimes a little too conventionally romantic--but the dark poetry of the best of the book overcomes this entirely. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


It's terrific. The heroine is the most appealing I have come across in ages. It's clever, quirky, hip and funny, skating between genres with style and grace. More please! (Joanne Harris, author of Chocolat)

A hair-raising story for the she-wolf in us all (Shannon Olson, author of Welcome to my Planet)

Entertaining new take on an old thriller story form. Makes Buffy look fluffy (Daily Express)

Armstrong's true achievement is her depiction of werewolf nature in believably human context ...the sensuality of Elena's transformations and the viciousness of her kills mesh perfectly with her tough personality. Filled with romance and supernatural intri (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
63 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Different, in a good way :) 24 Nov 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Elena seems a normal young woman. She has a job, and lives with her perfectly normal boyfriend. However, things aren't always what they seem to be: Elena is a werewolf, the only female werewolf in the world to be precise...
Elena was turned into a werewolf by her previous fiancée, Clay, who wanted her to be with him forever, and thus did something forbidden by Pack Law: he bit her. Against all odds Elena survived, but she felt betrayed by Clay and ultimately left the Pack.
Now, however, the Pack needs her: a band of mutts (not Pack werewolves) are killing humans, and they must be stopped. So when Jeremy the alpha werewolf calls her, she decides to return and face her past, even though she isn't specially eager to do so.
Truth to be told, this is the first book by Kelley Armstrong that I have read, and I discovered it by chance. A friend told me to visit Armstrong's website ([...]) to read some of her free novellas, and I did exactly that when I had some free time. I didn't regret it: the three free novellas that Kelley offers in her website are just awesome. "Ascension", "Savage" and "Beginnings" are prequels to "Bitten", and quite different to other things I have read (different in a good way, though).
My immediate reaction after reading Armstrong's free novellas was to buy "Bitten", Armstrong's first published novel and coincidently the first book in the "Women of the Otherworld" series. I don't regret doing that. As a matter of fact, I liked this book so much that I gladly recommend it to you, provided you like fantasy/horror books with non-stopping action, an interesting plot and a little bit of romance :)
Belen Alcat
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking book! 18 Sep 2006
I recently discovered Kelley Armstrong's books by chance in my local bookshop and have become completely hooked on them!

"Bitten" is the first book in the series and introduces us to Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf. She is still coming to terms with becoming a werewolf after her lover, Clay, bit her and at the beginning of the book is trying to maintain a "normal" life with human partner Philip. However, her Pack soon need her help and when she returns to them she has to battle with her feelings for Clay and the others and decide whether home is with Philip or with her Pack, while at the same time the Pack is in terrible danger from a group of "mutts", rogue werewolves who kill to survive.

Elena is a great character, a typical "stand up for yourself" woman with a troubled past that makes her sympathetic and likeable. By the end of the book you may feel as though she's an old friend. The first person narrative allows readers to get into her mind and this book explores her confused hopes and fears and her longing for a normal life and a happy home.

All in all, an excellent book, and it will certainly leave you desperate to read more of Elena's adventures!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bitten 21 Dec 2006
By Mojo147
Bitten is the first book written by Kelley Armstrong. All Kelley Armstrongs books are interconnected using the same "other world" characters, though can be read independently. Bitten I think is written slightly differently to her other books.I feel it was slow in forming the story line and wondered for the first 80 pages where this story was going. Perservere with the book, it was well worth it as it evolved. The book is about a woman called Elena who was turned into a werewolf by a former lover called Clay. Clay decided he couldn't live without Elena so bit her. This set into motion a series of events that cumilate in Elena being abducted because she is the only know female werewolf.I have read all Kelley Armstrong books and eagerly await the next, they just get better and better.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A THOUGHT PROVOKING ADVENTURE 29 Jun 2005
As I see a number of reviews already outling this story, I shall not repeat a summary of the plot. Suffice it to say that I am moved to comment despite the number of existing reviews, something I rarely bother to do. I was very impressed with this book, and found myself still thinking about it for ages after I had read it. Firstly, there is the meticulously created world of a modern female werewolf-the only one in the whole world, and thus something of a rarity even within the werewolf community. The detailed descriptions of the change, the pack, and a host of secondary characters creates a skillfully drawn background to the central theme of the book-does Elena Michaels stay with her human partner or return to her werewolf lover? Underpinning this dilemma is Elena's difficulty in accepting that she has the capacity to slough off her human characteristics and become, essentially, a wild animal-can she, should she, cast off her human moral code and loose herself in the savage joy of the hunt?How does she reconcile this with her longings for what she sees as a normal human life-the cravings of an orphan for a normal family? There are some complex issues around identity and morality, denial and self acceptance that lift this book out of the normal category of a supernatural romance and into something rarer and finer. I loved this book, cannot wait to read the others in the series, and recommend it very strongly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong debut 8 Oct 2003
Meet Elena Michaels. A journalist living in Toronto with her boyfriend Philip. Elena has a secret though, she is a werewolf, and not just that, she is the only female werewolf in the world. This makes her rather special, as you might imagaine. Elena had been part of the Pack, a group of werewolves, led by the intelligent Jeremy, but she had trouble accepting just being a werewolf, and so left and moved to Toronto. Sneaking out in the middle of the night to Change and go for a run as a huge wolf presents some difficulties, but she's managing.
However, the Pack calls her. There's trouble in New York, and they need her on board. This will mean returning to her past, and dealing with issues she'd rather ignore. One of these issues is handsome and sexy as hell Clay, the once love of her life, and the reason she is a werewolf. But mutts, or lone werewolves threaten the security of the pack, and so they have to work together.
This is a great debut novel, with an intriguing premise. Elena struggles to come to terms with what she is and what she feels, and Kelley Armstrong paints a great picture of a feral hierarchy, where violence and nudity are commonplace. It's a bit violent in places, but hey, these are werewolves after all, even if they are extremely intelligent men (and one woman) for the most part.
The most original fantasy novel I've read in a while. I'm definitely getting the next one, so don't let an opportunity to read this pass you by.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!
Great start to the series. Must read for all urban fantasy fans.
Published 1 day ago by R. Ruddy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Solid Book
I really enjoyed reading this. The descriptions of Elena's transformations and her nocturnal runs were thrilling and really added to the atmosphere of the book. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Lupa Noctis
5.0 out of 5 stars Bitten by this book!!!
From the first page I was hooked, and I read it in 3 days - good job there is 13 books in the series!!
Published 15 days ago by Jacquie O'neill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I read Taken first and loved it so thought I would see if this one was any good, thought it was fantastic!
Published 1 month ago by Sarah
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book.
This was one of the first books I read in the fantasy genre when I was a teenager and to this day is a book that you can always go back to. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Really good read
Not what I expected. Being a fan of supernatural fiction of basically any kind I was on the look out for a new series to sink my teeth into (no pun intended). Read more
Published 3 months ago by K.wig
Well i believe this is one book i was destined to discover, read and thoroughly enjoy. I started reading it on Friday 13th June, 2014 - under a full moon, if you can believe it! Read more
Published 3 months ago by Greggorio!
4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful start to an excellent series of books
Enjoyed the plot lines and characters, great to see a female heroine that can give as good as she gets
Published 4 months ago by d.rob
2.0 out of 5 stars What a pathetic protagonist
The fundamental flaw of this book is to have such a weak character, who always defers to male Pack members (after token resistance), actually recounting the plot. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr. E. E. Ernstbrunner
1.0 out of 5 stars So disappointed.
I decided to read this series as she had a cover endorsement on another series I enjoyed by Patricia Briggs. How disappointed I was, the characters are so annoying. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rampart
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