Review: Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong

Title: Forbidden (Women of the Otherworld, 10.2)
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Subterranean Press (31st December 2012)

THE TEAM-SPIRIT SIGN by the side of the highway seems a good omen to loner Morgan Walsh, as he drives to what could be the most important visit of his life – a chance to join the North American Pack. Then he wakes naked in the woods, surrounded by wolf tracks and a ring of suspicious cops. The situation only gets worse when he’s bailed out by Alpha-elect Elena Michaels and Clayton Danvers, her terrifying enforcer and mate.

Disappointed that such a promising young werewolf risked exposing them, Elena isn’t expecting anything from the pesky retrieval job except some much-needed alone time with Clay. Instead, she finds a different kind of evil stalking the streets and forests of Westwood, New York. Trapped in town by a snowstorm and sabotage, Elena, Clay and Morgan must find the mysterious threat before it sets its sights on them.

Rating: **** (4 stars)

FORBIDDEN is a novella that takes place in Kelley Armstrong’s brilliant WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series. FORBIDDEN is set between FROSTBITTEN (review), where we first meet Morgan Walsh, and WAKING THE WITCH (review). The novella tells the story of Morgan Walsh who decides to accept Elena’s invitation in FROSTBITTEN and see if he has the ability to join the North American Pack. Things, of course, don’t go quite to plan and Elena and Clayton find themselves in Westwood, New York having to bail Morgan out.

Having read all the novels in the WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series, I have to admit that I was curious to see what Armstrong would do with the novella form. I have read some of the free online novellas she has set in the world of WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD on her website and enjoyed them. FORBIDDEN was an interesting addition to the WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD canon, and I really enjoyed reading it. I did have a few issues with the novella as occasionally Armstrong would switch between first person and third person narrative, but I think overall Armstrong did a brilliant job in telling a complete story in just over two-hundred pages.

The narration of FORBIDDEN is mainly from Elena’s point of view, a direct tie-in to the series, although we do also get narration from Morgan Walsh. I think this works well; by splitting the narration between these two characters, Armstrong gives a broader picture of the events that take place in the novella. It was also interesting to see the contrasting views between a werewolf who wasn’t a member of the North American Pack, and one that was.

I really quite enjoyed the mystery aspect of the plot: just what was going on in Westwood, New York. Armstrong provided a few interesting twists and turns along the way, and I’ll admit that the ending took me by surprise. I also really liked the scenes with Elena and Clay interacting with their kids. The novella did feel like a complete story, but I would have liked it to have been a bit longer and maybe included a bit with the whole North American Pack together.

If you are a fan of Kelley Armstrong’s WOMEN OF THE OTHERWORLD series, then you will enjoy this addition. FORBIDDEN adds an extra insight into the world of the North American Pack, although it doesn’t necessarily add anything to the overall series.

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