Friday, October 19, 2012

Book Review: Stray (Shifters #1) by: Rachel Vincent

Release Date: June 1, 2007 from MIRA Books
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"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 . . ."

My Thoughts:

As you guys probably know, I am a huge fan of Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series, so I decided to read some of her adult work starting with Stray. I was not at all disappointed by this book. Stray was a great read from beginning to end. It will make you laugh, cry, scream in frustration, and keep you glued to the pages. The characters are all wonderfully crafted, and I took an immediate liking to our main gal Faythe. On a side note, I really like the spelling for her name.

Faythe is the kind of character that I love, but at times I really want to smack some sense into. All her life she has just wanted to be free from her Pride (oh yeah, did I mention this book is about werecats), but sometimes this want comes across as selfish. However, at the same time I truly feel bad for her. She has lived her life under a microscope with very little freedom. She wanted to go to college, and while her parents let her, they were not particularly happy with this choice. Faythe is dragged back home at the beginning of the book by her ex-boyfriend due to threats on female Shifters. This causes her to spend the majority of the beginning of the book looking for a way to escape. While I completely understood her need for freedom, I also saw that they were genuinely worried about her in this case. At the same time, it bothered me the way her father went about it. At one point he threatened to put her in a cage and then she had to be chaperoned everywhere. I mean, she is 23 years old for crying out loud!

Then we have the ex-boyfriend Marc who is clearly not over his feelings for Faythe. These two spend a lot of time bickering and while I enjoyed the banter I wanted to smack them both. They were both incredibly stubborn and had a way of getting under each other’s skin. That being said, I liked Marc a lot. He could be very sweet when he wanted to, but he could also be a strong leader. However, he does tend to have a bit of a temper that he needs to get a hold on.

The plot to Stray takes various twists and turns and it is unclear as to who is behind the girl’s disappearances until the bad guy shows up. Then just when you think you know who it is, someone else unexpected shows up. It all leads to a very nail-biting book. Then once you think Faythe and crew are out of the water, something else threatens that safety. Not only is the book action packed, but it also has political maneuvering and plotting within the Pride. Characters are constantly negotiating for different concessions and what not. I liked that Stray had that layer beneath all of the action. It gave the book an extra depth and it showed that the characters were not just muscle but smart as well.

Rachel’s writing in Stray once again comes across as effortless. It is incredibly easy to lose yourself in one of her books. She created this world of Shifters seamlessly and you never second guess the existence of Shifters while reading the book. She just makes it a part of the world and that is simply the ways things are and always have been.

All and all Stray is a really good read. Paranormal fans pick this one up! I am all but chomping at the bit to start the next book in the series.


  1. Okay, so I got the whole series just for six bucks! I am exacted to start it, whenever that will be! I am also excited that it's about werecats! That's just.. woah!!!!!!

    And your amazing review was well, amazing! I'm glad that you enjoyed it, even though you seemed to wanna smack a few characters :) ha ha
    I also love Rachel's writing, it's the main reason I fall in love with her books!

    1. I am almost certain you will enjoy these books and I am also almost certain that you will want to smack some characters with me. So get on this series and then we can smack some fictional peoples together!

  2. I've had this series for a long time, and still haven't read them. I'm really glad you liked Stray. Great review!

  3. I was excited for Ms. Vincent's YA books but I am literally jumping up and down, to get my hands on her adult work! I can't believe I have put this series off for so long. The plot sounds amazing and intriguing, the characters sound very promising, the romance sounds fun ;p and even the whole were-cats concept sounds unique! I simply LOVE it!

    I'm so glad you liked it! Can't wait to see what you think of the others in the series! :) Awesome review, Teresa!

    ~ Maida @ Literary Love Affair

    1. Honestly, I love her Shifters series, but I would read Soul Screamers first. I absolutely love that series. She did an amazing job with that world!


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