Bitten (novel)

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Bitten, a fantasy novel published in 2001, is the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series. It is Canadian author Kelley Armstrong's first novel, and has often been described as the werewolf novel with the most authentically wolf-like werewolves.

Plot summary[edit]

The main character of "Bitten" is Elena Michaels, a strong, intelligent woman - who also happens to be a werewolf. She lives in Toronto, Canada and writes for a popular newspaper. Elena is also the only known female werewolf in the world. She struggles to deal with her other-ness and to assimilate to the "normal" human world. She also contends with her terrible childhood, and with the man who bit her and turned her into a werewolf.

Elena has managed to settle into a somewhat normal existence, living with her ad-exec boyfriend and ignoring her wolf side as much as possible. However, she learns that her Pack (the governing body of werewolves) is in trouble, and comes to their aid, flying to Stonehaven, the country estate of the pack Alpha. It is in Bear Valley, a fictional city in up-state New York. When Elena arrives, she is greeted by her ex-lover, Clayton Danvers, who is also the man who bit her and made her a werewolf (without her consent). Clayton is also the bodyguard and foster-son to Jeremy Danvers, the pack Alpha (leader). Elena learns that a local woman was found murdered on Stonehaven's land, and that she had been savaged by what authorities thought to be a dog. However, the Pack has determined that she was murdered by a Mutt, a rogue werewolf.

Soon, the rest of the Pack arrives on the scene to help with the problem: Antonio Sorrentino, his son Nicholas Sorrentino, Logan Jonsen, and Peter Myers. They soon discover that there is not just one rogue Mutt, but a whole group intending to take down the current Pack and start their own, where they can do whatever they want, especially killing humans.

Characters in "Bitten"[edit]

The Pack[edit]

  • Antonio Sorrentino - Pack werewolf and father of Nick. Once the Pack's top fighter, currently still strong. The best friend of the Alpha Wolf (Jeremy). Born a Hereditary werewolf.
  • Clayton Danvers aka Clay - Bitten as a child, is seen as more wolf than human. Is Jeremy's foster-son-turned bodyguard, and the werewolf who bit Elena. He is also Elena's ex-lover and is still in love with her. Bitten as a child, the story of which is told in Kelley's first online novella, Savage. Blessed with drop dead gorgeous looks and genius intelligence but with all the charm of a "pit Viper". Also an anthropologist (which is how he and Elena initially met).
  • Elena Michaels - Journalist and the only known female werewolf. Bitten by then-lover, Clayton. Parents died in car crash at a young age, which sent her into many abusive foster families where she was chosen for her innocent looks. Determined to leave that life behind, she focused on her school work and succeeded in going to college where she would meet Clayton. Has a violent temper.
  • Jeremy Danvers - Alpha werewolf and leader of the Pack. Possesses some psychic abilities to contact other Pack members. Hereditary werewolf. Has a hobby for all kinds of marksmanship.
  • Nicholas Sorrentino aka Nick - Pack werewolf. Son of Antonio, and best friend of Clayton. Hereditary werewolf.
  • Logan Jonsen - werewolf, close friend of Elena. On the outskirts of the pack, lawyer in Los Angeles. Hereditary werewolf. Is killed by an unknown mutt in Bitten.
  • Peter Myers aka Pete - werewolf, good friend of Elena. Also on the outskirts of the Pack. Works as a sound engineer for top bands on tour. Once accidentally murdered two women, was rescued by Jeremy. Killed by Mutt; Thomas LeBlanc.

The Mutts[edit]

  • Daniel Santos - Once a Pack werewolf, but left the pack after Clayton killed Stephen Santos, his brother. Loathes Clayton and believes Elena should be "his". Man-killer. Dangerous Mutt. Not entirely sane. Hereditary werewolf. Killed by Mutt; Thomas LeBlanc.
  • Jimmy Koenig - Werewolf Mutt, ex-drug addict/alcoholic, man-killer. Nephew of Billy Koenig. Killed by Clayton.
  • Karl Marsten - Hereditary werewolf. Extremely wealthy professional thief, seeks territory to settle in. Considered the second most dangerous Mutt by the pack. Very sociable. Wyoming is his home territory.
  • Scott Brandon - Werewolf mutt. Serial killer turned werewolf. Bitten by Karl Marsten. Killed by an 18 wheeler delivery truck.
  • Thomas LeBlanc - Werewolf mutt. Serial killer turned werewolf. Bitten by Daniel. Targets women. Killed by Elena.
  • Victor Olson - Werewolf mutt. Pedophile turned werewolf. Bitten by Zachary Cain. Killed by Elena.
  • Zachary Cain - Werewolf mutt. Huge, excellent fighter, but not very bright. Killed by unknown pack member.


  • Philip Madden - Elena's live-in boyfriend. Lives in Toronto. Works as an ad-exec.
  • Anne - Mother of Philip (Elena's boyfriend), Judith and Diane.
  • Larry - Father of Philip, Judith and Diane. Husband of Anne.
  • Diane - Phillip's sister.
  • Ken - Diane's husband.
  • Judith - Phillip's older sister. Lives in the UK.

Werewolf mythology in Bitten[edit]

In the Women of the Otherworld series, werewolves transform into full wolves in an agonizing transmogrification. Unlike many modern horror fiction stories, in this series werewolves are not sensitive to silver, nor are they immortal. Although transformations have to occur regularly, Armstrong's werewolves can turn into wolves at any phase of the moon, and Pack members can shapeshift at will. While in human form, werewolves have wolf-like characteristics, such as greater strength, better hearing, and a keener sense of smell.

Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Nominated Best First Novel by the International Horror Guild


  • For a while, there was discussion of making a movie adaptation of this novel. Angelina Jolie was approached to play the central role of Elena. This has however been scrapped for now but there is still a script floating around for it.[1][2]

Release details[edit]

  • First released in the U. S. by Viking Press in September of 2001, in hardcover.
  • Released in trade paperback in January 2003 by Plume books.
  • Released in mass market paperback in August 2004 by Plume books.


  1. Entertainment News at
  2. Movie News at

External links and quotations[edit]