"Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.
"I'd been warned about Strays (werecats without a Pride) that are constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.
"This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I'm no meek kitty. I'll take on whatever and whoever I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays, 'cause I got claws, and I'm not afraid to use them."
Listen to more in the Shifters series.
©2007 Rachel Vincent; (P)2007 Audible, Inc.
All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. This edition is published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A. All characters in this book are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
In pursuit of truth, justice, and an end to spoilers!
Loved this! And that surprised me for a couple reasons.
First, it very much mimics Kelley Armstrong's first two Otherworld books plotwise, at least initially. Luckily Vincent does have a very firm grip on her world and knows what to do with it, so by the end I was just taking things as they came.
Second, Faythe is a spoiled, thoughtless brat for the first half of the book. I just couldn't like her much. But looking back now it totally fits, so instead of being annoyed I'm actually pleased that the author decided to be real with her character. Given her environment it was unlikely that Faythe could have been a considerate sweetheart, so writing her that way would have been a cop-out on the author's part. It also made a better backdrop for the action-packed second half of the book, and leaves plenty of room for Faythe to grow in later books. (Which I hope we'll see!)
It's the second half of the book that made me love it -- I was all keyed up and couldn't stop listening. If you're a fan of the genre and you like suspense, hold on through the first half and the initial adventures of Little Miss User of Men -- the real story comes midway. I started off not very impressed and ended up ready for a relisten!
Oh, and I was pleased with the narrator as well!
This book was painful to listen to. I was hoping it would get better and it just didn't. You are forced into a first person narrative with a heroine who is a self absorbed twit. Her only concern is about how everything affects her with no concern what so ever for how her actions affect the people around her. Almost a "poor little rich girl" menatality, but with a loving and caring family instead of an emotionally distant one. She kept proclaiming her adulthood but acting like a surly rebelious teenager. Kept proclaiming her independence and self reliance while mommy and daddy (and yes, she still actullay calls him "Daddy", you can practically hear her whinning it) continue to pay all her bills. I actually checked the author's website, thinking I accidentally bought a young adult book given the main characters obnoxious attitude, but no, she is suppossed to be in her 20's - even still, I know teenagers with more common sense, responsibilty, respect and regard for others - this character is just self absorbed and it was a frustrating read to say the least. Her decison making and reasoning is ridiculous - I found myself shouting epitaphs aloud and exclaiming things like, "Come on, really? Seriously?!". I was actually happy when she got kidnapped because she's an idiot - I just felt bad for the characters that were going to get in trouble because of her selfish choices.
Also, this stroy line is a blatant sponge off of Kelley Armstrong's Bitten, and a poor one at that. Re-read Bitten, and save yourself the money! Another good Were/family dynamic read is Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson series and her Alpha & Omega series - both with decent narrators, great plots and enjoyable characters!
"Stray" was a waste of a free credit, and the narrator just sounded much older in voice than a girl of the main charcter's age and attitude, making it even more annoying to listen too.
This book was so bad- the characters, the story line, the romance, the narration- I can hardly think of a good thing to say about it.
I read this because I read My Soul to Take by her and really enjoyed it, so I thought I'd give this series a try despite the somewhat mixed reviews. Mistake.
The thing is that the female lead, from whose perspective we get the story, is horrible. She screams about wanting to be independant and treated like an adult, and then behaves like a child. Without thinking about it, she allows herself to be drawn in by the most deplorable male stereotypes. It's as though she cries, "Hey, I'm a feminist. Treat me as an equal." Then her hormones get the better of her and she's begging to be dragged along back to the cave by her hair. Plus, she whines. Relentlessly.
I'm also just not a fan of Jennifer Van Dyke. I'll admit freely that this is a personal thing, and that you might enjoy her fine. I just find her cadances a little off and her inflection makes everyone sound cold and arrogant.
I always try to say something positive about a book so here it is- Vincent deals with the subject of rape- even writing fairly grafic depictions of it- in a fairly sensitive way. She perhaps has some contempt for those who don't fight back in order to save their own lives, but does allow for the emotional trama of the experience.
And that, sadly, is the best I can do for saying something nice about this book. Don't waste your time unless you just really enjoy the "Me Tarzan You Jane. Me beat the tar out of anybody who looks at you," male fantasy and can handle whiney women.
