Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once Bitten by Kalayna Price


Title: Once Bitten
Author: Kalayna Price
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
Publication Date: January 9, 2009
Format: Paperback, 272 pages
Age Group: Adult
Series: The Haven (Book 1)

Kalayna Price's debut novel, Once Bitten, brings a new twist to urban fantasy. Kita Nekai is a shapeshifter, heir to her clan, and on the run. Initially, her only problem is evading the Hunters that her father has sent to bring her back home. However, things just get worse as she is accidentally turned into a vampire and finds out she may be responsible for creating a rogue shifter who is murdering women. She is given two days to bring the rogue to justice or her life is forfeit.

I love reading urban fantasy. The bookshelves in my home are absolutely bursting with it. I've read books about shapeshifters, vampires, witches, elves, wizards, demons, and so on. I have not read anything like Once Bitten. Price combines vampires and shapeshifters in a way that I've never read before and she does it with nonstop action. Kita is full of nervous energy, anger, and fear as her situation ventures into uncharted territory. Nathanial, the vampire, also displays a wide range of emotions, though his are often hidden behind a stoic mask. Together they must attempt to understand how becoming a vampire will affect Kita's natural form as a shapeshifter. Will her ability to shift return as she adapts to her new life?

Another difference in this book compared to other urban fantasy books I've been reading is the setting. The majority of the books I've been reading take place in a world very much like our own where the humans simply do not know the supernatural community exists. In Once Bitten all of the action takes place in our world but Kita is originally from Firth and Gil, the scholar, is from Sabin. The vampires seem to exist in our world without having another home. The supernatural community still conceals its existence from humans but not all the supernatural beings live among us on a permanent basis.

Price keeps the action going from the very first sentence of her novel. Kita must come to grips with the changes that her new lifestyle requires of her while taking action to find the rogue and keep her companions in check. All of the situations also take a heavy emotional toll as she struggles with the idea that she may have caused the rogue situation.

I would highly recommend Once Bitten to urban fantasy readers. I am looking forward to finding out what happens with Kita and Nathanial in future books in the series.

Thank you to Deborah at Bell Bridge Books for sending me a review copy of Once Bitten.

2009 Reading Challenges

1st in a Series Challenge