Sunday, September 05, 2010

Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong

New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong returns with the tenth installment of the Women of the Otherworld series.

The Alaskan wilderness is a harsh landscape in the best of conditions, but with a pack of rogue werewolves on the loose, it’s downright deadly.

Elena Michaels, the Pack’s chief enforcer, knows all too well the havoc “mutts” can wreak. When they hear of a series of gruesome maulings and murders outside Anchorage, she and her husband, Clay, journey to Alaska in the dead of winter in order to hunt down the dangerous werewolves. Trapped in this savage, untamed winter realm, she and Clay learn more about their own werewolf heritage than they bargained for, tapping a little more into the wild nature of the beast within. With Elena back in the starring role, this is the book Kelley Armstrong fans have been waiting for.
Today we have a buddy discussion with Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader. I am the one in white, while she is in this green. I have the first part of the review and she has the second part posted on her blog. Enjoy!

Kelly, you and I have both been long term fans of this series. Do you prefer the werewolves books, or the other books?

I think I actually prefer the werewolf books. I have some issues with the witches. Paige drove me crazy and actually lead to me pausing in the series for a while, but I have enjoyed every book that has dealt with Elena, Clay, etc. It was actually a werewolf book that lead me back in the series, No Humans Involved. Even though Paige doesn’t bother me anymore I still cringe when a book is going to have her as a central character. What about you?

I am the opposite to you. I like the werewolf books but if I could only read one part of this series forever, I think I would choose the witches. Part of that is because I think that the witches stories tend to be more inclusive of all the other paranormals out there - the warlocks, the necromancers, ghosts etc.

You make a good point. When the witches are involved there is a lot more characters involved in the story. The werewolves are a bit more secluded with the exception of maybe Jaime. Plus, the werewolves appear in the witch story lines. I think, for me, it comes down to liking Elena over Paige and that affects my overall opinion. In Haunted when the book was more about Eve I really enjoyed it and Waking the Witch, the newer book, is about Paige’s ward. I find them much more interesting to read about.

I have always liked Elena and Jeremy, but struggled a little bit with Clay. I got why he was the way he was, his background etc, but I don’t think I really got Clay himself until I read this book. There was a scene where Elena and Clay were reading some research material about the shape shifting mythologies that may have impacted on the investigation:

“Clay knew all of them, but as he read, he infused every scrap of well-trodden myth with the excitement and passion of a new discovery. This was another part of Clay. The father, the lover, the enforcer, and the professor. Four sides entwining into a whole - simple yet complex, fascinating and infuriating.

and everything kind of clicked into place for me at that point.

As you were writing this I was following along and you made me think what I thought about Clay before reading this book. I never really had a strong opinion. Sometimes I didn’t really ‘get’ him, but generally I concentrated my attention on Elena and Jeremy. I really like Jeremy... In this book, though, Clay seems to be there more. You wrote some notes about what you wanted to discuss and mentioned how there seemed to be a lot more sex in this book than in previous ones. I entirely agree with you there. They have always been having it, but it seemed a lot more central in this book. I actually was thinking that the series overall has turned a corner in terms of how she wants to treat the relationships with her characters. There was a lot of action, though, so the addition of more sex did not really take away from the overall story for me.

I find that each book has a much different tone. This book, for example, was more action as you say, but I didn’t think that it was really the case with Waking the Witch for example. I am not sure if that was because there were different editors and publishers for the two books, or if it was because the main character in Waking the Witch is younger. Maybe it wouldn’t be something that I would normally notice but was very noticeable when you read the two books so closely together. I don’t usually read consecutive books from the same author.

Yet when I think about it, I do think that the writing style is very consistent for the werewolf books, and very consistent for the witches books. I do think that Kelley Armstrong is a very clever author to be able to be consistently alternating between these characters and settings, and to be constantly evolving her world to include new characters and new types of characters. For example, I am pretty sure that we will see more of Reese and Noah in future novels.