I absolutely LOVE the entire Werecat Series. Rachel Vincent has created a seducing world that 'lies just beneath the surface' of our real one. It is believable, inventive, full of intrigue, and consistently exciting. I have been placing her 'scheduled release' dates in my calendar so I have the next book as soon as it arrives! Faith is a likeable & rebellious character with honorable morals and her story, life, and relationships are ALL interesting! Can't wait for the next book in March of 2010! *There are sex scenes - not frequent or overly prolific (more romantic in nature) but still detailed & I recommend the reader be at least 18.
I like contemporary or urban fantasy when it is well done. The books of Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Patricia Briggs, Tanya Huff, Charlaine Harris and the early books in Laurel K Hamilton's Anita Blake series are the top books in this genre which come to mind at the moment. I was searching for a new series in this genre, and I didn't read the reviews thoroughly enough. Sigh. After I gave up on trying to plow through this mess, I went back and read more of them. Let me recommend the review by Caren from New Jersey. I agree with every word she wrote.
Let me just add one more small glitch that started driving me crazy as I continued listening. One of the major premises of this book is that werecats can only be produced by the union of two werecats. A werecat cannot mate with a human and produce more werecats. AND there are five male werecats born for each female. There are only ten prides in North America - a pride being headed by a male werecat, his female mate, and a bunch of bachelor werecats. But stop and think about it. Where do all these bachelor males come from? The main character has four or five brothers. Now supposing her father had a similar number of brothers and her grandfather also, there should be about 15 werecats in their chunk of North America. But no, we are given to understand that there are many more than that. Where do they come from? If the 10 producing mothers in North America each give birth to 10 children every generation, you could get the numbers up a little, but there is no indication that this is the case. Well, this is a minor quibble compared to the flaws which Caren and some others have outlined. But it shows how little thought this author put into any sort of world-building as compared to her time spent describing the manly pecs of the males.
If you are more interested in well thought out fantasy than in descriptions of adolescent angst and romantic claptrap, don't read this book.
Say something about yourself!
IM USUALLY NOT INTO THE WHOLE SHAPE-SHIFTER THING BUT I STUMBLED ACROSS THIS BOOK DURING AN AUDIBLE BOOK SALE. TO MY SURPRISE I LOVE THE BOOK. I THINK THE AUTHOR DID A GREAT JOB WITH THE MAIN CHARACTOR. SHE A STRONG INDEPENDENT. SHE SEAMS TO GET HER SELF INTO STRANGE SITUATIONS THAT ARENT HER FAULT. I ALSO LIKE THAT SHE DOESNT GIVE INTO GIVE INTO HER LOVE INTEREST. BOOKS LIKE THAT KIND OF KEEP ME ON MY TOES. I NEVER KNOW WHO IS GOING TO END UP WITH WHO. FIVE STARS.
There are a lot of mixed reviews of this book, so I was a little leery of this choice, but the Warecats series ended up becoming one of my favorite. Stray is has an exciting storyline. As with all the books in the series, it is filled with messages about gender role and the plight individuals face trying to find a place in their society.
The unique warecat race have defined societal rules that were developed because of their environment. They are a group that tries to live secretly in the human world while they struggle to keep their race alive because the male to female birth rate is only 4:1. The main character, Faith, is only one of a handful of women of her race in the US. Therefore, she lives in a society where the women of her race are cherished and protected for their ability to bear the next generation. But since Faith has to pretend to live in a world where the sexual revolution has made greater advances, she longs to actually have such freedom. After, in Stray, Faith is kidnapped to be sold as a sexual slave she appreciates and understands the societal norms in which she was raised, even if she personally continues to resist them.
There is no doubt that Faith is whiney and selfish in Stray. But this is developmentally appropriate. As a young adult, she trying to develop her sense of individuality and find her place in the world. As the series progresses, you hear her grow through her internal dialogue.
Interesting idea, good reader, but the heroine was weak and I wanted to smack her in the forehead a couple of times.
The book is good for a first in a series. I haven't read any of the others yet but this one was able to get my attention and keep it. The writing is well done and you don't ever feel "lost" about what the rules are or what is happening in this world. Not a book I'd give to my 13 year old to read, but I'd probably let a mature 16 year old read it. It does have some graphic parts to it so good thing to keep in mind for those with teenagers that listen to books.
There is really no middle ground on the revues of this book. I found the heroine to act a lot more like a teen aged brat than a woman in her early twenties. I read the reviews of the next books in the series and although the reviews do get better I suspect that is because quite a few people do not choose to read any more of the books.
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