[Review] STOLEN by Kelley Armstrong

[This is the second in a series of posts counting down to the last in the Otherworld series, THIRTEEN, set for release July 24, 2012. ~~ 1.BITTEN]

Cover Copy: Even though she’s the world’s only female werewolf, Elena Michaels is just a regular girl at heart, so naturally, she doesn’t believe in witches. But when two small, ridiculously feminine women manage to hurl her against a wall, and then save her from the hunters on her tail, Elena realizes that maybe there are more things in heaven and earth than she’s dreamt of.

Vampires, demons, shamans, witches– in Stolen they all exist, and they’re all under attack. An obsessed tycoon with a sick curiousity is well on his way to amassing a private collection of supernaturals, and plans to harness their powers for himself– even if it means killing them. For Elena, kidnapped and imprisoned deep underground, separated from her Pack, unable to tell her friends from her enemies, choosing the right allies is a matter of life and death.

My thoughts: STOLENis the second in the Otherworld series and like the first book it is narrated by Elena, the werewolf, but this book takes us beyond the Pack. This is the book that opens everything up to the Otherworld. Up until this point, Elena (like us) didn’t know or believe in the existence of witches, shamans, demons or others. But then she’s kidnapped and made part of a collection of supernaturals. Elena must figure out who to trust if she’s to get out, but this isn’t easy for her– trusting others goes against her wolf instinct and everything the Pack ever taught her.

STOLEN plays on one of the themes common to urban fantasy: who are the real monsters. I love this theme. It works well in this genre. Characters must be judged by their actions, not their species type.

STOLEN also plays on one the plots Kelley Armstrong likes to use: mad scientists capturing supernaturals for nefarious purposes. We see the same storyline in The Darkest Powers series and again in the Darkness Rising series. (The kidnapping group in STOLEN is unrelated to the kidnapping group in the other two series.) It’s a storyline that Armstrong does very well, and it works for urban fantasy. After all, when your protagonists have super-powers, it can be difficult to devise appropriate and convincing antagonists.

The world-building is carefully planned out. Each supernatural has strengths and weakness, and Armstrong shows us what they are through intricate, action-filled plots.

STOLEN is high-action suspense, often resembling the high-adrenaline of Robert Ludlum’s Bourne series.

Note: This is also the book in which we meet Eve and her daughter, Savannah, a mere 12 years old in this book. Since Savannah narrates the last three books in the Otherworld series, this is the book that begins her story arc and good place to start if you’re new to the series.

Rating: A
Series: Women of the Otherworld #2
Publisher: Seal Books/Random House
Acquired: Purchased

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