Book Reviews of Stray (Shifters, Bk 1)

Stray (Shifters, Bk 1)
Stray - Shifters, Bk 1
Author: Rachel Vincent
ISBN-13: 9780778324218
ISBN-10: 0778324214
Publication Date: 6/1/2007
Pages: 618
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 387

4 stars, based on 387 ratings
Publisher: Mira
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

38 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 310 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
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.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
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!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 366 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
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.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
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!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 82 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is a really good book , but not for the faint of heart, there is talk of rape atempted rate, but if you are into were cats it is a great book
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 151 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
There were lots of good things about this book -- the length, for starters, at 600+ pages, and the idea of werecats was a little different. Apparently, though, this was the author's first book and it shows in the writing, which was a little awkward in place. I felt like I was having fistfuls of detail thrown at me at random intervals: Here! Here's some stuff about Marc's family! This should keep the story going. Also, the main character was rebellious in an annoying teenager-y sort of way, even though she's supposed to be a grad student.

Overall, I probably won't read the rest of this series, but the author might be worth checking out as she develops her craft.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very entertaining and a fun read. This was a bit different for the paranormal romance fan in me... as I usually stick to vampire love, but I really liked it all the same. I am anxious to find more by this author.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 566 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was not impressed with this book. It is not original. It borrows alot from Kelly Armstrong's "Bitten," but it just isn't as good. I found it predictable, and was able to figure out the ending.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 167 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
There are only eight breeding female werecats. Naturally, the tabbies are highly treasured and protected since the number of tabbies to toms born is extremely low. Most werecats are born into a Pride and each Pride has a designated area of the United States to call their own. Some toms are "made" by being bitten or scratched by a werecat; these are called "strays." A Stray can also be an outcast from a Pride or from another country.

Faythe has been warned about Strays all her life. Her family allowed the headstrong, independent tabby to leave the Pride to attend college but discretely kept an eye on her. Still she is attacked by a Stray but he gets the worse of that fight. That same day, Faythe is collected by one of her fathers enforcers and returned to the Pride for protection. Human women are being murdered by a werecat. Tabbies are being kidnapped.

This is a great plot with well developed characters woven into a story that is very enjoyable. I give it 5 stars.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting. The Mafia in werecat style, lol. I enjoyed it. Thought the lead was well fleshed out and had a decent pace to it. I'll be reading anymore by her and about this character.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book...it really hooked me for the rest of the series.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 68 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was surprised actually, since I was expecting something different. But what I got was way better then what I thought it would be. It's not a romance book in any way, shape or form. It is an actual "can you guess who is doing it, and why" type of sceniero. It's on a first person view of the action, why tabbies are getting taken, who is taking them will surprise you a lot. I would recomend it.

Oh and just because it says "tabbies, and toms" doesn't mean they are house cats. They are panthers. Black panthers without any spots, so you know the difference between them if you came across one....
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book, was able to get 'lost' in it and felt as though I was there.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. The main character is a spoiled college girl who finally learns to bend and become a little more mature. It has all the things I want in a good book. Action, romance, and a lot of good looking men. I love all the characters in the book and I can't wait to see where the second book takes us.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Stray by Rachel Vincent is the first book about were-animals that I have ever liked. I'm very much into the vampire genre. ;) Anyway, Stray is a very good read. I love her world. The main character, Faythe (a werecat), is very loveable. I loved Stray and am currently reading Rogue (book 2 in the Werecat series), I look forward to the rest of the series. ;)
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 242 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Stray" is a story of werecats; quite interesting creatures especially since I don't encounter them much in paranormal romances. Faythe is one of only 8 female werecats (tabby) in the United States. Going against tradition and against her familys' objections, Faythe moved away from home and went to college. Her family live on a ranch where they grow grapes and sell wine. Faythe did not want to become trapped into an the expected life of a tabby - housewife, raising kids, etc. - she has an independent spirit and wants to make her life. She has a boyfriend Andrew from college and one she left behind at the ranch, Marc who her father is grooming to one day lead the pack. After 5 years, Faythe is forced to return home when one of the tabbies from another family is missing.

