Rummanah Aasi
    I've seen a lot of favorable reviews about Rachel Vincent's Werecat series on the blogosphere a few years ago. I thought since some of my favorite bloggers liked the series, I might enjoy it too since our reading choices are similar. Unfortunately, we might need to agree to disagree about this series because I didn't really like it a whole lot.

Description (from back of the book): 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 . . .

Review: I had a really difficult time with this book. I went back and forth from enjoying it and reading feverishly to see what happened next to then getting very annoyed and putting the book aside for days. Stray brought back bad memories of last year's Vampire Academy reading experience, but I since I was mildly interested in the plot I was determined to give this book a shot. In the beginning I could sympathize with Faythe; nobody wants their life decided for them but as you start to learn exactly what she's running from, responsibility and family obligation, the argument loses steam and my sympathy turned into frustration where I wanted to smack Faythe upside the head several times and tell her to knock it off.
  Faythe is one of the few female werecats in the United States. For some reason females are very rare, although I never really understood why and I don't think it was ever really explained why. Faythe wants to go to college and try to have a career and a life separate from her Pride. She doesn't want to be her mother, stuck in the role of mother and housewife, so she tries to run away from it all. While I would normally support Faythe, I would have to disagree with her after learning that someone is hunting, raping, and killing female werecats. In order to protect his daughter, Faythe's father makes her come home from college so she can be protected by her numerous brothers and the enforcers working for him. So Faythe naturally turns from "I'm a woman, hear me roar", mature grad student to a two year old throwing a temper tantrum of wanting to be left alone and tries to negotiate a deal with her Father to leave. I guess she can't see the huge, neon lit sign that flashes "Imminent danger ahead!" This is where I lost my patience with Faythe, but wait it gets better. There are countless times where Faythe does the one thing that she shouldn't do, resulting in her own kidnapping, attempted rape, beating, and so forth. Some of the situations she gets into are so ridiculous that you almost have to rethink how the hell is this girl to survive on her own when there are no dangerous circumstances.
  Add to the mix to an intolerable heroine is the inevitable love triangle. Faythe fights her attraction to Marc for most of the book, an alpha who she apparently left at the alter, but then she gets drunk and sleeps with him. Oh, she also has a human boyfriend at school and made out with another pack member Jace who may not may not be more.
  Stray is over 600 pages long and there was so much attention given to superfluous information that after reading the book I'm still not sure how her Pride works. While the person behind the kidnapping and rapes is revealed I still don't know why he took action. All in all, this was a bad book. While I liked the big cast of male supporting characters, I'm not curious enough to continue the series and I decided that was okay for me.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong language and violence including torture scenes, rape, and murder. There is also a brief, graphic sex scene. Recommended for mature teens only and adults.

If you like this book try: Rogue (Werecats #2) by Rachel Vincent, Bitten by Kelly Armstrong, Bitter Night by Diana Pharaoh Francis
6 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    Awwww sorry this one just didn't work for Rummmanah! I'm huge fan of this series, but I will admit the first book is the most challenging one and Faythe is extraordinarily frustrating. I won't promise that she doesn't get less frustrating as the series goes, but I do think she matures greatly by the end:) It seems likely based on your response to this one that Faythe won't mature quite fast enough to make the remaining books worth reading though, and that's okay. Sometimes certain books just don't work:)


  2. I have been wanting to check out this series as well but now I am reconsidering. I don't have time for a 600 page book with lots of superfluous detail. I do really like Ms. Mead though. I know that I wasn't completely sold on the first couple of books in the VA Series but it does get so much better. I have her newest adult book coming out soon and my fingers are crossed~


  3. Elizabeth Says:

    Sorry to hear you weren't really a fan, this is one of my favorites series. The books get more interesting as they go and you do learn more about the Pride life. :)


  4. Lauren Says:

    Sorry this series is a miss for you! I haven't read it either but I've heard a lot of hype. I feel like that always makes it more disappointing when the book fails to deliver. I might still give it a try someday down the road. I just have so many books in my TBR, it's hard to squeeze in 600+ pages, especially if a lot of it is unnecessary detail. Great review!


  5. Candace Says:

    People just RAVE about this series so I got the first book (or possibly more) so that's a bit disappointing that it wasn't really for you. I do know that sometimes first books in series aren't so great (well, adult UF series anyway) so I will still read it. One day...


  6. I've never read any of Vincent's books and won't be bothering with this series. The heroine sounds TSTL!


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