Monday, January 3, 2011

Men of the Otherworld

Men Of the Underworld

Written by: Kelley Armstrong
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Bantam
Language: English
January 2009, $24.99
Genre: Urban Fantasy/The Otherworld series

As a curious six-year-old, Clayton didn’t resist the bite—he asked for it. But surviving as a lone child-werewolf was more than he could manage—until Jeremy came along and taught him how to straddle the human-werewolf worlds, gave him a home…and introduced him to the Pack. So begins this tantalizing volume, featuring three of the most intriguing members of the American Pack—a hierarchical founding family where bloodlines mean everything and each day presents a new, thrilling, and often deadly challenge. For as Clayton grows from a wild child to a clever teen who tests his beloved mentor at every turn, he must learn not only to control his animal instincts but to navigate Pack politics—including showing his brutal archnemesis, Malcolm, who the real Alpha is....

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Many moons ago I picked up Bitten by Kelley Armstrong and really enjoyed it. I liked Elena and Clay, their story, the way that the wolves interacted and were described, and the rest of the Pack. Of course now Kelley Armstrong is a best selling author and her Otherworld series deals with more than just werewolves now. Now there are necromancers, witches, and half demons, but none of them have really captured my interest the way that Elena did. I do enjoy Armstrong as an author though.

In my quest to conserve on the whole ‘I have a serious addiction to the written word’, but also I need gas in Betty Blue I decided to head to the library and pick up a few things for the New Year break. Men of the Otherworld just begged to be read especially since I read that it was all about Clay. Lets face it ladies, if you read Bitten Mr. Clayton Danvers was quite enticing even if he did turn his beloved because he couldn't imagine a life without her.

In this outing we learn all about Clayton, but in the process we also have tales on Jeremy, Antonio and Nicky through Clay’s eyes. In fact I think I heart Jeremy a bit more after this. There is a small prequel novella about Jeremy’s birth and one that bookends the tale as a whole that deals with Jeremy in the now as well. After Jeremy’s birth story, we get the meat of the book which recounts Clay’s turning into a werewolf, his feral years, and then Jeremy’s adoption of the young boy. This is followed be Clay’s teenage and college years and finally we are brought up to the present.

Things I loved: Yeah Clay! From his time as a fearless young child to a feral one and then with Jeremy’s kindness and love became the man that we know and possibly lust after. Maybe that is just me. This was definitely about character development. There is no real story other than Clay and Jeremy’s lives. Maybe in a way this is really a book all about Jeremy, but it is just told through Clay’s eyes. We learn more about the Pack, Jeremy’s father Malcolm, and some of the reasons why Clay has some the little quirks that he does.

Armstrong did a great job of describing Clay as a wolf even when he was in human form. Clay doesnt have the same sensibilities as you or I would, nor does he view the world the same way. In a way Clay is a sort of chaotic good sort of good guy early on. He is undoubtedly one of the good guys and yet he is willing to do some very bad things, for example his ‘legend’ tale.

One cool thing I learned through reading this is that all of this was once available for free via Armstrong’s blog, but she decided to have it published and then the proceeds went to World Literacy of Canada so shiny gold stars for her.

Things I didn't love so much: Jeremy’s tale ‘Kitsunegari’ wasn't quite as strong as the rest of the book. While it was interesting and certainly makes me quite curious and filled with hope that we might have a Jeremy tale here soon, it just wasnt as awesome. However, as I said before Kelley armstrong gets major props for bringing the boys back, especially in a genre that has become over-saturated with female heroines and far too much romance.

Buy or Borrow: Buy. If you are fan of the Otherworld series, this is a great little addition. At least grab it from the library.

Part of: The Otherworld Series. Book One: Bitten

Book Two: Stolen

Book Three: Dime Store Magic

Book Four: Industrial Magic

Book Five: Haunted

Book Six: Broken

Book Seven: No Humans Involved

Book Eight: Personal Demon

Book Nine: Living with the Dead

Also Recommended: For strong male protagonists: Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden series or Simon R Green’s Tales from the Nightside. For other great urban fantasy Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series or Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series.

3.5 out of 4 happy bibliosnark bookmarks

6 comments:

Kari said...

Hi! I'm a big fan of your blog & I tagged you in 7 Facts award. If you want to play along, check it out here: http://knowitnotsomuch.blogspot.com/2011/03/lets-see-how-this-goes.html. Hope you're having a great week!

CDerosby said...

I hope you haven't completely ditched the blog. You've got a great site here (although some of your reading material is definitely not on my hit list).

Smirking Revenge said...

I havent completely left, but it is hard to do reviews when you dont have a functioning or at least a reliable computer at home. I am working on it. It's just slow going

Smirking Revenge said...

Miss you guys too by the way

karenkarenkaren said...

something we share: we are both book whores ((:

i totally love your blog description. and your profile. (:
your last post is in january..
i hope you're working on something new?
keep the posts coming...

followed your blog.. pls check out mine too. follow, if you want too. (:

karenkarenkaren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.