Even after her Women of the Otherwold series has officially come to an end with 13, Kelley Armstrong does not seem to have given up on the series (there is another novella out, too, but it is an e-book only release, and for some reason Subterranean Press refuses to sell it to anyone not living in the US – I have ranted about this subject before, and and this (pardon my English) utter bullshit is making me very grumpy towards a publisher I used to like).
Forbidden is sold as a novella, but it is long enough that it could have passed as a short novel back when that did not mean 300+ pages minimum – one could even imagine it (with the addition of some sub-plot and maybe a sex scene or two thrown in) as a full-length addition to the series. Like her previous novella, Hidden, it is about and mostly told from the point of view of Elena, female werewolf and alpha-elect of the North American pack; the illustrations are done by a different artist though, and I have to say that while I’m still not all that keen on them, I like them somewhat better this time, because they at least do not look like wannabe comic panels. And like always with Kelley Armstrong, we get a highly entertaining adventure with excellent characterisation – here, most notably Morgan who we first encountered in Frostbitten and who has decided to leave his isolation and give joining a try. His uncertainty about where exactly his place is and his being torn between his previous life as a loner and his desire to belong somewhere is very well described, and as usual Armstrong manages to convincingly pull off her unique mixture of wolf and human psychology.
All in all, Forbidden might not be the most exciting entry in the series, but it is nice to see Armstrong still returning to the characters and it is overall a solid and very enjoyable read for readers of the Women of the Otherwold series. It is maybe a bit more fanservice-ish than even the earlier novellas (I admit I already have to struggle a bit to remember what the main plot was about), but being a fan myself I don’t really have any issues with that. And I would really like to read her new e-book novella as well, but as I’m not a US citizen