Author: Kelley Armstrong
Series: Women of the Otherworld #0.8
In: Tales of the Otherworld (Kelley Armstrong)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Dark fantasy, Paranormal fantasy, Strong women
5th sentence, 74th page: Any holiday that revolved around family saw me sitting in my dorm room alone, keenly aware of the empty halls, afraid to even turn on the television, knowing I’d be confronted with images of the holiday, even the commercials leaping out to remind me that normal people were home with their families.
It’s the story of how Clay and Elena met and the start of their relationship.
Elena and Clay’s romance is definitely not what I would call a typical literary romance. Clayton has some of the hallmarks which we are all warned against in a budding relationship (possessiveness, jealousy, inability to accept your significant others’ friends…). Yet, maybe because Armstrong is able to show his genuine care for Elena, it doesn’t seem like an unhealthy relationship. Just a very, very odd one. But it still begs the question – how do two such people find each other, meet, and eventually, fall in love? Beginnings finally answers those questions. It also helps to explain Clay’s rash selfishness in turning Elena into a werewolf and all of the subsequent drama and pain which followed. For both of them.
Reading about Clay and Elena’s slowly blossoming relationship, the loss of both of their virginities and the confusion that they both feel at the depth of their emotions was a sweet journey. Yet, it was also kind of frustrating, Clay is so incredibly stubborn and naïve to the intricacies of relationships. Constantly he puts his foot in it and finds a way to leave not only Elena, but the rest of the Pack isolated. Elena on the other hand, is so insecure about herself and her worth that it is only the inklings of her stubborn, sassy self that we first meet in Bitten which can be seen throughout the tale. Her willingness to go along with Clay’s many moods and attempts to make him happy are sweet, if not misguided. At least for me, who absolutely loved her constant pushing back when he becomes overbearing.
Logan’s demise in Bitten didn’t truly impact me when I read the story. After all, he was barely a presence within the story. Yet, after reading Beginnings (and even Birthright), his presence and downfall are so much more depressing. His friendship with Elena is the most genuine and caring relationship that she seems to have had in a long time. Yes, Clay loves her more than anything else in the world, but Logan tries to protect her from the very first moment. He stops and thinks about what she wants and needs, something that Clay may try to do, but is never quite fully capable of.