"Alexa O'Brien has never been like other people. A hunter of supernatural rogues, she is a werewolf with unusual but extraordinary power. Power that draws her to Arys Knight, the mysterious vampire who awakens her dark side. What they create together is dangerous and binding, forcing her to question the source of her abilities. It threatens not only her remaining humanity, but her relationship with fellow werewolf, Shaz Richardson, as well.
When Alexa's womanizing former lover and the Alpha of her pack is framed for murder, he draws public attention that could earn him a death sentence unless she steps in to help him. Alexa would love to watch karma at work but as the body count rises, long buried secrets are exposed. She's forced to face the painful truth that not everyone is who she thinks they are."
Trina M. Lee's novel, Once Bitten, is full of suspense, mystery, and horror. This makes for a very interesting plot, but the characters fall a bit short. Readers won't find an easy connection with Alexa O'Brien. Her main attributes include being hot-headed, selfish, and a little smug. She suffers from a terrifying past, having been attacked by a werewolf at age 16. An attack that only she survived, while her family did not.
Alexa tends to hurt everyone she cares about because of her selfishness. Lee does explain that her temper aligns with her begin a werewolf, but come on... She puts herself in the middle of a love triangle with a man she only wants power from and a fellow wolf who holds her heart. Shouldn't this be an easy decision?
The plot, I must say, is very interesting. It grabs the reader from the start. Alexa is a vampire hunter for hire. She takes out the trash of the supernatural world, hoping to make it a better place. The opening scene where she and her werecat friend, Jez, are fighting a serial killing vamp hooked me. But I wanted more from the characters.
It isn't easy connecting with a supernatural character. In previous fantasy novels, what makes the character human is the main question to ask when trying to form a bond with them. However, Alexa lets her werewolf side control her, and when she gets a taste of vampire power -- that controls her even more dominantly. She does have likable qualities, they just aren't easy to pick out.
Alexa is haunted by her tragic past, and readers can relate to that because they have traumatic events that scar their histories as well. She is also torn between being human and being a wolf. That's a personality dilemma which readers can often times go through. The question, "Who Am I?" is universal. She's also very "in-the-moment." Alexa thinks little of consequences and how she'll have to deal with the outcome. Readers will sympathize with her on these actions, because they've experienced similar situations.
Once Bitten is the first novel in the Alexa O'Brien series. Entertaining is a definite descriptor for this novel, though whether I'll read the next one is still up in the air.
rating: 3/5 cups