Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From the Archives: Mini Reviews from May 2005 (part 2)

I began keeping a reading journal several years before I began blogging. I find it interesting to sift through my thoughts of books that I read back then. My reviews were often brief and contained little substance, but I thought it'd be fun to document them here on my blog as well as share them with you. Here are a few from May 2005:

Clearly, I have a thing for being swept off my feet!

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Plume, 2001 - Fantasy, 448 pgs

Bitten is the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. Readers are introduced to Elena, a werewolf, who is trying to fit into the human world and lead a “normal” life. She has a job and a live-in boyfriend. Everything seems to be going well until she receives a call from an old friend asking for help. With great reluctance, Elena sets out to help her friend and finds herself caught in the middle of a deadly game where dominance and revenge are the prizes. With a strong dose of romance mixed in with a paranormal thriller, Ms. Armstrong swept me off my feet. The characters were interesting, the sensuality not overdone, and the story itself entertaining and suspenseful. Kelley Armstrong has definitely won a place on my “must read” list.

Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
Anchor, 2003 - Fiction, 272 pgs

Every writer has his or her own style and some styles stand out more than others. Chuck Palahniuk is one author whose style of writing does stand out. Diary is a well-crafted novel, including the author’s use of repetition and the unusual narrative voice. However, I found the novel hard to follow and the story convoluted. In Diary, Misty Wilmot, mother, wife, and artist, finds herself a pawn in a family conspiracy. With her husband in a coma, Misty is left to guess at the hidden messages he’s left behind and what they could mean in relation to her and the island she’s come to call home. I had a difficult time getting into this novel, perhaps in part because I did not especially like any of the characters. I want to like this book more than I did, but it just didn’t grab me and sweep me off my feet. I was not impressed.

Stolen by Kelley Armstrong
Plume, 2002 - Fantasy, 468 pgs

My favorite female werewolf is back in Stolen, the second in the Women of the Otherworld series. This time around, Elena is kidnapped by a billionaire who has made a hobby of hunting unusual prey under the guise of conducting scientific research. In Stolen, readers are introduced to Paige and Savannah who will play larger roles in future books in the series as well as an assortment of other supernatural characters. It always amazes me the varying definitions of our tried and true mythical beings, such as vampires and witches. The plot reminded me of Richard Connell’s short story, The Most Dangerous Game and the fourth season of the popular television show Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and I am glad to say that both were mentioned in Ms. Armstrong’s novel). Although not quite as enrapturing as Bitten, I enjoyed Stolen and found it to be an exciting and entertaining reading experience.

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think?

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. I've heard so much about Palahniuk's work that I had to try one of his books last year and I felt pretty much the same way. I just didn't get what all the fuss is about.

  2. I have read a foe of Palahniuk's books, and in the end I find him a bit weird and creepy. His newest was just totally out there, and some of the others bordered on the offensive. Not an author that I would like to read more of.

    The Kelly Armstrong books actually sound right up my alley, and I can imagine that I would really like them. Glad you did too!

  3. I love Kelley Armstrong! She has a huge series and I am actually caught up. Yay!! I actually am getting a review copy of the new book. :) Then she is taking a break for a while. :(

  4. How funny! I've read both Bitten and Stolen and found that I liked Stolen better than Bitten which is the opposite of you :) I've never continued on with this series and I've never reviewed either of these. Now I'm thinking that I should pick the 3rd book up.

  5. I haven't read any of these but it seems to me that I've heard a lot about Bitten. I am enjoying these reviews that you've been posting from your pre-blogging days. I'm sure it is fun for you to revisit your thoughts on these books you read 6 years ago. I sure wish I would have kept a reading journal!

  6. I know that I need to add more Armstrong to my reading lists. Now my oldest son love Palahniuk but I have yet to try this author.

  7. Kathy - I guess his books are an acquired taste--one we haven't acquired.

    Heather - I remember seeing a trailer for his latest book and, while funny, I couldn't see myself reading the actual book. Palahniuk definitely is different!

    I really like Kelley Armstrong's books. I need to get caught up with the series one of these days.

    Kelly - I am not even sure how far behind I am in Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. I've only read one of her Nadia series and none of her YA series.

    Samantha - That is funny! I like that Armstrong features a variety of characters in her books and how they are all interconnected.

    Kathleen - It is fun to see what I was reading five years ago. I only wish I'd started keeping track earlier.

    Staci - I think Palahniuk might be one of those authors to try just for experiment sake. LOL I have a couple of friends who swear by his books.


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