So this is strictly to compare and contrast the book Bitten by Kelley Armstrong to the Canadian TV show Bitten based on same. If you haven’t read the book and want to then don’t read this. There are major spoilers.
I watched Bitten when the first season popped up on Netflix and fell in love. It’s a forbidden love story about werewolves. I’m a sucker for werewolf stories (I actually have one in my arsenal to write). I think that werewolves are the sexiest monsters out there and this show proved it. Elena is the only female werewolf because typically wolves are born, not bitten and the gene is only passed through men. Elena is bitten by her former lover Clay, the Alpha (Jeremy)’s son. The Pack is basically the werewolf mafia. Elena left the Pack and is living in Toronto with her boyfriend Philip when the story starts. She only changes when absolutely necessary and tries to keep the wolves at bay. It’s an interesting premise and I was sucked in immediately by the dramatic dialogue in the show. When I finally read the book I discovered the show writers took lines straight from the book. Which was awesome. But slowly I began to appreciate the differences between the show and the book, starting with the relationship between her and Clay.
In the show there is epic music and a build up of tension between Elena and Clay. In the book there is none of that. The tension slams into you in the third chapter. It was kind of a relief. There’s a lot of angst in the show about who she should be with. There’s a little of that in the book, but most of it is denial. We all know who she’s gonna end up with from the third chapter. She allows herself to be manipulated by Clay. She justifies it and claims it isn’t cheating on Philip. Really, it sounds like she’s trying to justify cheating on Clay. They act like a couple the whole book. The show is much more about the back and forth, WHO WILL SHE CHOOSE? drama. I appreciated the lack of that and more of the inward struggle she has.
The other big difference is that Logan is the first to die. In the show, Logan is Elena’s BFF and werewolf shrink. In the book she is looking forward to seeing him, but he has ONE LINE before he ends up dead. Since he’s a whiner and all around drama queen in the show, I liked that he died first. It was a relief. The show takes us down a completely different story line, where his girlfriend, Rachel ends up preggers with his werewolf son. It’s kind of awful. Also, Antonio dies in the show. It’s very dramatic and sad (I cried) but he managed to tell Nick his mother’s name before fading away and that leads to a plot line in season 2. Which was cool. HE NEVER DIES IN THE BOOK. I was sooooo happy, because Antonio is AWESOME.
One thing I will say about the show is that most of the characters (with the exception of Elena and Jeremy) are true to how they are portrayed in the book. Jeremy in the show is very outwardly loving and compassionate and in the book that’s all inside. At the end of the book Elena realizes that she chose Philip because he was like Jeremy. It’s a big moment for her. Elena herself is less conflicted than she is in the show. She’s also way more of a badass than the TV version.
The biggest difference is that the TV show tries to put all the confusion into one giant conspiracy. It makes it less about the characters and more about the plot and that is truly sad. It has Elena forgiving Clay not because she realizes he actually saved her life when he bit her (because in the book she knows what happened the whole time), but because she realizes she isn’t actually human anymore and accepts the fact that she’s a violent person. It isn’t Clay’s fault or her werewolf self. It’s her and she accepts herself. It’s pretty great.
I loved the show and reading the book kind of destroyed that, but it will always have a special place in my heart (and I’m still freakishly excited about the third season). I don’t know if the second book will be good, but I think I’ll read it and find out how the show bastardizes that one. Ha.