by Kalayna Price
Series: Haven #1
Length: 10 hrs and 33 mins
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Narration: 4 cups
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.
I snagged the audio version of Once Bitten by Kalayna Price when it was a daily deal, and I quite enjoyed this urban fantasy. Filled with vampires, shifters, hidden realms, overseers and colorful characters I quickly slipped into the world. While I still have many questions and want more depth from the characters I was intrigued.
Kita Nekai is part of a shifter family and the daughter of its current leader. Unlike others in her clan, she is not a tiger or lion; she shifts into a cute and cuddly Calico cat. When her father wanted her to take on the role of leader, she fled into our world and the city of Haven. Here things get interesting, and Kita’s life is forever altered.
Once Bitten has, an intense mystery involving a rogue shifter. Kita finds herself in trouble and thanks to the quick actions of a lone vampire known as “the Hermit” she wakes up dead and unable to shift. Hmm, you think that would be enough for one day, but Kita ends up being accused of being the rogue shifter. She is granted seventy-two hours to find the killer and prove her innocence. Her ex-boyfriend Bobby and the vampire who saved her assist her along with a mage in training. This motley crew worked together, quibbled and began to forge an interesting team.
Once Bitten despite flaws was a solid start to the Haven series. This first installment created questions regarding the world. While the reader is giving a basic understanding, it felt like we were thrust into this world and left to flounder. The second issue lies with the characters. All of them are intriguing and unique, but we gain very little connection. It is like watching a seriously good movie with the volume fading in and out. I want to better understand the relationship between Bobby and Kita not to mention the Vampire council and its hierarchy. So many questions. A little romance, or infatuation develops and I am interested to see how it progresses. Aspects of each character are fascinating, but I wanted to experience an emotional connection and gain understanding particularly with Kita. Having said that, I was interested enough to continue listening and picked up Twice Dead, the second audiobook.
Piper Goodeve was the narrator and I enjoyed her voice throughout the tale, I felt she did a good job expressing Kita’s confusion and snark.