by Kelley Armstrong
This is the tenth book in the (Women of the) Otherworld series, and while it could theoretically be read out of order, there’s no reason why you would want to. At the very least, you’d want to read the other books narrated by Elena (Bitten, Stolen, and Broken). However, for me it is the books narrated by Paige and Jaime that are my favorites, so I (if asked) would recommend starting at the beginning and working your way forward.
At any rate, as to this book itself… I liked it. I liked it a lot. It might be my favorite of the Elena books, though I’m not really sure. As a narrator, I’ve never fully connected with Elena. I liked her, sure. She was a strong heroine with her weaknesses and soft spots, and the other characters (predominately men) around her were well developed characters and fun to read about. However, her relationship with Clay was never something I got. I mean, I understand that there was hurt and betrayal there. And I saw where the events of the first book tied into the emotionality of it. I didn’t really have a “problem” with their relationship… but it wasn’t something I was rooting for. (I wasn’t against it either. Very indifferent, unlike Paige and Lucas. Or Jaime and Jeremy, both of which were couples I wanted to end up together.) By Frostbitten, however, Elena and Clay have settled into a relationship that is close enough to “normal” that I am finally rooting for them as a pair. I am quite pleased with how that aspect has turned out.
I also really like the inclusion of other werewolves. Wolves who aren’t Pack but aren’t quite mutts either. I think the werewolf books have been leaning this way for a while, and I’m glad that they finally got there. Other (non-Pack) werewolves are important to the series. So are other Packs, and I’m glad that was touched on too. And, without giving anything major away about the release of the next related YA book next spring — The Gathering, first in the Darkness Rising trilogy, for anyone who wants to know — it’s nice to see hints of what’s yet to come in Kelley’s other books. (I beta read The Gathering, and it was great! No, I won’t give you any spoilers.)
All told, I really liked this book. It’s nice to see Kelley growing as an author, as well as to see her characters growing as the series progresses. This is a very good addition to the series, and I am really anticipating the release of Waking the Witch (Savannah’s book, Otherworld #11) later this month.