Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Book Review: Men of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong


A curious child, Clayton didn’t resist the bite, he asked for it. But surviving alone is impossible, until Jeremy teaches human-wolf balance, gives him a home, and welcomes him to the Pack - hierarchical founding family where bloodlines are all, and members face deadly challenges. Malcom's tale "Infusion," Clayton narrates "Savage" and "Ascension", and Jeremy tells "Kitsunegari".

My Review:
I read this anthology after I had completed the series instead of when it actually came out. I now feel that this was a mistake because when Malcolm returns to the Otherworld in a later book, I really didn't know him or his story other than the brief mentions in the novels about Jeremy's past. Reading this anthology helped me connect more with Clay, and it gives a great backstory to the Pack and it's rules concerning mutts and leadership.

INFUSION: (#0.02)
Malcolm Danvers is annoyed that his father Edward is too weak to challenge for the position of Pack Leader, and that he himself has no sons yet. An encounter with a Japanese barmaid leaves her pregnant but when Malcolm discovers that she uses magic, he is determined to kill her and the baby.

I liked this story as we got to see what goes on in Malcolm's mind and just how dangerous he is. It also gives insight into why his relationship with Jeremy was never good. Interesting short story.

SAVAGE: (#0.03)
Clay is a child living in neglect and poverty so when he witnesses a man turning into a wolf, he asks to be changed. Escaping with a bite and his life, Clay lives wild in wolf form until Malcolm finds him but it is Jeremy who devotes himself to looking after Clay and teaching him how to regain his humanity. Clay's relationship with Malcolm deteriorates but Clay has other things to worry about-protecting Jeremy from the challenges of mutts.

This gives the back story to Clay and how he ended up lacking the social skills to embrace his human side. Seeing this and the lengths he will go to to protect Jeremy gave me a whole new liking for the character. I've always loved Nick but this story made me love him and Antonio more. It was good to see all the Pack members and the in fighting and bullying which leads to the events of Bitten further down the road. My favourite thing was seeing the bad things that Jeremy had to do to protect Clay and the Pack, showing he can be ruthless when required-I LOVED that scene!

ASCENSION: (#0.04)
Peter gets himself into trouble and Clay's actions in the crisis impress Malcolm, who offers to train Clay in combat to make him stronger which both Clay and Jeremy agree with. But the sudden death of the Pack Leader splits the Pack in two with Malcolm and Jeremy up against each other in the vote. Dennis and Joey infuriate Clay with their actions and Malcolm has a plan to defeat his son.

This story was full of intrigue as the Pack begins to split. Jeremy wants a bloodless handover but Malcolm would rather fight for the title. This shows how different father and son are. Malcolm is the fun bad guy in these stories-you WANT him to fail yet you don't quite want him dead because he is such a great bad guy! I've loved his appearances later in the series.

KITSUNEGARI: (#9.1)
A group of fox maidens try to lure Jeremy away from the very irate Jaime to get him to father their children.

This was an interesting story, looking at Jeremy's origins. I was also interested to see the developing relationship between Jeremy and Jaime, and how serious his feeling for her are. I always thought that she felt stronger than he did so it was great to see that I was wrong! I love them as a couple.

If like me, the wolves are your favourite Otherworld characters, you really must read this anthology. It gives vital background to the story and the characters and I loved that these stories were all released in one handy volume instead of having to hunt each one down. I just wish I could get hold of 'Becoming' which I really want to read! 
star rating photo: Four Star Rating 4stars.png

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