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Forsaken by Kelley Armstrong (book review)

April 11, 2021 | By | Reply More

There is always a problem when an author switches publishers, especially if that author has a loyal following. There are many reasons why this might happen and a change between major mass market publishers may make very little difference in the perception of the readers. When Storm Constantine started Immanion Press as an outlet to her own writing or Janet Edwards began self-publishing her books, it worked for them as they were giving their fans what they wanted, at a price they were willing to pay. If the new publisher is someone like Subterranean Press, the switch is much more risky. Like many of the Independent Press outlets, Subterranean produce high quality books, usually hardcovers often in deluxe editions. As a result, they are priced to reflect that. For readers who like real books, this can be a consideration before buying. For those who just want the words, there is usually an eBook version.

This novella is part of Kelley Armstrong’s ‘Otherworld’ series which began with ‘Bitten’ (2001). Though the series begins with werewolves, later novels have ghosts or witches as the focal first person narrators. ‘Forsaken’ is part of the werewolf strand. In ‘Bitten’, Elena Michaels was bitten by her boyfriend, Clay, who hadn’t revealed his nature. She became the first and only female werewolf. A wolf-human mating only passes the gene to male children. Between that first novel and this novella much has happened in Elena’s life. She has accepted her new nature and Clay. They are now married with eight year-old twins, Kate and Logan, and Elena has been made Alpha of the American Pack.

As this novella opens, Elena is in London trying to negotiate with the Alpha of the British Pack. The problem is that not only are they all male but are part of the aristocracy and misogynistic. They appear incapable of accepting a female as a Pack leader and expect her to be a figurehead with Clay turning up immanently to take over. I hope this is not a reflection of Armstrong’s views of the British. They are mistaken and Elena walks out heading back across the Atlantic to meet up with her family for a deserved holiday at a cabin in Vermont. When she arrives, though, she finds that Kate has gone missing. Initially, they think it is a kidnapping but Logan admits to having had an argument with her before she vanished. The focus is now on finding the missing child.

As with all of Armstrong’s novels, nothing is ever straightforward. Scents they detect in the forest suggest an old foe, Malcolm Danvers, is causing trouble even though they are assured he is in Bulgaria.

The deluxe hardcover is a collectors’ item and contains full colour illustrations. It would be useful to read at least the first three books in this series before embarking on this one, then it is a choice between an expensive luxury item or the cheaper kindle version without illustrations. The reader decides.

Pauline Morgan

April 2021

(pub: Subterranean Press, 2015. 237 page deluxe hardback. Price: $28.00 (US). ISBN: 978-1-59606-691-5)

check out website: www.subterraneanpress.com

Category: Books, Fantasy, Horror

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