Becoming (Otherworld graphic novel) by Kelley Armstrong

Released: Summer 2011
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 80
Publisher: Subterranean Press

Source: Personal shelf

Elena Michaels has just been bitten by her boyfriend, psycho werewolf Clay Danvers. As the werewolf curse is slowly taking over her body and mind, she clings to the last shreds of her humanity, scared that her life will never be the same again. As per readers’ request, finally the tale of Elena’s Bite. ‘Becoming’ covers the darkest part of Elena’s introduction to life as a werewolf, and fills in an important chapter in the Otherworld story.

The Otherworld, a series of novels written by Kelley Armstrong. Elena Michaels is the world’s only female werewolf. And she’s tired of it. Tired of a life spent hiding and protecting, a life where her most important job is hunting down rogue werewolves. Tired of a world that not only accepts the worst in her— her temper, her violence—but requires it. Worst of all, she realizes she’s growing content with that life, with being that person.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Becoming is a little bit different from Kelley Armstrong‘s other work, and not just because it’s a graphic novel, though that is one of the key differences. One of the big difference I see is that the story is also available on her website, completely free. I suppose the next logical question is then, why would I pay money for it, particularly when it costs a pretty penny to have Subterranean Press send the books to Canada? It’s a valid question and here are my answer:

I am a completionist. When I love an author, I’m all about collecting all of their work, at least for the series I’m reading. (This is why it kills me that I didn’t buy a copy of A Fantasy Medley when it first came out.) Kelley Armstrong’s Otherworld is one of my favourite settings and I’m willing to spring for the extra expense, particularly for the novellas, Angelic and Counterfeit Magic, which are now blessedly more affordable since you can get e-copies. I did actually debate purchasing Becoming for a while since it is readily available but I got suckered in by the promise of extra pages. Of course, this need doesn’t extend to paying $250 for the really fancy version but it’s nice to have a limited edition of Becoming sitting on my shelf being pretty.

Another reason to buy it is that the proceeds for the less fancy edition go to the artist, Angilram. I think that’s awesome because the project was originally something these two ladies were doing out of interest, rather than for profit, and it’s cool to see just how these things come about. The project’s been in the works for quite some time and I figured that Angilram might as well get something for it since she’s clearly put a lot of effort into creating the images in Becoming.

But whether you buy Becoming or not, it’s a nice addition to the Otherworld canon because it shows us Elena’s adjustment to being a werewolf. Kelley Armstrong embarked on this project to satisfy fans and while I wasn’t one of the readers clamoring for the story, I did really enjoy it. It was a smart choice to tell this story in graphic form since it’s pretty dark and I can’t imagine it would have been fun to write that all out. I like it when a character suffers but since the whole story of Becoming is pretty painful, I’m glad I didn’t have to read chapters and chapters of unending anger and guilt and confusion. The material makes a fantastic graphic novel, though.

I’d definitely encourage you to check out Becoming if you’re already reading Elena’s story. Out of context, I think it would be less satisfying but it’s a nice peek into a time in Elena’s life we wouldn’t have otherwise seen.


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3 responses to “Becoming (Otherworld graphic novel) by Kelley Armstrong”

  1. Melissa (My words and pages) says :

    Oh, I’d have to buy it too. I like to have all the series as well. And I prefer paper to online reading or ereaders. 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful addition to a series I need to get back to the beginning to read. Thank you!

  2. jenn says :

    I think it’s a nice addition to the series, and I’m definitely a fan of a physical book, too. But I love that Kelley Armstrong is willing to leave it up for free on her website for people who can’t afford or don’t want to purchase the graphic novel.

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