Elena and Clay travel to Alaska with hopes of tracking down a runaway mutt named Reese. Their goal is to convince him to join the pack, and then get back home to see their children. Unfortunately, there's a lot more going on in Alaska then either of them planned on. Three girls are missing, and may be dead. The scent of unfamiliar werewolves is in the air. A strange and old supernatural race emerges. On top of all of this Elena and Clay must deal with the knowledge that their relationship is about to change dramatically. Jeremy has announced his successor as alpha, and only one of them can take the job.
Kelley Armstrong has gone a lot of places with her Women of the Otherworld series. The first book Bitten was just about werewolves. Starting with the publication of Stolen, the book series has been constantly expanding to include other races such as witches, necromancers, sorcerers, and half-demons, among others. This journey has been, for the most part, a very exciting one, although with the publication of the ninth book, Living with the Dead, I was beginning to worry that is was becoming a little too scattered. Fortunately, the tenth book, Frostbitten, is very much a return to basics. Elena Michaels, the world's only female werewolf, once again takes up the role of narrator. The plot, for the most part, distances itself from other races and emphasizes werewolves once again, with Elena and Clay taking center stage. As a result of this stronger focus, Frostbitten is not only an improvement over Living with the Dead, but the best Otherworld book in years.
One of the biggest themes in Frostbitten is power. For years, Elena and Clay's relationship has been an equal partnership. The thought of one of them becoming an alpha represents a significant shift power, and causes quite a lot of stress for Elena. As someone who is also in a relationship that can also be described as a partnership, I connected strongly with Elena's worries. Other ways that this theme of power can be expressed is with the emergence of a new villain that likes to rape women. This is especially disturbing for Elena as she reflects on a past foster father, a man that abused her. Watching Elena struggle to take back the power taken away from her as a child was a fascinating battle, and I couldn't help but cheer her on.
There were a lot of other things I liked about Frostbitten. I liked watching how Clay and Elena's relationship has changed now that they're parents. Knowing very little about Alaska, I enjoyed learning about this new setting. I enjoyed meeting new characters, especially Reese. As someone that's a similar age to Savannah, I'm curious to see if he'll be showing up in future books. After all, Savannah will be narrating the next two novels in the series. The first Savannah book, Waking the Witch, will be released August 2010. I'm looking forward to reading it, and am curious to see where Armstrong will take her series next.
Rating: Five stars
Length: 339 pages
Source: Christmas Gift
Similar Books: For other books about female werewolves, try Cry Wolf by Patirica Briggs, Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn, Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause (my review), and the previous Otherworld books that star Elena Michaels (they are Bitten, Stolen, and Broken).
Other books I've read by this book: Bitten, Stolen, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, No Humans Involved, Personal Demon, Living with the Dead (my review), Men of the Otherworld (my review), The Summoning (my review), The Awakening (my review), Exit Strategy (my review), and Made to be Broken (my review). I've also read the novella "Chaotic' from Dates from Hell, and the short story "Kat" from The Eternal Kiss (my review)