Book Review: Driven by Kelley Armstrong

Posted July 29, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Misc. / 0 Comments

Book Review: Driven by Kelley Armstrong

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Driven by Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Felony & Mayhem Press, Subterranean Press on December 5, 2015
Pages: 232
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

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Also in this series: Otherworld Secrets, Otherworld Chills, "Bargain", "Recruit", "Framed", Bitten

Also by this author: Omens, Wild Justice, Sea of Shadows, Visions, The Masked Truth, City of the Lost, Forest of Ruin, Betrayals, A Darkness Absolute, Indigo, Rituals, The Unquiet Past, This Fallen Prey, Stolen, Rough Justice, Dime Store Magic, Industrial Magic, Haunted, Broken, Dark Screams: Volume Nine, No Humans Involved,, Waking the Witch, Portents, Missing, Alone in the Wild, Watcher in the Woods, Otherworld Secrets, Wherever She Goes, "The Case of the Half-Demon Spy", "Truth & Consequences", "Territorial", "Escape", "Adventurer", Otherworld Chills, A Stranger in Town, "Bargain", Hex on the Beach, "Recruit", "Checkmate", "Framed", Cursed Luck, High Jinx, Bitten

A story, 13.6 in the Women of the Otherworld/Otherworld Stories urban fantasy series and revolving around the Stonehaven Pack of werewolves now led by Elena Michaels. The focus is on a group of men hunting and murdering the Cain family.

My Take

It’s a two-pronged story with Armstrong introducing us to Davis, an intelligent mutt who feels helpless with his dim family followed by the thought-dead jerk Malcolm, who has applied to Elena, a female Alpha, to let him back in. And Nick makes a good point that gives Elena a boost. Hmm, Jeremy feels he has won and doesn’t need Elena’s protection from his father at Pack Meets. Yeah, it’s primarily a sticky situation for Elena.

We also get a useful description of the Danver kids, that Kate is a lot like her father while Logan is a lot like his mom. Aww, Elena notes how much Nick has matured.

The Cains are homeschooled lunkheads who believe caution is cowardice, which means they do not understand Davis, who only wants a nice first date, not a girl who spent the entire time checking her phone. His other dream is to get an education, not to win challenges.

Oh, lol, Jeremy and Clay want the kids to meet Malcolm so they know how he smells and what he looks like. Both kids agree and, oh man, it is too funny how they “interrogate” him about language. They’re both so mature and maturely snarky with him, lol.

Armstrong includes a fascinating analysis of Malcolm and his relationship with his son. How Jeremy is an atypical werewolf. Poor Malcolm, there are no more stories of him, his old reputation simply doesn’t exist.

It’s all new rules and Malcolm has a hard time understanding this. He really is a thug, although there is an intriguing truth that comes out at the end. The Pack has become much more human and inclusive. He certainly has his arrogance, thinking he can be disrespectful, tell Clay what he can and cannot do, be himself . . . and it’s all a major no. Malcolm simply doesn’t understand how the world has changed.

Then the two stories come together. A trap? Ambush?

Armstrong uses two different points of view. First person protagonist point-of-view is the primary POV from Elena’s perspective. A third person point-of-view from Davis Cain’s perspective shows up at the start.

There is action — they are werewolves, after all, but it’s really more character-driven as the Stonehaven Pack reacts to Malcolm’s return.

The Story

When young Davis Cain comes to the Pack for help, Alpha Elena Michaels can’t refuse him. It isn’t about morality or justice. It’s about not letting anyone think they can do this to werewolves and get away with it.

But Elena is also dealing with the Pack’s homegrown monster — Malcolm Danvers, onetime enforcer, full-time psycho. Malcolm is now under Elena’s control, as part of the most difficult decision she’s had to make as leader. But if she has to let Malcolm in, she’s going to make full use of him . . . and the best person to catch monsters is one who knows exactly how they think.

The Characters

Elena Michaels, a freelance journalist, is the current Alpha for the twelve-member strong Stonehaven Pack in New York. Dr Clay Danvers, an anthropologist, is her mate and her beta. They have two werewolf children, twins — Kate changed at nine while Logan likes languages. Atalanta is the kids’ five-month-old black and white puppy.

The Stonehaven Pack
Jeremy Danvers is the former Alpha and Clay’s foster father. He retired from his position and is mated to Jaime Vargas, a celebrity spiritualist and necromancer. Antonio Sorrentino is Nick’s dad and had been the Alpha before Malcolm took over, and they live on the Sorrentino estate. Nick is compiling the dossiers these days, and Vanessa “Ness” Callas, a half demon with a gift for fire and former FBI, is Nick’s girlfriend. She is an undercover agent for Rhys Smith who runs a security agency (Otherworld Chills: “Brazen”, 13.3).

Karl Marsten, a retired jewel thief, is part of the Pack and lives in Philadelphia. He’s married to Hope, a Chaos half-demon and Lucifer’s daughter (Otherworld Chills: “Chaotic”, 5.2) and they have a daughter, Nita (Thirteen, 13).

Charlie Gray, a PI, is an Australian member; Madison is Charlie’s daughter and Pack. Reese Williams is the Australian member who isn’t allowed back in Australia. Madison and Reese have Elena’s old job of scouring the news for potential werewolf trouble. Noah is the youngest member and Nick’s ward from Elena’s Alaskan adventure (Frostbitten, 10). Morgan Walsh had been a mutt (Otherworld Secrets: “Forbidden”, 10.2). The sociopathic Malcolm Danvers, Jeremy’s father, had been thought dead for twenty years.

Davis Cain comes from a family of mutts and got his first Change when he was a sophomore in college. Curtis is Davis’ cousin. Lonny is Davis’ uncle who likes to live out in the country. Dim Great-uncle Theo, the Cain clan patriarch who hates the Pack, read the article about a “Big Wolf on Campus” and pulled Davis home to West Virginia. Zack had been Theo’s son whom the Pack killed. Theo’s youngest, Ford, suffered a missing ear and scars whom Elena and Clay encountered on their honeymoon. Carter and Nate Cain are Theo’s grandsons. Uncle Bart. Derek, a math and science whiz, is another of Zach’s sons, a Cabal genetic modification experiment.

The Russian Pack
Andrei is a member of the pack and aiding Elena. Roman Novikov is the Alpha. The Bulgarian Pack has given a sort of permission.

Marsh, a half-demon, makes porn films. Elena gets her fun in with telling Clay he just has to drop his trousers. Cindy had been his straying wife. Bernie is a four-hundred-pound adult entertainment director.

Ramon Santos is a Spanish werewolf. Liam was a buddy of his. Ruçi is an Albanian mutt with evil intent.

The Cabals are . . .
. . . families of sorcerers. The Cortez and Nast Cabals are mentioned in Driven, which includes Lucas Cortez, the heir to the Cortez Cabal, a sorcerer, and a lawyer married to Paige Winterbourne, a witch.

The Cover and Title

In spite of the cover appearing like a graphic novel, Driven is definitely a regular story. It’s primarily a range of average grays with shots of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed Elena in a white T-shirt in front with Clay and another of the wolves in gray shirts just behind her, and more people from the necks down behind them. The title is at the top in a black-shadowed yellow. The author’s name is at the bottom in a white-shadowed deep red.

The title is all about Malcolm Danvers, for he is Driven.

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