Once Bitten by Kalayna Price
Haven, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback, 272 pages
Published: 01/09/2009 by Bell Bridge Books
Received From: Purchased
Kita Nekai, on the run and the smallest of her shifter clan-a calico cat among lions and tigers-is being hunted. She was expected to accept her role as her father's successor whether or not her cat was up to the task of leading the clan. She disagreed. Now she's less than a step ahead of the hunters, bone-tired, cold, and living hand-to-mouth in the city of Haven. And that's the high point of her day. She's also drugged, "accidently" turned into a vampire, and sentenced to death for recklessly creating a rogue shifter who tortures its human prey. She's got seventy-two hours to find the rogue, evade a city full of hunters, prove she's not responsible for the rogue, and keep the vampire council from killing her. All while sorting out an apprentice mage, a married ex-boyfriend shifter-hunter, and the vampire who made her.
Once Bitten was a quick, enjoyable story and is an interesting beginning to a new Urban Fantasy series that shows a lot of potential. The universe consists of shifters, vamps, mages and much more. The combination of all these preternatural characters and the unique attributes that Kalayna Price gives them was entertaining plus they gave the story elements of surprise.
The story was filled with a lot of action and just a couple slow spots but for the most part I really enjoyed the pace set in this book. After I read the summary, I was very curious to find out what would happen to a shifter turned into vampire. The reason being because most vampires remain in the state that they turned so I wanted to find out how things would shape up for Kita. Would she be a hybrid vampire-shifter? Or would she be frozen at the age and shape she was in when she was turned, forever without the ability to shift again?
Kita herself is very strong willed and at times too stubborn for her own good. This stubbornness leads to much mayhem throughout the story and was a bit of an aggravation point for me at the beginning. The bits and pieces of Kita’s past is slowly leaked into the story and eventually I could understand why she is the way she is. It would’ve been better to know some of this a little sooner in the story.
The other characters in the story added a feeling of companionship between Kita and themselves, even when Kita was trying to avoid the friendship offered. There are subtle hints at a possible romance but the story is mainly centered on Kita finding the rogue shifter before her 72 hour reprieve runs out.
Once Bitten is just the tip of the iceberg in the Haven series; there were many tidbits throughout the story that alluded to a much deeper universe that begs to be explored. I did go on to read the next book in the Haven series, Twice Dead and I can vouch that is does live up to that suggestion of more. That review will be up next.