Stolen is the second novel in Kelley Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series. It continues the story of Elena Michaels, the only female werewolf in existence. Following up a tip on suspected ‘mutt’ activity (non-Pack werewolves), Elena discovers werewolves are not the only supernatural beings in the world. There are also witches, and half-demons, and sorcerers, for starters. A group of these beings has banded together against a common enemy, an unknown force is capturing otherworldly beings, and they’re after Elena too. After discussing their options and finding themselves at odds, Elena and Jeremy decide not to join the group, hoping to deal with the threat themselves. Then Elena is captured and awakens in a cell. She is a prisoner, unable to escape.
Also in the cells are a young witch just coming into her powers, a half-demon, and another werewolf. Her captors show her around the facility, always with armed guard and in shackles, and she discovers they want to study her and the others to learn from them, and hopefully give themselves powers, and create a superior race. One of the doctors becomes obsessed with becoming a werewolf, and injects herself with Elena’s saliva, causing all sorts of problems and taking away Elena’s status as lone female werewolf. Elena also has to contend with mad billionaire Tyrone Winsloe who enjoys hunting his captives and sees her as the ultimate prey. Elena must decide who to trust in order to escape before she becomes the hunted.
It took me some time to get into this one, the beginning with the introduction to the other supernatural characters was quite slow and seemed to go on too long for me. I wouldn’t say Armstrong is an amazing writer, though most of it is very enjoyable, but she can tread water a bit too much, going over the same sort of things, and action, so it gets repetitive. This was especially so when Elena was captured and in her cell. There’s lots of ‘Today was much like the day before and I’m very mad about it’ bits. I wanted something else to happen. I’m also not totally sure what the people who captured her were truly after, other than having the money to experiment on the supernaturals and play with them for their own amusement, I don’t know what the end game was. I said earlier that it was to create a more powerful human race, but I’m not convinced that’s right. And those holding her were quite forthcoming about what they told Elena, showing her around and calling her a guest, which seemed to be more for the reader’s benefit than Elena’s, so we would be in on it rather than in the dark with not much happening.
The next book in the series doesn’t follow Elena, it follows Paige, a young witch from Stolen. She was fairly annoying as a character throughout much of the book, only redeeming herself slightly at the end, so I’m not sure how eager I am to spend a whole book in her head, but I might give it a go. I generally enjoy Elena’s world though, and will read her other books if I can’t get into the next one.