Much happens while Faythe is at home; this book has a really good, believable plot. Marc keeps trying to rekindle their relationship; another werecat who works on the ranch falls for her; two more tabbies are kidnapped; one of the tabbies is found dead in a horrible way; and Faythe herself, through her own rebelliousness by not listening to her father, is kidnapped.

Faythe's kidnappers are the leader, Miguel,a horrible, sadistic werecat and 2 werecat assistants and one human assistant. One of those assistants is a big surprise for Faythe. In a cage across from her, Faythe finds the other werecat who was kidnapped, still alive but very much abused. There's a lot of graphic violence in this part of the book which may be difficult for some women to take. I can see where it may have been needed though considering what came later.

When werecats execute one of their own, it is a terrible, slow and painful death. Do the girls get out? Does Miguel ever get his punishment? What about Miguel's assistants? Read and find out....

I enjoyed this book except for Faythe's character. She acts tough and doesn't give anyone an inch. Her perpetual need to act out her rebelliousness make her seem more like a spoiled adolescent than a 23 year old woman who just finished college. If Faythe hadn't been the main character I would have liked this book more. The only time I liked her was during her captivity as she fights her prisoners and helps the other younger, more sensitive tabby.

Overall, I recommend this book - it was hard to put down.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
After she get's over acting like a kid and gets kidnapped it gets good. Really good.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 48 more book reviews
Love it!! This is an awesome series so glad I got ahold of it! I love a kickass chick and some hot guys and Faythe, Marc and Jace fit the bill perfectly!
As usual in the first book of a series it was a bit wordy at times while doing the world building and Faythe could be a bit of a brat. I think she has real potential though and I can't wait to see it through!!! Rachel Vincent you rock!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this book and it got me hooked on the series If you like the shifter books you will enjoy these
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 113 more book reviews
This werecat based story is a very well written, exciting ride! It grabs you from the first page and doesn't let go until the last. So why 3.5 stars? The "heroine" is a spoiled, temperamental, tantrum throwing two-year-old in a woman's body. She is nasty when there isn't even a reason to be. She treats the men who love her (yes it's a triangle) horribly. How can one root for her? Why would I want her to succeed and get whatever she wants? I DON'T!! Luckily the storyline was such that when the real suspense begins, we are so involved in the story we forget how much we dislike the heroine!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 52 more book reviews
I agree with the review posted by Alexis T. (Kyrissaean) reviewed 8/23/2007...

The central character, Faythe, is a spoiled brat for much of the book, though there were hints of some interesting adventures which kept me going long past when I thought I'd give up. About page 300 I skipped ahead toward the end, then I found myself going back and reading all of the remaining book to figure out how the characters got to that ending. The last part of the book isn't for the faint of heart, since there are some pretty grisly descriptions of kills and even the damage done short of killing.

It's an interesting premise, though as many others have written in their reviews, it is quite a bit like the werewolf series that are currently popular and "Stray" isn't as well written.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I enjoyed this story. Miss Vincent did a great job crafting the tale here, no pun intended...heehee. I found myself enjoying the book, and it held my interest with some excellent suspense. The characters personalities are forming well for the 1st in a series, I didn't find the building of this story to be dragging as I did in Kim Harrison's Hollows series.


That said, let me state that I found Faythe very trying on my patience. She is a bit of a spoiled brat who can't make up her mind if you ask me. Should she be a kid or a mature adult, tussling back and forth between the two. I also don't like Marc, her hand picked by Mama and Daddy wanna be fiance, too much. His temper and jealousy really got on my nerves and thought if it was me, and I was her parent, I would have given him the boot till he had some anger management classes.


Faythe is one of 4, in her family, the only girl who has been away at college for the last 5 years. Escaping the pride, and her chosen on the eve of their supposed wedding to go to school instead. The sudden abduction of the various pride tabbies has spooked her father to reel her in.


