Monday, April 12, 2010

I kinda wish I had an awesome quote to sum this up.

Okay, so it’s a little bit harder to find something awesome to put in the title. While I do adore Kelley Armstrong’s work, she’s not always the most quotable author in the world. Nothing in Frostbitten managed to stick out as something to use on here, which is not to say it was a terrible book by any means but--just not very quotable.

But let’s back this up.

Kelley Armstrong has been a favourite author of mine for the past few years. She was one of the first authors (that I found) who managed to have a female lead who didn’t have to swoon for the tall, dark and handsome type who co-starred along side. Sure, there was romance in these books, but it didn’t over take the genre. These were essentially fantasy books and there just happened to be some romance to keep it interesting.

These women could hold their own and didn’t always need their male counterparts saving them from immediate peril. These were no Princess Peaches. Thank god. And as a teenager who had her share of romantic issues, this was incredibly satisfying.

However, I’m not quite sure when my love affair with her work ended. Perhaps it was a little bit of a lackluster storyline with ‘No Humans Involved’ or the confusing style of ‘Living with the Dead.’ Added to going to her signing and having my first taste of finding someone who doesn’t quite meet expectations and well, she was slowly slipping down my list of favourite authors.

(This is probably one of the many reasons I was so thrilled that John Noble was such a dear.)

This isn’t to say I wasn’t excited to pick up her latest book, ‘Frostbitten.’ This is just to say I didn’t actually buy it, not only because of the fact that I’m a tad more wary of her series thus far, but also because Elena was never really my favourite character that she has (that honor belongs to Paige). After being a little disappointed by two of her latest in the Women of the Otherworld series. I was just willing to pick it up for a cheaper, soft cover price.

So I was beyond thrilled when a recent trip to the library (after a rather long absence, in a silly attempt to save money) managed to find me with her latest in hand. I didn’t bother reading anything about it, just picked it up solely because of the author and the fact that the price was right.

I was happy to drift away from my latest two books, which felt a little long and I always found Armstrong’s work to be fun, easy to read and easy to fly through. Which explains the short reading time (I believe just over a week, which is rare for me--I’m not exactly speedy Gonzles when it comes to reading). I was fully expecting a breath of fresh air to get me through the hump of having two good, but slightly ‘deeper’ books. If anything, Armstrong always provides the entertainment.

So colour me surprised when her latest provided a little bit of a darker side.

The story starts off with Elena, the only female werewolf in existence, chasing a mutt all the way to Alaska. There she runs into more problems than just a lowly mutt. Try a pack of mutts, set out to mark their own territory (a thing you just don’t do if you’re a mutt in the Otherworld’s world) through both a series of murders, dismissed as‘wolf attacks’ and a string of girls gone missing, but not the type of girls you bring home to mom.

However, mutts weren’t the only thing that Elena has to deal with going up there. There’s pressure from not only her own pack, but from her own past which regurgitates itself, both in a letter from the past and from an incident that involves some rather serious subject matter--something I guess I shouldn’t have dismissed Armstrong of being capable of.

So without giving much away, over all I will commend Armstrong on being back on form. Perhaps it’s a return to her core characters, the ones that started it all. It does lend cred to the theory as both ‘No Humans Involved’ and ‘Personal Demon’ were more about fringe or new characters.

However, I thought the same after reading ‘Personal Demon’ the book which is sandwiched between the previous two titles. While this is a good sign that she’ll be soon returning to my top five authors, or at least someone I’ll always turn to for when I want a quick, entertaining, well written read, it’s not necessarily going to have me standing in line for her next book.

Well, unless Paige returns. Then I’ll be the first to be on the pre-order list.

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