Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: Women of the Otherworld, Book 2
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Shapeshifters/Werewolves, Romance, Adult
Rereading this book again, I have to say that it’s my least favourite book in the series. That’s not to say it’s not phenomenal, because it is. It’s more that this book has to do the job of opening up the world from where Armstrong left off after Bitten and that takes a lot of information being presented to the reader. This make the read drag on at times, but it’s never not interesting. As well, all of the information that’s given in this book is important for later on in the series.
I love the fact that this book opens the world up to more than just werewolves. I enjoyed reading about what the different races thought about each other and how their powers manifest. Armstrong did an amazing job at giving information to the reader without making it feel irrelevant to the plot.
As well, Armstrong did a wonderful job at introducing new characters to the series. Each character got their own distinct personality and was left with enough mystery surrounding them to keep the reader interested in their story. How do all of these characters fit together? How did they meet? What are their motives for acting the way they do?
I would definitely recommend this book to people who are interested in the supernatural. While this book doesn’t have a lot of romance in it, that doesn’t mean the series as a whole doesn’t (as is made obvious by the first book in the series). There’s still a couple of R rated scenes in this story. As well, I feel the need to warn any potential readers about the gore that remains prevalent throughout the series, just in case you can’t handle reading about it.
While it may seem like a minor plot point to some, Elena being sent into Paige’s mind was a great way of giving the reader insight into both Elena and Clay. This small scene shows how Elena’s childhood insecurities are still very much prevalent in her life. She fears being rejected even though rationally Elena knows that Clay would never reject her. When you deal with a childhood like Elena, sometimes the rational isn’t enough.
He didn’t believe that Paige was able to contact Elena and thus the disdain on his face was 100% directed at Paige. But after being abused both physically and emotionally as a child (not to mention spending a night with her father’s dead body after the accident), Elena couldn’t process the loathing that she saw in Clay’s eyes. The one person she thought would love her no matter what, and even put up with her being with other men, was aiming that look of utter hatred at her. Yes, he didn’t think she was there but that couldn’t stop Elena’s brain from thinking the worst.
While I can imagine how Elena was feeling and what her reaction would be, as Armstrong worked her magic and was able to make this scene feel so real, I can’t imagine going through that myself. Elena works so hard in her everyday life to seem strong when all she really wants/needs is the love and support of those people she respects and cares about. She wants/needs Jeremy as her father figure as she grew up without a decent one and Jeremy is the best of the best. She wants/needs Clay to accept her for who she is and not who she pretended to be her whole life. And the second something makes her doubt either of them, the two most important people in her life, Elena doesn’t know how to cope.
As well, I found the scene where Elena gets accidentally sent to Clay’s mind to be impactful. She was already (irrationally) doubting Clay’s dedication to her. Being able to see him blatantly turn down Cassandra had to help push away some of her doubts about his feelings for her, even if she did think that it was just a dream. Being able to see the one she loves being that loyal must have meant everything to Elena after everything she’d been put through.
While Clay remains my favourite character in the series, I must admit that I do love Savannah. While we’re introduced to her in this book as the preteen witch who has oodles of potential, I believe it’s more important that we get a glimpse of Savannah’s true personality from time to time. Ruth helped Savannah learn a few spells that would help her survive the kidnapping and be able to cope with the loss of her mother which I believe helped Savannah get out of her shell more than she would have been able to in the situation otherwise.
It allowed Savannah to show her snarky side when she was dealing with “Houdini” (Xavier Reese but Elena’s nickname for him is much better) and when she met Paige. It allowed Savannah to stand up against Leah who had previously been her only “companion” in the compound. Heck, I think it even allowed Savannah to be friendly with Elena, a person who’s not very good with kids but took an almost immediate liking to Savannah. Yes Ruth’s words of praise for Elena must have helped, but if Ruth hadn’t given Savannah a confidence boost I’m sure she needed, I don’t think that Savannah would have been able to interact with Elena the way she did.
Throughout this book, the reader gets a quick introduction to many other races of supernaturals. There’s half demons like Adam and Houdini; witches like Paige, Ruth, and Savannah; vampires like Cassandra and Aaron; the human “chameleon” Haig; and, of course, the werewolves I know and love from Bitten plus the mutt Lake. However, the real monsters are the humans that went around kidnapping supernaturals and the sorcerer that helped them.
Ty Winsloe is one of the most disgusting characters I’ve ever had the “pleasure” of reading about. Yes, it’s messed up to kidnap people. Yes, it’s messed up to torture them. Yes, it’s messed up to hunt your prisoners like they’re a rare type of wildlife that you’re lucky enough to stumble upon. But to me, the most messed up thing about Winsloe is how he treats Elena. He abused his position in life, his power and his money, to make Elena do whatever he wanted her to. Wear skimpy clothing? Can’t say no otherwise he might kill you. Shower naked while him and his pet security officers stand there and watch? You wouldn’t want him to kill you. Stalk a fellow prisoner because you’ve become friendly with them? Make you kill them for his own enjoyment? Can’t say no. He. Might. Kill. You.
Even if Elena didn’t have such a scarring childhood, Winsloe’s actions are despicable. He’s a classic case of a misogynistic asshole. And the worst part? He’s a monster that can be found in modern day societies. I’m not saying that every man who’s well off is like this, as I know many men that wouldn’t even think about acting like this. But I am saying people like Ty Winsloe exist. And that’s the scariest part.
On a much happier, consensual note, Clay and Elena’s reunion made me smile. Not only could Clay not stop himself from rubbing hiss muzzle against her when they were both in wolf form (though let’s be honest, he wasn’t trying to hold back), the two of them didn’t even finish escaping before they consummated their reunion. Of course Elena was still stressed out about what she saw through Paige’s eyes, but Clay easily shoved her worries aside. There was no hatred in his eyes for her, his mate. Just pure adoration and love.
Adam and his powers were a great point of the story as well. While he didn’t play a huge role in the book, I loved the little hints of his potential that are thrown in sporadically. It’s obvious right away that Adam has never tested out the limits of his powers, instead choosing to try and use them as infrequently as possible. But you’ve got to admit him disintegrating that door was pretty cool!
Finally, I love the way that Armstrong introduced Aaron. Yes the monsters of the story were finally able to capture a vampire. But to me the best part of Aaron’s introduction was Armstrong hinting at something bigger to come between Cassandra and Aaron. Why else would Cassandra try to hard to get out of there before Aaron left his cell?