Hidden: Armstrong packs a lot into this novella

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld HiddenHidden by Kelley Armstrong

Upon receiving a review copy of Kelley Armstrong’s Hidden, I realized that I had only read a few books in her influential WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series — and that the ones I had read weren’t the ones starring werewolf couple Elena and Clay. However, I had no trouble becoming engrossed in Hidden and understanding what was going on.

Elena is unusual in Armstrong’s universe; she’s the only known female werewolf. She and Clay are married and raising precocious four-year-old twins, Kate and Logan. The children show signs of potentially becoming werewolves as they mature. Elena and Clay both had troubled childhoods and have never really experienced a traditional family Christmas, and this year they’re determined to create one for the twins.

But their idyllic trip to rural Ontario is soon disrupted by a murder mystery. The dead man was savaged by a large canine, and there’s a werewolf sniffing around Elena and Clay’s vacation home who seems to be hiding something. This is a novella-length book, but Armstrong packs plenty of twists and red herrings into its short length.

The title, Hidden, can be taken as a reference to an aspect of the mystery’s solution… but it also applies to the secret of Elena and Clay’s lycanthropy. As Hidden begins, the kids don’t yet know that their parents are werewolves or that they too may become werewolves. It’s a subject of heated debate between the couple, and by story’s end, they reach a decision and implement it. The resolution of this plotline is sweet and heartwarming — and will probably be even more meaningful to readers who’ve been following Clay and Elena all along.

Hidden features six illustrations by artist Angilram. They’re all well-done, and some of them are simply adorable. I especially loved the one featuring Kate running to hug a particular wolf and the one where the two wolves are nuzzling in a snow-filled wilderness.

Women of the Otherworld — (Began in 2001) Publisher: An addictive, deeply enjoyable thrill ride on the frontier of the feral and feminine… a debut novel of astonishing imaginative power from the future queen of suspense. Elena Michaels slips out of bed, careful not to wake her boyfriend. He hates it when she disappears in the middle of the night, and can’t understand why any normal woman would crave the small hours of the morning, the dark unsafe downtown streets. But Elena’s skin is tingling, the pent-up energy feels like it’s about to blow her muscles apart — she can’t put it off any longer. She loves to run at the edge of the city, but she doesn’t have time to get there. She has to slink into an alley, take off her clothes and hide them carefully, and make the Change. Elena’s trying hard to be normal. She hates her strength, and her wildness, and her hunger for food, for sex, for running in the night, for the chase and the kill. She wants a husband, children… even a mother-in-law. Or at least that’s what she tells herself. And then the inevitable happens. The Pack needs her. The Pack she loves and hates is under siege from a bunch of disreputable and ruthless mutts who are threatening to expose them all, breaking all the rules that have kept them safe. The loyalty of her nature calls her home, and into the fight, which tests just who Elena is: the wild woman or the wistful would-be human.

Kelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the DeadKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the Dead 10. FrostbittenKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the Dead 10. FrostbittenKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the Dead 10. Frostbitten 11. Waking the WitchKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the Dead 10. Frostbitten 11. Waking the Witch 12. SpellboundKelley Armstrong Women of the Otherworld review 1. Bitten 2. Stolen 3. Dime Store Magic 4. Industrial Magic 5. Haunted 6. Broken 7. No Humans Involved 8. Personal Demon 9. Living With the Dead 10. Frostbitten 11. Waking the Witch 12. Spellbound 13. Thirteenfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Men of the Otherworldfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Men of the Otherworld, Tales of the Otherworldfantasy book reviews Kelly Armstrong Angelic novellafantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Becomingfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Counterfeit MagicKelley Armstrong Hiddenfantasy book reviews Kelley Armstrong Chaoticfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsfantasy book reviews science fiction book reviews

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KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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3 comments

  1. I’m surprised. I read one of her earlier books — I think it was Dimestore Magic— and I thought it was bad. Elena, however, seems to be one of her more successful characters.

  2. I didn’t dig Dime Store Magic either. I think the other one I read was Industrial Magic, though I don’t remember it well.

    I think I’d have gotten more out of Hidden if I were more familiar with Elena, but it was a fun diversion.

  3. Am a big fan of Clay and Elena, so looking forward to reading this one! Love Kelley’s books!

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