Elena Michaels seems like the typically strong and sexy modern woman, She lives with her architect boyfriend, writes for a popular newspaper, and works out at the gym. She's also a werewolf.
Elena has done all she can to assimilate to the human world, but the man whose bite changed her existence forever, and his legacy, continue to haunt her. Thrown into a desperate war for survival that tests her allegiance to a secret clan of werewolves, Elena must recon with who, and what, she is in this passionate, page-turning novel.
I'm really impressed by this author. Kelley Armstrong's writing style was an altogether new experience for me. I suppose what struck me was how brutally honest it was, while it still left emotions and facts simmering under the surface of the text. Beautiful, and very compelling.
The plot was well paced and there was enough going on with the mutts and killings that I couldn't put the darn book down. Plenty of action and excitement and the pacing gave us enough time to understand the Pack without feeling as though the world building was taking over the story. I also liked that the mutts allowed us to see into the werewolf psyche as well.
Clay's character also allowed us to explore the feral nature of the werewolves. These people are not human beings, and don't think and act like we do. Clay's behaviours remind us of that again and again. While Elena has issues with killing, Clay does not. Elena feels dehumanaized by killing but Clay reminds us he's acting like a werewolf: see a threat, destroy it. Simple. Animalistic? Maybe. But he's not human, so by what standard are we judging him? That Armstrong was so easily able to draw these lines of distinction has won my admiration.
More on Clay. I love this character! He's dangerous and pshycopathic sometimes, but I love his loyalty to the Pack and to Elena. Ten years he's been waiting for Elena to get her sh*t together and be ready to try with him again. Talk about romantic. It honestly didn't strike me as creepy (which it could have, since it's Clay) because of the history they had before Elena was bitten.
And I thought the ending was perfect: girl saves boy is always kick ass and Elena is awesome like that. Add on the fact that Elena is finally accepting who she's always been, werewolf bite aside, and is willing to try again with Clay and this book has me hook, line and sinker. I'm hopeful that if Elena can accept herself as she is, and stop trying to make herself into something, someone else, to fulfil some idealistic notion of "normal", that she can find a life of happiness; and that she and Clay have a chance at happiness together. Oh, and the Canadian connection? Loving it!!
You know what I am, Elena. If I pretended to otherwise, you'd accuse me of trying to deceive you. I don't want you to come back to me because you think I've changed. I want you to come back because you accept what I am. If I could change, don't you think I'd have done it for you by now? I want you back. Not for a night or a few weeks or even a couple of months. I want you back for good. I'm misberable when you're not here.
FIVE glittering stars