TBR Challenge: Kelley Armstrong

I recently read Kelley Armstrong’s Men of the Otherworld (2009) and Living With the Dead (2008).  Probably I should save this for Wednesday’s TBR day but I’m not sure I’ll have time then, so here it is.  (Not that it is much.  But it fits the theme — being falsely accused, since that happens to Robyn in the course of LWtD.  Not so much in MotO; in fact, those characters got away with murder.)

As a curious child, Clayton didn’t resist the bite—he asked for it. But surviving as a lone child werewolf was more than he could manage—until Jeremy came along and taught him how to straddle the human-werewolf worlds, gave him a home…and introduced him to the Pack. So begins this volume, featuring three of the most intriguing members of the American Pack—a hierarchical founding family where bloodlines mean everything, and each day presents a new, thrilling, and often deadly challenge. For as Clayton grows from a wild child to a clever teen who tests his beloved mentor at every turn, he must learn not only to control his animal instincts, but to navigate Pack politics—including showing his brutal arch nemesis, Malcolm, who the real Alpha is…
When Robyn Peltier—a very human PR rep—is framed for murder, the two people most determined to clear her name are half-demon tabloid reporter Hope Adams, and necromancer homicide detective John Findlay.  And suddenly Robyn finds herself in the heart of a world she never knew existed—and which she is safer knowing nothing about….

Excerpts here.


I’ve been trying to figure out why it was so much harder to read the second book, and think I’ve finally figured it out.

First, MotO had an edge from the start.  I’d read all but the last story when they were available for free on Armstrong’s website, so reading the compilation was like visiting with old friends. (The scoop on these stories can be found here.)

Second, LWtD’s multiple POVs seemed busier and scattered to me.  The cabal and council and conspiracies among the Otherworld don’t engage me.   More than that, though, is the fact that I don’t feel as attached or engaged by Hope as a narrator, or by Robyn, the new character, a non-supernatural character whose POV is shared.  When I look back over the Otherworld books I’ve liked best, they are dominated by Elena, Clay and Jeremy (to a lesser extent). 

Afterthought:  knowing that the next book is going to be narrated by Elena and Clay, and is set in Alaska, I took note of the mention of the Pacific Northwest in one of the stories in MotO, and am wondering if that is an early hint about what’s coming in Frostbitten.

Unrelated:  Armstrong has a great website, IMO.  Book lists, excerpts, release dates, series explanations, etc.  Easy to navigate.



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6 responses to “TBR Challenge: Kelley Armstrong

  1. MotO sounds like the serial novel she did on her website years ago…does it say anything in there about that? I’d hate to buy something I’d already read for free.

    • That’s exactly what it is. The anthology includes a story about Jeremy’s birth, then the two Clay serial novels, then another story that is related to Jeremy’s heritage. Armstrong is VERY clear on her website that this is material that appeared online and was taken down when she was given the opportunity to publish the anthology. They were packaged together and the proceeds go to charity.
      The stories about Clay meeting Elena and biting her are supposed to be released in book format next year.

      • That’s nice that the proceeds are going to go to charity — did she say which one?

      • I don’t remember. It’s probably somewhere on her website, though.

      • I got off my lazy butt and looked: World Literacy of Canada. Between the good cause and the new Jeremy story, I’ll get this when it comes out in paperback.
        Seeing all this Armstrong stuff reminds me I still need to read Personal Demon — think I’ll go drag that out of my TBR.

      • I haven’t read Personal Demon yet either. Probably I should’ve read it before Living With the Dead

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