The interesting thing that we should point out is that while I have read Waking the Witch, it was actually about a week ago. While you read that book and this book back-to-back; I read this book and Tales of the Otherworld back-to-back. It is interesting seeing what you see from your experience and what I see from mine. Just so you know, the reason I avoided talking about Clay was because there is a couple stories about him in Tales of the Otherworld and I am not sure if it was this book or one of the short stories that developed his character for me. I do agree with you that there is more action in Frostbitten than in Waking the Witch. I just attributed that to age of the characters and the stage of their relationship. In Waking the Witch there is just a hope of a relationship, but in Frostbitten the relationship is all ready developed.

I also love how the books in this series are constantly evolving and there are characters being added in every book. It could be very daunting, but I feel that Armstrong handles it really well. I do have moments, though, where I have to think for a moment who people are. In this book Clay says something about Lucas and I thought for a moment he was talking about Logan. I just got my names mixed up and I was entirely baffled about the abilities of a three-year-old until I discovered he was in fact much older. One of the reasons I think I enjoy these books is because there can be so many different characters and you grow to know most of them and connect with them even if they have only appeared in one book (for now).

Some of the secondary characters we haven’t heard much about yet seem to have potential for development as well. I think I would like to see Nick have some time in the spotlight at some point to. I did listen to a Q and A session on Youtube last night where Kelley Armstrong wrote about only giving a character the lead role in a novel when she is sure that she had the perfect story for them, and not forcing the character to fit into any old storyline. I thought that was very revealing about the way this series is evolving for the author, and quite frankly that means we could end up having anyone narrate at any point in time. It really does mean that this series could continue for a long time without feeling stale.

See, how can you not like the werewolf books more? Even though there are more people represented in the other books, I am much more intrigued with the werewolves. I would really like to see a book about Nick, too, and I think a book about Jeremy and Antonio’s relationship would be really interesting. Then there are the ‘new’ werewolves and the tie to Canada! I think it would be fun to have a book about a werewolf clan on the east coast, but that might be because I live there.

I think your patriotism is showing! You don’t want to read more about sun-bleached Aussie werewolves?

Well, see, you can’t ‘hear’ the accent through the pages of a book. Even if it is written like you would speak in Australia, it is just not the same! That and Kelley Armstrong is Canadian and the books technically take place in the US which is kinda sad.

It would take a lot of skill to do that for sure! I am not actually sure that we even have wolves here in nature. We have foxes, and dingoes. A were dingo novel maybe? Were kangaroos? Oh, this could get very silly!

Charles de Lint has a book about Dingos and he is Canadian. Canada secretly loves Australia, I think.

Everyone does! We are very lovable people! lol

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that Canada is very lovable, too! Maybe a British colony thing...

Maybe....anyway, back on topic!

Don't forget to read Marg's review for the rest!!

Thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book!


  1. Oh, fun interview, you two! I'm going to Marg's blog now to read the second half. I've read some of this series, and funnily enough have stalled at the first one that introduces the werewolves! lol

    I agree with you, the author could highlight Canada a little, I think!

  2. Anonymous12:24 PM

    I've never heard of this series, but it sounds like a fun read - and perfect for RIP! Will have to check it out.

  3. I was tempted by this series. Might try one after this review. I guess one should start with the first, right?

  4. Susan: It's a great series, so I really enjoyed this posting method!

    olduvaireads: It's a great series! I hope you enjoy!

    Caroline: Yeah, I would start with Bitten. You can jump around a bit, but you might just want to start from the start.

  5. Lovely buddy review! I love seeing you and Marg go back and forth discussing this series. I hadn't heard of the series or the author before so it's been very insightful.

  6. Vasilly: I love this series. You really must read it! I have one more book by her to read and then I am all caught up... I just have to find it first!

  7. Thanks for your reply. Just ordered Bitten. Am looking forward to it. There are so many series out there at the moment but many are a bit disappointing. It's always good to get some guidance.

  8. Caroline: Yes, the series is a bit long but it is entirely worth it. I am so happy you are going to give BITTEN a try. I look forward to your thoughts on it when you get a chance to read it!

  9. Fun interview, and this series does sound very good!
    It sounds like the author handles adding new characters in the books well without making it overwhelming.

  10. naida: It's a great series and it is really well done!

  11. I never heard of this book...but title is very intriguing


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