This is the start of what looks to be a series about a female werecat named Faythe. A college student trying to assert her independence from an overprotective Alpha father, Faythe is called home when female werecats (rare in that only 8 unmarried werecat women exist in the U.S) start to go missing. At 600 pages, it can feel like the book is a little too long, but I still enjoyed it. One major gripe with the main character can be that she is sometimes Too STUBBORN To Live, something I was worried I wouldn't like when I read an excerpt of this book on the author's website. I think this could be a problem for some readers, but for me, I was happy to interpret it as Faythe having growing up to do, and I do think she begins to slowly grow in the book. I hope she does continue to mature in later books. Warning for the faint of heart - there is some violent scenes in this book - the bad guys are sadistic, and werecats are predatory hunters. Overall, I really liked this. I think the series will have a similar satisfying girl kicking-butt feel as Kelley Armstrong or Patricia Briggs.
Loved this! And that surprised me for a couple reasons.
First, it very, 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, using 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 completely unlikely that Faythe could have been a considerate sweetheart, so writing her that way would have been a lame 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.
It's the second half of the book that made me love it -- I was all keyed up and couldn't stop reading. 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 reread!
This book bears so many similarities to "Bitten" by Kelley Armstrong (except werecats instead of werewolves) that it invites comparison, and unfortunately, it really doesn't measure up. The characterization is inconsistent, that is, the characters don't always behave according to their own personalities or motivations as described by the author. The plot seems mostly drawn from Armstrong's books and leaves bits unresolved or improbable. But if you are a die-hard paranormal fan you will probably be able to read it. I decided against giving this to my teenage niece (who loves cats and I had thought might like it) because of the sadistic rapes in it.
Rachel Vincent; Author to Watch
I know I'll be buying her next werecat novel. I enjoyed the story and her take on werecats a lot. Many reviewers complained that the book was too long, but I personally like a long book. It gave us a much more detailed view into the werecat world. I'm glad I picked up this book and happy Kim Harrison brought attention to a great new author.
I was prepared not to like this book. My favorite paranormals are vampire reads. I was pleasently suprised by Stray. I was a great book and I could not put it down. I will definatly read more Rachel Vincent books! A definate recommended read. Do not pass this one up!