Kelley Armstrong has been writing her Otherworld series for a long time but I had never had a chance to sample that universe. I was happy to give it a try with her new novella, Driven, which was recently released by Subterranean Press.
The Cains had always been the outcasts of the werewolves. They were brutal and vicious and played directly into the bloodthirsty stereotype of werewolves from books and movies. Even so, the Cains did not deserve the violence the murder that they found stalking them. When Davis Cain came to the Pack seeking help, the clan was reluctantly forced to give him assistance even if it would change the order of the werewolves forever.
Elena Michaels, the Alpha of the Pack, now finds herself leading the Pack on a struggle on two fronts. She must confront the terror that stalks the Cains to show the world that werewolves cannot be treated as prey. If that were not difficult enough, she must also face trouble from within in the form of Malcolm Danvers. Danvers was once an enforcer for the Pack but has given in to his own inner demons to become a monster that threatens the structure of the werewolf world. Faced with threats on two fronts, the Pack must fight not just for the survival of the Pack but also for the lives of its members.
As I already wrote, this was my first exposure to the Otherworld series and I have to say that I was not disappointed. The story itself was nothing special in my estimation. It was fairly generic along the lines of other series that build societies out of ancient monsters and rarely strayed from the formula of universe building for series of that ilk. I would have liked to see a little more of the unexpected rather than mostly knowing what was going to happen on the next page. Even with the predictability factor high, Armstrong is able to keep the story moving along and entertaining enough to gloss over the weaker points of the story so that it was easy to overlook these and move on to the next events.
The story shines through its characters who I found to be interesting and well defined. The characters were compelling and showed a lot of depth as well as room for growth throughout the story. There was a bit too much angst and brooding in the story but the characters have a lot of potential that can be explored. Of course, this is just an installment in a series that has been ongoing for a while so this is not surprising and I am sure that there is plenty about these characters that has already been explored which I am not familiar with. Overall, Driven was an entertaining read and I would definitely give the series another try. Fans of the series are sure to slip right into the novella and enjoy it much more than someone reading Armstrong for the first time is able to. I do hope to be able to read more from the author and the series in the future.
I would like to thank Subterranean Press and NetGalley for this review copy. Driven is available now.