Bitten (Women of the Underworld Book 1) by Kelley Armstrong



Elena Michaels is a Canadian journalist living in Toronto with her older boyfriend.  She lost her parents at the age of 5 in a car accident.  One minute she was in the back seat, the next minute she was kneeling beside her father trying to wake him up.  After spending all night alone, trying to wake her dead parents, she had some issues.  Every one who tried to adopt her ended up bringing her back, she was too damaged.  Eventually she was taken by a different kind of foster parent.  The kind who wanted something to play with.   Between the death of her parents and being repeatedly raped by foster fathers, she definitely has a lot of issues.  Despite all of her problems, she went to college.  While she was there, she met the man of her dreams, Clayton Danvers.  Clayton asked Elena to marry him.  He took her home to meet his adopted father, Jeremy Danvers.  Jeremy had been planning to break up the relationship, so Clayton panicked.  He had a secret that he’d been keeping, he was a werewolf.  He changed into wolf form while Jeremy was talking to Elena, and he bit her.  He didn’t know what else to do, he would only choose one mate, and keep her for life.  He had chosen Elena.

Becoming a werewolf is not easy, many die.  Some go insane.  Elena was very lucky, Jeremy took care of her.  He knew a lot about medicine, to prevent his pack from having to go to a hospital and get blood tests done.  It took a great deal of care, but Elena survived the bite and became the only female werewolf.  Unfortunately, she never forgave Clay for biting her.  Since she was blaming him for that, she decided to blame him for everything that was wrong with her life.  One of Elena’s jobs in the pack was to chase down people that had proof of their existence.  One day she tracked a man that had a werewolf arm in the midst of changing.  Usually she would call Jeremy and have him tell her what to do.  She had no time and ended up killing this man without Jeremy telling her to do so.  She couldn’t live with herself, so she left the pack.  Jeremy was very patient with her and let her go figure things out.  He would have told her to kill the man anyway.  He said that’s why they are supposed to call him first, so he takes the responsibility.

So Elena was living in Canada with her boyfriend and trying to hide the fact that she was a werewolf.  She had cut off all contact with the pack except for one person, she talked to Logan on the phone.  He was her best friend, but he lived somewhere else.  She had put off changing as long as she could and had to change in the city.  This was not ideal.  She ran up and down ally ways and ended up tracking a police officer.

Then she got a message on her phone, it was Jeremy.  He said she needed to call home as soon as possible.  She tried to call back, but go no answer.  She had to explain to her boyfriend that they were extended family that she didn’t meet until she was an adult.  She called a number of times, but nobody answered the phone.  She promised her boyfriend that if she couldn’t get any answer by noon she would go see what was wrong.  So she landed in  Syracuse New York the next day.  She took a cab to Stonehaven, it was night.  When she arrived, Clay was sitting outside the gate waiting for her.  He had been waiting for her all day.

When she saw Jeremy he told her they would talk tomorrow.  She said whatever it was, she was no longer in the pack so it wasn’t her concern.  He told her you’re either pack or you’re a mutt.  He walked out and didn’t talk to her until the next day.  The whole pack was there, except for Logan.  He had a court thing to deal with, but would come as soon as it was finished.  A mutt (non-pack werewolf) was hunting humans in their territory.  This was not allowed.  The reason they didn’t hunt humans was because leaving a trail of bodies was a good way to let humans know of their existence.  Elena was the tracker, she had the best sense of smell.  That night Clay, Elena, and Nick went to look for the mutt on one side of town, while Antonio and Peter searched the other side.  Clay, Elena, and Nick changed to wolf form when they got to town because it was easier to track a sent.  Since Elena had been avoiding changing while living in Canada, it took her half an hour to change.  There was a curfew in town, so they figured it was safe.  Clay found the place where the mutt was hiding, and gave the signal.  Elena and Nick came to help investigate.  Elena realized it was a newly turned mutt.  They had changed back to human form to investigate this room the mutt was staying in.  As werewolves, they were used to being naked around each other.  They also smelled blood and decay.  Elena found a piece of scalp with some hair on it.  They found some matchbooks with names of bars on them.  When the time came to change back to wolf form (they couldn’t run around town naked), Elena panicked.  She refused to admit she had a hard time changing.  She finally made it, but not without difficulty.  Hmm, I’m getting too detailed, this will end up being nearly as long as the book.  I’ll try to cut more out.

When they got home Elena had sex with Clay (yeah they didn’t include that in the series).  The next day she was talking to Jeremy outside and smelled blood.  They tracked it to the body of a boy killed somewhere else and dumped on their property under a bridge.  Some hunters showed up looking for the wolf that had been killing people.  They hadn’t asked permission, so Jeremy made them go to the entrance of the house saying he wanted to finish his walk without people running around with guns.  Clay showed up and had a confrontation with the hunters.  Another hunter came through the woods with a dog.  It attacked Elena, Clay killed the dog with his bare hands.  He knelt down and Elena feigned hysterics as Clay tried not to laugh.  The hunters left and never saw the body.

