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Bitten
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Adult/High School-Armstrong puts a new spin on the old werewolf tales and has created a well-written, thought-provoking novel to boot. The only female werewolf in existence, Elena Michaels was bitten by her werewolf fianc and learned to live within the pack. Still struggling after 10 years to accept her identity and feeling anger toward her former lover and creator, she leaves the pack to live a relatively normal life with a nice normal guy in Toronto. Before long she is called back to help discover and destroy some dangerous non-pack werewolves, called mutts, that are torturing and killing humans. (Pack werewolves do not kill humans and monitor the doings of mutts to safeguard their anonymity.) More than just fast-paced action, this book offers an allegory of the difficulties with which one struggles when life takes an entirely unplanned and unwanted route. Does Elena accept who she has become and learn to live with it peacefully or does she continue to struggle, rant, and fight that which she cannot control? She is a feisty, tough character, easy to like, and with a good lesson to share.-Carol DeAngelo, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Elena is a werewolf the only female werewolf in the world. Betrayed by Clay, her former lover, who bit her while in his werewolf form, she is now resigned to a life of secret changes while attempting to remain in human society. Meanwhile, the power of the Pack and her deep-seated ties to Clay continually press on her, preventing a true commitment to her human lover. When the Pack Alpha calls her to help rout a band of murderous "mutts" (werewolves not affiliated with the Pack), Elena reluctantly becomes the animal she has fought so long to suppress. First novelist Armstrong presents true werewolves as those who follow Pack law and don't kill for pleasure. Changing into a werewolf becomes an act of nature, as does ripping mutts to shreds for threatening the Pack. Elena's struggle with her wolf nature and her love for two men is caught up in the werewolves' fight for dominance and territory. While the plot is as predictable as gang warfare, readers will cheer for Elena as she beats up the big boys and has the courage to choose her own path. Recommended for larger public libraries. Jen Baker, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

It's not easy to find a fresh angle for the werewolf theme, but this debut novel from a Canadian writer proves that solid storytelling and confident craftsmanship can rejuvenate one of the hoariest of all horror cliches. Elena Michaels is a self-described "mutt," a werewolf who left her secretive pack in upstate New York for a life among humans. In the year since she relocated to Toronto, she's embarked on a career as a journalist and begun a pleasingly mundane relationship with a decent man. All this is jeopardized when she agrees to help her old packmates hunt some troublesome mutts who are converting common criminals to werewolves and leaving a trail of conspicuous carnage. Reunited with her former lycanthrope lover and forced into brutally predatory confrontations, Elena finds the call of the wild subtly reasserting itself. Armstrong prepares readers for her tale's twists with several key revisions of werewolf lore the werewolf taint is mostly hereditary, and werewolves can be killed as easily as any human or wolf. Her true achievement, though, is her depiction of werewolf nature in believably human context. Elena's feral sensibility, like her psychological vulnerabilities, seems a natural outgrowth of her abusive childhood, and her relationship with the pack is that of any prodigal child to a close-knit family. The sensuality of Elena's transformations and the viciousness of her kills mesh perfectly with her tough personality. Filled with romance and supernatural intrigue, this book will surely remind readers of Anne Rice's sophisticated refurbishings of the vampire story. Agent, Helen Heller. (Oct. 1) Forecast: The sensual, non-genre jacket design will help to signal that this novel will also appeal to mainstream tastes. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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