Summary of Stray by Rachel Vincent:
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…(via Goodreads)
My Review of Stray by Rachel Vincent:
Well, if you keep track of things on Goodreads, you might have noticed that I plowed through this series in just a few days. I got really caught up in Faythe and the shifter world that Rachel Vincent created. However – that doesn’t mean I thought the books were perfect, because I had a lot of issues with them (although those pop up mostly in later books).
First of all (and, honestly, the reason I hadn’t read the books sooner): the name Faythe. I thought that was dumb. I can’t stand the way it is spelled! Literally through all six books, I would cringe every single time I read her name. I know it’s weird I’m so fixated on it…but really. Bugged the life out of me.
Moving on. I loved Faythe as a character for the simple fact that she often got on my very last nerve. She has a lot of growing up to do, and often made bad decisions (or just really annoying ones) over the course of this book. If I’m making that sound like a bad thing…let me correct that now. I loved it! Finally we have a heroine who isn’t perfect. This is a series people, which means the MC needs to somehow grow over the course of the books instead of popping out of the womb without a flaw. And all those annoying flaws I’m talking about did not keep me from appreciating and enjoying her – she is still a great character.
In fact, you can’t really blame her for being so annoying/”fight the establishment,” seeing as how the world she lives in doesn’t think much of females beyond their breeding capabilities. She stands up for herself and what she wants for her life, and even though it made the book drag on in some parts, I respect that.
(Speaking of the book dragging on…it did sometimes. It was long. Too long. But if you can muster the patience to deal with it I think the payoff is worth it.)
Next, the world that Rachel Vincent created and the system of the shifter community – awesome. I loved the Pride vs. Strays set-up…and even the Pride set-up. I really like reading books with organized supernatural systems, and Rachel Vincent definitely delivers 100% on that front. Also cool that they’re werecats vs. werewolves…adds another layer of originality (even though the only real difference is that now I picture Bagheera in my head instead of Fang after swallowing a large dose of Skele-gro).
I also loved Marc, the love interest/BAMF. He has a lot to do with F’s (don’t make me say her full name please) contradictory emotions as far as “I love my family” but “I don’t want to be trapped” goes. Like I said, I totally understand her need to stand up for herself – but sigh, Marc ends up with the short end of the stick and you can’t help but feel sorry for the guy. The plot between Marc and F will probably remind you a lot of Kelley Armstrong’s first Women of the Otherworld book, Bitten, if you’re familiar with it.
The plot in Stray, ignoring the slow draggy parts, was awesome. Lots of suspense and tense moments (both sexual and otherwise)…plus, not everything is wrapped up with a neat little bow for every character you’re rooting for. Make the story much more realistic.
Anyway, overall I liked Stray by Rachel Vincent a lot! If you’re an adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy fan…I definitely recommend reading these.