cover image Driven


Kelley Armstrong. Subterranean (subterranean-, $28 (232p) ISBN 978-1-59606-757-8

Set in Armstrong’s contemporary, supernatural Otherworld universe (Otherworld Nights), this unsatisfying short novel revisits Elena Michaels and her werewolf pack as they team up with a family of Mutts (werewolves who don’t belong to any pack) to attempt to track a group of werewolf-killers. After several werewolves are murdered and skinned, Elena’s pack feels that a message must be sent. Dedicated fans of the series will undoubtedly be delighted to revisit favorite characters and relationships, but those characters don’t really grow or change in this episode. Elena has to constantly prove her leadership to others and to herself, in a way that feels more degrading than empowering. Meanwhile, new readers may find the novel short on plot and long on fan service, with lengthy passages dedicated to explaining often irrelevant interpersonal relationships and character histories. Straightforward and simple with no real twists or surprises, this “hunt the bad guys” scenario feels much more like a placeholder than the stellar story that the premium hardcover price would imply. Agent: Helen Heller, Helen Heller Agency. (Jan.)