Coming back home she reunites with the "guys" and you see that she was and still is quite the tom-boy who loves to be with them. Jace, one of the pride members is stuck on her real bad, and I like him much more than Mark to be honest. She gives him a bit of hope and he suffers for it.


She is moody, stubborn, nasty to her mother unnecessarily, fickle and just a pain in my opinion. Her decisions throws her into a very dangerous situation and we travel down the road with her on this journey. A very shocking discovery along the way could have been played a bit better, but all in all I think this series will be a great one that I will continue with.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 330 more book reviews
I was pleasantly suprised with this book. My daughter put it down and said it was too sexist. I enjoyed it. Plot is not complicated. Ms. Vincent has developed a well thought out world of werecats and how they function. You may want to choke the main character but she grows on you. I like it so much I picked up the second one right away.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Keeps you reading all the way through. An excellent book.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 111 more book reviews
so great! read it in a day! similar to kelley armstrong, the characters grow on you so fast! can't wait for another one!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 1076 more book reviews
Faythe Sanders is a werepanther and her father is the alpha of the pride. Her father is very demanding and controlling and Faythe protests and runs away but everytime she is pulled back kicking and screaming. When her cousin Sara is kidnapped by a stray, Faythe is once again pulled back to the family ranch as protection. Her fight with Marc (her on-again, off-again boyfriend) triggers her impulse to run and she is kidnapped by the same stray. Her fighting instinct kicks in and the fun really begins. This is a great start to the series. I can't wait to see where Faythe and Marc take the pride next.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 41 more book reviews
I really wanted to like this series but the first book Stray was a painful mess to my eyes. With a herione who grated onm y nerves with her "poor Me" attitude to a thin plotline that didn't hold my interest. I felt this was a waste of time for me to read and I won't be reading the rest in the series.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on
I read this shortly after finishing the Sookie Stackhouse series. I had a hard time getting into the story, but in the the characters were interesting and likable. I doubt I'll continue with the series, but if 'were'-lit is your thing I assume you'll be pretty pleased with this book.

-Sarah
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 724 more book reviews
This book was interesting and a great read.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 330 more book reviews
Very interesting
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
I thought Stray was a great book. Rachel Vincent made Faythe extremely brave, and strong. I hate to have a book focused on a female character, only to have her need a male to take care of her throughout the whole book. I'd recommend this book to all paranormal romance lovers.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
I had never heard of this author but I loved it! Read it in a day!
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
This is a book for anyone who enjoys the world of paranormal and were-animals. It's a quick and enjoyable read. Rachel Vincent provides a world for werecats that other authors have provided for werewolves.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book because I kept getting frustrated with Faythe and her stubborness but I loved it and I will be starting the second book soon.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Paranormal romance is getting to be a bit cliched. This book is about were-cats (versus werewolves, vampires, etc.), but its kinda the same old story.
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Faythe is a werecat attending grad school. Since leaving her father's ranch she had kept her distance from her pride - even though she does know that her dad does have someone keeping an eye on her at all times. One such watcher finally comes foward to bring Faythe home - against her own wishes - because tabbies are being kidnapped. Did the stray she just fought off on campus have anything to do with the missing tabbies? While back on the ranch she soon begins to enjoy all the perks of living as a werecat on a huge ranch that she couldn't enjoy while on the university campus. Old and new flames surface while Faythe learns that her father's intentions is for her to lead the pride one day. Sadly Faythe is still struggling with being independent from the pride and a slip up leads to her being captured. Can Faythe get it together in time to save herself and a few other precious tabbies?

I was really excited to start this series. The first four chapters really brought me in. The narrative flowed regardless if Faythe was in human or cat form. While reading it, I really felt that this was more a "mature young adult" novel
reviewed Stray (Shifters, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
It's like a book version of the show "Lost Girl" except instead of faeries, they're werecats. A world which is alien but overlaps the mortal one. The main character is a femme fatal and there is a touch of romance but not enough to constitute "chic-lit".