Bitten by Kelley Armstrong

Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
Bitten, a fantasy novel published in 2001, is the first book in the Women of the Otherworld series. It is Canadian author Kelley Armstrong's first novel.

From the book

I stretch and blink. When I look around, the world has mutated to an array of colors
unknown to the human eye, blacks and browns and grays with subtle shadings that my
brain still converts to blues and greens and reds. I lift my nose and inhale. With the
Change, my already keen senses sharpen even more. I pick up scents of fresh asphalt
and rotting tomatoes and window-pot mums and day-old sweat and a million other
things, mixing together in an odor so overwhelming I cough and shake my head. As I
turn, I catch distorted fragments of my reflection in a dented trash can. My eyes stare
back at me. I curl my lips back and snarl at myself. White fangs flash in the metal.
I am a wolf, a 130-pound wolf with pale blond fur. The only part of me that remains
are my eyes, sparking with a cold intelligence and a simmering ferocity that could
never be mistaken for anything but human.
I look around, inhaling the scents of the city again. I'm nervous here. It's too close, too
confined; it reeks of human spoor. I must be careful. If I'm seen, I'll be mistaken for a
dog, a large mixed breed, perhaps a husky and yellow Labrador mix. But even a dog
my size is cause for alarm when it's running loose. I head for the back of the laneway
and seek a path through the underbelly of the city.
My brain is dulled, disoriented not by my change of form but by the unnaturalness of
my surroundings. I can't get my bearings and the first alley I go down turns out to be
the one I'd encountered in human form, the one with the two men in the faded Sony
box. One of them is awake now. He's tugging the remnants of a filth-encrusted blanket
between his fingers as if he can stretch it large enough to cover himself against the
cold October night. He looks up and sees me. His eyes widen. He starts to shrink back,
then stops himself. He says something. His voice is crooning, the musical, exaggerated
tones people use with infants and animals. If I concentrated, I could make out the
words, but there's no point. I know what he's saying, some variation of "nice doggy,"
repeated over and over in a variety of inflections. His hands are outstretched, palms out
to ward me off, the physical language contradicting the vocal. Stay back—nice
doggy—stay back. And people wonder why animals don't understand them.

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