Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Rachel Vincent
Shifters #1

Faythe is just trying to carve out her own life as a grad student, away from her werecat Pride. But when Strays begin attacking the few remaining tabbies, her father calls her home to keep her safe. She'll have to face her past to find her future, but the Strays aren't finished with her yet...

Stray reminded me a lot of a combination of the first two books of Women of the Otherworld, only Faythe's no Elena. Faythe is...what is a nice way to put idiot. A bratty idiot. She makes decisions with absolutely no thought for the consequences and totally deludes herself as to her independence. (She keeps harping on about how different she is and how she's separated herself from her Pride but that doesn't stop her from taking daddy's money to pay for college. After being home for three hours, she doesn't spare a second thought for her human boyfriend. I could keep going, but I'll spare you the rest.) The entire first half of the book I just wanted to Gibbs-slap her in the back of the head.

I love NCIS.
Fortunately she improved some in the second half of the book. Though it's also possible there was just enough going on my then to distract me from her little foibles. At any rate, after a lot of increasingly tedious world-building in the first half, the second half definitely picked up the action. Despite how annoyed I had been with Faythe, I found myself staying up late to finish this book, and I do want to read the rest of the series.

None of the secondary characters stood out particularly to me, though I am interested to learn more about Faythe's mother. Marc was okay, though I didn't quite read as much of a spark between them as I think the author wanted me to. I wish the tension between them had been drawn out a little more, because as it was I thought it was rushed, and Faythe falling into Marc's bed after a day and a half and after saying she'd never get back together with him made me think less of her.

I also wish some of the details of the Strays' plan had been clarified. It seemed to me that there were probably easier ways and easier places to kidnap tabbies, and other parts of the explanation for events didn't quite fit. (Sorry for the vagueness.) Anyway, I didn't quite buy the story, but it was interesting. I suppose it's always possible it will make more sense later, though I got the impression we're done with this chapter of the story.

While I definitely think this book could have used a lot of improvement, I did find myself enjoying it by the end, and I do like what I've read so far of Rachel Vincent's writing in general. It's a shame Faythe was so immature, but I still hope that she'll grow up a bit in future books.

Plot: 3 cupcakes
Characters: 2 cupcakes
Style: 3 cupcakes
Overall: 3 cupcakes

GARS Score: 1 (4/2/3/3)
What's a GARS Score?

If you liked Stray, try:
Bitten by Kelly Armstrong (Women of the Otherworld #1)
Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Norville #1)
Moon Called by Patricia Briggs (Mercy Thompson #1)

1 comment:

  1. I just picked this up. I also love Rachel Vincent's writing and heard this series was amazing. Maybe it will get better for you as it goes. Sometimes the first book isn't the best. I still look forward to the world building and the characters. Hopefully I enjoy this one.


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