Sunday, April 30, 2006

It's bad when a title...

makes you think of a goddamn Evanescence song. And it goes through your head, and through your head and through your head...At least I think it's Evanescence, I can't keep up with the crap the kids are listening to these days. Give me some real hard stuff and Goth stuff please. The singer reminds me of my old best friend, though. Anyway, I hopped on over to Kelley Armstrong's website after reading Broken (yes, I was eventually going to get to a point), and apparently, she doesn't really know why she gave this book this title. Heh, I don't really either. You can guess a lot of things, but they're all kinda reaches. Didn't dim my enjoyment of the book at all though. Btw, here is Kelley Armstrong's website. It's one of the best author sites, in my opinion--she keeps it up to date, and has lots of online extras for her fans, including novellas and short stories. Oh, and as I was blog hopping this morning, I found a little interview with her. Oh, and read her books, they're really good. Onto the review.

Kelley Armstrong's books are mysteries with romantic elements set in a contemporary world, where supernatural beings co-exist with humans. I would put her in a category with Charlaine Harris, Kim Harrison and Laurell K. Hamilton, although they all have different tones, voices, worlds, and quality levels (but I will refrain from LKH dissing today). Kelley Armstrong is my favorite of these authors and I feel that her particular strength is in her characterization. I often have a difficulty with contemporaries in that I feel the characters speak or act in completely unrealistic. But her characters feel realistic to me (heh, considering that they're werewolves, witches, and half-demons), and also in tune with what they're supposed to be (i.e the werewolves are unapologetically violent and not particularly loyal to anyone outside of the pack). And they are always intriguing, fast reads.

Broken returns to the world of the werewolves and narrator Elena Michaels. Fifteen years after Clay first bit her, things are going pretty well. So well, that she's gotten pregnant. Of course, as the only known female werewolf, and pregnant by another werewolf to boot, there are a lot of unknowns in this pregnancy, making Elena a bit anxious. But things really get complicated when Xavier Reese (from Stolen, a shady half-demon contacts her to call in a favor. He wants her to steal Jack the Ripper's "From Hell" letter. It goes pretty easily, and then, pretty much literally, all hell breaks loose.

This was another solid book from Armstrong. I did figure out the mystery pretty quick, and got a bit annoyed when the characters didn't, but no matter. It moved along and was sufficiently exciting, and I was more interested in seeing what was going to happen with Elena's pregnancy, anyway. It was like a reunion with old friends: Elena, Nick and Antonio and my favorites, Clay and Jeremy. I just love that crazy Clay and the mysterious Jeremy. I did miss Paige and Lucas, and would've preferred their presence to Jaime's. Apparently Jaime, the flaky celebrity necromancer, is going to be the narrator of the next book, so we'll see how that goes. I just hope she doesn't get together with Jeremy. That pairing doesn't work for me at all.

If you haven't read anything by Kelley Armstrong, give her a try. She's a great writer and really stands out from the pack. Just an interesting note: when I read Bitten and Stolen, they had rather arty, literary hardcovers, rather than the paperbacks' more genre-y, supernatural babes covers. I guess they changed direction in the marketing, but it's signficant because they are hard to categorize. But go read them.


~ames~ said...

I like the novellas on her website, especially the one about Clay and Elena. And she gives away books.