Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Review: "Stray" by Rachel Vincent

Title: Stray
Series: Shifters #1
Author: Rachel Vincent
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007

"There are only eight breeding female werecats left . . .

And I'm one of them
I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.
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, 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 . . ."

I have no idea why I have rated this book 4 stars. I mean if I list the things that I find wrong with this book then it makes no sense that I am rating it this high. It should be a 3. At most. Sure, it has its good points. But do they make up for the gaping holes in the brilliance it could be? Well let us dissect this beast a little further.

Lets start off on the positive note. I have never been very fond of werewolves. I find nothing adorable and/or sexy about turning into a slobbering dog-wolf hybrid every full moon. Or more often, whichever is the case. I did not have the similar allergic reaction to werecats. A sleek black panther-like cat? Sure, I can work with that.

The plot itself is not bad at all. I like the dynamic of the Pride and can relate to the rebelling woman who does not like being treated as a weakling meant to be a babyfactory. Go girl power. 

But this leads me to my first big problem. It is fine for a teenage/under 20 girl to run away in the hopes of being independent from her over-bearing family. It is fine that, if an agreement is made, that her parents would help her out financially. But Faythe, the heroin of the story, is 23 years old and she whines that she does not get enough independence while she has never in her life lifted a finger to pay her own bills. What sort of a f*cked up pro-female message is that?

Also, this book is almost one-on-one from Kelley Armstrong’s “Bitten” and “Stolen” (one of the very few werewolf stories I enjoyed). This would be a major turn-off but I read “Stray” first, just a little after it came out in 2007, which is why it does not bother me as much as I believe it would otherwise.
Now to the love interest(s). Jace, the tomcat who came in from a different Pride and is considered an unpreferable match for the only tabby (for reference I will say that the next Alpha will be the guy who marries the tabby of a Pride). Jace was great, I loved the overconfident guy who was not shy with kinky remarks or acts. He was carefree and fun.
Meet Marc. The ultimate nightmare for Faythe. He is overly protective, jealous and fairly violent. After five years, a rejected marriage proposal and severe injuries he has yet understand that she is not interested any more. We hear so much about how Marc is a not for her and never will be again. And what does the same girl who complains about his attitude do? Hook up with him!  I just… arrrgh!

Okay, must calm down. Lets get this thing in order.

The plot is a good idea, with werecats being a both original yet a dozen times done story.

The characters are very numerous which is why I will only further comment on Faythe. She is a strong-willed and kick ass but I understand why other Pride members think of her as selfish and childish. I think she should get her head straight before jumping into bed with anyone else. Okay and a tiny spoiler alert, she does step up at the end of the book and takes more responsibility. It redeems her a little.

I think what made me like this book at the end was that it was a sexy story with a heroine who is not afraid to speak her mind. There was a lot of fun action and the whole story was written well and in a very enjoyable style.

It is up to you whether 4 stars makes sense after this rant or not. But this is what it gets for now.

This review has been brought to you by your Book Mistress for the day.


No comments:

Post a Comment