Logan called and said he would arrive the next day.  Meanwhile Clay and Elena heard about a rave at a warehouse.  Since it seemed likely the mutt would be there, they went.  Elena went in alone, while Clay watched from a window above.  Elena found the mutt, he admitted he had been a serial killer before he was turned.  He tried to force himself on her (since she is the only female werewolf), and instead she turned him around and scratched him with a clawed hand.  Because he was new and a mutt, she scared him into changing.  She threw him into an empty office.  He tore a hole through the wall and went on a feeding frenzy in the crowd.  Eventually Elena tracked him outside and got him to chase her away from the people and into a road where a truck hit him.  In this world, werewolves don’t change back to humans when they die.  Clay and Elena headed back to the empty grocery store parking lot where they parked their car.  Elena saw Logan and ran towards him, Clay tried to stop her.  Unfortunately, because she had her head up her ass, she thought he was jealous.  Actually he was trying to stop her because he realized that Logan was dead and he didn’t want her to see it.  It wasn’t the mutt, he was dead and had been busy with them.

I’m still including too many details, this is getting long.  Okay Elena and Clay found another mutt.  They tracked his scent to a hotel room and searched the room.  He had a scrap book detailing all the women he had murdered.  Another serial killer.  Then they saw the mutt (his picture was in some of the newspaper clippings in the scrap book) walking with Karl Marsten and another mutt they knew.  They left before the mutts got to the room.   Jeremy decided that he, Antonio, and Pete would go try to find out information.  Meanwhile, Nick needed to change, so they decided to go on a deer hunt.  After they hunted and ate the deer, they slept.  One of the mutts they recognized at the hotel showed up.  They started to hunt him, but Clay realized it was a trap to keep them busy while the others went after Jeremy.  So they went to find Jeremy, Antonio, and Pete.  They found Pete in a dumpster…dead.  Jeremy was injured.

Eventually they discovered that an old pack member named Daniel was behind the mutt movement.  Karl Marsten just wanted property, but Daniel wanted Elena.  The new mutts just wanted to kill humans.  The one with the scrap book wanted to kill Elena, she humiliated him.  Jeremy decided to send Elena back to Toronto with Clay, yeah Clay with her new bf…loads of fun!  One day Elena snuck off to work without Clay, he called and told her he would meet her in 15 minutes.  He never showed up and she started getting sick and dizzy.  She went back to the apartment to find her new bf on the floor with stab wounds and Clay missing.  There was a note saying she had to meet them at 10:30am the next morning in New York, with Clay’s wedding ring to prove they took him.  She called an ambulance for new bf, when he wouldn’t let her leave the apartment she freaked out.  This caused her to change right in front of him.  She panicked and jumped out the window.  She just kept running, trying to get to Clay.  Jeremy found her, they have a psychic link.  He had called Daniel and refused to give him Elena.  Elena had to be caged for awhile.  While Jeremy was planning a way to rescue Clay, Elena took matters into her own hands.

Elena found out the name of the other mutt, and he turned out to be a pedophile.  She read about his habits of watching little girls sleep and figured he’d still be doing that.  She drove around all over town looking for him, and finally found him.  She followed him, hoping he’d lead her to Clay.  After awhile he just stopped the car in the middle of nowhere.  She got sick of waiting and decided to interrogate him.  He told her where Clay was and she killed him.  Can’t let a pedophile live.  So she went to the cabin they broke into and found Daniel, Karl Marsten, and the serial killer mutt there.  She told Daniel to let Clay go and she’d stay.  They brought Clay out, drugged out of his mind (they were to terrified of him to not drug him).  The new mutt only wanted to kill.  He ended up killing Daniel.  Karl Marsten was actually helping Elena, he said “hey, I only want property.”  Elena went after the mutt, who ran into the woods.  He was so new he didn’t even change into wolf form.  He ran clutching his knife.  Elena did change, and kill him.

Karl Marsten got property in Wisconsin, which did not make him happy.  Clay was very sick and had to be nursed back to health, Elena stayed by his side.  She finally realized how much she loved Clay, and BEGAN getting her head out of her ass.  She went to Toronto to make sure her now ex-bf was doing.  He convinced himself that he didn’t really see her turn into a wolf.  Clay chased her down, fearing he lost her again.  He didn’t, she came home to Stonehaven and stayed with Clay.  I really like the story, I think it was a good story.  Obviously I have a few issues with Elena in this first book, but she came around.  You can now see Bitten as a tv series on SyFy and also see the reviews of the show on my blog.  It DOES NOT follow the book, at least not completely.  They’ve taken the basic story line and changed a lot of it.  I’m trying to let that go and not freak out when the show completely deviates from the book.  For the most part, it’s a good show.  If you haven’t read the book yet, I’d suggest watching the show until it gets to the point that they are done with information in this book THEN read the book.  It will be less painful that way.  Happy reading!