Monday, August 18, 2014

Kelley Armstrong - Stolen

It was in Bitten, Kelley Armstrong's debut novel, that thirty-year-old Elena Michaels came to terms with her feral appetites and claimed the proud identity of a beautiful, successful woman and the only living female werewolf.
In Stolen, on a mission for her own elite pack, she is lured into the net of ruthless Internet billionaire Tyrone Winsloe, who has funded a bogus scientific investigation of the "other races" and their supernatural powers. Kidnapped and studied in his underground lab deep in the Maine woods, these paranormals - witches, vampires, shamans, werewolves - are then released and hunted to the death in a real-world video game. But when Winsloe captures Elena, he finally meets his match.

Comment: I got this story not long after having read the first book, Bitten. At the time I wasn't impressed with the story due mostly to the main female character's behavior. But that wasn't the only thing leaving me unhappy with it, although my main focus was Elena herself. However, some readers who enjoyed the story a lot convinced me Elena changed in book #2 and I should read, and the series was good, and so on. Now more than two years later I finally read the second story to ease up my conscience and to get it over with. As for my opinion, it wasn't different from what I expected.

This installment follows Elena and Clay and Jeremy to a meeting with other supernatural beings, after some abductions. Throughout the book, we see how an organization ruled by humans but where some supernaturals participate, abducts and wants to study the abilities of the supernatural beings they imprisoned. But some people have second intentions and when things go wrong is up to Elena, abducted and forced to act according to her captors' wishes, to help and to solve things. Nothing ends up easy and there are some loose points - probably to future books - but in the end, Elena and Clay save the day after Elena's escape from the prison she was in.

Well, I do have to say I liked Elena a bit more here than I did in the first book. But I don't think it was enough to captivate me into reading more.
I think my biggest problem with this world is I simply don't care for it. The characters, the way things were build, it doesn't appeal to me in such a way I can't help reading more. In fact, it's the opposite, I don't mind not reading anymore. 

Like it says in the blurb, the main action in this story is Elena's experience in the hidden lab and how that influences her actions there. In a way, the story seemed interesting, not because I liked it but because it offered an opportunity to see how the author would deal with the existence of supernatural beings living together int he same environment, but despite some interesting notions here and there, I wasn't impressed.

So, the story wasn't as amazing as I thought. The characters were done in quite a precise way, though. I think it was well done how different everyone was and more important, how each person had a certain role to play. Nevertheless, it's obvious this is a development in progress series, so we don't have all the layers about every character, there's still an air of mystery in everyone. This is great for those who will read further along, but I wanted a bit more closure, which didn't happen. No problem, things are like this and that's it. I don't feel bad about not knowing what will happen to the guys.

As for Elena, she seemed more approachable and wise in this story, but her relationship with Clay still bothers me for its intensity and apparent unbalance - at least to me - but I will be honest, I wasn't that invested in them to actually care.
The progress or development in their characters and in their relationship wasn't impressive enough for me to change my mind about them or what they made me think since book #1...

I can understand why so many readers love this series, it's shaping up to be intense and full of turnabouts and discoveries..but for me, there isn't any special detail, any amazing characteristic that seduces me to want more.
For me this was it. This book has its moments, some scenes were quite impressive, but overall, it's barely enjoyable.
Grade: 5/10

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